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24. Journeys End

Enemy Tribes: Dakini, Matak, Chumara

Starting Spells: Blast, Volcano, Swarm, Lightning, Convert, Landbridge, Invisibility, Swamp, Hypnotise, Tornado, Erode, Earthquake, Flatten, Firestorm, Magical Shield, Angel Of Death

Permanent spells you can get: None

Temporary Spells you can get: None

Buildings you can get: None

Vehicles you can get: None

This is the last level you have to complete before your Shaman completes her "quest" to become a god. The other tribes on this planet, however, have a few things to say about that before you can move on to the final level of Populous. The Dakini, Matak, and Chumara all start on this world in force and with a developed settlement. You get a little bit more than the standard six Braves, but not much. You want your godhood? Earn it. Aside from the mismatch in starting forces between yourself and the other tribes, you really get screwed in the land department. You are stuck in the middle of a large ocean on the smallest island on the planet. There are two narrow strips of land running to the east and to the west. The Chumara are located on the other side of the planet from your settlement, and both of those land strips lead right to them. Furthermore, the Dakini are on the same continent as the Chumara, to the south. There's a land route from the Dakini settlement to the western land strip, so expect their attacks to come from there.

Lastly, the Matak are situated on the medium-sized continent due north of you. They are only on Land Bridge spell away, and they will open a path before you would want them to. This time around you begin the world with three large Huts and nine Braves. Complicating the scarcity of land is the fact that there aren't that many trees on the land that you do have, so you'll want to build carefully. In this level you might have to do things before you normally would (if you've followed my strategies), such as charge up land altering spells before you have a large population. You need to build around the trees and building up more land helps you do that and expand your settlement all at once. Be sure to Convert the Wildmen on this world quickly, they seem to die off very fast. Your most immediate concern comes from the enemy tribes. Expect an attack from the Matak early, and as soon as they cast Land Bridge. You should build a Temple immediately and train some Preachers to meet this attack. I placed my Training Huts south of my Reincarnation Site, using Land Bridge to smooth out the land, and my Huts in two columns east of the Reincarnation Site.

When fighting the first few raids, remember that your Shaman can Blast an attacking force into the nearby water very easily. If they get too far into your settlement you may have a problem. After the raid start charging Erode so you can seal off some of the entries into your settlement. I prefer to close all three routes, and then attack from the air, but the choice is ultimately up to you. Be warned when casting Erode on the land strips to the Chumara, the land is just barely above water and you should order your Shaman to move away as soon as she casts the spell or she might find her ground taken out from under her. Even with Blast, your Shaman may be your most useful fighter in the early stages when you don't have Warriors and Preachers, so you don't want to let her drown. I suggest that you build up as large of a standing force as you quickly can. Once you sever the land routes, its only a matter of time before the other tribes attack via boat, balloon, or Angel of Death. Even if your settlement is small, you should shift a lot of your followers into fighting classes and build a good balloon force. Time really is of the essence on this level, and I found myself struggling on many occasions trying to get everything I needed built while at the same time managing my forces to fight off the enemy attacks and keep my settlement intact.

You have a relatively small perimeter, but with the scarcity of trees you don't want to build Guard Towers all around your island. Balloons will also help you guard against enemy Shaman raids. With all of their spells at their disposal and a disturbing tendency to use them, the enemy Shamans can quickly damage a great swath of land that you really can't part with. This is a pretty hard level, in that the enemy tribes will attack with much greater force then they have in the past, most of that force coming from their Shaman. Once you get your settlement built and your standing army ready, you should deploy them so they can respond quickly to balloon or boat raids. If you can catch an attack before the enemy Shaman can cast anything, you should weather it very easily since the enemies don't seem to send that many other followers. Though you many have to retry this level a few times, eventually you should find a way to get the upper hand. Once that happens you should move out with Shaman and air force against one of the enemy tribes.

Soften them up with magic, and have your Firewarriors finish the job. Once you get one of the tribes out of the way, you'll have a much easier time with the remaining ones. I started with the Chumara, since they usually attacked with balloons later in the level. The Dakini were next, and after them the Matak. The Dakini prefer boat raids after I had sealed off the land routes to my settlement, and be careful of the Dakini Shaman who likes to cast Volcano and Earthquake and other nasty stuff. When attacking another tribe, try not to spend too long on an attack, or the Dakini might just come along and wreck havoc on your settlement while your attention is elsewhere. I chose to attack the Matak last because they were the quietest of all the tribes and didn't attack very often after their initial Land Bridge attempt. If the Matak capture a balloon (they don't usually build a Balloon Hut themselves), I've noticed that the Matak Shaman flies over very soon afterwards to cast Angel of Death on you. This isn't nearly as devastating as the average Dakini Volcano, but you can guard against it by planning your balloon raids carefully. Once you finish enjoy the FMV.

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