Inside the Super NES conversion of PC classic Populous
The worst version of the game? Nah, not at all.
Here we have it: Ending the year on a high point. This week's Video Chronicles project is pretty much my platonic ideal for what I'd like for this project to be. It's not just a retrospective on a classic game (though it is that, too), but one that incorporates information and experiences I've gathered from spending time with the developers over the years as well. And not only original Populous designer Peter Molyneux, but also the studio responsible for converting the game to Super NES. I interviewed Yukio Horimoto for USgamer a few years back. While I primarily wanted to talk about The Battle of Olympus, I also wanted to learn more about Infinity as a developer. During our conversation, Horimoto mentioned the role Populous played in his company's evolution. I didn't have much use for that info at the time, but I knew eventually I'd be putting together this particular retrospective, so I filed it away until now.
Most of the time, my retrospective work relies on second- and third-hand information from public sources. It's a pretty rare treat to be able to dig a little more deeply into the story of an old game, and especially the sort of anonymously developed software that tends to appear on the old consoles. Every unknown studio who labored to keep shelves full of 8- and 16-bit software back in the day had their own tale, and most of those have never been unearthed. I just wish I had time, resources, and skills to do this for every game to appear in the Works series.
Thanks for reading, watching, and listening to Retronauts in 2017! You've made our first year as a proper, independent business possible through your support and encouragement. See you in the new year, and here's hoping for many more to come.