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Video Game / Athena

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"Who Am I?"
"I'm ATHENA Heroine with miracle power.
Come And Join with me for Fantastic Adventure!"

In the wake of Super Mario Bros, side-scrolling platformers with bright colorful graphics proliferated, and such mascots as Wonder Boy and Kid Niki were born to the arcades. So SNK made their contribution to this genre with their take on Athena, the goddess of wisdom. After she grows bored with living in her castle, she opens the "Door Which Shouldn't be Opened" and takes a plunge into the Fantasy World, losing her dress and leaving her in little more than a red bikini. Since everything is trying to kill her, the different kinds of weapons and armor lying hidden in the Fantasy World are key to victory.

Athena was released as an Arcade Game in 1986, and ports to the NES, Commodore 64, and ZX Spectrum subsequently appeared. The former is the most well-known version outside of Japan (but that doesn't mean it's a good one). The original arcade game wouldn't be officially ported to modern platforms until SNK Arcade Classics 0, a 2011 compilation for PlayStation Portable with all of SNK's pre-Neo Geo games.

While Athena's future descendant, Athena Asamiya, appeared in Psycho Soldier and The King of Fighters, the original Athena would not appear in another game until the 2000s, when she appeared as a Guest Fighter in SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos and NeoGeo Battle Coliseum, as well in various other games for handheld consoles. In the wake of renewed interest in the character, a sequel for mobile (Athena: Full Throttle) was released in 2006, using similar sprites and gameplay while introducing a second character in Athena's maid, Helene.

The Other Wiki has an article about this game here as well its sequel. To see more about Athena Asamiya, the descendant of this Athena, take a look at Psycho Soldier and The King of Fighters.

Not related to Athena: Goddess of War, except for how that's one of Classical Mythology Athena's titles.

Athena provides examples of the following tropes:

  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: The final world is made up mostly of bits and pieces of the previous levels strung together, including the bosses.
  • Allergic to Routine: Athena was bored of the monotonous daily life in the palace and desired exciting adventures, the main reason why she opened the Door Which Shouldn't Be Opened.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Bob Wakelin used Lisa Lyon (a female bodybuilding pioneer) as the model for Athena for the game's cover art in the West.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: Any armor and headdresses the player picks up will have seperate hitpoints and will break after they take enough damage.
  • Boss Rush: The final stage has you fighting all the previous bosses.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The strongest weapon, a massive sword tipped with red flames, will obliterate everything in one swing—and also eats through Athena's health.
  • Clothing Damage: When Athena's armor breaks, the player gets greeted with her Stripperific red bikini.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: As part of the manual, Athena also has a comic book that serves as a prequel to the events occurring in the game.
  • Expy: Multiple occurrences:
    • Athena, obviously, is based on the goddess of wisdom from Classical Mythology. Also, various of the monsters in this game came from the same base.
    • The final boss of the first game, Dante, is not based on Dante, but rather Cerberus.
    • Helene, Athena's maid and the second playable character in Full Throttle, is loosely based on Helene of Troy.
  • Flung Clothing: The opening of the arcade game shows Athena losing her dress while falling into the Fantasy World. Whether this is because of the wind during the fall or if Athena actively took off her dress is anyone's guess.
  • Genki Girl: 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.
  • Green Hill Zone: World of Forest, the first level.
  • Here We Go Again!: The plot of Athena: Full Throttle has Athena again being bored of her everyday life after going to "Fantasy World". Against the wishes of Helene, she opens the "Door Which Shoudn't Be Opened: B", which leads her to "Elysium World."
  • Kick Chick: Athena's default attack without a weapon is a simple kick.
  • Lady of War: Athena can fight demons not just armored or transformed, but also with her bare hands and feet.
  • Mascot: She was expressly designed to be a mascot for SNK, and filled the role in The '80s before the role was passed to Terry Bogard.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Athena herself.
  • One-Word Title: Also a Protagonist Title.
  • Poison Mushroom: Poison potions reduce Athena's health, and broken hourglasses reduce the time limit.
  • Protagonist Title: Also a One-Word Title.
  • Schmuck Bait: The "Door Which Shouldn't Be Opened" in Castle Victory's basement. No points for guessing what Athena does.
  • Stripperiffic: Athena fights monsters and demons with just a red bikini. Also, Helene, a Rose-Haired Sweetie version of her, also fights in just a bikini, albeit a white one.
  • Timed Mission: Each stage has a time limit, which can be extended by picking up hourglasses.
  • Under the Sea: The World of Sea, where Athena needs a necklace to transform herself into a mermaid.
  • Underwear of Power: Athena's default outfit of a red bra and panties is a subversion, as this is her weakest outfit.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Thanks to certain MacGuffins in the game, she can transform into a mermaid and an angel to pass certain stages.
  • Walking Swimsuit Scene: Athena goes about wearing nothing but her red bikini-style underwear.
  • When Trees Attack: The boss of the first world.
  • Wizarding School: Full Throttle was followed up by Winning Witch Academy, a game about new adventures for Athena and Helene in the latter's alma mater.

Alternative Title(s): Athena Full Throttle