The Battle of Olympus

The Battle of Olympus[lower-alpha 1] is a 1988 action RPG video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System.[1] It was released in North America in 1989, in Europe in 1991. A port for the Game Boy was also released.

The Battle of Olympus
NES cover art
Radical Entertainment (Game Boy)
  • EU: Imagineer (Game Boy)
Designer(s)Yukio Horimoto
Programmer(s)Yukio Horimoto
Artist(s)Reiko Oshida
Writer(s)Reiko Oshida
Composer(s)Kazuo Sawa
Paul Wilkinson (Game Boy)
Platform(s)NES, Game Boy
  • JP: March 31, 1988
  • NA: December 1989
  • EU: September 26, 1991
Game Boy:


The Battle of Olympus takes place in an ancient Greece which is being terrorized by Hades, the dark ruler of the underworld.

Helene, the girlfriend of Orpheus, is kidnapped by Hades who is holding her captive. A top-down map of Greece shows various dungeons and ancient Greek city-states for the player to visit on their journey. Swords, shields, and crystals help to provide offensive power and defensive strength for the player. Three fragments of love are there to remind Orpheus of his girlfriend Helene. Hades rules his dominion in Tartarus, where his strongest minions live alongside him.

During his adventure, Orpheus needs to meet the Greek gods and gain their favor, starting with Zeus, the leader of the Olympian gods, who encourages the other gods to grant Orpheus powers. These powers are in the form of a weapon, a shield, and other special equipment, among them a harp, which summons Pegasus to carry Orpheus to far locations. As the game progresses, players are exposed to various forms of upgraded weaponry. The player starts off with a basic wooden club. The player later obtains items such as the Staff of Fennel (also known as a thyrsus, which is able to project a fireball), Nymph's Sword, and the Divine Sword (able to project a lightning bolt).

The game features encounters with mythological creatures such as the Taurus, Lamia, cyclops, centaur, Talos, Minotaur, Medusa, Cerberus, Stymphalian birds, Nemean lion, and also a Siren. Players must fight their way deep into the underworld, fight and defeat Hades, and finally save Helene. Several items depicted in the Greek mythology are acquired, such as the Harp of Apollo, the Sword of Hephaestus, the Staff of Prometheus, and the Sandals of Hermes.


Primarily a sidescroller with some light platforming, the player is a hero with a sword and shield, while just a handful of secondary items come along later in the game, mostly for the purpose of advancement as the protagonist move to new areas. He can find upgrades maximum health, protection, and speed. The biggest differences in combat from Zelda II are the lack of the downward stab in midair, and the lack of the sword beam at full health. However, The Battle of Olympus does have a sword later in the game that can shoot beams, but doing so damages the health bar if a certain item is not found first.

The Battle of Olympus is somewhat non-linear and there are some optional side quests that can make the game easier in the long run, leading to a secret item or power-up from one of the gods.

The final battle brings to the Temple of Hades in fight with the ruler of the underworld in a two-stage event. The first is a blind fight against a shadow reflection, and then the final form is of Hades himself.


It was developed by Infinity, and was the first game from the company.[2] The dev team for the game was quite small, with only three members. Yokio Horimoto served as designer and programmer for the game.[3] Kazuo Sawa was the composer, and Reiko Oshida did story and graphics.[3]

Designer Hoshimoto drew inspiration from Zelda II: Adventure of Link for gameplay.[3][4] Similarities include a final confrontation with a shadow, and similar skills, and general appearance of the game.[5] It was one of several NES games inspired by Zelda II, which include Moon Crystal, and Faxanadu.[5]


It was published by Imagineer and released in Japan on March 28, 1988.[1] In North America it was released in December 1989, and published by Brøderbund.[6] It was released in Europe in 1991 and published by Nintendo.

There's also a 1993 Game Boy port of the same game that was published by Imagineer exclusively for the European market. Despite its strong resemblance to the NES original, Infinity had no involvement in that version and was instead ported by the Canadian developer Radical Entertainment.[3]


Review scores
Mean Machines79%[7]

Japanese game magazine Famitsu gave it a score of 28 out of 40.[1] Reviewers noted similarities between the game and to the earlier game, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.[1][9]


  1. Ai no Densetsu Olympus no Tatakai (愛の伝説 オリュンポスの戦い, lit. "Legend of Love Battle of Olympus")[1]


  1. "愛の伝説 オリュンポスの戦い [ファミコン]". Famitsu. Enterbrain, Inc. Archived from the original on 2018-07-30. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  2. "コンピュータ・ゲーム・ソフトウェアの委託開発、移植、企画、制作 ソフトウェアの制作、販売". 2012-07-21. Archived from the original on 2012-07-21. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  3. Parish, Jeremy (6 November 2015). "Legend of Love: The Making of The Battle of Olympus". USgamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on 8 November 2015. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  4. "Retrospective: The Battle of Olympus". Archived from the original on 2018-07-31. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  5. "Hidden Gems: The Rest of the NES". 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
  6. "Wayback Machine" (PDF). 2006-02-12. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  7. "Nintendo Review: Battle of Olympus". Mean Machines (12). September 1991.
  8. "Nintendo Tests The Battle of Olympus". Joypad (in French). No. 1. France. October 1991. pp. 74–75.
  9. "I Can't Believe It's Not Zelda!". destructoid. Archived from the original on 2016-05-12. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
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