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Promotional Flyer
Katakana アテナ
Developer SNK
Publisher SNK
Series Athena
Release date 1986
Genre Platformer
Control 8-way Joystick, 2 Buttons
Orientation Horizontal
CPU 2x Z80 @ 4MHz
Sound Z80 @ 4 MHz & 2x YM-3526 @ 4 MHz
Display 15KHz

Athena (アテナ) is a platformer released by SNK in 1986. The game was subsequently ported to many home consoles, including the NES and Commodore 64. Athena is notable for being an extremely difficult and unpopular game, especially its NES port. The titular character, however, became very popular and has been a recurring character in many later SNK games. Athena predates the MVS and was released on its own dedicated PCB.


Athena (based on the Greek goddess of the same name) is a selfish princess of the Kingdom of Victory, which inhabits a mysterious world. She grows bored with the monotonous life day by day in her castle and desires exciting adventures. One day she opened the Door Which Shouldn't Be Opened in the basement of Castle Victory, and fell to another world called Fantasy World which was dominated by an evil emperor Dante, a creature based on Cerberus.[1]


Players guide Athena across several worlds collecting weapons and armor to increase her strength and defense. Power ups are found from enemy drops and inside stones that Athena can smash with a blunt object. Athena can increase her life bar by collecting large hearts released by attacking the large red flowers that bloom throughout the stages. At the end of each stage is a boss that Athena must defeat in order to continue on to the next stage. All stages are timed; the timer is reset when a new stage is entered.


  • To access the Test mode hold START during machine boot.
  • Something not found in the manual is that there is a "secret" mode. If you set dip switch 7 of bank 2 to ON you will get one life less than usual (2 instead of 3 or 5), but the life meter will start at 22 and not 12 or 14.
  • Every time you die you lose all the equipment collected up to that point unless you also have a "K" item in your inventory. If you have it when you die you will only lose the "K" but keep the rest of the items.
  • There is a secret stage that can be reached by collecting a magic key on World of Ice, World of Hell, or World of Sky. This stage is called "World of Labyrinth." When you complete the "World of Labyrinth," you will meet an angel. Do not attack her; wait until she drops an harp. If you collect it, it will work as a perpetual "K" item and you will never lose your items again when you die. After defeating the angel, you will be returned to the stage after the one you picked up the key on.[2]
  • The game displays upside-down on a standard monitor. One would need to flip their monitor yoke to get the game to display properly.
  • Korszca might be the only person who enjoys this game.


External Links