Yuji Naka confirms that Michael Jackson wrote the music for Sonic The Hedgehog 3 [Update]

Update: In a later tweet, Yuji Naka tried to clarify what he meant, noting that he is using a translation tool to post in English, which he doesn’t speak. In this tweet (also translated), he remarked: “I feel a lot that I am being misunderstood.” He also pointed to an official Sega TikTok video, which features Sonic and a Michael Jackson song. As such, it appears that he wasn’t attempting to confirm Jackson’s involvement in the Sonic 3 soundtrack, although he doesn’t deny the longtime rumor. So, for now, it looks like this will remain a rumor.

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

“Oh my god, Sonic 3’s music 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, the new tracks arranged by composer Jun Senoue replaced the Sonic 3 soundtrack as much of the game’s original soundtrack remained unusable.

“When we go back and try to recreate all these games from over 30 years ago, you get a lot of old data that isn’t really usable,” Iizuka told Eurogamer. “And the music was one of those things: we had to dig out the old DAT tapes to get the music that was on all of these games, and Jun Senoue came in and had to recreate in a modern format the music they could put on Sonic 3 and Knuckles as a final product. “

In 1993, it was alleged that Sega had canceled the collaboration with Jackson after allegations of child abuse had come to light, although the content he had worked on was said to have remained in the original version of the game. In the years following the release of Sonic 3, Naka gasped every time the voice was raised, such as in a 2009 interview with Sonic Stadium when he jokingly dodged questions from the site.

In addition to Sonic Origins, there are a few other games starring the Sega mascot that you can look forward to in the future. Sonic Frontiers offers the hedgehog a vast “open zone” to run into and has recently shown more of his exploration and quick combat through recent deep dive videos.

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