That’s right. After all these years, I’ve finally managed to complete this amazing classic god game. Populous: The Beginning has always been one of my favorites, but it has also been a thorn in my side, since I never even finished half of it as a kid. Thanks to the magic of Good Old Games, I could finally do it and it was worth every single one of the many hours I’ve spent doing it.
Journey’s End was technically the last level I needed to complete before my shaman could finally realize her plan and become a god. It was definitely not an easy one.
I started out on a small piece of land on a peninsula surrounded by the three enemy tribes. While I only had a few huts, all of them already had pretty much fully built settlements. Even worse, those that didn’t have a nice route towards me were just a Land Bridge away, which the Matak nicely demonstrated just a minute or two into the level.
I started immediately charging my own Land Bridge so I could create some extra room for my buildings. At first, I used my shaman and her spells to repel the early attacks, but I rushed to get a fire warriors training hut as well as a balloon hut as soon as I could. This was a huge gamble since I was low on room already, but it paid of. Once I had a few airborne fire warriors, I could repel the enemy attacks more easily and now actually had time to charge up the crucial spells I needed, such as Swamp.
Pretty soon, the Chumara started attacking with balloons of their own, but lucky for me, I already had a small force of fire warriors and, since they used a mixed force of attackers, I could easily take care of their shaman and then pick off the ground forces without any difficulty.
This got me a huge fleet of stolen balloons, so I trained up even more fire warriors and decided to go after the Matak, since they seemed the weakest and their lands seemed to have plenty of trees which I lacked. This turned out to be the correct strategy, so the Matak were destroyed pretty soon.
Now I could finally build up my village properly on the Matak terrain, so that was exactly what I did, using my shaman in the meantime to do some harassment. Once I had an even bigger flying army I could use, I started focusing on the Dakini and the Chumara in order. They managed to repel a couple of attacks and even started a few counter attacks, but eventually, I worn both of the tribes down and managed to defeat them. The Chumara were definitely the hardest, since they had access to balloons of their own and also loved creating fire warriors.
In any case, the level and technically the game, were both won. I wasn’t done yet, though.
I got myself a bonus level to play with. The beginning is a level where every tribe, including my own, has a fully built up village. The catch was, I was in the middle of all of them. The fun part of it was that my shaman was now a god. What this meant was that I could cast any of my spells on any point of the map, as long as I had the mana for it. Fun times!
To be completely honest, I wasn’t ready for this kind of power. My first two tries failed miserably, because I though I could just focus on my spells and ignore my village. I guess I wouldn’t be a very good god, because I missed the part where I needed villagers to get mana for my spells.
Eventually, I figured this out, so I started focusing on building up my population and defending until I could increase my mana income enough to go on the offensive. I focused on sinking the routes towards my village, being careful to keep the trees growing on those routes on my side of the sea. Once I got rid of one tribe’s route of attack, I could more easily defend against the other two. Once all of them were gone, I was finally able to go on the offensive.
And what a glorious offensive it was!
No sinking this time. I cast a charge of swamp on the three places where the enemy shamans loved to hang out and then used the huge amount of mana I was getting to obliterate everything. Volcano, Angel of Death, Firestorm, Tornado, Earthquake… Everything was used and no one was spared.
The Dakini went down first, followed by the Matak, keeping the Chumara for last. They were a bit stubborn, hiding the last few of their villagers on various parts of the map, but eventually, I exterminated every single last one of them. The universe was mine.