About a year ago, I was browsing through the iTunes library looking for some awesome and nostalgic video game music to get me through the year. I eventually made my way to Square Enix’s collection deciding that, after making my way for the umpteenth time through the OSTs for both Final Fantasy VII and FFVIII plus their spin-off collections (i.e. piano collections, etc.), it was high time I pick up the OST to FFIX. I found it easily enough, but alas, the full album was outside of my budget. I couldn’t bring myself to pick the watered-down American version of the album, I wanted the full Japanese collection.
I resolved to hold off on the music until I had some more iTunes credit. At the time, I was winning iTunes gift cards with some regularity through various competitions at work so I figured it would not be too long a wait. My patience paid off because not a week later I was awarded with another $15 in iTunes credit. I launched the iTunes app up and lazily typed “final fantasy” into the search field. I was confused when my search produced a list including an album by some dude called He Poos Clouds and other (in the spirit of the aforementioned) craptacular covers of the music I loved, but the official albums had vanished.
My confusion turned to horror and then to irritation as I repeatedly modified my search without success. I began to wonder my search from just a few days earlier had been hallucinatory, if I had ever found the music at all. Actually purchasing the album became secondary to me, I needed to find out what happened to preserve my sanity. I made my way Square Enix’s official site and found that while there was no word on the sudden disappearance of the albums from iTunes, they had setup their own official page for distributing the music. That page, however, seemed like a work-in-progress and while they listed the albums as available for purchase, clicking one directed me to iTunes which, sure enough, produced an error page.
I reported the error to Square Enix via email as I figured they’d be concerned about their site not functioning properly and a few days later I received a reply that read something along the lines of “Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We’ll get that resolved.”
In the meantime, I searched Google for discussions regarding the vanishing music and found scarcely anything at all about it. A handful of other individuals had apparently noticed Final Fantasy’s absence from iTunes, but no one knew the circumstances surrounding it and most were writing it off as a copyright dispute. At long last, I came to terms with not purchasing the FFIX OST and scratched my musical itch through YouTube. Every once in a while, I would check the iTunes store to see if it had reappeared, but days turned into weeks and then to months.
Well today, as I was checking out MarquisofElmdoor’s YouTube channel, I discovered that the Square Enix soundtracks have at last returned to iTunes. My iTunes credit is long since spent and I don’t amass it in the same way that I once did, but it’s nice to know that a part of the world, even one as small as this, is right again.