WARNING! Before begin editing the Main Game Palette, you must note something: You will have lots of work with it. All of the files in Populous are RAW images, that means they links to a certain color from the palette. If you change a single color, that will change almost every raw in Populous that will make the display look wierd, mostly in Software Render, but they have bad effect on the D3D too. Only edit the Main Game Palette if you are an experienced mod maker and know how the files of Populous works (you can read them on the site aswell) and you are patient enough to fix or re-make almost every single file.
To edit the Main Game Palette, you need a simple tool, either Ted’s Palette Editor or Dezsike’s Palette Editor or Photoshop+Khickman’s Pal Converter. This allows you to change every single colors the game can use. We have split the palette, we calls the first 128 colors the Top palette and the last 128 colors is the Bottom palette. The Top palette is used to render the terrain and the Software Render Sky. If you look at the Bullfrog palettes, this part of the palette differs from style to style, however the Bottom palette is same. The Bottom palette is used to render the sprites, the user interface and spell effects, and also these colors are also used along with the Top palette when Populous shades the terrain, creates light effects, or when mixes two colors (transparency). Ted in his editor has written some descriptions for the Bottom palette that tells you that where this color mainly used, but as I described, they also used when Pop renders special effects and shades the terrain, also makes available that the sprites, buildings, the User Interface, ect. looks the same on all terrain styles, so if you want to make a mod that looks good, avoid editing the Bottom palette (the one exception is the 3rd line that beginst with 4 blacks, Populous uses only the first one so you can change the other blacks to use it with your sky or building textures, but you can’t use them with the Landscape Palette)! It may result that you are playing with a Pink tribe instead of Blue, but also results that the water turns pink in World View or – if your sky has blue colors – the discoveries of Vaults and the smoke of huts turns weird, and also some sprites may mess up that you can only fix by editing them one-by-one. There are more than 7000 of them, so good luck if you decide to edit the Bottom palette.
If you decide to use Dezsike’s Palette Editor, I’ll introduce you the features that might be useful for you.
- Change Color: This simply changes the color you clicked on to another you select from the mixer pops up
- Swap Colors: This marks the color you first click on, then swaps that color with the second color you click on. Click on the same color to cancel. Useful for putting a dark color for the first one as it’s used to make the shadows.
- Find Dupes: This checks if the same color is exists on the palette more than one time. Click on any color, then it will mark the last dupe after that color, if exists. Useful for finding colors on the top palette that might already in the bottom palette, so you can link to that and change the top one to another color to make your mod, mostly the Software Render Sky more colorful.
- Sky Transform: This will transform the palette to let you use with the Software Render Sky. Only save your patelle in this form if you are going to edit a Software Render Sky, do not put that palette into Populous, it will not work.
- Swap T/B Palette: This will swap the Top and the Bottom palette. Useful if you generated a palette with Photoshop and forced it to use the Bottom Palette to prevent dupes and also to make the palette as colorful as possible. In this cases, photoshop puts the Bottom Palette to the top so you need to swap them to make it work with Populous.
For more info, read the readme file included in the download.