You are a supreme being...with the power to command the forces of
nature. Earthquakes, floods, volcanoes, the power to turn the very
oceans into fertile plains or the plains into barren rock is yours.
But such power is not limitless. Its source is in the number of your
followers--the followers of Good--scattered on worlds throughout the
universe. These people look to you to level their land so they can
raise their crops, build towns and multiply. In return, as their
number increases, so does your power to smite the enemy, the followers
The forces of darkness threaten to engulf every world in the universe. Your followers will be overrun and you with them, unless you help them prosper and grow, unless you call them to glory, to conquest, to purge the worlds of Evil.
With enough power you can move the Good Papal Magnet. Place it anywhere in the world and your followers will be drawn to it, cultivating the land as they go, or confronting Evil. Make the Good people's Leader into a crusading Knight, and he will invade the enemy, attacking their people, burning towns and crops.
Victory depends on the elimination of Evil. Send your people to hunt them down. Wreak havoc on them with the forces of nature. Wipe them off the face of the world, or if Good outnumbers Evil, call for Armageddon. Every person--Good and Evil--will come together for the final doomsday battle.
From world to world you must go, aiding your followers, destroying the enemy. The landscapes will become increasingly formidable, the power of Evil ever greater.
The Good depend on you to triumph.
Oblivion awaits the loser...
--From the SNES Populous instruction manual.
The endless struggle between Good and Evil. In Populous, take control as the deity of Good, guiding your people as they confront the forces of Evil across hundreds of different landscapes.
It's a classical religious synergy. Use your wisdom to guide, and your control over Nature to help more directly, as you build up your followers to become stronger and more, well... Populous. In turn, you gain more power and influence from the strength and numbers of your followers.
The style of this game is a sort of fore-runner of the Real-Time Strategy genre. You give general orders to your people, and they do their best to carry them out, building towns, growing crops, and fighting the enemy along the way. You also have magic spells to help them along, by changing the terrain to make land more fertile, or attacking the enemy with earthquakes and floods. Your magical power increases on the scale in the upper right of the screen, with icons representing the powers you are capable of using. The controls take some getting used to, but it's really a lot of fun once you get into it. The music is a bit bland, and the sound effects can be annoying, but you can turn them off if you want.
To learn this game you need to play the tutorial first. To play the tutorial you need to know the following, taken from the SNES Populous User's Manual:
To reach the icons for any of the five types of command, use the SELECT
BUTTON. Pressing the SELECT BUTTON successively moves you counter-
clockwise from the Close-up Map, to the icons on the lower left hand
side of the screen, to the icons on the lower right hand side of the
screen and then back to the Close-up Map.
Note: Whenever you access a command icon with the SELECT BUTTON, the
game automatically pauses.
PAUSE [ZZZ icon]
To pause the game, select this icon and press the A BUTTON or B BUTTON.
To resume the game, press the SELECT BUTTON again and the A or B BUTTON
NOTE: YOU CAN ALSO PAUSE THE GAME BY PRESSING THE START BUTTON. TO
RESUME THE GAME, PRESS THE START BUTTON AGAIN.
Note: Even when the game is paused you can still move around the world
and select View Icons, Influence Behavior Icons or Supreme Power
SUPREME POWER COMMANDS
These commands directly affect the world. To perform any Supreme Power
Command the arrow on your Manna Bar must be on or to the right of that
Command. Only one Supreme Power Command may be used at a time and each
time one is used your Manna decreases.
To execute a Supreme Power Command, select the appropriate icon and
press the A BUTTON or B BUTTON.
RAISE & LOWER LAND [Up and Down Arrow icons]
To raise the land, press the A BUTTON. To lower the land, press the B
To rapidly raise and flatten the land over a large area, press the A
BUTTON twice and then the B BUTTON once OR press the L BUTTON plus the
To rapidly lower and flatten the land over a large area, press the L
BUTTON plus the B BUTTON. (Land at sea level will not change.)
THIS IS YOUR MOST CRUCIAL DIVINE ACTION. Raise and lower the land to
flatten as much as possible. Only on flat land can your people grow
their crops, advance their civilization, multiply and so increase your
Note: The Build mode affects whether Settlements or just Walkers need
to be on the Close-up Map for you to raise and lower land.
If you have sufficient Manna, to instantly advance any pre-castle
civilization to the most advanced level that its world or its
geographic position allows, move the cross hair over the settlement you
wish to improve and press the X BUTTON.
(Note: To instantly find any of your Settlements, other than castles,
press the Y BUTTON.)
To access and RAISE & LOWER LAND Command, without having to access the
RAISE & LOWER icon, press the R BUTTON plus the A BUTTON.
PLACE PAPAL MAGNET [Ankh icon]
To place the Papal Magnet anywhere in the world, select this icon.
The Close-up Map cursor will be replace by a small Papal Magnet with a
blue arrow attached. Move the Magnet to where you want it and press
the A BUTTON or B BUTTON.
Note: You can only move your Papal Magnet if you have a Leader.
EARTHQUAKE [((( ))) icon]
To create swamps in an area of the world, select this icon.
Earthquakes shake the ground making it uneven and unsuitable for crops.
Earthquakes also turn high ground into low ground.
To earthquake the area shown on the The Close-up Map, without having to
access the EARTHQUAKE icon, press the L BUTTON, plus the R BUTTON, plus
the A BUTTON.
SWAMP [man in muck icon]
To create swamps in an area of the world, select this icon.
The Close-up Map cursor will then change to a mini-swamp with a small
arrow attached. Move the mini-swamp to the area to be swamped and
press the A BUTTON.
If you choose not to use the Swamp Supreme Power Command after
selecting it, press the B BUTTON.
To obtain the Swamp cursor, without having to access the SWAMP icon,
press the L BUTTON plus the R BUTTON and the B BUTTON.
Note: Swamps can only be created on flat land.
KNIGHT [Helmet and Spear icon]
To transform your Leader into a Knight, select this icon.
Knights attack Evil Settlements and Evil Walkers, burning their
buildings and destroying crop land.
Note: If your Leader becomes a Knight, you will no longer have a Leader
until another Walker is made to touch the Papal Magnet.
To increase a Knight’s strength and longevity, select Gather Then
Settle. Walkers will then join with your Knight. But beware, your
Leader can also join with a Knight, leaving you leaderless.
If two Knights are on the same screen, they will join together to form
and even stronger Knight regardless of which behavior mode you are in.
You can create as many Knights as your Manna will allow.
To turn your Leader into a Knight, without having to select the KNIGHT
icon, press the L BUTTON plus the R BUTTON and the Y BUTTON.
To turn the area on the Close-up Map into a rocky mountain, select this
The damage caused by a Volcano takes a great deal of Manna to recover
from. A double or triple Volcano can be utterly devastating.
To turn the area shown on the Close-up Map into a mountain, without
having to select the VOLCANO icon, press the L BUTTON, plus the R
BUTTON, and the X BUTTON.
FLOOD [man in water icon]
To raise the water one level throughout the world, select this icon.
When it flashes, press the A or B BUTTON again.
All flooded settlements, Good and Evil, are destroyed. Walkers get
dumped into the water, whereupon they either die immediately or slowly
drown, depending on whether that world’s water is fatal or harmful.
Drowning Walkers can be saved by raising the land beneath them.
ARMAGEDDON [Skull and Crossbones icon]
To declare the final battle and end the world, select this icon. When
the icon flashes red, press the A or B BUTTON again.
Armageddon is doomsday. All the people, Good and Evil, migrate from
their homes to the center of the world, where they fight for ultimate
You can move your view of the world during Armageddon, but you cannot
alter the course of events in any way.
If Good outnumbers Evil, you will be victorious, if not, the world and
all the followers of Good are lost.
INFLUENCE BEHAVIOR COMMANDS
These commands influence the actions of your followers.
To initiate an Influence Command, select the appropriate icon, and
press the A BUTTON or the B BUTTON.
It costs no Manna to influence your people and they are always moved by
one of these influences, so one icon is always highlighted.
To return to the Close-up Map from the Influence Behavior icons, press
the SELECT BUTTON twice.
GO TO PAPAL MAGNET [Arrow pointing to Ankh icon]
To make your Walkers migrate toward their Leader, who walks toward the
magnet, select this icon.
As your followers reach the Leader, they will continue with him to
create a stronger Leader.
If no Leader yet exists, has died, or becomes a Knight, to create one,
select this symbol. Your Walkers will go directly to the Magnet. The
first Walker to touch the monument becomes the Leader.
Note: This command is vital for getting your Walkers to migrate into
enemy territory so that they then can conquer, or settle, or both. If
you have the Manna and a Leader, use the Place Papal Magnet Command to
move the Magnet into an Evil settlement and then select the Go To Papal
Under this Influence, your followers will not make settlements and will
only fight Evil Walkers and Settlements who fall directly on their
path to the Papal Magnet.
SETTLE [Arrow pointing to Flag icon]
To make your followers build settlements, and so increase their number,
select this icon.
Walkers seek flat land to settle on. Once a settlement fills up, a
Walker leaves to seek more flat land and builds on that. While castles
are good because they generate many people and increase your Manna,
they take a long time to fill up and produce Walkers. Small
settlements have their value in providing a steady stream of Walkers to
build other settlements.
Note: If you need more Walkers immediately, raise or lower the land
adjacent to a castle. The castle will diminish to a lower form of a
settlement out of which will step a Walker. As soon as he does,
flatten the land again to rebuild the castle.
To make your followers settle, without having to select the SETTLE
icon, press the R BUTTON plus the X BUTTON.
FIGHT THEN SETTLE [Arrow pointing to Swords icon]
To make your Walkers hunt out nearby Evil settlements to invade and
settle, select this icon.
When Good Walkers invade an Evil settlement successfully, it becomes
If no Evil settlements exist nearby, Walkers just settle.
GATHER THEN SETTLE [Arrow pointing to man icon]
To make your Walkers unite for greater strength, select this symbol.
In harsh terrain or facing battle, stronger Walkers are essential for
To make your followers combine and then settle, without having to
select the GATHER THEN SETTLE icon, press the R BUTTON plus the Y
|A Button||Make selections, Raise Land|
|B Button||Make selections, Lower Land|
|X Button||Flatten Land around Settlement|
|Y Button||Locate Settlements|
|Start Button||Start and Pause Game|
|Select Button||Access Command Icons|
|A Knight is perhaps your primary weapon against Evil, as he actively seeks them out to destroy them. When you want to attack, you need the strongest Knight possible. Move your Papal Magnet to a position near the enemy land you wish to attack (remember you need a leader to do this). Then set your Influence to Go To Magnet(arrow pointing to Ankh). Use the Question Mark Icon to set the shield on the leader (first one to touch the Magnet if there wasn't one already). Watch the shield until it shows a full yellow bar for your leader, then use the Knight spell. The resulting Knight will be almost impossible to kill. It may take a little while but it's worth the wait. Also remember not to leave your Influence on that setting forever, because your walkers will never settle again.|