Sonic Origins, a compilation of four classic Sonic the Hedgehog games, came out today, giving Sega fans the chance to relive the 16-bit era of the mascot. To be an authentic experiencewith one exception: some of the music that many Sonic the hedgehog 3 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles players who played on the Sega Genesis in the 90s is not included in the new collection. Instead, Sega alternated in several tracks that are a combination of old and new work.
That’s because some songs from Sonic the hedgehog 3, as originally released, were composed by the late vocalist Michael Jackson and keyboardist Brad Buxer. According to Buxer, Jackson was not happy with Sega’s performance of his songs and subsequent releases of Sonic the hedgehog 3 including another set of music tracks. Sega himself has never officially confirmed details of Jackson’s involvement in the Genesis game (he is not officially credited in any version of the game), leading to speculation that sonic 3‘s music rights are loaded.
But on Thursday, the former Sonic team led Yuji Naka — who was the lead programmer on Sonic the hedgehog 3 – frankly confirmed on Twitter that Jackson contributed music to the game. It’s a long-standing rumor and was suggested by other former Sega developers in the past, but Naka would be able to know.
Oh my god, the music for Sonic 3 has changed, even though SEGA Official uses Michael Jackson’s music.
— Yuji Naka / 裕司 (@nakayuji) June 23, 2022
Reissues of Sonic the hedgehog 3 on other platforms and in other compilations they have exchanged music tracks from a prototype version of the game. But for Sonic OriginsSega took it a step further and recruited longtime Sonic the Hedgehog composer Jun Senoue to modify sonic 3‘s original prototype music for the collection, according to Sonic social media manager Katie Chrzanowski.
“Although unfortunately we can’t use all the original sounds from the Sega Genesis version of the game, Jun Senoue has worked very hard to adapt the original music composed in 1993 for Sonic Origins† Chrzanowski said in a video Q&A† “He’s gone so far as to reproduce it with the same sound chip from the Sega Genesis and use his own digital audio tape collection to make this as faithful as possible to the originals.”
As seen and heard in the excellent video below from GameXplainthe Jackson-Buxer tracks have been removed and replaced with Senoue’s recreated tracks.
It’s certainly a creative solution to a problem that has vexed Sega and Sonic fans for decades, and probably the most authentic way to tackle something that was something of an urban legend. But that doesn’t mean Sonic the Hedgehog fans are happy about it; response to the updated prototype music has been generally negative†
Sonic Origins is available now for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X. The collection includes the original Sonic the hedgehogas well as sequel sonic 2† Sonic 3 & Knucklesand Sonic CD†