Title: Battle of Olympus
Release Dates: 3-28-88 (Japan), 1988 (North America), 9-26-91 (Europe) (from GameFAQs)
ESRB Rating: N/A
Battle of Olympus
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is considered one of the best adventure games the Nintendo
Entertainment System has to offer. Why is that fact relevant to this discussion? Because
Battle of Olympus is often called a Zelda II clone, and not without merit (though the two
games were released at close to the same time.) Battle of Olympus plays much like Zelda
II, but still provides plenty of gameplay to set it apart.
Just Give Me the Nectar, Baby
Battle of Olympus is the story of Orpheus, whose love, Helene, was kidnapped by
Hades and taken to the Underworld. Orpheus journeys throughout Greece to seek out the
assistance of the other gods, and ultimately journeys to the Underworld itself to face Hades on
his own turf. Many regions of ancient Greece and Asia Minor are represented in Battle of
Olympus, including Arcadia, Phrygia, Crete, and Laconia. Most of the major gods of the
Greek pantheon appear to help Orpheus, though some are more forthcoming with their assistance
than others. Many mythical monsters appear as well, including the Hydra, Lamia, Cyclops,
and Centaur. Orpheus will also catch rides from the winged horse Pegasus, learn the secret of
fire from Prometheus, and bargain with the devious sorceress Circe.
Fear the Power of Argus
Orpheus's arsenal is slim but adequate. He starts out with a simple club, but in time, he will
acquire a flame-throwing staff of fennel, a sword, and a divine sword which will enable Orpheus
to attack with the Power of Argus (shoot bolts from its tip). He will also acquire several tools
for his quest, such as the gravity-defying Sandals of Hermes, the mysterious Harp of Apollo, and
(fittingly for a so-called Zelda clone) an Ocarina. Nectar, Ambrosia, and the Golden
Apple of the Hesperides will keep his health up, while olives will serve him as currency.
Stab, Stab, Stab!
Battle of Olympus's gameplay is very similar to that of Zelda II. Battle of
Olympus is a side-scroller, and Orpheus can walk, run, jump, duck, and swing his sword just as
Link can. Orpheus also carries an upgradable shield, and can learn new fighting techniques as
he progresses. The lands of Battle of Olympus are interconnected, and Orpheus will have to
backtrack frequently in order to advance.
Battle of Olympus is difficult. There are numerous pits to cross, and numerous enemies
who'd like nothing more than to prevent Orpheus from doing so. Every time Orpheus dies, he loses
half of his olives, and considering that he often has to traverse dangerous terrain to make a
purchase, acquiring a few key items can be an exercise in frustration. Tricky jumps are frequent,
and players must often fend off enemies simultaneously. There are no "impossible" parts, though a
few parts will seem to be so at first.
Players should take copious notes on what friendly characters tell them in order to know how to
proceed, though even then, consulting a FAQ may be necessary.
Give My Regards to the British Museum
Battle of Olympus was a fairly common cartridge. Any good NES emulator should be able
to play it.
Come On, You've Always Wanted to Kill a God
Battle of Olympus presents players with a challenging romp through ancient Greece,
packed with all types of foes and obstacles. Every new item and upgrade will be welcomed eagerly,
and every difficult jump will be dreaded. In the end, though, ultimate victory over Hades
provides immense satisfaction and a fitting conclusion to a lengthy trek through the birthplace of