Athena: Awakening from the Ordinary Life is a three disc Eastern RPG game developed by Yumekobo that was released in March 1999 for the Playstation console. It was released again as downloadable content for the Playstation 3 and PSP on August 28, 2007. The game's image song, "wannabe /Misty Eyes", was performed by RUMI. The game's story is notorious for being much darker than other Athena related titles.
The year is 2018 and science has progressed at an alarming rate under the Tantauls system. Dinosaurs, clones, and mecha are no longer figments of fantasy and can be constructed into reality. They regulate society to the finest detail, creating automated and technologically advanced cities on land and in sea. Yet through this government agency lies a dark conspiracy, one which mysteriously surrounds the brain waves of a school girl named Athena Asamiya. Although she believes herself to be a normal girl, her life changes dramatically once her Psychic Powers awaken. Now, it is up to her to find the truth behind her powers as well as the secrets behind Tantauls...
The game also spawned a live-action 13 episode drama series, simply titled as "Athena", which starred Kei Ishibashi as Athena. As with most games, SNK also released a soundtrack and a drama CD for the game. The drama CD has an original story that reenacts some of the game's original events. A two-part novel series written by Jyumon Yayoi was also made.
Some tropes found in Athena: Awakening from The Ordinary Life are:
- Alternate Universe: This game explores what would happen to Athena and Kensou in a completely different environment where they don't always have their powers handy...
- Badass Normal: Kensou has "merely" psychic potential, unlike in the original games, but he still possesses his martial arts skills and does his best to help Athena.
- Big Bad Friend: Masato, though not willingly. See Powered by a Forsaken Child.
- Big "NO!": In the first CD's game over, Athena gives a loud one as she dies.
- Blood-Splattered Innocents: Rika is traumatised when she sees Athena covered in the blood of a dinosaur she had to kill
- Break the Cutie: Poor, poor Athena.
- Creepy Child: Masato Kurihara has shades of this.
- Cute Bookworm: How Athena actually starts. She is a quiet, gentle Girl Next Door who lives her life normally and studies a lot, and then her life changes for the worst.
- Darker and Edgier: The games featuring Athena tend to be either cute and cheesy, or with a relatively idealistic plot. In this one the whole world is under a single united government that controls everything, and Athena goes through quite the trauma as the plot unfolds. The horrifying game overs are very indicative of this.
- Died Inyour Arms Tonight: Masato dies in Athena's arms after the Final Boss fight.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Sannomiya-sensei works for the corrupt government, but is horrified when Rika gets fatally involved in the crossfire.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Hoo boy. Athena wins her fight against the Tantauls System, heals Rika's wounds and earns the right to return to her normal life. It leans a little towards Bittersweet Ending since Masato can't be saved, but it's a quite optimistic end aside of that.
- Extraordinarily Empowered Girl: Unlike Psycho Soldier and The King of Fighters, Athena does not start as an Action Girl and therefore she has to strengthen herself physically and mentally.
- Fate Worse than Death: If the player gets a Game Over in the third disk, Athena suffers one as she becomes the core of the Tantauls system in Masato's place.
- Government Conspiracy: The Government uses the Tantauls system to find people with psychic abilities, capture them, and use them for their own benefit.
- Harmful to Minors: The 16-year-old protagonist has to kill all kinds of monsters and has the government after her. A boy and a girl around her age also witness quite the crap for being her friends. Towards the end several school kids helplessly watch as their classmate, the aforementioned protagonist, has MANY soldiers shooting at her from all directions, with only her Psychic Powers saving her from an horrible death, and this is followed by the second teenage girl being shot to almost death in front of them and the screaming empowered girl. And later? The 10-year-old that The Protagonist befriended is being used as the living battery for a super computer, and he cannot be saved.
- Heroic Bystander: After Rika finds out that her and Athena's teacher is The Mole, she tries to invoke the trope and warn Athena. She almost gets killed for it.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: Masato begs Athena to destroy the Tantauls Super Computer and release him even if it means it'll kill him.
- Kill the Cutie:
- Rika almost gets Stuffed into the Fridge as she's shot by a sniper when she and Athena are about to get reconciled.
- Masato plays this straight, as he's the core battery of the Final Boss aka the Tantauls Super Computer and finishing the game via destroying it will kill him.
- Athena is at the receiving end in the Game Overs, save for the third one..
- Lady and Knight: Kensou appoints himself as "Athena's Knight" and tries to help her as much as he can.
- The Mole: Athena's teacher, Yoshihiro Sannomiya, is a spy from the government
- Muggle Best Friend: Rika Kashiwazaki
- Monster Clown: Astraios, a villainous jester that antagonizes Athena.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Sannomiya-sensei, when Rika almost dies.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: And Masato is said forsaken child, as the Tantauls system is using the poor little kid as a "battery" for their super computer... which is the Final Boss. It's seemingly also Athena's fate in the third disc's game over.
- Psychic Powers: Athena develops several abilities similar to those she has in the KOF games:
- Say My Name: "ATHENAAAAAAA!!!"
- Sailor Fuku: Athena and Rika wear ones with white blouses plus dark gray skirts and scarves
- Survival Horror
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Athena and Rika
- Two Girls and a Guy: Athena, Kensou and Rika, to a degree.