Speed Reads

Opening ceremony

Japan used famous video game theme songs to welcome athletes to Tokyo

The Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games is an opportunity for a host nation to share its cultural heritage with the world, whether that's didgeridoos or Sarah McLachlan. And while Japan welcomed athletes to Tokyo with kabuki theater and dazzling displays of technology on Friday, some people watching at home might have noticed the celebration of another of the nation's great cultural exports: Cloud Strife.

When Olympic athletes entered into the stadium during the Parade of Nations, they did so to the theme music from Final Fantasy, Sonic the Hedgehog, Monster Hunter, Kingdom Hearts, Dragon Quest, Soul Caliber, and about a dozen other video games that are "a quintessential part of Japanese culture that is loved around the world," according to organizers:

Notably absent, though, was any music from "Japan's most well-known video game studio," Nintendo, The New York Times reports. That means there was nothing from Zelda, Mario, and, alas, no "Lavender Town theme" to usher in the United States either.

Check out the list of video game themes played during the Parade of Nations below.