Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony Features New ‘Star Light Zone’ Musical Arrangement

It might seem obvious to most that, being the country best known for video games, Japan would reference a game or two during its hosting of the Olympic Games. But it’s nonetheless surprising to hear a new orchestral arrangement of Sonic the Hedgehog’s ‘Star Light Zone’ during the Games’ Opening Ceremony, which is taking place right now.

Video courtesy Chris Scullion on Twitter

The Ceremony is currently being broadcast on the BBC and other licensed networks around the world, and in the clip above you can hear the moment Masato Nakamura’s original melody hits the speakers. It’s fantastic to hear video game music – especially Sonic music – being celebrated within a globally-recognised event such as the Olympics.

According to one keen-eyed Twitter user, Sonic is not the only video game to feature in the Opening Ceremony, with tracks from Kingdom Hearts, Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy and even SEGA’s Phantasy Star Universe making the cut.

What do you think of the new arrangement? How does hearing Sonic at the Olympics make you feel? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Founder of The Sonic Stadium and creator/co-organiser of the Summer of Sonic convention. Loves talking about Sonic the Hedgehog in his spare time. Likes Sonic Colours a little too much for his own good, apparently.


  1. It’s incredible, I started watching with the Kingdom Hearts Olympus music playing and was so confused until it finally clicked.

    Though for such a big playlist, I only recognized FF, Chrono Trigger, KH, and Sonic.

  2. Ok cool,I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed this ! When I was watching,I was like…is that Starlight zone…I think thats Starlight zone ! It was very cool to hear,it almost sounds like the 30th anniversary version !

  3. I recognized Sonic, Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, Monster Hunter and Nier. I didn’t recognize Phantasy Star Universe since I don’t play that game but it was good hearing some Phantasy Star music in there at all. This was overall a pleasent moment.

  4. Sonic 1 and Phantasy Star at the 2021 Olympics? Broadcast to the entire planet. That’s really crazy! I love it.

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