Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Olympic Games were postponed from their normal kick-off time last summer. Now that vaccinations have begun spreading throughout the globe, Olympic ceremonies are being restarted this summer and the eyes of the world now fall on Japan, host of the 2020 Games. Despite the belated start to the festivities, Japan was ready to present a lavish opening ceremony for viewers around the world.
As is custom during these ceremonies, the traditional Parade of Nations celebrates the athletes from each of the participating countries. In a fun twist, this year’s Parade of Nations featured various selections of video game music to accompany the various national teams as they marched through Olympic Stadium in Tokyo carrying flags and placards. The musical accompaniment for the parade included multiple tracks of video game tunes that were written in Japan. We’ve compiled a list of the tracks used in the Parade of Nations below.
Note: This list is a work in progress and will be updated periodically.
Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony video game song list
Dragon Quest series - Roto’s Theme
Written by Koichi Sugiyama, this overture comes from the Dragon Quest series. Roto (known as Eldrick in Western versions) is a title bestowed upon heroes and this particular track comes from Dragon Quest III when the hero is given the title after defeating Zoma and saving Alefgard
Final Fantasy series - Victory Fanfare
This composition has seen heavy use across the Final Fantasy series over the years. It is commonly played when a player’s party completes a battle and makes an appearance in almost every game in the series.
Tales of Zesteria - Sorey's Theme
Tales of Zesteria is the thirteenth game in the long-running Tales of series. This theme was written for the game’s main character Sorey. Sorey is a nice young boy who ends up fighting to free the land of Glenwood from the threat of the Hellion.
Monster Hunter series - Proof of a Hero
Written by Masato Kouda, this theme is one of the fan favorites in the Monster Hunter series. The Monster Hunter franchise kicked off in 2002 when the first game was released for the PlayStation 2.
Kingdom Hearts - Olympus Coliseum
Square Enix and Disney struck gold when they paired up classic Disney characters with the JRPG format. This track comes from the first Kingdom Hearts game released in 2002 for the PlayStation 2.
Chrono Trigger - Frog’s Theme
Frequently cited as one of the best JRPGs of all time, Chrono Trigger made a huge impact when it was released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1995. It has since been ported to multiple platforms, including smartphones.
Ace Combat - First Flight
The Ace Combat series kicked off in 1995 with the release of Air Combat for the original PlayStation. This track comes from Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, the second game in the series to appear on PlayStation 2.
Tales of Graces - Royal Capital Majestic Grandeur
Tales of Graces originally appeared for the Nintendo Wii back in 2009. It was the second game in the Tales of series to launch on the Wii. The game was later ported to the PlayStation 3 where it saw much greater success.
Monster Hunter 4 - Wind of Departure
The fourth game in the Monster Hunter series was released for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan in 2013. It later arrived on North American shores as Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate in 2015.
Chrono Trigger - Robo’s Theme
Written by Yasunori Mitsuda, this is the second track from Chrono Trigger to make the cut for the Parade of Nations. Robo is an android that joins the hero party early in the game after being repaired by Lucca.
Sonic the Hedgehog - Star Light Zone
Starlight Zone was a standout track for the original Sonic the Hedgehog, which is saying something considering the number of bangers that soundtrack produced. The sound chip on the original Sega Genesis is held in reverence by video game music enthusiasts and Sonic the Hedgehog was a big part of its success.
Final Fantasy - Main Theme
Not a big surprise that the main theme of one of the most popular JRPG series made the cut for the Parade of Nations. This track has appeared over numerous entries in the Final Fantasy series since 1987.
Phantasy Star Universe - Guardians
Written by Hideaki Kobayashi, this composition appeared in Phantasy Star Universe, the franchise's debut on seventh-generation consoles. The first Phantasy Star game was released for the Sega Master System in 1987.
Kingdom Hearts - Hero’s Fanfare
Originally appearing in Kingdom Hearts 3, this track was composed by Yoko Shimomura. Launched nearly fifteen years after the preceding mainline Kingdom Hearts game, Kingdom Hearts 3 finally arrived for PS4 and Xbox One in early 2019.
Gradius - Act I-1
It's hard to reminisce about Konami arcade classics without thinking about the music and Gradius is no exception. This shmup series has seen nearly twenty games released over the last forty years.
Nier - Song of the Ancients Fate
Nier was originally released on PS4 and Xbox 360 back in 2010. The game was remade and released as Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139… earlier this year.
SaGa series - The Minstrel’s Refrain
The first game in the SaGa series was released under the name The Final Fantasy Legend when it launched on the GameBoy in 1990. The franchise picked up the SaGa moniker in 1992 with the release of Romancing SaGa.
Soulcalibur 6 - The Brave New Stage of History
The Soulcalibur series kicked off in 1995 with the arcade classic Soul Edge. It later became videogame royalty when the Dreamcast port of Soulcalibur one-upped its arcade counterpart.
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Chris Jarrard posted a new article, Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony video game song list
This really broke my brain watching the Olympics and hearing game music. Wuuut? haha. Rather Japanese though considering how big stuff like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest are.
Thanks for compiling that!