Square Enix continues to emotionally devastate us all by making a sizeable chunk of its music library available online through its official YouTube Music channel. I’m delighted, thrilled, over the moon, etc., about most of it, but absolutely crushed I still cannot stream the Einhander OST in any official capacity. For now, though, I’ll settle for the thousands of others songs.
Over the week, the Square Enix account added entire musical collections from the original mainline Final Fantasy games, plus a few special arrangement albums like the Journeys Final Fantasy XIV collection. Plenty of those uploads were available on Spotify already, but it’s nice for those of us who don’t use the service and need one more place to hear Neath Dark Waters.
There’s also not-Final Fantasy albums, including plenty of Square’s best tracks. Even if you’ve never played Chrono Trigger and have no emotional connection to one of the greatest RPGs in existence, the 2019 arrangement album still rules and remains something you should give a shot. Schala’s Theme is a gift, one I can now link without fear of a DMCA takedown.
There are plenty of other goodies, too—thousands of songs spanning series like NieR, Mana, and SaGa. When comparing what the publisher has up on Spotify and YouTube, it looks like there’s very little not available through both, but I did notice the NieR tribute album that was taken out of my old Spotify playlist is up on YouTube. The album,-echo-, has some pretty wild arrangements from Replicant. The Emil and Kainé tracks hurt in the best ways, but the whole thing is worth a listen for a change.
Unfortunately, Square’s library is still locked in some regions. We’re accessing it from the US side, but some folks responding to their Twitter announcement shared YouTube’s frustrating “this isn’t available in your country” error message.
I often clear out my YouTube playlists to remove all of the “this video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by X Company” listings. Recently, that was some Nintendo bullshit, but hopefully, more companies take note, and Square Enix keeps it up. Plenty of soundtracks are no longer available through CD prints or even officially distributed digital formats, so demands for listening through a legal avenue get a little tough to abide by when there’s no legal avenue to begin with.
I don’t know anyone who could afford thousands of songs at full price, so I’ll say good on Square here for making these things available and giving us another way to preserve classics. I am, however, humbly requesting you hear my plea to upload the Einhander soundtrack. I’d link y’all to my favorite song, but it may wind up with a takedown notice one day.