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.

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 BonusBoss in ''VideoGame/SNKVsCapcomSVCChaos'' and starred in two Japanese cell phone games.

!! Tropes appearing:

* AllTheWorldsAreAStage: The final world is made up mostly of bits and pieces of the previous levels strung together, including [[BossRush the bosses.]]
* AmericanKirbyIsHardcore: Bob Wakelin used [[http://i.imgur.com/ZGplVTk.jpg Lisa Lyon]] (a female [[UsefulNotes/{{Bodybuilding}} bodybuilding]] pioneer) as the model for Athena for the game's [[http://i.imgur.com/BvbmJao.jpg cover art in the West.]]
* BossRush: The final stage has this.
* GreenHillZone: World of Forest, the first level.
* PoisonMushroom: Poison potions and broken hourglasses.
* TimedMission: Each stage has a time limit, which can be extended by picking up hourglasses.
* UnderTheSea: The World of Sea, where Athena needs a necklace to transform herself into a mermaid.
* WhenTreesAttack: The boss of the first world.