Populous is actually the first strategy game where you play the role of a god! The game was released for several computer and video game consoles like Acorn Archimedes, Apple Macintosh (Classic), Atari ST/E, Fujitsu FM Towns and FM Towns Marty, NEC PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16, Nintendo Game Boy, Nintendo SNES, PC (MS-DOS), Sega Master System, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and Sharp X68000.
STORY / GAMEPLAY Populous was designed by Peter Molyneux for Bullfrog and originally released for the Amiga in 1989. It is the first strategy computer game where you play the role of a god who commands a small party of dedicated followers. The more followers you obtain, the greater their achievements and the more powerful you'll get! Unfortunately, it isn't all one way, because there's another god that wants his share of the cake so it's up to you to create a stronger state, attack the opposition using massive army forces and inflict a series of ecological disasters on his land in an attempt to the rule. There are 500 lands to master...! The main action window in Populous is viewed from an isometric perspective and it's set like a tabletop on which you can see all the command icons, the world's map (depicted as an open book) and a sliding bar that measures the level of the player's divine power or "manna". You can progress to the next level by increasing the number of your followers such that they can wipe out the enemy ones. Your godly powers vary from raising and lowering the land (in order to provide more flat landscapes for buildings) to devastating earthquakes and floods (to destroy enemy lands or even...yours)! You may also create swamps and volcanoes and your followers can build houses that will help in creating a stronger army of knights! This increases your manna level as well. Populous (and the sequel Populous II) offers a unique game scenario for its time. So if you want to play the first ever "play god" game via a simple-to-learn interface and an almost unlimited variety, Populous is a must!
GRAPHICS / SOUND The X68000 graphics are great, keeping all the nice details we've seen on the Amiga original. The tiny little sprites (your followers) move pretty good on screen, while there are some other nice animation touches, such as the moving sea, the surface's quakes and more that add to the atmosphere. All 16bit computer versions are almost identical to the Amiga original version in terms of colors (up to 16) and details. The game's sound is identical to the Amiga and Acorn Archimedes versions, offering all those nicely sampled sound effects found on both of its 16bit counterparts!
CPU: X68000 (1987) to SUPER (1991) models - Hitachi HD68HC000 (16/32-bit) @ 10 MHz OR XVI (1991) to Compact (1992) models - Motorola 68000 (16/32-bit) @ 16 MHz OR X68030 (1993) models - Motorola MC68EC030 (32-bit) @ 25 MHz Also there is a Sub-CPU available (Oki MSM80C51 MCU) MEMORY: 1-4MB RAM (expandable up to 12 MB), 1MB ROM (128 KB BIOS, 768 KB Character Generator), 1056KB VRAM (512KB graphics, 512KB text, 32KB sprites) GRAPHICS: GPU (graphics processing unit) chipset: Sharp-Hudson Custom Chipset
Color palette of 65,536 (16-bit RGB high color depth) and maximum up to 65,536 colors on screen (from 256x240 to 512x512 resolution), up to 64 colors (from 640x480 to 1024x1024 resolution)
Graphics hardware: Hardware scrolling, priority control, super-impose, dual tilemap background layers, sprite flipping.
Graphical planes: 1-4 bitmap planes, 1-2 tilemap planes, 1 sprite plan
It supports 128 sprites on screen (16×16 sprite size), 32 sprites per scanline, 256 sprite patterns in VRAM. SOUND: Yamaha YM2151: Eight FM synthesis channels
Yamaha YM3012: Floating point DAC with 2-channel stereo output
Oki MSM6258: One 4-bit ADPCM mono channel @ 22 kHz sampling rate