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Populous: The Beginning is the third part of the Populous series originally created by Peter Molyneux. This is the first part with 3D graphics. Gameplay also received a major overhaul; the player no longer simply has to lower and raise land to gain bigger houses which can defend themselves stronger. Now the player has to chop trees to build your huts. Depending on how many men are in the house, the faster its population and the house itself grows. It's possible to train men as fighters, priests, etc. New spells can be added to the shaman's spell inventory through the act of prayer at shrines scattered all over the world. Most spells take the form of natural disasters such as tornadoes and volcanic eruptions.

Each level is represented by a tiny planet that the player can scroll around freely. Aside from the single player campaign it's also possible to challenge other players online.


Populous: The Beginning Windows A shaman launch the volcano spell.
Populous: The Beginning Windows Main Menu
Populous: The Beginning Windows Ups, my own shaman has trouble with this tornado
Populous: The Beginning Windows Tornado

Promo Images

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Alternate Titles

  • "上帝也疯狂" -- Chinese spelling (Simplified)
  • "Populous: The Third Coming" -- Working title
  • "Populous: El Principio" -- Spanish title
  • "Populous - A l'Aube de la Création " -- French title
  • "Populous 3" -- Informal title
  • "ポピュラス ザ・ビギニング" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Better Then The Windows Version! PlayStation bart simpson (2)

Critic Reviews

PC Games (Germany) Windows Nov, 1998 91 out of 100 91
GamePro (US) Windows Jan 01, 2000 4.5 out of 5 90
Mega Fun PlayStation Mar, 1999 88 out of 100 88
PC Joker Windows Nov, 1998 87 out of 100 87
IGN Windows Jan 01, 1999 8.6 out of 10 86
Absolute Playstation PlayStation Apr, 1999 81 out of 100 81
IGN PlayStation Jul 12, 1999 7 out of 10 70
NowGamer PlayStation Mar 31, 1999 7 out of 10 70
NUKE Computer Gaming PlayStation 1999 6 out of 10 60
GameSpot PlayStation Apr 08, 1999 4.1 out of 10 41


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At the end of each level, if you win you're followers will celebrate and start cheering and dancing madly. At first they will run around crazily and start praising the heavens. However, if you have a large group of followers standing next to each other, there is a good chance that they will form a congo line and start congo-ing in unison, and more followers will continue to join at the end of the line. Also, if you have fire warriors, they will shoot fire into the sky for a display of fireworks.


The music for Populous: The Beginning is encoded as MP3; several music files can be loaded into Winamp (or your player of choice) and played!


  • Computer Gaming World
    • April 1999 (Issue #177) – Runner-up as Best Strategy Game of the Year
  • PC Player (Germany)
    • Issue 01/1999 - Best Remake in 1998
  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1999 – Best Real-Time Strategy Game in 1998
Information also contributed by Matt Neuteboom

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Contributed to by Fred VT (25805), Charly2.0 (40369), robotriot (8626), Adam Baratz (1341) and DreinIX (9397)