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    FAQ/Strategy Guide by Sonic Boom

    Updated: 03/31/03 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

                         *                             *
                         |   POPULOUS:  THE BEGINNING  |
                         *                             *
     1: Revision History
     2: Copyright Notice
     3: Introduction
     4: Followers
     5: Spells
     6: The Infamous "Level 15"
     7: The Credits
    *************************** REVISION HISTORY **************************
    1-5-00  : Populous: The Beginning FAQ was released on this day
              solely to GameFAQs (http://www.gamefaqs.com).  Grand
    1-18-00 : Remedied a problem in the title; other than that, no
              big updates.
    1-27-00 : Added some tips from SWhyte.
    11-5-01 : After a very, very long period of inactivity, I have
              returned to this FAQ and completely rewritten it.  A
              huge update, and certainly an unexpected one for the
              small population that reads this guide.  Much of the
              information about followers, buildings, artifacts of
              religion, and vehicles has been taken down, but that
              can all be found in the game tutorial or game manual
              anyway.  Enjoy.
    3-28-03:  What do you know, another unexpected update!  A year
              and a quarter later and I'm still kicking, it seems.
              Some spelling errors have been corrected, as well as
              a minor mistake in the 'The Infamous Level 15' block
              of this FAQ.  Thanks to Pierre Demajo for mentioning
              this to me.
    3-31-03:  Fixed one more small mistake I hadn't noticed before
              in the 'The Infamous Level 15' block.
    *************************** COPYRIGHT NOTICE **************************
    Last revised as of 3-28-03:
      This guide is copyrighted by Sonic Boom, March 2003. It CANNOT be,
      any way, shape, or form, rewritten, reproduced, or re-transmitted,
      but by the EXPRESS PERMITION OF THE AUTHOR. That means you have to
      ask me first.  Any selling, commercial portraying, or plagiarizing
      of this document shall be dealt with to the furthest extent of the
      law.  Violation of this contract is a punishable offense.
    *************************** INTRODUCTION ******************************
      Several thousand years ago, the Gods unleashed four tribes of human
    beings upon the galaxy.  These groups called themselves the Matak, the
    Chumara, the Dakini, and the Braves.  Over time, each tribe evolved and
    became more sophisticated... and more powerful.  Before long, the four
    powers clashed together in war, fighting each other over land and
      In Populous: The Beginning, you play as the Brave tribe.  You must
    eliminate the enemy factions to ensure the safety of your people.
    Construct and destroy buildings.  Use them to train followers in the
    arts of war.  Combat against rivals with force and magic.  Win, and
    you'll become a deity.  Lose... and your legend will be lost forever.
    ****************************** FOLLOWERS ******************************
    In Populous: The Beginning, there are six types of followers you can
    create, use, and command.  They are your Shaman, your Braves, your
    Warriors, your Priests, your Firewarriors, and your Spies.  Each type
    has its own strengths and weaknesses, and each must be used to the best
    of its abilities to ensure your success in completing a level.
    Shaman: There are two basic things you need to know about the Shaman
    before you begin to utilize her obvious advantages.  One, she can cast
    spells, but there is a limit on how many spells she can cast.  The
    amount of magic she can use is dependent upon your tribe's Mana Level,
    which is in turn dependant on the number of Braves you have.  In order
    for her to be useful at all, your tribe must be strong and your
    population must thrive.  Two, she's a terrible a fighter.  Do not,
    under any circumstances, put her in a position of combat.  If an enemy
    Warrior picks a fight with her, order a group of your own Warriors to
    come to her defense, or better yet, use a Blast spell to pick the enemy
    off.  When faced with combat, the Shaman will almost always lose.
    Brave: These guys are almost as bad as the Shaman.  However, they are
    essential to your success.  As I mentioned in the previous paragraph,
    the number of spells the Shaman can cast depends solely on the number
    of Braves in your tribe.  To raise that number, have Braves rest in
    houses.  Over time, they will multiply.  Braves can be trained to
    become Warriors, Priests, Firewarriors, and Spies.
    Warrior: Warriors are created by training Braves in the Warrior
    Training Hut.  They are very strong and have many hit points.  However,
    because they do not have any long-range defenses, they can be quickly
    recruited by enemy Priests, making them less valuable later in the
    game.  Warriors will always be your main shock troop when invading
    enemy settlements, though, and are best backed up with Firewarriors.
    Priest: Priests are created by training Braves in the Temple/Priest
    Training Hut.  These preachers of religion are very unbalanced when it
    comes to pretty much anything (don't use them for fighting).  Their
    strength lies in their ability to permanently convert enemy followers
    to your own cause.  If a Warrior, Brave, or Firewarrior belonging to a
    competing tribe comes within range of your own Priest, that follower
    will forget all previous orders and become inactive for several
    moments.  At the end of this span of time, the enemy follower will be
    recruited into your tribe and become a follower of yours.  Priests are
    best not used in conjunction with Firewarriors and cannot convert enemy
    Firewarrior: Firewarriors are created by training Braves in the
    Firewarrior Training Hut.  These followers are best used for defensive
    purposes to protect your own settlement from invasion, although they
    can be just as effective when put on the offensive line.  The best way
    to use them is to move them into Guard Towers at high elevations
    surrounding your settlement to have them pick off any would-be
    attackers from enemy tribes.  They are best used for offense in
    conjunction with Warriors and never alongside Priests.
    Spy: To me, the Spy is useless.  He can sabotage enemy structures, yes,
    but he is always caught in the act of doing it, and he can never damage
    the building enough to cause any immense damage.  A Brave from the
    opposing tribe will almost always repair the sabotaged structure within
    seconds of the Spy being killed.  Not only that, there are far too
    many ways to unmask the Spy.  Having a Spy at your disposal isn't worth
    the effort of training him in the first place.  You can use him in
    multi-player if you want, but in the actual game, the Spy has no value.
    ******************************* SPELLS ********************************
    To describe the basic attributes of each spell, I will use three terms:
    Range, or the maximum distance each spell can be cast, Power, or the
    damage the spell inflicts, and Area, or the area each spell effects.
    SPELL:   Blast
    RANGE:   Short
    POWER:   Small
    AREA:    Small
    You start the game with the Blast spell.  When cast, Blast will fire a
    small bolt of fire at its designated target.  Used correctly, Blast can
    send groups of enemies packed tightly together flying through the air.
    The Blast spell will never kill an enemy in one hit unless that enemy
    has already sustained damage.
    SWhyte sent me this: "Primarily a defensive spell for the Shaman - if
    aimed correctly, it can send attackers flying, even killing them if
    they land in water."
    SPELL:   Convert
    RANGE:   Very Long
    POWER:   ---
    AREA:    Small
    Convert will transform any followers you cast it on into able-bodied
    Brave followers.  There's little more to say than that; the spell just
    sways the allegiance of neutral people.
    SPELL:   Magical Shield
    RANGE:   Medium
    POWER:   ---
    AREA:    Small
    Casting the Magical Shield on anyone but the Shaman makes them
    invincible to some (note: not all) magical attacks.  The spell lasts
    for quite a long amount a time, though sadly not forever.
    SPELL:   Invisibility
    RANGE:   Medium
    POWER:   ---
    AREA:    Small
    The Invisibility spell will temporarily make any followers you cast it
    on invisible to the enemy for a short period of time.  If you attack an
    enemy while the spell is active, your followers will become visible
    again.  This spell is an excellent choice if you ever need to get your
    army into a heavily guarded area, and it also works well with Spies.
    SPELL:   Swarm
    RANGE:   Medium
    POWER:   --- 
    AREA:    Small
    Um... well, I've never seen the Swarm spell actually kill anyone, but
    it can be a major distraction.  If this swarm of magical hornets
    touches anyone, it will send them running for cover.  However, it is
    uncontrollable - you have no say over where the swarm goes or who it
    attacks once it's cast.  It even sometimes attacks your own followers,
    so stay out of the swarm's way.
    SWhyte sent me this: "Excellent at interrupting Priests when they are
    converting your troops."
    SPELL:   Lightning
    RANGE:   Long
    POWER:   Medium
    AREA:    Small
    The spell of Lightning summons a bolt of electricity from the sky that
    will strike an enemy follower, more often than not killing him.  This
    is one of my favorite spells, because it packs more than enough punch
    to destroy an enemy Shaman and can do it from a long way away.
    SPELL:   Hypnotize
    RANGE:   Medium
    POWER:   ---
    AREA:    ---
    Hypnotizing the enemy will temporarily transform them into followers of
    your own.  It's a fantastic weapon in war; when going up against a
    large army, all you need to do is put your Shaman in a balloon and have
    her cast it on the majority of the enemy troops, and they'll start
    fighting one another.  An excellent weapon, especially when you're
    SPELL: Land Bridge
    RANGE: Long
    POWER: ---
    AREA: Medium
    Land Bridge creates (surprise) a bridge across water and other
    dangerous obstacles for your followers to walk on.  This is quite handy
    to know in early game, although it loses its novelty some with the
    addition of the bigger and better Flatten spell to your spell book
    later on.  To create a land bridge, you need to cast the spell on the
    shore on the opposite side of the lake/river you want to cross.
    SPELL: Flatten
    RANGE: Medium
    POWER: ---
    AREA: Large
    This is one of my favorite spells.  Casting Flatten will either raise
    or lower the surrounding territory to the same elevation as the patch
    of terrain you cast it on.  You can level out mountains or raise land
    out of the sea... If you're really bored, you can even raise your
    entire colony really high into the sky so none of the other tribes can
    get to you.
    SPELL: Swamp
    RANGE: Medium
    POWER: ---
    AREA: Large
    This spell turns the land you cast it on into a swamp, deadly to anyone
    who steps into it.  The spell lasts until a certain number of people
    are consumed by the swamp; when that number is met, the marsh becomes
    average productive land again.  This is a great defensive spell,
    excellent for temporarily sealing off portions of your base from enemy
    attack.  It also works wonders with the previous Flatten spell for a
    long-term defensive edge over your opponents.
    SPELL: Tornado
    RANGE: Medium
    POWER: Large
    AREA: Small
    Summoning a Tornado will create a large funnel cloud at whatever point
    you designate.  The cyclone will travel in a random direction for a
    short time after casting it, sucking up any followers and structures in
    its path.  This is a good offensive spell, although I personally don't
    value it as much as I do the more powerful and accurate Lightning
    spell.  This is mainly just one to use to cause panic against your
    enemies while you prepare for something greater (say, a Volcano or a
    SWhyte sent me this: "You cannot cast spells whilst in a tornado (this
    wasn't always the case it was found that the computer player was using
    the huge height advantage to cast spells across vast distances!)"
    SPELL: Erode
    RANGE: Medium
    POWER: ---
    AREA: Large
    Erode turns any land you cast it on into water.  A cheap way to get rid
    of buildings or kill the enemy Shaman, but probably not worth much of
    your time.
    SPELL: Firestorm
    RANGE: Medium
    POWER: Large
    AREA: Large
    Another awesome offensive spell.  Firestorm brings forth a wave of
    burning meteorites from the sky, which will plummet to the ground and
    either kill or set fire to what they strike.  Amazingly accurate and
    freakishly long-lasting, this is spell can be devastating if used
    against the enemy at the right place and time.
    SPELL: Earthquake
    RANGE: Medium
    POWER: Medium
    AREA: Medium
    This spell is really only mediocre, nothing at all compared to
    Firestorm.  All it does is create a long ditch in the ground where you
    cast it which will fill up with water and lava, taking the lives of any
    followers or structures that happen to be in its way.  The problem is
    it doesn't do a lot of damage to big enough an area to make it useful.
    Flatten is a better offensive spell than this.
    SPELL: Volcano
    RANGE: Small
    POWER: Enormous
    AREA: Large
    Casting Volcano will trigger a crater to rise out of the ground and
    spill destructive lava onto everything in the vicinity.  This is
    one of the best spells in the game; one volcano is usually enough to
    take out an entire enemy tribe.  First, the crater will rip to shreds
    any buildings built in its vicinity.  Then, the lava will destroy
    everything in a very large area, including any other remaining
    structures and followers.
    SWhyte sent me this: "Your Shaman is invulnerable to the lava of her
    own volcanoes.  A good strategy is to cast a volcano at your feet -
    your Shaman will be the only one standing at the end of it."
    SPELL: Angel of Death
    RANGE: Small
    POWER: Large
    AREA: Everywhere
    Here it is, the ultimate spell: the Angel of Death, a dragon that will
    spawn into several flying beasts.  These monsters will fly straight
    from where you cast them to the enemy tribe, diving to destroy
    structures and gobble up followers.  They will not hurt your tribe.
    They do seem to be hurt by Blasts and other such spells, though.
    SWhyte sent me this: "Ghost army in multiplayer is a good way to
    distract them. You can also try luring Angels of Death to other players
    in multiplayer games with more than two players. Angels of Death can
    only really be killed by two methods - one casting another Angel of
    Death (the angels fight and the strongest survives) or by positioning a
    large troop of Firewarriors on the top of a large hill/mountain."
    *********************** THE INFAMOUS "LEVEL 15" ***********************
      In all of Populous: The Beginning, there is no level so perplexing or
    so difficult as the Infamous Level 15, "Incarcerated."  In this stage
    of the game, your Shaman is imprisoned in enemy territory, unable to
    cast any spells.  Meanwhile, the rest of your tribe is stranded on an
    island on the other side of the world without any magic to speak of.
    Those players who have relied too heavily on the Shaman in the past or
    who have used the cheat mode to get thus far into the game all seem to
    struggle when placed in this scenario.
      In truth, over half of all the emails I've ever gotten concerning
    Populous: The Beginning are inquiries on how to complete the Infamous
    Level 15.  In response to all these pleas of help, I am including in
    this update of the Populous: The Beginning FAQ a guide on how to beat
    this complex level.
      You will need: 5 Spies, 5 Firewarriors, 5 Priests, and 3 Boats.  Take
    the first few minutes of the level to train, gather, and construct
    these items.  Afterwards, disguise your Spies, put them all into your
    first boat, and send them across the sea to the Chumara settlement.
      Land two Spies on each of the small islands with Guard Towers on them
    and have them sabotage each.  The Guard Towers will be disabled, and
    the Firewarriors inside won't be able to utilize them to protect the
    coast from your invasion force.  Land the remaining Spies on the
    continent and position them near the towers surrounding the Shaman's
      Now, quickly send your Priests and Firewarriors over on separate
    Boats and land them on the coast.  Have your Spies sabotage the
    remaining Guard Towers.  Strategically position your Priests on the
    corners of the beach to have them convert enemy soldiers to your side
    while your Firewarriors deal with the resistant ones.  When all this is
    done, have all your forces attack the prison until the Shaman is freed.
      Once the Shaman is released, the time clock should stop.  Send her to
    the Obelisk in front of the prison to have her pray for the Volcano
    Spell.  When this is attained, walk her up the ridge to the very top
    and drop the Volcano smack dab in the middle of the Chumara settlement.
      That's it!  You're done.  You've completed the Infamous Level 15.  Be
    proud of yourself, you've just completed the most difficult level in
    the whole game!  Now it wasn't that hard, was it?
    ***************************** THE CREDITS *****************************
    Recognition goes out to those who've helped me compile this FAQ.  Let's
    give these people a hand, folks; they're the ones who've really made a
    Populous: The Beginning strategy guide possible...
    SWhyte: Sent me many tidbits of information on followers, structures,
    and spells.  Also provided me with some basic information which made
    a guide on the Infamous Level 15 possible.
    Pierre Demajo: Pointed out a minor, although glaring, error concerning
    the guide on the Infamous Level 15.
    CJayC: Owner of the GameFAQs, the host of this FAQ.

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