Behold the Soundtrack of Final Fantasy IV in 8 Glorious Bits

Jan
14

Behold the Soundtrack of Final Fantasy IV in 8 Glorious Bits

The title of this article may seem a little misleading at first – after all, Final Fantasy IV is famous partially because it was the first Final Fantasy game not presented in 8-bits.  It was the series’ first outing on the 16-bit Super Nintendo and an altogether massive leap forward for the series.  For many players, Final Fantasy IV was the first glimpse of what RPGs could become on more powerful hardware, a masterpiece made possible only by the power of the 16-bit hardware on which it was presented.  Nowhere was this improvement more apparent than the soundtrack; Nobuo Uematsu’s score reached new heights and showed off the capabilities of the SNES’ highly-regarded sound hardware.

But as it turns out, the 16-bit sound hardware wasn’t needed at all.  Final Fantasy IV‘s soundtrack could be experienced on an 8-bit chip with incredible results.

Before FFIV was ported to the Game Boy Advance, it made it’s handheld debut on the Japanese-exclusive WonderSwan Color.  The portable gaming system was sold by Bandai (and designed by none other than Gunpei Yokoi, creator of the Game Boy) and featured a 16-bit CPU, but only an 8-bit sound processor.  This meant that while games would look like a 16-bit SNES game (and Final Fantasy IV actually looked better than the SNES version) the sound would generally be of lower quality.  I say “generally” because Final Fantasy IV most certainly does not sound bad.  It’s different, but every bit as good as the legendary soundtrack from the SNES version.

Included are samples from the WonderSwan Color version soundtrack.  Only samples because, as far as we know, the entire soundtrack has never been posted online.  Included with each track is a link to the SNES original so that you can compare them.

Main Theme

SNES Version

Battle Theme

SNES Version

Boss Battle Theme

SNES Version

Battle with the Four Fiends

SNES Version

Zeromus (Final Boss Battle)

SNES Version

About Justin Arnott

Justin is the Founder of Controller Crusade and has played video games for as long as he can remember. He loves all games but there's an extra special place in his heart for anything created by Nintendo. He's also a big retro gamer and is deeply interested in video game history—so there's that. You can contact him via email at jarnott@controllercrusade.com or via Twitter @sirultimos

One comment

  • Mar 6, 2015 @ 1:20 am

    This “free sharing” of inratmofion seems too good to be true. Like communism.

    Reply

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