Game Trailers Investigate Michael Jackson’s Involvement with Sonic 3

The age old debate of Michael Jackson’s involvement in the production of the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 soundtrack is nothing new; in fact, it’s something that has been fairly well documented, prominently by the Sonic community, over the last decade. In recent years however, those who were actually involved in the 1993 title have come forward to offer their version of events on the matter.

Game Trailers have produced a 15-minute video detailing the past findings, plus have a few more new interviews, including a video interview with Richard Hector, in which he goes into further detail on his statements made way back in 2005.

The verdict? Well, you will just have to watch!

Check out the video at

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Published by

Adam Tuff

With a decade under his belt, Adam is one of The Sonic Stadium's most seasoned writers, with interests in the music and merchandise of the Sonic the Hedgehog universe. Adam is the co-organiser for the Summer of Sonic convention.


  1. Something doesn’t add up here. Why would Michael Jackson brand the MoonWalker game with his name if he was so dissatisfied with the Genesis sound hardware? Other than that, this was great.

    1. That was a port of the arcade game. The arcade version has superior visuals and sound.

      Though if you ask me, I suspect it was a combination of the two ‘reasons’ though each of the sources have their own reasons for saying diffrent things.

      1. Oh, that makes sense. Thank you, and yes, it would be most logical for it to be a combination of the to reasons. There are so many possibilities though, the only way now to get the actual answer is to ask Michael Jackson himself, but that isn’t possible anymore. It’s a shame really. 🙁

        1. lol even then, imagine the moment “Hey michael, was your music removed because you didn’t like the quality… or because of the alligations?”

          I suspect that guys close to Sega will say ‘The alligations” but sources close to michael will say “hardware limitations.”

          My theory, MJ wasn’t that happy with how it sounded, because the Mega Drive didn’t have that great a sound chip inside it… but… I suspect once the alligations came out, Sega decided that they had to hide his inclusion from ‘it’s him’ to ‘not as obvious.’

  2. Whichever the reason, we, the fans, will always loose. One side suggests that our favorite gaming company abandoned one of our favorite artists out of concern for reputation, while another side suggests that our favorite artist left the project due to egotistical dissatisfaction with the current technology at the time. Either way, someone has been designed to look like the bad guy, and I never like those kind of conclusions.

    Still, if the second case is to be the final verdict, one thing doesn’t add up. If the emulator was what made that decision, why didn’t they try using the SEGA CD for emulating the music? It did a better job with Sonic CD in terms of porting recorded music, so if sound quality was what made Michael leave, why didn’t they try convincing him to come back with that? Maybe most of the game was already made with the Genesis in mind by that point, and maybe by then Michael had already left and the scandal had already destroyed any chance of him coming back. Still, if none of that was the case, why didn’t they try? I’d like to know that, because lately SEGA seems to have been sticking to a habit of making huge end decisions rather than trying to exhaust every possible alternative first (all of those layoffs for example). Cause if they did stick to keeping Michael, today they would be more popular than ever for paying tribute to a well missed icon of the 80’s and 90’s.

    1. I believe the SEGA CD was not owned by enough people in order for it to be a worthy device to play the next installment in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. People would have to go out of there way to buy an unsuccessful system, and most would not do so. Not to mention that 3-D consoles were right around the corner so SEGA had to drop the SEGA CD and make the best economic decision by keeping Sonic the Hedgehog 3 on the Mega-Drive no matter what.

      1. Well, either way, SEGA’s choices back then were questionable…wow, nothing much has changed, has it?

  3. Wait a movement did Michael Jackson die in 2009. Also I loved Michael Jackson to meet Sega to sit and have a drink of IceTea to talk Since 1993!

  4. Man, my mind is blown! Just when I thought they couldn’t go further talking about the whole deal, they went on and on, only to reveal more interesting facts and observations. I’m really surprised to hear what they had to say and it’s nice to know that I’ve been listening to Micheal’s amazing compositions this entire time.

  5. I think most of us suspected this conclusion from the get-go, though it is nice to hear quite a bit of confirmation on the subject. This is probably my favourite legends from childhood, and it’s good to know enough people still cared to look into it. After hearing a mashup way back in the day between Thriller and Marble Garden, I’d say it’s impossible to deny Jackson’s influence. Not that I’m complaining about the new tracks in S3&K-PC, mind you: those songs are awesome in their own right. But I think now the rumor is sated, at least until Jackson rises from his grave to say otherwise… and maybe dance a bit too.
    Here’s hoping that we get a “Jackson’s Demo Reel” for Sonic’s 30th to match Masa’s Demo Reel for the 20th!

  6. This video doesn’t prove anything they just got 2 conflicting explanations but chose to side with the one they felt was true, until Sega comes out and confirms MJ had material in the final version i stand to say its still a rumor , this should not have been confirmed as a fact.

    1. Its about as fact as the reason we can’t breathe in water. Its pretty obvious, its not like one of those coincidences where 2 tracks go well when mixed/played together or where 2 pieces of music sound similar, the music in the game wasn’t composed by him but they were very clearly based off of his work. He did work with SEGA, but I believe it was another guy(forget name)who M.J. worked with that stayed and composed the music.

  7. I wish Sega had never sought MJ in the first place, I hate all of the themes he composed for Sonic 3. I can’t stand Knuckles’ Sonic 3 theme or the BMGs of Carnival Night, Launch Base, or yes, even IceCap, which I can’t freaking understand why everybody loves so much. Those music themes are a really out of place stain in a game with an otherwise fantastic soundtrack; I can’t think of a single bad theme in S3&K that wasn’t composed by him. And no, I’m not biased or a MJ hater; I hated them before I even knew who they were composed by. Maybe that’s why MJ disliked the Genesis’ sound chip and wanted his name taken off Sonic 3’s credits; because he felt like I do and agreed that his music sounds awful on the Genesis. The themes that replaced them in the PC version sounded much better to me despite using MIDI music, I wish Sega had used them in later re-releases and ports of S3&K.

    1. I disagree, the replacement tracks in the PC version are Terri-bad in my honest opinion and sound very unfitting. The actual tracks are not terrible, you just don’t like them.

      While not actually biased(going off your word)this is a really single-minded view. You don’t get why people love them, I don’t get why people say the replacement tracks sound more fitting when they don’t. Its a strange thing, those opinions are.

  8. Even though this was already proven long ago, it’s surely nice to hear confirmation outside the Sonic fan base. Although I will say I do support the claim that MJ left half way through development and the soundtrack of S3&K makes it sound obvious. The difference in music styles between Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles are night and day.

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