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Video Game: The Battle of Olympus
A game developed by Infinity and published by Brøderbund Software, it was released in the US in 1990 for the NES. A side-scrolling adventure game based off the Greek story of Orpheus and Eurydice; the heroine in the game is referred to as Helene instead. The story is that Helene has fallen victim to the bite of poisonous snake and has been taken to Hades. Orpheus rushes to her rescue upon hearing of this. The game combines many different Greek legends, culminating in monsters and items that are found throughout Greek mythology.


The Battle of Olympus contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Heroism: Circe. As opposed to her initial depiction in The Odyssey as a vamp who turned sailors into animals, this game turns her into a helpful witch who will sell Orpheus the Salamander Shield.
  • All There in the Manual: The game makes no mention of Orpheus and Helene. The game allows the player to write the character's names with no default.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Orpheus.
  • Ancient Greece: The game takes place over many Real Life areas of Greece.
  • Arcadia: You start out in the literal Arcadia. As expected, it's idyllic-looking and probably the least dangerous area in the game.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Divine Sword's special ability, the Power of Argus, which shaves off a little HP with each use, until the Bracelet of Ares is obtained.
  • Bag of Spilling: The player's death results in the loss of half of the carried wealth (Olives). With a max of 99 Olives and a few items costing not too far less than that, add in the ease of death, and it becomes hard to obtain those items.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Moon Orb, which only has a use in the final battle.
  • Classical Mythology: Based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, with various gods and monsters participating.
  • Cue the Sun: At the end of the game. You can even recue the sun after the credit roll.
  • Damsel in Distress: A rare case of the damsel having already been taken to Hades (read: died) when the story begins.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Hades goes down surprisingly quickly for a god.
  • Divorced Installment: Of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, as is apparent from the basic gameplay. While it does do a good number of things differently, the fact that the both games share the exact same acceleration glitch used in TASes that allow Orpheus and Link zoom through the game at warp speed suggest that at least some of the code was recycled.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: In the myth, Hades had Eurydice because, you know, she died, and he can't just let dead people come back to life. In this game, he orchestrated Helene's death and intends to marry her. Or keep her as a statue. One of the two.
  • Fauns and Satyrs: A very low-level enemy in Attica.
  • Fetch Quest: Obtaining 20 Salamander Skins to trade for the Salamander Shield.
  • Final Boss: Hades, wearing his trademark Helm of Invisibility. Orpheus must use the otherwise useless Moon Orb to reveal only his shadow. After a certain amount of damage, the helm's magic ends and Hades is revealed (though his tactics remain the same).
  • Heart Container: Ambrosia, the mythological food of the Gods, increases the player's Max HP.
  • In a Single Bound: The Sandals of Hermes increase overall jumping ability to a tolerable level and allow the character to invert personal gravity and walk on the ceiling. No, they won't activate unless there's a ceiling to "fall" up to.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Staff of Fennel's fire ability, while nearly necessary to attack floor-crawling foes, is required to burn down red thorny hedges.
  • Leap of Faith: To find the salamanders (and the Ambrosia sold near them), you must jump into the correct Bottomless Pit. Out of all the bottomless pits in the game, there are a total of two (which are unmarked) that are not of the instant-death variety.
  • Magical Mystery Doors: Most of the mazes are like this.
  • Magic Skirt: The hero's tunic doesn't obey the laws of gravity when inverting with the Sandals of Hermes.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Many of the late-game areas are geared to give monsters a much greater advantage, and several jumps require absolute precision (I'm looking at you, Phrygia and Tartarus).
  • Nintendo Hard: It's a test of endurance and will to beat this game.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Consider Eurydice being renamed Helene to be the first of many examples.
  • Shoplift and Lose Your Stuff: Do not try to buy from Ares when carrying insufficient olives. You will lose your shoes.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Played straight.
  • Sword Beam: The Divine Sword emits small short-range lightning bolts that drain the life from the player, unless you have the Bracelet of Ares. Also, the player can unlock the ability to throw fire from the Staff of Fennel.
  • Taken for Granite: After the player defeats Hades, he encounters a petrified Helene. The power of love (literally) quickly reverses this.
  • Violence is the Only Option: Remember when Orpheus was a musician? One who made it through the underworld by quelling threats with the beauty of his music?


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alternative title(s): The Battle Of Olympus
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