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Tokyo Olympics Start Off with Video Game Music

Credit: Unsplash

Thanks to the ubiquity of companies like Sony and Nintendo, video games have become inexorably linked with Japan’s national identity. Or maybe I just like to think that because I’m a nerd. Well, either way, someone on the Olympic committee must be like me, because during the opening ceremony and Parade of Nations at the Tokyo Olympics today, the procession was backed by a playlist of vintage video game music.

According to Japanese news outlet NikkanSports, the ceremony featured the following tracks from the following games:

  • Dragon Quest: ‘Introduction: Lotto Theme’
  • Final Fantasy: ‘Victory Fanfare’
  • Tales of Series: ‘Sley’s Theme – Guru’
  • Monster Hunter: ‘Proof of Hero’
  • Kingdom Hearts: ‘Olympus Coliseum’
  • Chrono Trigger: ‘Frog Theme’
  • Ace Combat: ‘First Flight’
  • Tales of Series: ‘Royal Capital-Dignified’
  • Monster Hunter: ‘Wind of Departure’
  • Chrono Trigger: ‘Robo’s Theme’
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: ‘Star Light Zone’
  • Winning Eleven: ‘eFootball walk-on theme’
  • Final Fantasy: ‘Main theme’
  • Phantasy Star Universe: ‘Guardians’
  • Kingdom Hearts: ‘Hero’s Fanfare’
  • Gradius: ’01 ACT 1-1′
  • NieR: ‘Song of the Ancients’
  • Saga Series: ‘Makai Ginyu Poetry-Saga Series Medley 2016’
  • Soul Calibur: ‘The Brave New Stage of History’

The inclusion of worldwide names like Final Fantasy and Sonic the Hedgehog isn’t especially surprising, nor is the use of the famous overture of Dragon Quest, Japan’s most beloved RPG series. The playlist also featured some curveballs, though, like NieR and Chrono Trigger.

Strangely, it’s not actually known who made the decision to use this music, as both the event’s creative director and composer recently stepped down for making an extremely bad-taste joke and out of guilt for past behaviors, respectively. It’s quite possible, then, that this was a last-minute decision, though as far as last minute decisions go, I can certainly think of worse ones.


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