Together Retro Game Club: Populous

Together Retro: Populous

Presented by fastbilly1
New To Together Retro? Check out the introduction to the club

Imagine an RTS where you do not have dircet control individual troops but rather indirect control?  Where you dont tell the workers to trade their plows for swords to go to war, but rather you must convince them to.  That is what Populous is.  Populous is a game where you play a god and try to get your believers to rule the world.  Now that would be easy, if there wasnt another god on the map that is completely antagonsitic.  Thats right, its god on god this month for Together Retro.  So go ahead and gather those followers.


Populous came from the mind of Peter Molyneux.  You may remember him from other such titles as Entrepreneur, Theme Park, Magic Carpet, Dungeon Keeper, Syndicate, Black & White, and the Fable series.

Populous was one of his first games and the first of its kind (atleast to the degree it allowed) and won Game of the Year in 1989 because of it.  Rumor has it that the developing team played with Legos to experiment with different land configurations.  It was expanded on my Populous II which added Greek mythology and more miracles to the mix, which simply gave the game more replayability.  The third game in the serious, changed everything and has a very active fan community.  In recent gaming news, the team that created the title From Dust have stated that they were heavily influenced by Populous.  So while the Populous series itself may me resting, the god game genre still lives on.


There are a three sequels:
Populous II – 1991
Populous the Beginning – 1998
Populous DS – 2008

Why We Chose Populous

Populous was ported to most every console and PC out at the time of its release, but since Molyneux has moved on to newer series, it rarely gets the exposure it should.  It truly is a remarkable game for the year it came out in, and apart from its soso DS port, most modern gamers do not know about the title.  Black and White is considered its spiritual successor, but for those that have played both, they are not the same.

Controls (Based on SNES Version)

  • Dpad – Move cursor
  • A- raise land/make selections
  • B – lower land/make selections
  • X – flatten land/make castles
  • Y – Locate settlements
  • Select – change commands
  • There area also a dozen combination controls

Recommended Ports

Sadly Populous is not on GoG, but you can easily find it on eBay and Amazon.  You also have a choice in several good ports.  We suggest the SNES port for those looking to buy a console version.

Together Retro Discussion

Instead of posting in the comments section of the blog, we will be using the forum for all of our discussion in order to keep things more organized. So play Populous and talk to us about your thoughts and play experiences in the forums. We want to know your favorite parts, your successes and your failures.
Discuss The Game In The Forum

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