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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 Athena, a goddess of wisdom sporting purple hair and a red bikini, who grows bored with living in her castle and takes a plunge into a fantasy world where everything is trying to kill her. The many possible different weapons and armors lying hidden in the worlds are key to victory.

Athena was released as an Arcade Game in 1986, and ports to the Nintendo Entertainment System, Commodore 64, and ZX Spectrum subsequently appeared.

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 Bonus Boss in SNK vs. Capcom SVC Chaos and starred in two Japanese cell phone games.

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