Nintendo reportedly pulled out of being a part of this year’s Olympics opening ceremony “right before” the event.
The opening ceremony took place last week, and included 19 pieces of video game music from the likes of Nier, Monster Hunter, and Final Fantasy. However, according to a report from Shukan Bunshun (translated by IGN Japan), documents showing earlier plans for the event included five unused tracks, all of which came from Nintendo franchises, including Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokemon.
Backing up the idea that five Nintendo tracks were removed from the ceremony is the fact that five of the franchises included in the final opening ceremony track listing – Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Chrono Trigger, Monster Hunter, and Tales Of – saw two tracks played each. That could have been a back-up for losing the five pieces of music close to the event.
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As for why Nintendo pulled out of the event, Shukan Bunshun says that Mikiko Mizuno (most famous for being a choreographer for the likes of Babymetal) provided the show’s original plans. During this time, Shigeru Miyamoto reportedly travelled to Tokyo “almost every week” for meetings. However, Hiroshi Sasaki (who subsequently resigned after making controversial comments about a Japanese comedian and model) was eventually given the creative director job and seemingly changed many of the plans, reportedly leading to Nintendo cutting its part in the event shortly before it took place.
Some of Sasaki’s own plans do appear to include Nintendo, including one section that suggested Lady Gaga could wear a red hat, before travelling down a Mario warp pipe. Shukan Bunshun suggests this may have been speculative from Sasaki, rather than a firm idea for the event.
Nintendo’s part in the event isn’t the only element that was seemingly lost along the way – the report also claims that Mikiko’s original ideas included an opening section that involved Akira’s red motorbike travelling around the anime classic’s Neo Tokyo setting.
We may not have gotten to see Nintendo games translated to real life for the Olympics, but we do at least have its new theme park, Super Nintendo World. The first version of the park opened in Tokyo this year, and we said it “brilliantly reinvents and gamifies the theme park experience, while offering an unprecedented level of immersion and – most importantly – fun.”