Video game music soundtracks Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony

Team GB marched out to music from 'Sonic the Hedgehog'

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games opening ceremony has gotten underway with a helping from the vault of video game music.

For the lengthy Parade of Nations, athletes from around the world marched into Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium to the orchestral renditions of music from video games developed in Japan.

Opening the parade with Greece, home to the Ancient Olympic Games, was ‘Roto’s Theme’ taken from the Dragon Quest series, widely considered Japan’s national game due to its enduring popularity across generations.


Also represented during the parade were iconic tunes from games like Final FantasyMonster Hunter, Kingdom Hearts, and Nier. The latter only featured vocals from singer Emi Evans.

Team GB made its entrance to an orchestral version of ‘Star Light Zone’ from Sonic The Hedgehog, which was fitting given how their colour schemes match. Unfortunately, the tunes seemed to be lost on the BBC commentators, at times dismissing the soundtrack as “music your kids might recognise”.

The soundtrack was made up of just 18 tracks from across 14 games, with a notable absence of anything from Nintendo.

According to Nikkan Sports, the complete list of songs played are as follows:

  • Dragon Quest – Introduction: Lotto Theme
  • Final Fantasy – Victory Fanfare
  • Tales of series – Sley’s Theme
  • Monster Hunter – Proof of Hero
  • Kingdom Hearts – Olympus Coliseum
  • Chrono Trigger – Frog Theme
  • Ace Combat – First Flight
  • Tales of series – Royal Capital
  • Monster Hunter – Wind of Departure
  • Chrono Trigger – Robo’s Theme
  • Sonic the Hedgehog – Star Light Zone
  • Winning Eleven (PES) – eFootball Walk-On Theme
  • Final Fantasy – Main Theme
  • Phantasy Star Universe – Guardians
  • Kingdom Hearts – Hero’s Fanfare
  • Gradius (Nemesis) – 01 Act 1-1
  • Nier – Initiator
  • Saga series – Makai Ginyu Poetry Saga Series Medley 2016
  • SoulCalibur – The Brave New Stage of History

The gaming-themed Parade of Nations provided a highlight for an opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics that took a much more sombre tone with presentations and performances reflecting on the world and athletic community’s struggles during the coronavirus pandemic.

For more Olympic-themed gaming news, Google is also celebrating the Tokyo Olympics with a 16-bit inspired interactive Doodle called Doodle Champion Island Games.