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Video game music welcomes athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony

By Dandi Galvez Published Jul 24, 2021 6:01 am Updated Jul 24, 2021 7:32 am

Amidst all of the excitement from watching the Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony, one amazing aspect of the event—among many wonderful things—was the music which accompanied our athletes as they marched around the field. The melodies heard would resonate in the hearts and minds of gamers everywhere.

Not only was their singing, dancing, and an incredible synchronized drone performance, there was also the use of video game background music from a plethora of well regarded game titles which played while the Olympic athletes walked the field of the National Stadium.

The music wasn't just generic beats plucked out of the games because they sounded good. These were gaming anthems, mostly from roleplaying game titles where heroes emerged victorious after slaying mighty dragons or really, really tough cacti.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics Twitter account clued us in real quick when the music started playing. "All this music sounds familiar!", the account posted. "Anyone know where it's from?"

The music starts with the introduction of the athletes delegation from Greece, which is the country that traditionally walks out first due to its actual Olympics origin.

At the 46:11 mark, the Overture: Roto's Theme from RPG series, Dragon Quest, can be heard playing in the background.

Polygon broke down the complete Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony music and the video games from which they came from—a list that you will no doubt be playing (the video games as well as the music) as you watch the sporting events unfold over the next few days:

  • Dragon Quest - Overture: Roto’s Theme
  • Final Fantasy - Victory Fanfare
  • Tales of series - Sorey’s Theme - The Shepherd
  • Monster Hunter series - 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
  • Pro Evolution Soccer - eFootball Walk-on Theme
  • Final Fantasy - Main Theme
  • Phantasy Star Universe - Guardians
  • Kingdom Hearts - Hero’s Fanfare
  • Gradius - 01 Act I-1
  • Nier - Song of the Ancients
  • SaGa series - The Minstrel’s Refrain: SaGa Series Medley 2016
  • Soulcalibur - The Brave New Stage of History

(Images from Tokyo 2020 Olympics)