Updated: Nov 18, 2021
Here is a little guide I've put together in order to help you beat all the main bosses in The Battle of Olympus on NES. If there are any tips and tricks you think I've missed, do please let me know. Thank you for reading!
The Lamia - Attica
The Lamia is the first boss you'll encounter in The Battle of Olympus. She can be found in Attica. She kind of looks like Medusa but she actually isn't the famous Gorgon. Before you confront her, you'll want to acquire the Shield of Athena, which blocks projectiles such as the arrows the Lamia fires. That will make the fight more manageable. You have to be standing absolutely still for the projectiles to bounce off the Shield.
To get the Shield of Athena, speak to Athena at her temple in Athens. Once you do and you've acquired the Shield, head back to Attica and get ready to do battle. There are two ways you can approach the fight. You can block the Lamia's arrows with your shield and then jump towards her to avoid the next arrow should she fire one. Hit her then resume your original position. Rinse and repeat. There's another strategy but it's more risky (and we all like taking some risks don't we). Forget about blocking any of the Lamia's arrows; just jump over them directly and hit her. Do this for as many times as it takes to kill the Lamia. Is it reckless? Absolutely. Does it work? Yes, but you'll take damage for sure.
After killing the Lamia you'll be able to get a new weapon, the Staff of Fennel, from a grateful NPC.
The Nemean Lion - Argolis
The Nemean Lion is the second boss you'll encounter in the game. You would have thought Hercules would have done a better job of killing it, but nope it's up to us. The lion can be found in Argolis. You're heading there so that Prometheus (yep, the same Prometheus who was chained to a rock and had his liver torn out on a daily basis) can add the power of fire to the Staff of Fennel (so you can shoot fire out of it).
Before that can happen, the Nemean Lion stands in our way. The battle can be intimidating at first. You're in a cavern with snakes and those bats sure are annoying. However, there's not much of a strategy here. Just run to the far end of the arena (getting past the lion and avoiding bats as required) until you get to the wall. Hug said wall and turn around to face your foe. As soon as he tries jumping at you, whack away with your weapon. The lion will go down after only a few hits.
After killing the Lion you'll be able to find Prometheus.
The Hydra - Peloponnesus
Looks like Herc dropped the ball yet again, as the Hydra is the next boss you'll come across in the game. You can find it hanging out in the Peloponnesus. It's up to us to put an end to its reign of terror. Don't expect this Hydra to look anything like the one from Greek mythology though. For one, it only has one head and looks more like a conventional dragon. That's 8-bit limitations for you, I guess.
Killing the Hydra will allow you to pick up a new weapon, the Sword. Depending on your skill level, though, this might be a bit of a drawn out fight. The idea is to bait the Hydra to jump out of the water and hit its head when it does. You can see where the Hydra will pop out by the bubbles in the water. Entice the Hydra to attack you then smash it over the head with your weapon. It might take some practice in order to be able to consistently land blows on the Hydra's head. That's pretty much what happened to me and why I said it might become a bit of a drawn out fight. In any case, the Hydra will go down after landing a few hits.
Once you've dispatched the Hydra, go talk to a nearby Nymph; she'll give you the Sword.
The Cyclops - Peloponnesus
Soon after defeating the Hydra you'll come across the one-eyed wonder known as the Cyclops. He wants to stop you from getting to your next destination, Laconia. It's time to teach him a lesson he'll never forget.
This boss is thankfully on the easy side, assuming you have the Sword (see above). If you haven't acquired it yet, make sure you do beforehand. Anyway, the Cyclops is standing on a raised platform. What you want to do is stand close to him beneath the raised platform. You then want to be jumping and hitting the Cyclops' head with the Sword. He'll go down after four hits and you can continue on your merry way.
As you do, be sure to stock up on olives (60 to be precise) and talk to Poseidon at his temple in Laconia in order to buy the Ocarina (no, not that Ocarina). This Ocarina has the power to summon Dolphins, which are indispensable for getting around the world.
The Siren - Laconia
We're really following in Odysseus' footsteps now. First we fought a Cyclops. now it's our turn to dally with a Siren! You can find this half woman half bird hybrid in Laconia. She's blocking the way to the Graeae (see below).
First thing's first. You'll be wanting the Harp before you even contemplate fighting the Siren. This is because the Siren can mesmerise you with her beautiful singing voice. Unfortunately unlike Odysseus we are not able to have ourselves strapped to a mast. To get the Harp beforehand, go and talk to Apollo at his temple in the Peloponnesus.
Use the Harp every time you get mesmerised by the Siren to snap out of it. As for the actual battle, wait until she swoops in to attack you and swipe at her head with your Sword. She'll go down after three hits.
The Graeae - Laconia
We're taking a page from Perseus' book on this one as we take on the Graeae AKA the Stygian Witches AKA the weird ladies from 1981's Clash of the Titans with the all seeing all powerful Eye. And the Eye is what we're after here. It has the power to unveil hidden entrances, so it's very useful.
Let's set the scene. We've defeated the Siren and entered the lair of the aforementioned Graeae. It's dark in the cave, so use the Staff of Fennel to light the way. The Stygian Witches await our arrival. In this boss fight, we may be taking on three old ladies, but here's the kicker. They like to teleport around and fire projectiles at you. Luckily, there's an easy way to defeat them. What you want to do is move through the cavern until you get to the gap in the floor. Jump over the gap and the Graeae appear below the step (you'll have the high ground). Block their projectiles. jump over them and get some hits in. The Graeae will teleport further away. Don't engage. Instead, evade their projectiles and jump back over the gap. Now jump back across. The Graeae teleport right near the step again. Jump over them again get some more hits in. Rinse and repeat until they all go down (it takes about two hits to dispatch one witch). Congratulations, the Eye is yours. You can see an example of this strategy in the video above.
Gaea - Attica
We're back in Attica to defeat the rock monster known as Gaea. First you'll have to wake it up with the Ocarina (see above). He won't be too happy about it and will try and kill you before you can offer it a morning cup of joe.
Anyway, there's a definite trick to turning the tables on Gaea. Upon waking, make sure he jumps down to the floor and not on any of the ledges on offer. Then you yourself move to a low ledge nearby and wait his arrival. Slash away with your sword when he's in range while simultaneously avoiding the nasty rocks he throws. Gaea will go down after about five hits to the old noggin.
Defeating Gaea will allow you to buy the best weapon in the game, the Divine Sword. It's being held by Hephaestus at his temple in Pythia. He'll sell it to you for a whopping 70 olives. Better get collecting!
Ladon - Garden of the Hesperides, Pythia
We took the Graeae's Eye for ourselves, now we're after a Golden Apple. This shiny little fruit is found in the Garden of the Hesperides, itself located in Pythia. It won't be that easy though, as the apple is guarded by a nasty dragon called Ladon! No Atlas holding up the sky in this iteration though. Never mind, the dragon is enough.
To be honest, I didn't think Ladon was as tough as its cousin the Hydra. Sure it floats around and tries to bite you, but it's pretty easy to position yourself to smack Ladon in the face as it dips and dives. After a few hits, Ladon will be dead and you'll be the lucky recipient of a Golden Apple. Your health will be restored and enemies will do half the damage they did before. Nice!
Talos - Crete
Ladon is dead, so it's off to Crete to continue our Greek adventure! Here we follow Jason's footsteps as we do battle with the mighty bronze man, Talos! However, this Talos looks nothing like the version from 1963's Jason and the Argonauts. Talos in this game looks small and scrawny and not at all dangerous, despite wielding an axe. He does, however, guard the entrance to Crete just like in the original story, so there's that I guess.
The trick to beating Talos is to crouch and let him come to you. Hit him four times and he goes down for the count. That's it. easy. You can see an example of this strategy in the video above.
The Minotaur - Crete
Staying in Crete, we descend the very depths of the Labyrinth to do battle with the half man half bull monstrosity known as the Minotaur. Guess Theseus didn't finish him off correctly or something. Never mind, we're here to finish the job. And we don't even need a ball of thread to find our way to the ungodly creature.
The Minotaur can withstand some punishment but really he's not that tough. What you want to do is stay at the top step and block his projectiles with the Shield. After each salvo jump and shoot a power beam from the Divine Sword at the creature's head. If you're lucky, it will connect. Hit him a few times and the Minotaur goes down for the count!
Just a note about the power beam shot from the Divine Sword. If you don't have the Power Bracelet, you'll take damage every time you fire off the beam. To get said Power Bracelet, find Ares at his temple in Crete. He'll sell it you for 80 olives. And you thought 70 was bad! Just pay the man. God. Whatever.
Cerberus - Tartarus
We approach the endgame as we descend the Underworld and make our way to Tartarus. Blocking our way is Hades' favourite pet pooch, Cerberus. In Greek Mythology it had three heads, but here it only has two. Which makes our job a bit easier.
Not that Cerberus is easy. You need to destroy both heads and the first one grows back if you don't destroy the second head within a certain amount of time. Wait, is this Cerberus or the Hydra? Never mind, beating Cerberus requires exquisite timing. Basically, you want to coming down from your jump just as Cerberus is at the apex of his. If you do that, you stand a good chance of hitting its heads. If you're lucky, you can also lock him in a pattern of jump, jump, hit that will have Cerberus down in no time. You can see an example of this strategy in the video above.
Hades - Tartarus
This is it the final fight. Only Hades stands in the way of saving the woman you love now. One word of caution. If you want to be victorious, you'll need to acquire the Moon Crystal from Atermis' Temple in Phrygia; it's the only way to see Hades in his Shadow form.
Assuming you have the Moon Crystal, make your way to Hades' palace at the very edge of Tartarus. The best way to deal with Hades in both forms (yep he has two, Shadow and Final) is to jump at him and attack the second he withdraws his weapon after his own attack. Hit him a few times in his Shadow form and Hades will reveal himself and begin to attack you using his Final form. Land a few more hits and Hades goes down for the count.
And just like that, it's game over and you win! You and your love can now live happily ever after.