Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Athena

Go To

Psycho Soldier
Athena Asamiya | Sie Kensou
Related Series
The King of Fighters

This page covers both Athena from the original and her descendant, Athena Asamiya of Psycho Soldier and KOF fame.
Athena Asamiya (Left) and Goddess Athena (Right)

Athena is the namesake of two iconic SNK characters; Goddess Athena is the protagonist of the Athena arcade game, and her descendant, Athena Asamiya, is the protagonist of Psycho Soldier and a mainstay of The King of Fighters.

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes for both of them 
  • Action Girl: Both were some of the few playable female characters with their solo title in the Neo Geo era.
  • Badass Adorable: A teenaged goddess with a very hyper-stylized, cutesy art style, and a cheery teenaged Idol Singer with psychic powers. Both have saved the world in their respective home series multiple times.
  • Cleavage Window: Athena A.'s 2003 attire sports a heart-shaped one. And then Goddess Athena... leaves very little to the imagination in her bikini.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: It happened when SNK started to use the Goddess Athena again in their merchandise in modern times; before that many people assumed Idol Singer Athena and Goddess Athena had the same personality or even were the same person, which isn't entirely unfounded since the original Athena had little to no canon characterization all. Now both Athenas are opposites to each other:
  • Expy: Athena greatly resembles Saori Kido / Athena from Saint Seiya.
  • Girly Bruiser: Super girly looking but completely unafraid of fighting. Goddess Athena expresses this as a sword-wielding princess, and Athena A. is a Kung Fu practitioner in a world full of martial artists.
  • Legacy Character: They both share the name "Athena" and are the protagonists of their games on Neo Geo. Even their appearances are incredibly similar as they're both distant relatives.
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: Both have long, flowing hair. Athena A. subverts it with her '99-2001 run.
  • Mascot: An early one for SNK. Both of them were highly advertised protagonists from the Neo Geo lineup, and predate the likes of Terry Bogard and Kyo Kusanagi by several years. It was even believed that Athena A. had a grudge against Terry when he seemingly took the title from her. XIII demonstrates otherwise, as the dialogue between the two shows that they have nothing but respect for each other.
  • Older Than They Look: At age 18, Athena A. looks younger than the 14-year-old Kula in XII and XIII. Hilariously, Athena gets pissed when she sees Kula fighting out there... and Kula don't even seem to get why. And then you have Goddess Athena who... well you can tell by the title.
  • Plucky Girl: Always feisty, determined, and cheerful.
  • Red Is Heroic: Their outfits in both Athena and the KOF series have often used red as a primary color, marking them as heroic characters.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Both Athenas look very similar to each other, almost looking one-to-one Depending on the Artist.

    Goddess Athena 

Princess Athena
Voiced by: Mie Itou (Neo Geo Battle Coliseum, SVC Chaos), Haruna Ikezawa (The King Of Fighters 2000)

The Hero of the arcade title Athena. Athena is the rebellious princess of the Kingdom of Victory, residing in the heavens. Bored with her uneventful day-to-day life in the castle, she yearns to go on exciting adventures. One day, she opens the "Door Which Shouldn't Be Opened" in the basement of Castle Victory, and is trapped in another realm called the "Fantasy World".

She's a secret boss in SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos, and later reappears as a playable fighter in NeoGeo Battle Coliseum.

  • Break the Haughty: She begins her game as a somewhat bratty Rebellious Princess. But after unwittingly unleashing an Evil Overlord and having to fend for herself in another world, she becomes much more mature and responsible by the end.
  • Depending on the Artist: Details like her proportions and coloring have varied throughout her appearances. She's a bit pudgier in the original arcade title, while her newer appearances give her longer hair and slightly tanned skin.
  • Hot Goddess: She's noted in-universe to be very attractive, with several characters in SNK vs. Capcom flirting with her.
  • Rebellious Princess: The princess of a celestial realm called the Kingdom of Victory. She then goes on to save her world on multiple occasions. What sets off the conflict in her debut game is her trying to escape her life as a princess to go on adventures.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: She can transform into a mermaid or an angel to traverse different worlds.
  • Walking Swimsuit Scene: Somewhat justified, as she unwillingly ended up in another world with nothing to defend herself; she's shown wearing a dress and losing it in the opening cutscene, so she's basically stuck in her underwear. She can gain more powerful and proper-looking suits of armor later on, however.

    Athena Asamiya 

Athena Asamiya
Eternal Psychic Idol

Psycho Soldier 
KOF '98 
KOV XIV and SNK Heroines 

Sorry about that! Are you hurt? I guess I got a bit carried away!

Origin: Japan
Fighting style: Psychic powers + Kung Fu
Voiced by: note 

The star of Psycho Soldier and one of SNK’s mascots (a spot shared with Goddess Athena); Athena Asamiya is a bright and cheerful young girl who was born with psychic powers, dubbed in-verse as Psycho Powers, for she is a descendant of Goddess Athena and possibly her Reincarnation due no other member of the Asamiya Family ever possessing special powers before Athena.

For being a special girl Athena was taken in by Chin Gentsai as one of his disciples, initiating a team of fighters who are gifted with psychic powers, molding them to be prepared for any threat the world may face, to be defenders of justice; Athena has a strong sense of righteousness, so she fits right in.

Athena’s trademark characteristic, that is being a Japanese Idol Singer, has its origin in ’97; Athena and Kensou’s charisma and notable prowess in martial arts have been earning them fans since ’94, but this rise in popularity made Chin worried about his disciples losing their humble spirit and lose focus on being heroes, with that he tried to talk them off participating in the ’97 tournament, meanwhile Athena has received a letter from a fan, an ill-girl who wrote a heartwarming letter to the Psycho Soldiers, saying they are her source of inspiration to overcome her illness, she hoped to see them again in action for the ’97 tournament.

Athena felt she had to answer such a devoted fan, she shows the letter to Chin, convincing him to follow his disciples and see how they take being popular and also being defenders of justice; Athena, Kensou, and Chin didn’t win that tournament but still did great nevertheless, at the end the team is surprised by the visit of a wheelchair-bound girl, she is Kaoru Watanabe the ill-girl who sent that letter prior the tournament, Kaoru introduces herself and congratulates Athena is doing well again at KOF, she says the team gave her strength to also fight hard, Kaoru gets up from the wheelchair trying to show her progress by walking, she stumbles but before falling, Athena hurries to her side and supports Kaoru, with that Kaoru asks Athena if she could be their friend, Athena and the team gladly become friends with Kaoru.

Showing that at the end of ’97 made Chin reevaluate his students, thinking he was wrong about them, now feeling Athena and Kensou have their hearts in the right place; Athena tells her master that being popular and a good source of inspiration also is one way of helping others, with this Chin loses all his worries about his disciples losing their way. This eventually develops into Athena becoming an Idol, extremely popular and inspiring all, but still being a hero of course.

The other part of Athena’s character is being on the receiving end of Kensou’s long-lasting romantic feelings, he tried to confess to Athena multiple times, sometimes succeeding in expressing himself (many) other times not, Athena’s reaction is mostly always the same, that is getting embarrassed and dodging an answer; while what she really feels about Kensou may not be love, she does think well of him as a great friend, always sticking with him.

In XIII during a conversation with the Women Fighters Team, upon seeing that Mai, Yuri, and King all have a special someone in waiting, Athena hopes one day she will find her other half as well, Kensou immediately tries to say she already has him, Athena gets embarrassed and scolds Kensou, telling him not to say it in front of so many people.

In the CD Dramas from ’96 to ’99, it is shown that Athena has one-sided feelings for Kyo and goes to great lengths to move to a place near the Kusanagi household. In other SNK media, Athena’s feelings for Kyo have never been shown, not even hinted at in the games proper, raising a case towards its actual place in the canon.

  • Action Fashionista: Every single game gives Athena a completely different outfit. The only exception is XIII, which is justified because the game is reusing the sprites from XII.
    • XIII is something of an in-between. She's wearing her XII clothes but bears the default color scheme of her XI attire. Not a new outfit in any one aspect but together comes together to create something different.
    • Lampshaded in '98, where her intro involves her changing between her previous four outfits before settling down on her current attire.
    • Lampshaded again with her Psychic 8 HSDM/LDM, where Athena changes her outfit (progressing from '94 to the current costume at the time (in 2002), and sometimes adding her Princess Athena bikini) with each hit.
    • Overkilled in XIII with her Neo MAX version of the above attack, Psycho Medley 13, where she uses all twelve of her previous outfits and is then aided by what appears to be Princess Athena's royal guard.
    • Almost averted in '95, where she wears a slightly modified version of her '94 outfit.
    • Lampshaded in-game by Maxima in their single-player intro in XIII.
      Maxima: "You're wearing something new every time I see you. Do you know what a pain it is to keep my data updated?"
  • All Asians Know Kung Fu: She studies kung fu under Chin that resembles Wing Chun, while her stance is more similar to Liuhebafa.
  • All-Loving Hero: Especially in newer titles where her Nice Girl tendencies are played up more. The worst she ever really shows to anyone is a pity, like towards Iori and Saiki, or justified anger, like towards Maxima who she thinks is storing photos of her. Her empathic abilities allow her to see the root of people's struggles, which lets her better sympathize with them and allows her to try and help them.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Downplayed. In the official art for the original Psycho Soldier, Athena's skin was a very pale pink, which was more obvious next to Kensou's human skin tones. When she transferred over to KOF, she lost any pink skin to be a normal-looking human girl.
  • Ambiguous Situation: In The King of Fighters, while she's embarassed by Kensou's feelings for her (or at least his very public displays of them), Athena's spent so much time somehow avoiding the issue that her exact feelings for him are actually unknown. Despite her responses to his affections ranging from oblivious to annoyed, she still has suspiciously positive feelings for him nonetheless.
    • Athena has insisted to multiple characters that He Is Not My Boyfriend and that she and Kensou are Just Friends, but her embarassment about the subject invites disbelieving comments by Yuri Sakazaki in KOF XIII and a giggle from Love Heart in XIV.
    • In mid-scenes from SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy, Athena mutters to herself that she wishes Kensou were there.
  • Animal Motifs: The Phoenix. Most likely a Shout-Out to her ability to become one in Psycho Soldier. Her LDM in XI (Super Phoenix Infinity) also alludes to this.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Some of her win quotes have her apologizing for roughing up an opponent too much.
    "Sorry about that, are you hurt? I guess I got carried away, a bit."
  • Art Shift: Her design in the Tales of Ash Saga is noticeably more chibi-like compared to past games, evoking her original game's art style.
  • Ascended Extra: Ryo Takamisaki's The King of Fighters G has Athena as the main character, teaming up with Kyo and Iori and pretty much stealing Chizuru's place in the story — despite starting as a borderline Faux Action Girl.
  • Ass Kicks You: One of her aerial command attacks.
  • Attack Reflector: Her Psycho Reflector, has two variations.
  • Battle Aura: Her attacks emit a sparkly purple aura, indicating her psychic prowess.
  • Battle Intro: In The King of Fighters XV:
    "A girl who can slip in between dimensions. The eternal psychic idol makes her entrance! Athena Asamiya!
    Athena: "Cheer me on, everyone!"
  • Berserk Button:
    • She's livid when she sees that a girl like Kula is participating in the tournament, given her young age, and is mad at K' and Maxima for thinking only of themselves. (...That said, she's expressed no objection to Bao, who is younger than Kula, participating and ignored the point when Kula brought it up, and later she recruited Momoko, a teenager with the physical appearance and emotional maturity of an elementary schooler, and beat Kensou up for objecting).
    • She may be a popular Idol Singer with many fans, but don't underestimate her fighting skill because of it. It only makes her more determined to wipe the floor with you.
  • Boyish Short Hair: For 2001 and XV.
  • Break the Fourth Wall: One of her win quotes in the original Japanese release of '94 has her mention SNK by name.
"I am the original heroine of SNK. I'm sorry..."
  • Breakout Character: Had her own game back in the 80s, but only after debuting in the fight scene did Athena's popularity start to pick up again. A notable game is the 3-disc RPG game for the PlayStation, Athena: Awakening from the Ordinary Life, with its gameplay sharing many similarities with Parasite Eve. The less known one is Athena On Stage, a mobile game centered around rising Athena's career as a successful pop idol, pretty much a simulation game.
  • Break the Cutie:
  • Breaking Old Trends: In 2003 she breaks away from her classic Psycho Soldier Team to join the High School Girls Team with Hinako Shijou and Malin. Again in KOF XV, where she is now part of the Team Heroine with Mai Shiranui and Yuri Sakazaki.
  • Call-Back:
    • KOF XII and XIII bring back Athena's classic Psycho Soldier design, even making her face and proportions much more chibi-esque next to other fighters.
    • Athena being a good cook and Kensou loving her meals is finally referenced in the games proper; in XIV Athena mistakes Kensou’s self-encouragement to confess his feelings to him being worked over her eating his meat bun earlier that day, she then promises to cook a full serving of meat buns just for Kensou to makeup, this makes Kensou so happy he completely forgets about confessing.
  • The Cameo: She appears in the background of KOF Stadium in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and has a spirited battle based on her; in particular her fight is based on her Psycho Soldier appearance.
  • Characterization Marches On: From 1996 to SNK's first death in 2001, side materials for The King of Fighters and the KOF: Kyo spinoff depicted Athena as having a crush on Kyo (which was never seen in the main series), but this facet of Athena's character disappeared after other companies picked up the series's rights. Even after regaining control, SNK has chosen to portray Athena as having a platonic friendship with both Kyo and his girlfriend Yuki.
  • Cheery Pink: Her design always incorporates a lot of pink/purple hues, reflecting her optimistic Nice Girl personality.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: The classic Team China arrangement features Athena in red, Kensou in blue, and Chin in green.
  • Color Motifs:
    • Modern Athena was originally a pink girl in a blue sailor uniform.
    • The King of Fighters Retooled modern Athena and gave her Princess Athena's purple hair and red clothes. She wears these colors in nearly every installment.
  • Commonality Connection: Athena and King were able to commiserate over drunken teammates (in Athena's case, Chin often takes the Drunken Master bit a little too literally).
    Athena: "I'm usually teamed up with my teacher, so I always kind of envy you, King! It must be so much fun to put together a team with a different group of girls. Just like in school!"
    King: "Well, if you'd like, I'd gladly exchange one of my teammates for you!"
    Athena: "W-Why, Miss King? Did something happen?"
    King: "Well, nothing serious, it's just... Mai and Yuri just can't hold their liquor very well... And you're still a minor so I couldn't possibly ask you to take care of two drunkards, could I?"
    Athena: "Oh, I don't mind. I'm used to being around people when they get hammered! Whenever Master gets drunk, he goes out and fights pandas!"
    King: "R-Really!? Is that what your teacher does when he gets drunk?"
    Athena: "Oh yeah, it happens all the time! Grandma always gets angry with him though!
    King: "Wow... Alcohol is the great equalizer, huh?"
  • Conspicuous Gloves: Fingerless gloves are a staple of her outfits. No matter how much it changes, she always wears a pair.
  • Crystal Ball: During her Shining Crystal Bit attack, she's surrounded by 2 circling crystal balls that guard her against enemy attacks. She can also add a follow-up by firing said balls forward.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Her eyes and her hair are both purples.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic:
    • Her '95 incarnation; anytime she yells "Saikou Baaru!"
    • Also happened in KOF '98 when Haruna Ikezawa took over her voice for the rest of the series.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: In the universe, she's the only character who does distract people. Ironically, she's one of the most clothed characters in the cast.
  • Dub Personality Change: Her English win quotes in early KOF is much more hostile and rude compared to the Japanese ones. This has largely been Subverted overtime as SNK's localization quality has improved
  • Dull Surprise: In the team story for XI, Athena responds quite blandly to Kensou's return from a year of training, being more interested in finding Momoko with him.
  • The Empath: Canon isn't very clear how skilled she is at it, though. In XIII Athena can sense people's emotions (like in Ash Crimson's case) but there's no evidence about her being able to unlock their biggest secrets, whereas in KOF: KYO she could see Iori's memories of his Dark and Troubled Past once her and Iori's clashed by accident.
  • Energy Ball: Her "Psycho Ball" attack, born from her purple Battle Aura.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: Her stance in XIII has her start out surrounded by sparkles. Her win pose also produces some as she winks. Not to mention most of her attacks.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Athena's hair was cut for KOF '99, apparently as a reaction to Kensou's loss of powers. It lasted until (and including) 2001. It's short again in XV, though the reason why isn't known, yet.
  • Famed in Story: Athena is extremely popular in the world of KOF, not just for being a tournament fighter, but also as an incredibly successful Idol Singer.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Shown in KOF: Kyo related media and then in XIV, Athena is a good cook and Kensou loves eating anything she makes, meat buns in particular.
  • Flung Clothing: She changed/disposed of almost complete attires. Was often used to dispose of her school uniform and reveal her fighting outfit.
  • Foreshadowing: Her win quote against the Women Fighters' Team in XIV has her saying she'd be interested in joining. In XV, she is teamed with Yuri and Mai as "Team Super Heroine".
  • Genki Girl: Always cheerful and optimistic.
  • Grapple Move: Her Super Psychic Throw special.
  • He's Not My Boyfriend: Whatever Kensou is to her, it ain't a boyfriend.
    Athena (XIII): You're like a friend, or an ally, or something.
  • Healing Hands: Rarely used, though. It's seen in Athena: Awakening From the Ordinary Life (heals her friend Rika), in KOF:G (attempts to heal Chizuru but is interrupted by Goenitz), in the XII manhua (heals Kyo), as a Striker in '99 and 2000 (heals the playing character when called upon), or as an optional part of her Psychic 10 Desperation Move (heals herself).
  • Hero of Another Story: She and Kensou made their debuts in Psycho Soldier before becoming regulars in KOF.
  • Hidden Depths: According to her bio, she enjoys designing web pages, astrology, and fortune-telling.
  • Hypocrite: As pointed out above, she gets angered at the sight of 14-year-old Kula participating in the KOF tournament, but Kula is quick to point out that she allowed Bao, who's even younger, to participate.
  • Iconic Item: No matter how much she changes her clothes, one piece is constant in Athena: the star tiara. XIV adds a bow to it.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: In Sky Stage, the Kula and Athena common ending say that Athena lied to Kula and told her that her friends (K', Maxima, Whip, etc.) had been caught in the space-time rift to recruit her into their cause. When Kula is contacted by said friends (who have been searching for her all over), Athena explains everything and apologizes; Kula doesn't mind, however, as the adventure was fun and she's happy to have been able to fly, even if just temporarily.
  • I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship:
    • She is definitely aware of Kensou’s feelings towards her, evidenced by her embarrassment when Kensou blows a kiss in 97 when Kensou declares he is her knight in 2000 when Kensou flat out screams his love in 2001; Athena’s reaction is always to get fidgety and try to dodge the matter as quickly as possible.
    • This is also the reason why she doesn't openly admit her feelings to Kyo; not only is she friends with him but with his girlfriend.
  • Iconic Item:
    • Athena's headband, which is nearly always decorated with a star.
    • Athena is often also wearing a necklace with large purple jewels.
  • Image Song:
  • Important Haircut: According to the character stories for '99, Athena cut her hair short as her way of acknowledging Kensou's unexplained De-power.
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    • A side-effect of the Running Gag about Kensou's unrequited love is the fact that not every instance of Athena ignoring him is intentional.
    • In the ending of '98, Athena rushes to catch Kaoru (a wheelchair-bound girl) from falling after trying to stand on her feet for the first time... and completely fails to notice that Kensou, who also rushed to catch Kaoru, was trampled underfoot in the process.
    • In XI, Athena is so taken with Momoko that she barely notices Kensou's return from a year of training.
    • Several times in XIII:
      • While she did more or less deliberately cut Kensou's declaration off in the Story Mode, she's shown to be genuinely unaware of how... sensitive the "school" theme is for Kyonote .
      • In another Story Mode scene, she also refuses to let Kula explain how come K' and Maxima allow her to fight in their pre-match talk.
  • Instant Costume Change: It would be unwise to turn her costume changes into a drinking game because nearly every game she's ever been in features it. Hell, Athena has found a way to weaponize it — she uses it as an instant segue between attacks, creating her Psycho Medley super. She may have given this trait to her Goddess Athena incarnation, who started doing it after the Psycho Soldier started.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: She's on good terms with with Terry Bogard. She likes to casually chat with him before a match and exchange words of encouragement.
    Terry: "I know how to please the crowd pretty good, but you've got me beat in that category!"
    Athena: "D-Don't be silly! Your performance always gets the fans fired up!"
    Terry: "I'm glad to hear that coming from you! Well then, let's have a fight that'll keep people buzzin' for years!"
    Athena: "Absolutely! My fans around the globe are counting on it!"
  • Intergenerational Rivalry: She's on the younger side of the KOF cast being a high schooler, so she often faces off against much older opponents like Terry, Ryo, the Ikari Warriors, and the various Big Bads. She has a sporting rivalry with characters like Terry, Andy, Kim, and Mai, as well as her own master Chin.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: On the Special Ending for 99 Athena’s leg gets stuck on fallen debris, when the Team was escaping a crumbling NESTS base; Athena and Kensou were lagging so only he noticed, Athena tells him to go on without her, to save himself, Kensou gets desperate and awakens his Dragon Spirit, saving Athena and himself.
  • Joshikousei: Athena fights bad guys in a Sailor Fuku in her debut title. Many of her KOF designs evoke this as well.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": She admires King, and even wishes she could be on Team Women's Fighter someday. She eventually gets her to wish in XV, but not in a way she expected (Mai and Yuri roped her into teaming up with them when King, having been asked by Ryo to join the Art of Fighting team beforehand, couldn't round out the team).
    "You’re so strong and pretty, Ms. King! All of us female fighters admire you!"
  • Magical Girl: She heavily evokes this; she's a high-schooler with powerful supernatural abilities, battles dark forces, emits a sparkly Battle Aura with all of her attacks, and even transforms from wearing a school uniform into her battle outfit in her intro. It's not that big of a stretch to say that Athena could have her anime.
  • Magic Idol Singer: Probably one of the straightest examples.
  • Magic Skirt:
    • Averted up until XII (except for 2003). Athena typically wore loose-fitting clothes but it wasn't hiding anything indecent (even in her school uniform during XI, Athena still wore bike shorts under her skirt and SNK had no problem with it fluttering about as she fought). However, following her redesign in XII (and by extension, XIII for using the same sprite pool), it's played straight (and Athena has some high kicks that would normally cause some looky-loos to occur).
    • Thanks to XIV using 3D graphics, where clothing behavior can't 100% be controlled through animation, this had to be averted. Athena now wears gym shorts under her miniskirt instead.
  • Male Band, Female Singer: In the special credits sequence for Team Psycho Soldier, Athena sings with Kensou rocking away on guitar and Master Chin beating on some kind of large hand drums, perhaps congas.
  • Martial Pacifist: Downplayed. While she enjoys fighting and meeting strong opponents, she'd never actively seek to hurt others, and will usually only look for fights out of tournaments if she feels there's a greater threat at large.
  • Mini Dress Of Power: As part of her Magical Girl figure, she wore those in some of her appearances.
  • Mistaken for Romance: In the Special Intro Athena has with Love Heart, she seems to think Athena and Kensou are quite close to each other thus asking if they are a couple, Athena says that it isn't like that, they are just good friends while being slightly embarrassed; Love Heart finds Kensou similar to Earth, reversing the blushing and embarrassment to herself when Athena asks if Love Heart has someone she likes.
  • Modesty Shorts: Her solution to wearing a school uniform skirt in XI. Likewise in XIV, she wears gym shorts, similar to Sakura Kasugano.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: She is a high school girl/Idol Singer, who happens to be an incarnation of a goddess, has psychic powers, and knows Kung-Fu!
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Her more chibi design in XII and XIII can be somewhat jarring next to the other characters who have a more unified art style.
  • Oblivious to Love: When Athena doesn't find Kensou's out-loud affections embarrassing, it's usually because she failed to notice them. On a few occasions, he's been frustrated with her about where they stand and she's even misinterpreted that; at least twice she thought he was mad because she stole his meat dumplings.
  • Onee-sama: To Momoko.
  • Proper Tights with a Skirt: Her KOF '97 outfit, as well as some of her alternate palettes from XIII.
  • Psychic Powers: These include Psychic Teleportation, telepathy, energy projection, psychic barriers, and much more.
  • Psychic Teleportation: "Psychic Teleport" which lets her quickly reposition around her opponent.
  • Reincarnation: Of the Goddess Athena. It's the reason that Athena is the only person in her family to have psychic powers.
  • Relationship Upgrade: She starts dating Kensou in the Maximum Impact 2 continuity. For a variety of reasonsnote , she's forced to keep it a secret from the public. Since this isn't canon to the main timeline, not to mention that it's only brought up in her character bio, nothing comes of it.
  • Revisiting the Roots: While The King of Fighters XII and XIII revived the classic Psycho Soldier aesthetic, it was actually XI that first put Athena back in a Sailor Fuku.
  • The Rival: To Sakura in SNK vs. Capcom, being the resident fighting school girls of their respective series. Their interactions though are quite friendly.
    Sakura: "Come on, goddess."
    Athena: "Nice uniform!"
  • Rolling Attack: Her Phoenix Arrow special and Phoenix Fang Arrow DM.
  • Sailor Fuku:
    • At first only in her intro animations, for fear of making her too risqué fully embraced by XI.
    • Cynically lampshaded by Kyo (of all people) in XIII: "No one wears sailor uniforms at your actual age anymore." Athena isn't happy when he points it out.
  • School Uniforms are the New Black: Athena has already graduated High School but keeps a Schoolgirl Uniform Theme for promotional purposes, both in-universe: for her image as an Idol, and out-of-universe: Athena in a school uniform rethreads the classic look from her Psycho Soldier days.
  • Shoryuken: Her "Psycho Sword", creates a long stretch of sparkly energy as she leaps up.
  • Shotoclone: Sort of. She has a fireball and Shoryuken, and is a very versatile fighter, but lacks any kind of Hurricane Kick equivalent save for her very off-angled teleport kick.
  • Signature Move: Her "Psycho Ball", "Psycho Sword" and "Shining Crystal Bit" have been part of her moveset in most appearances.
  • Sphere of Destruction: Her new DM in KOFXIV has her throw a big Energy Ball from above that creates a large spherical explosion.
  • Spider-Sense: As seen in Another Day and in KOF: KYO, where she senses Orochi's aura in the air and this allows her, Benimaru and Kensou to find Iori and a Kyo who is about to go Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • Spirited Competitor: This girl loves a good fight. She's always encouraging herself and her opponents to give it their all and hates it when people underestimate or try to dissuade her from fighting.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Athena is a KOF regular by popular demand, but SNK has acknowledged that she's had the inadvertent effect of stealing the show from her teammates. Kensou's redesign in XII and XIII was meant to help him stand out more.
  • Supreme Chef: Implied to be one in the KOF: KYO manga. She's first seen making fried rice for Kensou, who likes it; in the last manga volume she makes dinner for him, Yuki, and Kyo, and the three find the dish she made for them note  to be very good.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Almost every KOF entry has Athena wearing a different outfit, which was virtually unheard of in the age where reusing sprites for sequels were the norm. She even goes the extra mile by also changing her hairstyle as well, and as she's shown to have the ability to grow out her hair instantaneously with her psychic abilities, this is a non-issue for her.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: She's very uncomfortable fighting Kula, a 14-year-old girl, even wondering just why K' and Maxima would let her fight in tournaments in the first place.
    Athena: "What are K' and Maxima thinking!? Don't they care about anyone but themselves?"
    Kula: "What are you so upset about, miss? Did K' do something mean to you?"
    Athena: "Not to me, to you! Always putting you into these dangerous situations! I don't care how strong you are, you're still just a kid! Those men are so inconsiderate!"
    Kula: "Huh? I'm not a kid anymore, you know? That boy with the big hat is much younger than me!"
    Athena: "This isn't about Bao, it's about you! I'm going to tell those guys not to put you in jeopardy and I'll make sure they listen!"
  • You Shall Not Pass!: In Sky Stage, she's the first mid-boss. She only fights your party because she wants to face the dangers out there alone; once defeated, she apologizes and lets you pass.