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Sonic Creator Confirms Michael Jackson Wrote Music for Sonic 3 Soundtrack

The news came in a series of tweets celebrating the character's 31st anniversary

Michael Jackson Sonic 3 the Hedgehog Soundtrack
Michael Jackson (photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage) and Sonic the Hedgehog 3 box art
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    The long-rumored legend that Michael Jackson composed music for the soundtrack to the 1994 Sega game Sonic the Hedgehog 3 has been settled once and for all by none other than the creator of Sonic, Yuji Naka. The video game series’ original lead programmer confirmed the news in a sequence of tweets celebrating the 31st anniversary of the first installment’s debut.

    The reveal seems to have been directly prompted by the arrival of Sonic Origins, a remastered compilation of the first four Sonic games, which was released on the June 23rd anniversary. Naka took to Twitter to ask “Does Sonic Origins Sonic 3 have a different song?” then explained his initial confusion with the re-release’s notable discrepancy: “Oh my god, the music for Sonic 3 has changed, even though Sega Official uses Michael Jackson’s music.”

    Naka first fueled speculation with a tweet wishing his career-defining character a “Happy 31st Birthday,” while seeming to be confused by a video posted on Sega’s official TikTok account showing a life-size Sonic mascot miming to “Billie Jean” ad-libs, sharing: “SEGA Official is playing Michael Jackson’s song on Sonic. I’m surprised. Is it a sign?” Later, he circled back to his post on the TikTok video to use as further evidence of the collaboration, saying: “SEGA Official uses Michael Jackson’s music. means this.”

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    In an apparent gesture of verification, the Sonic creator also posted an aerial photo of Jackson’s Neverland Ranch with the caption: “This is a picture taken by me with my camera when we went to his house in his helicopter. It’s pretty faded. I miss it.”

    The Sonic Origins remaster of Sonic 3 was already confirmed via Eurogamer to not include Jackson’s alleged contributions, opting for a new arrangement by composer Jun Senoue. The origins of the rumor date back to the game’s initial release, when parts of the score sounded unmistakably similar to songs by the King of Pop including “Smooth Criminal” and “Black or White.” For comparison, check out the video after the jump.

    Elsewhere in the Sonic-verse, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 dropped in April with Idris Elba voicing Knuckles, and Paramount has announced both Sonic 3 and a live-action Knuckles spin-off.

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