FF is now famous for its musical scores, and Nobuo Uematsu, the main composer for the series, is often hailed as little short of a genius. This game, despite being on the NES, does have the firepower to defend itself. Relatively speaking, of course. Some of the tracks are genuinely catchy, but if you’re not a big fan of MIDIs, this may very well be lost on you to the point of finding the tinny noises your machine emits irritating after a while. All I can say to help is, try to imagine the same melodies with proper instruments, or at least a decent synth. This is one area in which the game benefited a LOT from its re-releases, since they improved the quality of the music, as well as making some additions, such as the wonderfully dynamic boss themes for the Elemental Fiends (especially the one for Marilith and Tiamat, despite its rather uninspiring title of “Boss Battle B”).
My favourite pieces include the lilting “Matoya’s Cave”, the melancholy of “Temple of Fiends”/”Chaos’ Temple” (possibly my favourite track in the game), the industrial sonorities of “Floating Castle”/”Flying Fortress”, the ominous aura of “Underwater Temple”…and the dirge-like pomp of “Dead Music”, the rather uninspired name for the Game Over tune. Also, anyone who’s played FFIX before is sure to recognise the “Gurgu Volcano” theme. Veteran FF players might also experience a twang of nostalgia from hearing the “Opening Theme/Prologue” for the very first time when the party crosses the bridge from Corneria/Cornelia. There are some less successful tracks, of course, like the eponymous dungeon theme, which reminds me of a bunch of crawling insects, or “Battle Scene”, the random battle theme, which is overly strident. However, the good distinctly outweighs the bad.