Tokyo Olympics 2020: Final Fantasy, Sonic The Hedgehog, & Monster Hunter music played during opening ceremony

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 key art

Oddly enough, no Mario music (Picture: Nintendo/Sega)

Video game music was played during the Olympics’ opening ceremony, including tracks from Final Fantasy and Sonic The Hedgehog.

Olympic opening ceremonies always act as celebrations of the hosting country and with this year’s (technically last year’s) Olympics taking place in Tokyo, it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that the ceremony was accompanied by music from some of Japan’s biggest gaming franchises.

And yet it has to a lot of people. Viewers have expressed shock and delight upon recognising some of their favourite pieces of video game music being played during the Parade of Nations.

For those curious, the full track list of 19 songs can be found on Nikkan Sports, covering 14 games including Final Fantasy, Sonic The Hedgehog, and Monster Hunter.

Square Enix seems to get the most love with six of its games represented, including Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and NieR. Bandai Namco gets some love as well, with music from its Tales and Ace Combat series selected. There’s even one track from Pro Evolution Soccer (or eFootball as it’s now called).

The songs chosen aren’t entirely random either and actually suit the Olympics surprisingly well. Final Fantasy’s victory theme makes a lot of sense and two of the tracks come from the Olympus world in Kingdom Hearts, which is based on Disney’s animated Hercules movie and features the Olympus Coliseum as a location for tournaments.

It’s a little odd that no Super Mario music is featured though. Although Nintendo’s plumber mascot is Italian, he’s very much a Japanese icon and prime minister Shinzo Abe even dressed up as Mario for the closing ceremony at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Plus, both Mario and Sonic have had several tie-in games with the Olympics, ever since the 2008 Beijing event. The most recent entry released for Nintendo Switch in 2019 and featured a story mode where the duo is sent back in time to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

The 2020 Olympics were obviously meant to be held last year but were delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. While the event is now in full swing, coronavirus cases haven’t gone away.

There have been demands to outright cancel the Olympics because of this, and organisers did opt to ban overseas fans from stadiums as part of an effort to combat the virus.

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