Origin News

Going Retro with Populous

Thanks to all of you who contributed to charity via the Humble Origin Bundle. Today we added two of our favorite games from the EA vault to the bundle, including the original 1989 "god game," Populous, and the addictively fun Command & Conquer Red Alert 3: Uprising. These are some of our all-time favorite games and we hope you'll enjoy the trip down memory lane.

Red Alert 3: Uprising is a recent title that's easy to jump into, but a lot of has changed between Populous's 1989 release and today. Before jumping into this piece of gaming history, we wanted to give you a couple of quick tips to best enjoy Populous.

What You Need To Know Before Playing
1. When you start the game, it'll ask for your name and a question: "What world uses this shield?" Don't worry if you don't know the answer--in fact, you can just type whatever you want there. We've modified this verification check to accept any answer (I decided to answer "Origin" in the below screenshot). Type anything in and keep gaming.

2. There's no "exit" function in Populous. One way to quickly exit the game is to simply press Alt-Tab (which will switch programs); this keeps the game open and is a good way to sneak in a Populous session while working on something else. If you want to exit and close it altogether, you can also try pressing Ctrl-Esc when playing fullscreen or Ctrl-F9 when playing it in a window.



A little bit of history behind those changes: The "deity verification check" is a throwback to PC gaming in the '80s and '90s, where games would often ask questions based on answers found in manuals or codewheels that were also packed in the box. Additionally, a lot of games back in the day simply had you reboot or turn off your computer (or, if you were doing really well, you would actually leave your PC on all night to "save" your progress). Rather than mail out tons of paper manuals or have you root around a PDF for the verification check, and ask you to reboot your modern gaming rig just to exit one game, we've tweaked Populous to make your experience better. With the exception of those two small changes, this is the classic Populous you love and played back in the '80s, and we're happy to include it in the Humble Origin Bundle.