Vitalina Batsarashkina / The Witcher. (Getty / Netflix)
Japan is of course the home of video games, manga and anime. But the Tokyo Olympics 2020 are so far proving to be the nerdiest yet.
It all began way back at the Rio games where, during the closing ceremony, Japan’s Prime Minister emerged from a Mario warp pipe.
The stage set, the 2020 Games have become nerdier by the day…
The hero’s fanfare
Gamers began losing their sh*t during the opening ceremony, when video game music was performed during the Parade of Nations.
A rousing orchestral medley included the Hero’s Fanfare from Final Fantasy, as well as songs from Kingdom Hearts, Monster Hunter, Dragon Quest and more.
It’s almost as if the Olympics are one giant JRPG with the Olympians levelling up their experience over the years ready for the final mission – the quest for the gold medal.
Twitter was soon abuzz with excited gamers recognising their favourite tunes and imagining how glorious it must feel to walk into an Olympic stadium to such iconic music.
How awesome is it that the entire WORLD is currently listening to music from Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Dragon Quest, Monster Hunter, Tales of, Sonic, and so much more?
It’s cool to think about how video game music can bring together people from all walks of life. #Tokyo2020
— ☆オードリーAudrey☆ (@aitaikimochi) July 23, 2021
they are playing final fantasy and dragon quest music at the olympics opening ceremony I CANT BELIEVE IT pic.twitter.com/XABsbHpWOA
— Lulu🌈🎏 (@luulubuu) July 23, 2021
The best sports commentary
The Olympics 2020 may be full of nerdy references, but that doesn’t mean commentators are familiar with them.
The bike section of the triathlons around Tokyo goes past a giant Gundam statue from the anime, which the BBC commentator mispronounced.
“Gandum… some sort of famous robot,” he said.
The moment was quickly captured and added to social media, with responses from fans who weren’t too pleased with the mistake. The video has sadly since been removed, though the legend of “Gandum” lives on.
The Witcher fan wins gold
Russia’s Vitalina Batsarashkina isn’t just a casual fan of The Witcher. She actually competes wearing Witcher gear.
Back at the 2016 Olympic Games she wore a Witcher medallion and had some Witcher images on her shooting glasses. This year she once again wore the iconic wolf design medallion.
Is this why she won the gold medal in the air pistol event? Quite possibly.
Spider-Man all day
What do Olympics athletes do between matches?
For US beach volleyball player Kelly Claes, downtime means beating up bad guys and honing her spider senses. Virtually of course.
“Get some rest and keep enjoying that PlayStation I hear you’re playing out in the hotel,” says the presenter in an interview clip that soon went viral.
“Spider-Man all day!” replies Claes.
SPIDER-MAN ALL DAY‼️ 👏👏👏 https://t.co/g9MqcGhJwS
— Insomniac Games (@insomniacgames) July 26, 2021
Developer Insomniac Games even shared the clip on their socials. Let’s see if those spider senses can help Claes get the gold!
There could have been more
According to a report in Japanese paper Bunshun (translated by VGC), Nintendo were set to feature in the opening ceremony.
Over ten script proposals had Nintendo involved but were scrapped. A script dated as late as 16 June 2021 had Nintendo songs included in the Parade of Nations, including from Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda and Pokémon.
Mario and Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto was also allegedly involved in preparations, with an 8-bit segment intended for the opening ceremony.
Another script had Lady Gaga appearing from a Mario warp pipe wearing the iconic red hat. Gaymers, we can but dream…