In the Sonic Internet community, there have been few stories that have captured the imagination like the tale of Sonic the Hedgehog 3‘s music. With a feel unique from the previous two entries in the series, the discussion of just who composed what have filled untold pages of conversation for well over a decade.
The reason behind that infatuation? Michael Jackson, one of the biggest pop stars of all time. A man who not only defined a decade with the release of Thriller, but also unknowingly inspired the belt buckle of Sonic’s shoes. The idea that a musical icon that large was connected to the gaming sensation of the 90’s in any way was incredibly tantalizing. It wouldn’t be long before audio files, YouTube videos, and snippets of interviews would fill in the gaps. From Qjimbo to GameTrailers, everyone sought to find the answer to what seemed the impossible – confirmation that the King of Pop had been involved in the soundtrack of Sonic 3 at some point, as SEGA’s official line to this day has been to deny or leave no comment.
While it has been almost certainly determined that Michael Jackson was not only involved but that some of his contributions made it to the cartridge, the Huffington Post’s Test Kitchen released today a brand new look at the entire Sonic 3 Jackson story. From what happened behind the scenes to the fandom’s unending interest in the truth, “The Michael Jackson Video Game Conspiracy” by Todd Van Luling covers it all.
With new interviews from Roger Hector, Doug Grigsby III, Brad Buxer, Cirocco Jones and Matt Forger, to comments from Ben Mallison and Steven Nipper that illuminate the community’s part in the story, the article is definitely worth a read for those with even a passing interest in the subject matter.
The only question I’m left with is…who has ever called a Sonic fan a “Blue?”
As we near 25 years of Sonic the Hedgehog, I wanted to kick off a video series looking back at an aspect of the franchise that has always been a favorite of mine – food promotions! From McDonald’s to Topps to Carl’s Jr and beyond, SEGA has teamed their flagship franchise with some of the greatest, and at times weirdest, food companies. In this first installment, I take a look back at the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 McDonald’s Happy Meal promotion which ran worldwide in 1994 and 1995. Everything from the commercials to the in-store displays is covered, and I even clear up some misconceptions about that whole Tails recall situation and figure out just what that yellow Tails ball was. Special thanks to The Gagaman for additional information.
On YouTube, Fervor Records has posted a few unreleased music tracks on December 11th, 2009 from the band “The Jetzons.” One track, named “Hard Times” shares a more than vague resemblance to the theme of Ice Cap Zone. In fact, it may as well be exactly the same thing. What is the cause of this? The keyboardist of the group, Brad Buxer would work on the title, along with Michael Jackson as he confirmed in this interview conducted in the same year. While he does state he is not sure what material the developers used in the game, turns out to be remnants of the unreleased song linked above. You can listen to the song side by side to Ice Cap thanks to a video provided by staff member Skyler here.
This piece of information will no doubt raise additional questions about who exactly did what with the music to Sonic 3, however this evidence adds to the ever growing mystery of the involvement of the two pop stars.
Special thanks also goes to staff member GeneHF for pointing out this information.
Every once in a while, something that has been lost to the ages will creep up out of nowhere, be uploaded on YouTube and promptly ignored for weeks before someone goes “oh man, is that guy playing Sonic the Hedgehog 3 in a top hat?”
Sonic the Hedgehog has always been about the games. Say what you will about the comics, or the TV shows, or novels that feature tractors, but at the end of the day, Sonic the Hedgehog is a gaming franchise. While everything else can keep the icon in the public’s mind, SEGA has always been more concerned about how many units they can move than the plot of Sonic Underground. After all, that’s where they make their money. That’s where the state of the franchise is derived. That is what so many blogs and news sites focus on when they think “Sonic the Hedgehog.”
With Sonic’s 20th anniversary, there is going to be plenty of reflection on the franchise. I predict no less than fifty blog sites will put up “the top ten best Sonic games ever” that will feature the genesis games, Sonic CD, and Sonic Adventure in the top spots, with maybe the random “Sonic Advance” or “Sonic Triple Trouble” to break up the monotony. I know that, at least for me, I’m not going to sully the front page of this fine establishment with such a list. That is why I turn my attention for the moment on something that I am far too familiar with…the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog series.
It’s midnight. Crunch time. This is when you realize that the cholcolate you bought is actually six months old, the flowers are wilted, and your suit is still in the cleaners. That’s when you go to plan ‘B.’ You transform into Tom Brier and play the music from the Gumball Machine bonus stage in Sonic the Hedgehog 3:
Amy Rose’s dress is kinda like a flapper girl from the 1920’s anyway. So it works out a lot better than you might think! Besides, the music is pretty awesome anyway. It doesn’t get nearly as much love as it should. Even if it was used extensively in Sonic’s Schoolhouse.