Olympics opening ceremony celebrates video game music with packed playlist

Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest and Nier tracks heralded the arrival of competing athletes, though no Nintendo tracks made the cut.

The Tokyo Olympics have officially started, with today’s ceremony displaying song and dance to honor Japan’s historical carpentry skills. Any video game fans with a keen ear watching, however, may have noticed that the Parade of Nations which followed was accompanied by some unusually familiar tunes. The sequence highlighting competing athletes from each entrant nation was accompanied by a wealth of video game music.

Things kicked off with a Dragon Quest tune as Greece took their usual first entrance, with the music swiftly following up with the iconic Final Fantasy Victory Fanfare. It wasn’t a case of one or two video game tracks making the cut, however, as tracks from Kingdom Hearts, Sonic the Hedgehog, Nier, and more filled the stadium.

Olympic opening ceremony video game music
 
© Olympics.com

Here’s the full list of video game tracks featured during the Tokyo Olympics, courtesy of Nikkan Sports:

  • “Overture: Roto’s Theme” – Dragon Quest
  • “Victory Fanfare” – Final Fantasy
  • “Sorey’s Theme - The Shepherd” – Tales of Series
  • “Proof of a Hero” – Monster Hunter series 
  • “Olympus Coliseum” – Kingdom Hearts
  • “Frog’s Theme” – Chrono Trigger 
  • “First Flight” – Ace Combat
  • “Pomp and Majesty” – Tales of series
  • “Wind of Departure” – Monster Hunter
  • “Robo’s Theme” – Chrono Trigger
  • “Star Light Zone” – Sonic the Hedgehog
  • “eFootball Walk-on Theme” – Pro Evolution Soccer
  • “Main Theme” – Final Fantasy 
  • “Guardians” – Phantasy Star Universe 
  • “Hero’s Fanfare” – Kingdom Hearts 
  • “01 Act I-1” – Gradius 
  • “Song of the Ancients” – Nier 
  • “The Minstrel’s Refrain: SaGa Series Medley 2016” – SaGa series 
  • “The Brave New Stage of History” – Soulcalibur 

With such a strong video game music showing, it was odd to note that Nintendo – one of Japan’s most recognized video game studios – was absent from the soundtrack list. Given the popular Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games series, we'd assumed the red plumber would definitely have made the cut. Perhaps he's too busy training for the relay race. The Tokyo Olympic games will take place over the next couple of weeks, and after such a prominent inclusion in the opening ceremony, we could well see video game music make an appearance in the closing ceremony as well.

Associate Editor

Henry Stenhouse serves an eternal punishment as the Associate Editor of AllGamers. He spent his younger life studying the laws of physics, even going so far as to complete a PhD in the subject before video game journalism stole his soul. Confess your love of Super Smash Bros. via email at henry.stenhouse@allgamers.com, or catch him on Twitter.

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