Athena, also known as Athena's Wonder Land, is a platform arcade game produced and published in 1986 by SNK. It was later ported to the NES, developed by Micronics. Although it received several home versions, only the NES one was released in North America (until 2011, when the arcade original was offered through the Playstation Network). Otherwise, conversions were done for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC in 1987 by Ocean Software under their Imagine label.
Athena is the young, temperamental princess of the ancient Kingdom of Victory (also known as Holy World). Not unlike modern world teenagers, she clamors for excitement and is bored with the luxurious, sheltered life in the palace. One day, she is tempted to disobey her parents and enter the off-limits area below the castle where the Forbidden Door stands. Opening the gateway makes her fall from the heavenly kingdom to the realm below, a wild land ruled by the cruel Emperor Dante and his countless minions. The princess' only means of survival is to traverse a long dangerous road and challenge the brutal Dante herself.
Alone, unarmed and stripped of her long dress, Athena is left to obtain weapons and armor and undertake her quest in order to return home in one piece.
World of Forest
Animalistic warriors, slimes, trolls and other creatures roam the wilderness where the princess first lands. Weapons such as clubs, hammers and swords are gained by defeating monsters. Some of these give Athena the chance to destroy stone blocks where magic items and some pieces of armor can be found buried. Athena must jump and climb through the wilderness with the aid of magic sandals. Eventually, she must contend with the sinister grinning tree that sits at the end of the forest and spews balls of fire.
World of Cave
A cave system. Rocks continue to hold hidden items. Additional creature types such as large spiders and invisible magic users now stand in the way. This land ends in a confrontation with a living stone golem.
World of Sea
Finding herself in a water-flooded gorge, the princess must swim underwater while fighting off various sea creatures. A magic seashell item allows her to temporarily take a mermaid form and swim more easily. Neptune, a giant octopus, is the final enemy here.
World of Sky
Takes place on a cliff face with pitfalls and varying pathways. In this area, Athena has the chance to acquire a flying item that temporarily gives her wings. Creatures from earlier zones are joined by the likes of winged lions and the three-headed, fire-breathing dragon known as Chimera.
World of Ice
A frosted-over version of the earlier Forest World, with many of the same creatures, yet in this cold area they present increased challenge. Gryupus, a slimy blob, stands before the exit to the land of Hell. Pandora's Box, an item needed for the next duel, is the reward for his defeat.
World of Hell
The frosty world is followed by the scorching World of Hell. Tougher foes like the Death Knight strive to cut down the princess and her quest. The crablike Mado rules over Hell world.
World of Labyrinth
After Hell World, the key to the secret Labyrinth World is found - although this place may be visited earlier through the World of Sky. Instead of a boss enemy, a friendly goddess awaits to present any brave adventurer that comes with a powerful magic object, the Harp of Protection.
World of Worlds
Composed of several areas and creatures from the previous worlds, their bosses included. Dante awaits here deep into his stronghold, a huge sphinx-like creature that fights with sword and magical energy attacks. Only by defeating the cruel Emperor can Athena bring peace to this land and return to the safety of her own home.
- Princess Athena's standard clothes are her red bikini-like undergarments, which became a hot topic in Japan. She was second only to one of the more iconic characters wearing a bikini in Japanese fiction works: Lum Invader of Urusei Yatsura.
- Princess Athena's bikini fashion also appears in Athena Asamiya's maximum special move in KOF '97 due to its popularity.
- To defeat the evil emperor Dante, Princess Athena must use the help of a Titan goddess who will give her a crucial item in a hidden stage. Without it, Dante would be invincible and there would be no way to beat him. The Titan goddess also appears in SVC Chaos beside Athena, during her opening pose until the fight begins.
- Princess Athena's moves in SVC Chaos are based upon material from her original arcade game, such as enemies she has now allied herself with. The weapons and equipment that she uses, such as a Lion's Shield, Shell Necklace and the Wings of Pegasus also come from this game. Upon victory, she employs said Wings to cover herself while she puts on her dress.
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