Yuji Naka Confirms Michael Jackson Wrote Music For Sonic The Hedgehog 3 [Update]

Update: in a next one tweet, Yuji Naka tried to clarify what he meant, noting that he uses a translation tool to post in English, which he doesn’t speak. In this (also translated) tweet, he noted, “I feel like I’m being misunderstood a lot.” He also pointed to an official Sega TikTok video, featuring Sonic and a song by Michael Jackson. As such, it appears he wasn’t trying to confirm Jackson’s involvement with the Sonic 3 soundtrack, though he isn’t denying the long-running rumor either. So for now it looks like this will remain a rumor.

Original story: The involvement of the late Michael Jackson in the creation of the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 soundtrack has been a long-running rumor in gaming circles, and one that Sega’s blue blur co-creator has confirmed. With the release of Sonic Origins, a compilation of classic Sonic games for modern platforms, veteran game developer Yuji Naka noticed that the original soundtrack of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 was missing from the game.

“Oh my god, the music for Sonic 3 has changed, even though Sega Official uses Michael Jackson’s music,” Naka tweeted

Naka also tweeted a photo taken from Jackson’s home when the Sonic 3 team visited the estate:

According to creative officer Takashi Iizuka, new songs arranged by composer Jun Senoue have replaced Sonic 3’s soundtrack, as much of the game’s original score was left in an unusable state.

“If we go back and try to recreate all these games from over 30 years ago, you get a lot of old data that’s not really usable,” Iizuka told Eurogamer† “And music was one of those things — we had to dig up the old DAT tapes to get the music that was on all these games, and Jun Senoue went in and had to recreate the music they could recreate in a modern format. on Sonic 3 and Knuckles as a finished product.”

In 1993, it was alleged that Sega had terminated its partnership with Jackson after allegations of child abuse came to light, although it was rumored that the content he had worked on remained in the original version of the game. In the years after Sonic 3 shipped, Naka kept tight-lipped when the rumor was brought up, as in a 2009 interview with Sonic Stadium when he jokingly dodged questions from the site.

Past Sonic Origins, there are a few other games starring the Sega mascot that you can expect in the future. Sonic Frontiers gives the hedgehog a huge “open zone” to race through and recently showed more of his reconnaissance and fast fight by recent video deep dives.

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