Athena is an arcade title developed by SNK. The NES port was developed by Micronics and was surprisingly only released in North America.
The game's plot and design takes a lot of inspiration from Greek mythology and features Athena as a selfish princess of the Kingdom of Victory. Bored with her everyday life she opens the Door Which Shouldn't Be Opened in the basement of Castle Victory, and falls into Fantasy World which is ruled by evil emperor Dante (a demon based on Cerberus.)
The game includes 8 worlds including the world of Forest, Cavern, Sea, Sky, Ice, Hell, and Labyrinth.
Throughout the game Athena must collect various weapons and items in order to progress. Only specific weapons can be used on the boss of each world.
The game is known for it's difficulty and length. There are no mid world checkpoints or save/password options making the game difficult to complete. The NES port is also riddled with glitches.
Athena was followed up only by a direct sequel that was only released to mobile phones in 2006, however the character of Athena returns in several SNK fighting games including King of Fighters 2000, SVC Chaos, and NeoGeo Battle Coliseum.