Sonic 3 Music Was Made By Michael Jackson, Sonic Creator Yuji Naka Confirms

Sonic 3 Music Was Made By Michael Jackson, Sonic Creator Yuji Naka Confirms

Richard Walker

Ever since it first released for the SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis in 1994, it's been a well-worn rumour that Michael Jackson contributed music to Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and it seems with the release of Sonic Origins, it might be clearer which tunes he was responsible for.

Commenting on the music that's been replaced in Sonic Origins' version of Sonic 3, Yuji Naka confirmed that the long-held rumour that Michael Jackson composed music for the game, is, in fact, entirely true.

"Does Sonic Origins Sonic 3 have a different song?", Naka tweeted. "Oh my god, the music for Sonic 3 has changed, even though SEGA Official uses Michael Jackson's music."

Earlier this month, SEGA confirmed that some music from Sonic 3 would be replaced for Sonic Origins, with Sonic Social Media Manager Katie Chrzanowski stating the following: “We can't use all of the original sounds [from S3&K],” she said. “Jun Senoue has been working really hard to adapt the original music that was composed in 1993 for Origins.”

Apparently, at the time, Jackson wasn't satisfied with how his music sounded on the Mega Drive/Genesis MIDI sound chip, and in light of child molestation allegations, SEGA has also been keen to distant itself from the artist. Hence why Sonic Origins' version of Sonic 3 now includes new music for its Carnival, Ice Cap, and Launch Base Zones, as well as the Knuckles intro cue and mid-boss music created by Jackson. As it happens, some of the old data was also in an unusable state.

“When we're going back and trying to recreate all these games from 30 plus years ago, you get a lot of old data that's not really usable,” Creative Officer Takashi Iizuka explained to Eurogamer. "And music was one of those things - we had to dig up the old DAT tapes in order to get the music that was on all these games, and Jun Senoue went in and had to recreate in a modern format the music that they could put on to Sonic 3 and Knuckles as a final product."

So there you have it. Sonic Origins is out now for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC.

  • I mean, allegations aside, the music MJ made for Sonic 3 is excellent. The replacement tracks just don't hit the same. Could just be nostalgia talking, but man.
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