GoldenEye 007 Box
Image: Damien McFerran / Nintendo Life

Update #2 [Fri 27th Jan, 2023 02:00 GMT]: GoldenEye 007 is now live on the Nintendo Switch Online service and it seems there's no need to worry. Sound the gong — everything sounds as it should!

Update [Thu 26th Jan, 2023 21:05 GMT]: Digital Foundry’s John Linneman has stressed that while he "doesn't know" the exact details, as speculated elsewhere, this could be down to emulation issues.

"N64 doesn't have an actual sound chip so everything is done in software... So I suppose the emulator simply isn't emulating the sound chip correctly. Older versions of N64 emulators had this issue in the past."

So, as many suspected, it sounds like this is a potential emulator issue. Again, we want to stress that, at the time of writing this, the sound effect is only missing in the video and we won't know if the iconic sound is missing from the Switch version until it drops on NSO tomorrow.

Former Rare composer Graeme Norgate has also pointed out the missing sounds in the clip on Twitter, saying "hope this isn't the final version" while tagging Kirkhope.

Original article [Thu 26th Jan, 2023 18:15 GMT]: Yesterday, Nintendo decided to drop a bombshell on us and announce that GoldenEye 007 is, at last, coming to Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscribers this Friday, 27th January. What a treat! We've been waiting for this news since Nintendo revealed it would be coming to the service eventually.

Just a couple of hours after the announcement, Nintendo shared what might just be one of the most iconic pieces of music from the game — the Q Watch music by legendary Rare composer Grant Kirkhope. It still absolutely rules, but when we had a listen, we (and users on ResetEra) noticed something was missing...

Did you notice it? The 'gong' noise? It's not there! *gasp* In case you're not familiar with the music, this is what it should sound like.

Okay, so we haven't got our hands on the game yet, so we can't verify if it's simply missing in NSO release or if it's just missing in this clip. Still, we're worried about losing what is probably one of the defining sound effects of many of our childhoods.

Many suspect that, if it is missing in the full game, it could be an emulation issue. Previous NSO releases such as Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Paper Mario have had issues unique to their NSO-emulated versions such as missing fog or menus going too fast. Nintendo has been good about patching these problems out, so if it is present, we're hopeful they'll also be able to fix this.

The 'gong' sound is not just an iconic part of GoldenEye 007 on N64 though — it's a big part of the movie's soundtrack too and something of a trademark for French composer Éric Serra. Serra composed the score for the 1995 Bond movie, but you can also hear the famous sound effect in Luc Besson's Léon: The Professional in tracks such as 'The Game Is Over' and 'What's Happening out There?'.

A few years back, Grant Kirkhope shared how he managed to recreate what he calls the 'sonar'-type sound after years of being asked, and @RareLtd showcased fellow composer Robin Beanland demonstrating its genesis:

Hopefully, this is all just a little stumble in the pre-release clip Nintendo shared, but we'll find out soon enough. We also don't know if the same issue will be present in the Xbox version, which also releases tomorrow, but we'll be keeping an eye ear out just in case.

Did you notice the missing sound effects? Do you think it'll be present in the NSO version when it releases tomorrow? Let us know!