2020 Olympics Opening Ceremony Music Features Nearly 20 Video Game Theme Songs

The committee responsible for organizing the Olympics Opening Ceremony has had to do quite a bit of scrambling in the past few days, what with two of its key players, director Kentaro Kobayashi and composer Keigo Oyamada, relieved of their duties when both were discovered to have made offensive remarks in the past. After Oyamada’s departure, it was announced that the musical composition he wrote for the ceremony would not be used, and today we found out what music actually was used instead: the theme songs to video games like Final Fantasy, Monster Hunter, and Sonic The Hedgehog.

Nearly 20 video game theme songs, which also included music from Dragon Slayer, Winning Eleven, Ace Combat, and Chrono Trigger, were featured in an orchestral medley which played as flag bearers and athletes from the participating countries entered the Olympic stadium in Tokyo. (A complete list of the songs performed in the medley is below.) In addition to the video game music, Japan’s national anthem was also performed by J-pop star MISIA.

Video game music is popular in Japan, with the composers like Masato Takamura, who wrote the Sonic The Hedgehog theme, and Yoko Shimomura who has written music for Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, becoming prominent and prolific musical figures in the country.

In case you missed the broadcast of this year’s Opening Ceremony and want to know how to watch it, NBC will air it again today at 7:30PM ET/4:30PM PT, and it will also be available on Peacock on July 24.


Huynh Nguyen

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