As many have hypothesised, this appears to be a potential emulator issue. At the time of writing, the sound effect is only absent from the video, and we won’t know if it’s also absent from the Switch version until tomorrow, when the game launches on NSO.
Former Rare composer Graeme Norgate picked up the missing noises in the clip on Twitter, writing “hope this isn’t the final version” and tagging Kirkhope.
Original content [Thu, 26 January 2023, 18:15 GMT]: Yesterday, Nintendo chose to drop a bombshell by announcing that GoldenEye 007 will finally be available to Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack users on January 27. What a delight! We’ve been waiting for this news since Nintendo stated it would be coming to the service someday.
Your mission – sit back and listen to the music from the Q Watch in #Nintendo64’s GoldenEye 007, coming 1/27 on #NintendoSwitch for #NintendoSwitchOnline + Expansion Pack members. 🎶 pic.twitter.com/8nSobxuR6b
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) January 25, 2023
Just a few hours after the announcement, Nintendo released what may be the most recognisable piece of music from the game: the Q Watch theme by famed Rare composer Grant Kirkhope. It still completely rules, but when we gave it a listen (along with ResetEra users), we discovered something was lacking…
Did you observe it? The ‘gong’ noise? It is not present! In the event that you are unfamiliar with the music, this is how it should sound.
Okay, we haven’t gotten our hands on the game yet, so we can’t confirm whether it’s missing in the NSO release or only in this footage. Still, we are concerned about losing what was likely one of the most defining sounds of our childhoods.
Many feel that may be an issue with the emulation if it is absent from the complete game. Previous NSO releases, such as Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Paper Mario, featured flaws that were unique to their NSO-emulated versions, such as missing fog or too-fast menus. If this issue is there, we’re optimistic that Nintendo will be able to repair it, given their track record of fixing similar issues.
The ‘gong’ sound is not only an iconic element of the N64 game GoldenEye 007; it is also a significant component of the film’s music and something of a signature for French composer Éric Serra. Serra composed the score for the 1995 James Bond film, but the renowned sound effect can also be heard in Luc Besson’s Léon: The Professional in songs such as ‘The Game Is Over’ and ‘What’s Happening Out There?’
A few years ago, Grant Kirkhope revealed how he recreated the’sonar’-type sound after being asked for years, and @RareLtd featured fellow composer Robin Beanland revealing its origin:
— Grant Kirkhope (@grantkirkhope) January 9, 2020
Hopefully, this is simply a little hiccup in the pre-release clip that Nintendo posted, but we’ll soon find out. Additionally, we do not know if the same issue will be present in the Xbox version, which will also be released tomorrow; nevertheless, we will keep an eye and ear out just in case.