The Tokyo Olympics' opening ceremony featured an orchestrated video game soundtrack

An ode to Japan's video game history. But no Mario?

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Tokyo 2020 Olympics - The Tokyo 2020 Olympics Opening Ceremony - Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan - July 23, 2021.  Cecilia Carranza of Argentina and Santiago Lange of Argentina lead their contingent in the athletes parade during the opening ceremony REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
Pilar Olivares / reuters

The Tokyo Olympics opening kicked off early this morning, and the parade of nations, where athletes walk through Japan's Olympic stadium, had a Japanese twist. A medley of videogame music, orchestrated, formed the soundtrack for the parade. 

It all kicked off with the main theme from Dragon Quest — which sounds pretty Olympian outright — followed by hits from Final Fantasy, Monster Hunter, Nier, Sonic, Chrono Trigger and, er, eFootball. (That's the new name for Pro Evolution Soccer, in case you missed it.)

There are some notable omissions — no Nintendo songs (Pokémon? Mario? Zelda?) being the biggest one — but some Street Fighter II songs might have fitted well into the competitive theme. Maybe the latter was too violent? 

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Not now

The march hasn't quite finished, and we'll try to embed a video here when we can. The USA will be the third-to-last country to march, as it's hosting the Olympics soon in LA — you might be able to catch the final parts of the march on the NBC live stream.

With some help from Nikkan Sports, here's the full tracklist. 

- 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) “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”

Hopefully, a kind soul will make a Spotify playlist for us. Please?

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