The Tokyo Olympics Uses Video Game Music for Olympic March

Japanese video game tracks played over the delayed opening ceremonies.

Despite events for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics — yes, they’re sticking with that name despite the date — having already started, the Olympic ceremony itself did not until Friday local time. Usually during these ceremonies, countries will get announced as they march and music from the host country or some sort of Olympic fanfare will play.

For Tokyo, they chose to go with video game music. Here’s the full list, according to Nikkan Sports.

  • Dragon Quest “Overture: Roto’s Theme”
  • Final Fantasy “Victory Fanfare”
  • Tales of Zestiria “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) “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  “The Orchestral SaGa – Legend of Music”
  • Soulcalibur “The Brave New Stage of History”

Interestingly, there’s no real Nintendo or Pokemon music here, which seemed like shoo-ins for representing Japanese video game music. In the Olympic flag-handover from Rio’s 2016 closing ceremony, Mario played a fairly big part in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s appearance, so it’s interesting to note that Nintendo appears to not want to associate themselves with the Olympics now.

This year is also sort of strange as there was no audience or support system to really cheer any of these athletes on due to ongoing COVID concerns. So Monster Hunter music is being played in what looks like the spooky ruins of a haunted stadium as people wave a flag to no one in particular. Everyone is trying to make the best of a bad situation, but still, yikes.

On the other hand, while the Tokyo Olympics do represent a really craven disregard for human life in sacrifice to the altars of tradition and perceived profit, the little things are nice, like Nier Automata vocalist J’Nique Nicole realizing her singing was played during the opening ceremony.

So maybe it’s not all bad.