In the wake of ''VideoGame/{{Super Mario Bros|1}},'' side scrolling platformers with bright colorful graphics proliferated, and such mascots as Franchise/WonderBoy and VideoGame/{{Kid Niki|RadicalNinja}} were born to the arcades. So Creator/{{SNK}} made their contribution to this genre with Athena, a goddess of wisdom sporting purple hair and a red bikini, who grows bored with living in her castle and takes a plunge into a fantasy world where [[EverythingTryingToKillYou everything is trying to kill her.]] The many possible different weapons and armors lying hidden in the worlds are key to victory.

''Athena'' was released as an UsefulNotes/ArcadeGame in 1986, and ports to the [[UsefulNotes/NintendoEntertainmentSystem NES]], UsefulNotes/{{Commodore 64}}, and UsefulNotes/ZXSpectrum subsequently appeared. The former was the most known version [[PortingDisaster but that doesn't mean is a good one]], until in 2011 SNK Playmore released ''[[CompilationRerelease SNK Arcade Classics 0]]'', a compilation for UsefulNotes/PlayStationPortable with all pre-UsefulNotes/NeoGeo games in which Arcade version of Athena was included.

While Athena's future descendant, Athena Asamiya, appeared in ''VideoGame/PsychoSoldier'' and ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters,'' the original Athena would not appear in another game until the 2000's, when she appeared as a GuestFighter in ''VideoGame/SNKVsCapcomSVCChaos'' and ''VideoGame/NeoGeoBattleColiseum'' as well in various other games for handheld consoles, included a {{Sequel}} for mobile (''Athena: Full Throttle'') which include a new character and a lot of {{Omake}}, making similar sprites, gameplay and even artwork as a {{homage}} to the original title.

Wiki/TheOtherWiki has an article about this game [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athena_(video_game) here]] as well [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athena:_Full_Throttle its sequel]] and Website/HardcoreGaming101 dedicated a page for all the games related to this Athena (and Asamiya too) [[http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/athena/athena.htm here]]. To see more about Athena Asamiya, the descendant of this Athena, take a look to ''VideoGame/PsychoSoldier'' and ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters''.

!! Athena, its sequel and characters got these tropes appeared:

* AllTheWorldsAreAStage: The final world is made up mostly of bits and pieces of the previous levels strung together, including [[BossRush the bosses.]]
* AllergicToRoutine: Athena was bored of the monotonous daily life in the palace and desired exciting adventures, the main reason why she opened the ''[[SpeakOfTheDevil Door Which Shouldn't Be Opened]]''.
* AmericanKirbyIsHardcore: Bob Wakelin used [[http://i.imgur.com/ZGplVTk.jpg Lisa Lyon]] (a female UsefulNotes/{{bodybuilding}} pioneer) as the model for Athena for the game's [[http://i.imgur.com/BvbmJao.jpg cover art in the West.]]
* BalefulPolymorph: In ''SVC: Chaos'', Athena can transform an opponent into an animal if she wins the fight.
* BonusBoss: Her second appearance in a FightingGame was in ''VideoGame/SNKVsCapcomSVCChaos'' after fighting [[VideoGame/StreetFighterII Shin Akuma]] or [[VideoGame/ArtOfFighting Serious Mr. Karate]] as the guardian of Heaven. Her DistaffCounterpart in the game is [[VideoGame/GhostsNGoblins Red Arremer]] which is the guardian of Hell. Being the FinalBoss, it's obvious to say in this game she's a SNKBoss.
* BossRush: The final stage has this.
* TheCameo:
** Apart of the multiple appearances in SNK artworks, she wouldn't get back until ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters 2000'' as Athena Asamiya's [[AssistCharacter Another Striker]]. Also as stage cameo in various ''KOF'' games like ''XI'', ''[='=]94 [=ReBout=]'', ''Maximum Impact 2'' and both Pachinko games.
** In handheld consoles, Athena also appears in all ''SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighter Clash'' series as a Character Card and in the last ''Days of Memories'' game as "Athena Hatsushiro", a foreign cousin of Athena Asamiya.
* ComicBookAdaptation: [[AllThereInTheManual As part of the manual]], Athena also has a comic book which serves as a [[AdaptationFirst prequel]] of the events occured in the game.
* {{Expy}}:
** Obviously based on the Goddess Athena from Myth/ClassicalMythology. Also, various of the monsters in this game came from the same base, of course.
** The FinalBoss of the first game, Dante, is based on legendary monster Cerberus.
** Helene, Athena's {{maid}} and PlayableCharacter in ''Full Throttle'' is loosely based on Helene of Troy.
* {{Foil}}: Of Athena Asamiya, not just in her nature (a goddess and a normal girl with powers), also in the look both they have, almost like comparing a high-school girl with a swinsuit model.
* GenkiGirl: Perhaps due to her godly nature, Athena does not age much through the centuries and retains the maturity of a teenager: enthusiastic, self-centered, and moody.
* GreenHillZone: World of Forest, the first level.
* HereWeGoAgain: The plot of ''[[{{Sequel}} Full Throttle]]'' was about this, again being bored of her normal life after going to "Fantasy World", now she opened the ''Door Which Shoudn't Be Opened: '''B''''', which leaded her to "Elysium World."
* {{Homage}}: The sequel ''Athena: Full Throttle'' is a homage to the first game, with gameplay, sprites and even artwork made in a similar way than the 1986 game.
* GuestFighter: Apart of ''SVC'', she's a PlayableCharacter in ''VideoGame/NeoGeoBattleColiseum''.
* InNameOnly: There's other SNK game called ''VideoGame/AthenaAwakeningFromTheOrdinaryLife'', but that is starred by Athena Asamiya instead this Athena.
* LadyOfWar: Athena can fight demons not just armored or transformed, also with her hands and feet can defeat them.
* {{Mascot}}: Officially she was one of the first SNK mascots ever made, considering her success in TheEighties.
* MsFanservice[=/=]{{Stripperiffic}}: Fighting monsters and demons with just a red bikini is enough reason to get these tropes. Also Helene, a RoseHairedSweetie version of her, but also wears a bikini (a white one.)
* PassingTheTorch:
** Athena has a descendant centuries after the events of this game: [[VideoGame/PsychoSoldier Athena]] [[VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters Asamiya]].
** In TheNineties, Athena's position as SNK mascot was passed to her descendant Athena Asamiya thanks to ''KOF'', along with [[VideoGame/FatalFury Terry Bogard]] and [[VideoGame/SamuraiShodown Nakoruru]].
* PigeonholedVoiceActor: Creator/HarunaIkezawa was the seiyuu who provided her voice to Athena in the first game, and later to her successor Athena Asamiya in ''VideoGame/PsychoSoldier'' and ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters''. Not to mention she born in Athens and speaks greek fluidly.
* PoisonMushroom: Poison potions and broken hourglasses.
* SpeakOfTheDevil: The "Door Which Shouldn't Be Opened" in the basement of Castle Victory, which leads to another realm called "Fantasy World", where the game happens. And this happens again in the sequel, when she opened the "Door Which Shouldn't Be Opened: B" which leads to "Elysium World".
* TimedMission: Each stage has a time limit, which can be extended by picking up hourglasses.
* TitleDrop: Being TheProtagonist of the game, Athena is the official name for this game.
* UnderTheSea: The World of Sea, where Athena needs a necklace to transform herself into a [[OurMermaidsAreDifferent mermaid]].
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: Thanks to certain {{MacGuffin}}s in the game she can transform into different forms to pass the stages.
* WalkingSwimsuitScene: Athena's red swinsuit is probably one of the most iconic outfits in all SNK history, and probably in all Japanese video games ever.
* WhenTreesAttack: The boss of the first world.
* WidgetSeries: Athena, the goddess of wisdom, stripping down to her [[IconicOutfit red bikini]] to go fight monsters and later having adventures at a WizardingSchool. And then her descendant is a psychic Japanese schoolgirl. Yeah, this series is ''very'' Japanese.
* WizardingSchool: The [[{{Sequelitis}} inmediately followed sequel]] of ''Full Throttle'' was "Winning Witch Academy", a game about new adventures for Athena and Helene in the latter's alma mater.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Purple hair in the case of Athena. In the {{sequel}}, there's Helene, which is a RoseHairedSweetie.