Well... Are you here because you thought that this was the Athena from KoF? Well... Those two can be the same person, but this Athena is based on the first Athena game(It was a platform game). She is (Without doubt) the weakest boss in the game, but she is pretty strong compared to some of the regular characters. Now, for her Good and Bad things:
Athena's Good and Bad Things:
- Fun to play(But weak);
- Has a small hitbox(She is a little taller than Zero, but smaller than most characters);
- Has damaging normals(And Command Moves; Athena has some of the most damaging normals in the game);
- Almost all of her normals(Not jumping attacks) can be canceled;
- Has an unblockable move(It's really fast, and kinda spammable too, and the damage is really good);
- Can link some Light Attacks with Heavy Attacks(And even Heavy attacks with other Heavy Attacks);
- Her Exceed is almost impossible to jump over;
- She is safe in most of her "Summon Special Moves".
- Hard to play(She is fun, but not easy);
- Doesn't have Super Moves(Which is really bad for her);
- She isn't like the Athena from KoF(That Athena was way stronger than this one);
- Some normals have the same animation and properties as other normals(Which can make them useless);
- Her meter is almost useless as well(The best uses for the meter are the GCF and CD counter);
- Cannot do MAXIMUM Mode combos(She can cancel some Special Moves, but you have no reason to do that);
- Cannot combo with her "Summon Special Moves"(The startup on them is really bad);
- Remember that unblockable move mentioned in the Good Things? It whiffs on most crouching characters.
How to select Athena
You want to play with Athena, but cannot select her, eh? Well... There are some bad news for you. If you're with the Arcade version, you can select her only by cheating, or with one of those hack roms. Now, if you're using a console(XBOX and Ps2 only), you can unlock her on that Survival Mode, just defeat her(Or Red Arremer) in the 36th fight. Good luck if you want to do that.
Athena's arsenal of normals are probably her most important things, so pay attention.
s.LP - The Far and the Close versions are the same. This is a quick attack with her little shield. Can chain into itself(And all of her other Light Attacks), and even link/chain with her cr.HP(I don't really know what it is). This move is useful to do some walking jab pressure.
s.LK - The Far and the Close versions are the same. Athena stabs the opponent with her sword. This move cannot chain into itself, and cannot link with other normals, so it isn't very useful in Light Attack combos, but can be used to poke the opponent. Can be canceled too.
s.HP - The Far and the Close versions are the same. It looks like an anti-air, but it isn't that useful for that situation, because the move has bad startup. The first frame of the attack has that autoguard/armor property, but I don't think you'll use it(Maybe to counter projectiles?). The attack can be canceled too.
s.HK - The Far and the Close versions are the same. Can be used as an anti-air(It's her best one). Cancel it into her slide for her BnB.
j.LP - The Diagonal and the Neutral versions are the same. A quick stab aiming down with her sword. The reach of this move isn't something good, and it's hard to combo with it. It can crossup the opponent too.
j.LK - Exactly the same as the above(That's bad, SNK, very bad).
j.HP - The Diagonal and the Neutral versions are the same. Good jump-in, and it does nice damage. It can crossup, and it's way better than the two jumping attacks above. You can use it on combos too.
j.HK - The Diagonal and the Neutral versions are the same. Great jump-in attack and air-to-air move. This move has that autoguard property too, which is kinda strage, but you can use it to counter most anti-air attempts. It can crossup too, and it's very easy to combo after it(Easier than the j.HP). You can choose which one you'll use(It doesn't really matter, the two of them are good).
cr.LP - A quick kick(Even though this is a punch button. Nice, SNK) that hits low. Use it in Light Attack combos. You can cancel it when you want, but you can't do that much with it.
cr.LK - Exactly the same as the above(Please, SNK).
cr.HP - Incredible crouching move. The animation and properties of this move are the same as the cr.Light Attacks(Yeah, this Heavy Punch is a kick as well), but has more damage, and it is a little bit slower. It's cancelable, and you can link it with a s.LK/HK.
cr.HK - Athena sweeps her sword. This move has autoguard too, but use this move as a low poke, and only that(It's very hard to whiff punish it too, which is nice). It's very slow, and there's no point if you're going to cancel it. Avoid this move if you want. If you want to knock down your opponent, there are better options.
- df+HK - This, ladies and gentlemen, is Athena's slide(Slides are cool). The damage is very high, it knocks down(It's better than that cr.HK mentioned above, and this is the better option mentioned in there), and it's great as a finisher for her short combos. You can use it to go under certain projectiles too.
Some of her Special Moves are really easy to block, and this makes them almost useless sometimes. Good luck if you want to learn them.
- QCF+P - Athena summons a Lion and it throws some fast fireballs that can negate normal projectiles. In the LP version, the lion throws 2 fireballs, and in the HP version, it throws 3 fireballs. Athena can be hit while she is getting up in the lion. The mouth of the lion can hit your opponent too, and you can MAX cancel this move if this happens(No, you can't combo). This move is very bad due to the slow startup(Where she jumps on the lion), and the opponent can GCF it with ease, but Athena is totally invincible after she jumps. And you can ask: Is this move a Super/Exceed? I'm seeing the Exceed background in there. First, this is a special move. Second, you'll gain meter when you use this move. Third, she has her own Exceed(With the same BG).
- QCF+K - Athena's "Animal Summon" move with the best startup. She will become a mermaid, and will slap the opponent 9 times if it wasn't blocked. There's no difference between the two versions. Good to use on the opponent's wakeup or even as a reversal(You're invincible, so don't worry with reversal DPs). The damage is very good too. You cannot MAX cancel any of the 9 hits, sadly.
- QCB+P - Athena will summon a bird and it will peck the ground, causing an earthquake(It hits low, and the opponent can jump/crouch to avoid it). After that, Athena will follow it up with an iron ball with spikes(It will act as an overhead). The second hit of the move will hit as an OTG(On/off the ground) after the bird pecks the ground and the opponent didn't crouch/jump. You cannot cancel any of the hits. Don't use this move, most opponents will just know how to avoid it.
Bow of Judgement
- Charge b, f+P - Great move. It's unblockable, and the damage is amazing. There's no difference between the two versions. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that only the second hit of the move is unblockable(If the opponent blocks it, he/she will get only 6 hits), so the opponent can(Hardly) GCF it to avoid damage. It's very fast too. Good to punish projectiles. And it whiffs on most low crouching chars too.
end of the TRIP or NIGHT
- Charge b, f+K - Avoid this move. Slow, but the damage is good, and you can MAX cancel when she hits(On the second hit), but you have no reason to do that. The opponent will just jump over it, and if he blocks, he can GCF. Athena is invincible during the move.
- QCB+KK - This is her Exceed(Saint Seiya reference? I don't know). The damage is good, but it's very easy to block. You can use it as an anti-air, or even while the opponent is stunned. You can't confirm it from normals/on MAXIMUM Mode too, which is sad. It should be unblockable too. Athena is totally invincible until she lands.
Well... Athough Athena has damaging normals, she is a zoning char. Her Summon Specials can make her almost invincible(The best one is the Lion). If you need an anti-air, just do a s.HP/QCF+K and be happy. If you need to punish, do it with her Exceed/one of her little combos. You can use her Exceed only one time in the match, and it's easy to block it if used alone, so watch out when you use it. Oh, and the unblockable arrow... Abuse of it if you're against those big crouching chars(Like Demitri and Genjyuro), because the move will hardly whiff on them.
Some Combos(Without MAXIMUM Mode)
Athena isn't that good with combos, but she have some interesting ones.
1- [Jump Attack] s.HK, df+HK - 2 hits; 3 with the Jump Attack
Athena's BnB. Just learn this one and do it on the match. It's not hard, really.
2- s.LP(2x), s.LK - 3 hits
A simple and damaging Light Attack combo. Good if you're having trouble with the other combos. If you add a jump attack after the combo, the s.LK will still hit the opponent, but the stab will not connect with the other moves(It can connect on the corner).
3- [Jump Attack] s.LP, cr.HP, df+HK - 3 hits; 4 with the Jump Attack
Interesting combo. This is your main combo to punish your opponent too. It's very easy to do(Just time well), the damage is very high(Athena's normals are the source of her damage), and you can followup with a Charge b, f+P(The unblockable arrow) if the opponent isn't a low crouching char on his/her wakeup(The df+HK will knock down, and you'll have time to charge).
4- (EQ only) cr.HP, s.HK, df+HK - 3 hits
This is a bad combo, because you can only do it against one character, but you can link the cr.HP and the s.HK on every character in the cast. This combo works against some characters while they are crouching and on the corner, and they are: Shiki, and Hugo. The df+HK part can hit the opponent, but cannot connect in: standing/crouching Genjyuro, and crouching Tessa/Tabasa. If you're against EQ/other tall crouching characters, you can followup with a Charge b, f+P unblockable on his wakeup.
5- cl.HK(It needs to guard crush the opponent), Exceed - 1 Hit
Not a real combo, but it's a way to confirm the Exceed.
A glitch with EQ
Yeah, a glitch for one character. It's a little easy to do in a real match, it just depends of your opponent. Just wait for him to do a Fat Copy(That move where he warps and goes above you). Now, time well, and do a QCF+K when he's near from you. He will stop in a hitstun animation, and he'll be open for ANY combo after it, or you can even use it to confirm the Exceed!(And the combo counter will say "02 hits" forever. Oh yeah, you can just wait for a time over if you're with a life advantage too, which will probably make him ragequit). A video with an example is here(Just jump to 0:15, but in the beginning of the video, you'll see two more Athena glitches). (Note: The glitch works while EQ is on the corner, and Athena near from him, but I'm sure that it works on midscreen too, I just need to prove it.)
What to do now?
Are you asking: "What to do?" You're almost an expert now(I'm serious), and you still have thigs to do with Athena. What are them? Sorry, but this is what YOU will figure out alone. If you're being patient while reading this page(Thanks about that, really), learned all of the things, and won at least 3 consecutive matches(Against players, not the CPU), you can call yourself an Athena expert. Oh, and there was something wrong that I said in the Good and Bad Things... Her meter isn't 100% useless... You can use it to do GCFs and CD counters. Sorry about that, really.