Final Fantasy IX is out now on Nintendo Switch and Xbox One, and yes, it includes the overworld theme audio bug.
Nintendo rattled through a lot of announcements during this week’s Nintendo Direct. There’s Super Mario Maker 2, a game which everyone was expecting sooner or later, and then some things we weren’t expecting, like the remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (AKA The Best Zelda).
We also saw some good news for games that weren’t a surprise, including the addition of co-op to every level of Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker, and the release of a demo of Yoshi’s Crafted World. Which is frankly brilliant.
Then there’s the “out now” releases that tend to accompany Nintendo Directs these days, like Fortnite and Overcooked 2 during E3 2018, and plenty others in the past six months.
One we’d all been waiting for is the Nintendo Switch release of Final Fantasy IX, the classic Squaresoft RPG from the year 2000. We saw a glimpse of Final Fantasy VII’s Switch release a couple of weeks ago, but everything had gone quiet on the Final Fantasy IX front; until its sudden release this week.
There is a drawback with Final Fantasy IX on Switch (and Xbox One) – it’s the mobile port, which is widely considered to be the worst version.
For starters, it’s got a font that, while it is technically cleaner to read on modern displays than the original game’s pixel fonts, is just not as pretty and stylish to look at. It also features some concessions to the mobile port, like a warning saying you can’t use emojis in character names (as if we would even want to).
Worst of all, though, is the audio bug. Final Fantasy IX’s overworld theme is a classic piece of Nobuo Uematsu composition, but when you enter a random battle on the world map? It starts the overworld theme again from the beginning when you exit the battle. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and get to hear a decent chunk of it, but when random battles are coming thick and fast, it all feels a bit like you’re stuck in a loop.
I once had a car with a wiring problem on the stereo that did something similar. It gets quite annoying, quite quickly.
We’re hoping that Square will patch out the Final Fantasy IX audio bug on Switch and Xbox One – as they have done with a similar bug in Final Fantasy V, apparently – or if you want to avoid it, you can use one of the game’s many assistance and accessibility features to turn off random encounters. That basically fixes the problem, in a roundabout way.