• July 30, 2021

Nintendo’s removed involvement with the Tokyo Olympics featured Lady Gaga entering Warp Pipe (update)

Update: The original post contains a minor error indicating that Lady Gaga was going to emerge from a Warp Pipe, however this was a slight translation error. Gaga, sporting a Mario hat, was actually going to enter a pipe remotely, while Naomi would emerge from a different pipe in Tokyo. See the image below via Bunshun for a more precise explanation.

As many may have noticed, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics opening ceremony featured a set of video game music tracks during the Parade of Nations. With comps from popular franchises like Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, Monster Hunter, and Sonic the Hedgehog, there was a notable lack of representation from Nintendo. As reported by the Japanese publication Bunshun, this was apparently due to some last minute changes.

The leaked documentation reveals plans for the following tracks to have been played at the event; The theme of Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Suite, Kirby Super Star Medley and the opening of Pokémon. Alongside this, American singer-songwriter Lady Gaga and Japanese comedian Naomi Watanabe were supposed to emerge from a Super Mario Warp Pipe, similar in style to Shinzo Abe at the 2016 Olympics closing ceremony. Sadly, these ideas were scrapped due to the appearance of offensive and controversial statements by the organizer of the composition, Keigo Oyamada, and the director of the program, Kentaro Kobayashi, which resulted in his forced resignation. The changes were quickly made “just before the show” and Nintendo’s original involvement was scrapped. When asked to comment on the situation, Nintendo responded with “we are not in a position to respond.”

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