Friday Flashback: NES The Battle of Olympus
The battle of Olympus is a side-scrolling action-adventure video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System developed by Infinity and released in 1988 in the US by Brøderbund. The game was made by just 3 people from Infinity. It feels a bit like Zelda 2, the Adventure of Link in its side-scrolling because they have the same backend engine, but there is no overworld section that Zelda had. Overall it is one of my favorite NES games with some pretty inventive items and plenty of sometimes confusing exploring.
The Battle of Olympus takes place in ancient Greece where Hades is terrorizing the people.
Your girlfriend is kidnapped by Hades and you go off to rescue her. You visit various city states and locations in Greece looking for Swords, shields, and crystals to gain power, as well as get the blessings of the Gods to finally fight your way to and defeat Hades to save your girlfriend. Overall it is based very loosely on the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, where you play as Orpheus, but your girlfriend’s name was changed. Just a guess on my part, but it was probably because your average NES player could probably not pronounce Eurydice.
There is no magic like there was in Zelda 2, are some pretty cool items in the game like a
staff that throws fireballs, a sword that shoots lightning, and coolest of all, some shoes that let you jump in the air and walk on the roof/top of the level to avoid obstacles. You also get the standard healing items that are always instant use, A flask to hold healing for when you need it, olives that are the money for the game, and ambrosia which gives you a longer life bar.
Overall, some of the areas in The Battle of Olympus can be quite mazelike and take some exploration and memorization to really navigate around. As there is no “overworld” other than a brief map when you change areas, everything is connected in the side scrolling action.
A downside/upside depending on your point of view is that the game is password saved, not a battery. This is the standard NES password system though, so you can get some strange effects entering different passwords, starting in odd places with items you should not have similar to the Metroid Passwords. No Bathing suit for your hero though, sorry.
The Battle of Olympus is one of my favorite NES games. It is tough but not too difficult, has a good feel to the controls, neat items, fun theme and the final boss battle in the moonlight is very creative. This is a good’un!