When Nintendo decided to shun compact discs and stick with vintage ROM cartridges for its 1996 N64 console, the gaming giant was giving up a lot.
Sure, the hardware had its advantages, like reduced loading times and a resistance to piracy. But Nintendo 64 cartridges could only hold a maximum of 64MB of data, whereas CDs held over 650MB. Elements such as music, sound effects and full motion cutscenes were often compressed to hell to fit on one of the little plastic packs. Even the console’s best games had to make sacrifices.
Take GoldenEye 007, an absolute five-star classic first-person shooter released in 1997, two years after the James Bond movie on which it’s based reinvigorated the series, with Pierce ‘Taffin‘ Brosnan in the leading role. Composed by Grant Kirkhope, Graeme Norgate and Robin Beanland, the cinematic score was severely squeezed to fit the technological limitations. But almost two decades on, thanks to the holy beings over at YouTube channel Video Game Tracks (and reported on by International Business Times), the trio’s opus can be heard in its glorious original condition.
Uncompressed and uncompromised, the GoldenEye 007 score shimmers and pulsates, pulling in 30 years of Bond mythology while still sounding video-game appropriate, as it matches up to the game’s globetrotting backdrops. To further appreciate the newly scrubbed-up tones and textures, contrast this version with the lossy original (both below).