It’s a conspiracy as old as time… or as old as 1994, anyway. For years, internet theorists and videogame aficionados have argued whether or not the late pop legend Michael Jackson had a hand in composing the music for SEGA’s Sonic The Hedgehog 3, and now we may finally have an answer.
A little context for the uninitiated: Jackson got in touch with SEGA back in the early ’90s to express his love of the Sonic franchise (not something anyone is in a hurry to do these days) and the company invited him to visit their office.
At this point, SEGA had already worked with Jackson on the bizarre yet wonderful Moonwalker games, and after his trip to the office, Jacko was provided with a demo of Sonic 3 and asked to compose some music for it.
The reason for the uncertainty and controversy springs from the fact that Jackson was never actually credited for any kind of contribution to Sonic 3. Theories around this include Jackson not being happy with the compressed sound of the finished product, and SEGA wanting to distance themselves from him in light of the child abuse allegations.
In a new story from Huffington Post, the author reaffirms the claim that Michael Jackson did indeed make a musical contribution to Sonic 3, and states that he was indeed uncredited because he was unhappy with the final version.
Three of the game’s credited composers, Brad Buxer, Doug Grigsby and Cirocco Jones have now all confirmed the rumours.
Brad Buxter said:
I was working with Michael on the Dangerous album and he told me he was going to be doing the Sonic the Hedgehog soundtrack for Sonic 3. He asked me if I would help him with it.
So that’s three people who worked directly on the game saying Jackson was involved. Still need more? Fine. Roger Hector, who was in charge of Sonic 3’s development team confirmed that after his visit to SEGA’s offices, Jackson took the demo straight away and started making music soon after.
Roger Hector Said:
He took it from there and started making music. I was really impressed with how much of a signature Michael Jackson sound there was in this, and yet, it was all new.
There you have it then. Four people directly involved with Sonic The Hedgehog 3 have all confirmed Michael Jackson did indeed make a musical contribution. However, since SEGA continue to deny he had any involvement in the project, we may never know exactly what went down.
Hopefully we can all finally moonwalk away from this theory, then.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.