Olympics 2021

The Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony Had A Beautiful Musical Tribute To Japanese Video Games

The Tokyo Olympics officially started last night with an incredible four-hour long opening ceremony to celebrate. The Parade of Nations had mask-wearing athletes from each of the competing nations (including the IOC Refugee Olympic Team) march through the Olympic Stadium and to our surprise, they were accompanied by an orchestra playing music from some of the most iconic Japanese games and franchises of all time.  The Parade kicked off with the birthplace of the ancient Olympics, Greece marching to the sound of “Overture: Roto’s Theme” from Dragon Quest.

Shortly after, the IOC Refugee Olympic Team, first conceived for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, marched to the sound of pure victory from Final Fantasy’s beloved soundtrack.

The nerdy (I say this affectionately) side of Twitter erupted with commentary celebrating the marriage of the world’s most important sporting event with video games and pop culture with some Twitter users commenting that they were more interested in watching the Olympic Games than they had ever been before. Nice one, Tokyo! We’d recommend watching the Opening Ceremony for yourself and seeing how many iconic songs you can name but if you don’t have four hours to spare today, we’ve included a handy cheat sheet of all the featured songs in order below.

  • Dragon Quest “Overture: Roto’s Theme”
  • Final Fantasy “Victory Fanfare”
  • Tales of series “Sorey’s Theme – The Shepherd”
  • Monster Hunter “Proof of a Hero”
  • Kingdom Hearts “Olympus Coliseum”
  • Chrono Trigger, “Frog’s Theme”
  • Ace Combat “First Flight”
  • Tales of series “Pomp and Majesty”
  • Monster Hunter “Wind of Departure”
  • Chrono Trigger “Robo’s Theme”
  • Sonic the Hedgehog “Star Light Zone”
  • Winning Eleven (Pro Evolution Soccer now known as eFootball) “eFootball walk-on theme”
  • Final Fantasy “MAIN THEME” –
  • Phantasy Star Universe “Guardians”
  • Kingdom Hearts “Hero’s Fanfare”
  • Gradius (Nemesis) “01 ACT I-1”
  • NieR “Song of the Ancients”
  • SaGa series “The Orchestral SaGa – Legend of Music”
  • Soul Calibur “The Brave New Stage of History”

Another nod to Japanese pop -culture that you might notice along the way is that the placards stating the names of each marching delegation were inspired by the speech bubbles featured in manga. The clothes of the assistants holding these placards also featured various manga motifs, adding another extra layer of geeky charm to this year’s beautiful event.

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