In a not so distant future, traditional sports were in decline and the general audiences want a new, much exciting sport. Meanwhile, in a small town of the good ol' U.S.A. a young martial artist named Joe was training for years in martial arts, until one day, an old fighter went to his house and he tells him he should travel to all over the world to meet other masters and to learn from them. So, with that goal in mind, Joe went overseas in order to be the best.
The game is notorious for some reasons: Unlike other fighting games of that era, you fight in a pseudo-3D arena, so you can move in diagonally. Due to that, rather than jumping by pulling the control pad up, you must press a button for that, at the expense that the special moves are more difficult to pull off.
Power Athlete wasn't particularly successful in its time, though the game had many novel ideas for its time, including the concept of increasing Joe's status every time he fights an opponent, where the opponent's stats determine which stat has the greater bonus for Joe, with the greater the gap, the greater the bonus. Naturally, if Joe's stats already greatly surpassed the opponent, he'll gain no bonus at all.
Not to be confused (in the English version at least) with the famous dancing contest, not it's about an athlete juicing him/herself.
- All There in the Manual: All the backstory of all the characters is more or less explained in the game manual, since the game itself doesn't have any, outside Joe's.
- Anime Chinese Girl: A very odd case with Reayon, as she fits with this trope, clothes and even name included, despite being Thai.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: Vagnad's skin is purple, very likely after living for years in the colder Siberian weather.
- Excuse Plot: You're an American fighter named Joe. Your mission is to travel across the globe and kick some ass, so you can learn something from your opponents. This is all what you need to know about the plot.
- Expy: Being a Street Fighter II clone (which was the rage for its time), it's inevitable that some characters were basically inspired by the latter:
- Joe is the counterpart of both Ryu and Ken, though him being the only playable character in single player also harkens to Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia.
- Vagnad, the token wrestler from Russia, is the answer to Zangief.
- Reayon is close enough to be considered a Thai Chun-Li (ironic because Thailand is technically the 'home nation' of Chun-Li's Arch-Enemy (M. Bison))
- Baraki's tribal design and possession of rolling attack gives vibes of Blanka.
- Fragile Speedster: Reayon will give Joe impressive Speed and Jumping bonuses, but she lacks Strength and Defense bonuses
- Glass Cannon: Nick has maxed out Jumping and Strength as well as Speed second to only Reayon. Unfortunately, his Defense is basically the worst in the game. In practice, this also makes him the most aggressive and toughest AI character.
- I am a Humanitarian: According with the backstory in the Japanese version, Baraki not only is a assassin, but also a cannibal.
- Mighty Glacier: Vagnad gives great Strength and Defense at cost of abysmal Speed and Jumping bonuses. Additionally, Vagnad is the only character that has a close range grapple move.
- Ninja Zombie Pirate Robot: Buoh is a rather ludicrous example: According with his backstory in the manual, he is a ninja assassin and a kabuki dancer, likely in his free time.
- The Smurfette Principle: Reayon is the only female fighter in the game.
- Traintop Battle: Vagnad's stage is on the edge of a train traveling through the Siberian snow field.