The planet is described as having a vast desert with oases scattered throughout. The Stargate is located within this desert and in the oases are human settlements. There is also an archipelago of islands with the main island being the Holy Island, dominated by the High King. The planet has millions of inhabitants with the city of Pelagia having half a million people alone. Each area of the planet is ruled by a king who in turn reports to the High King, the planet's ruler and the representative of the gods. The planet's people developed Industrial Age technology such as sailing and canals and worshipped the gods the High King represented.
During the Lantean dominion of the Pegasus Galaxy, they placed an energy shield around the planet to protect it from space attack. Any ship that descended too far from space or ascended too high from the planet's surface would be destroyed on contact with the shield. Protected by the energy shield, a thriving industrial civilization developed on the planet.
At some point in the past centuries ago, the planet was discovered by a Wraith Commander. Seeing the planet and its thriving population as an easy source of food, the Wraith Commander used advanced Wraith technology to pass himself and the Wraith off as gods to the people of M32-3R1. The Wraith Commander set himself up as the High King, the planet's ultimate ruler over the other human kings of the planet. As part of this role, the High King had the human lands bring him tribute in the form of people for the Games of Life, a contest where the tributes would go into a labyrinth and the first to emerge would get a hefty reward and be set free. In the meantime, the losers would become a meal for the Wraith. To ensure his dominion over the planet, the High King was somehow able to get a Wraith cruiser past the planet's shield and sabotaged the Stargate so that it was impossible for anyone to dial out.
In 2005, after centuries of secret Wraith dominion, the planet was visited by the First Atlantis Reconnaissance Team and Doctor Radek Zelenka. After the Wraith detected the team's Puddle Jumper, an attack by the High King's cruiser left the team scattered on different parts of the planet. As Lt. Colonel John Sheppard and Teyla Emmagan slowly discovered the truth and Zelenka and Ronon Dex attempted to make their way back to the Stargate, Doctor Rodney McKay was able to repair the planet's Stargate with help from Major Evan Lorne and call in a rescue team in a second Puddle Jumper. Though Sheppard and Teyla ended up as tributes in the Games of Life, the labyrinth traps were disabled by Zelenka and the control system destroyed by Ronon. As the Atlantis expedition members and surviving tributes attempted to flee in the second Puddle Jumper, they were attacked by the High King in his cruiser. Using a game of chicken, Sheppard tricked the High King into slamming his cruiser into the planet's energy shield, destroying the ship and killing the High King and all of the other Wraith on the planet.
Following the death of the High King, the planet was liberated from the Wraith. Jitrine suggested that King Anados of Pelagia would try to take power and create a human empire on the planet that decided how things were run instead of the Wraith. McKay also offered the people a choice: leave the Stargate intact when they left or disable it again. With the Stargate disabled once more, any Wraith that came back would be trapped and could easily be dealt with while the planet's shield prevented space attack. However, this would leave the planet cut-off from the rest of the galaxy. On the other hand, if the Stargate was left intact, the people could rejoin the rest of the galaxy, but faced threat from the Wraith who could escape through the Stargate after scouting the planet and bring in a ground force. Ultimately, Jitrine decided to leave the Stargate active with a guard set on it so M32-3R1 could finally rejoin the rest of the galaxy after so long of being cut-off by the High King. (SGA: "Death Game")