Here is some troublesooting information for solving Populous: The Beginning technical problems such as crashes, graphical problems and so on.
Problem: Game crashes when opening, or does not open.
Solution: This could be the symptom of multiple problems. Try to run the Populous installer to make sure you have a working version of the game. Make sure Data Execution Prevention (DEP) is turned on for essential programs and services only; other DEP settings are known to cause such a crash.
Problem: The game’s colors are wrong. (“washed out”, “messed up”; corrupted palette)
Solution: If this happens sometimes, press the scroll lock key during a game to fix it. If it always happens, then run the Populous installer to install the color fix. When playing online, enable DxWnd in the Populous Matchmaker (Options>Populous>Graphics).
Problem: I hear sound effects twice. (sound echo)
Solution: Press the Windows and R keys at once, type ‘dxdiag’ and press enter. In the Sound tab, change the acceleration level to 3/4ths of the slider.
Problem: Black bars show up around game.
Solution: Enable fullscreen scaling, or disable “maintain aspect ratio” in your graphic card’s settings. NVIDIA (screenshot shows wrong settings; for correct settings enable “full-screen” and “Override the scaling mode”), AMD/ATI, Intel.
Problem: Hardware / Direct3D mode does not work.
Solution: Use software mode instead; run the popTB.exe file.
Problem: Multiplayer isn’t working correctly.
Solution: Use the Populous Matchmaker to play multiplayer, not the game’s built-in multiplayer menu.