Yuji Naka Apparently Confirms Michael Jackson Helped Compose Sonic 3 Soundtrack [Update]

Update 6/23/09:58 PM PT: Yuji Naka has somewhat backed down his claims that Michael Jackson is somehow involved with the music in Sonic 3. Despite long-held rumors and apparent confirmation that Jackson is at least somewhat involved in the confusing saga of Sonic 3’s soundtrack, Naka clarified that his tweets were “misunderstood.”

“I feel like I’m often misunderstood, probably because I don’t speak English and use a translation tool. Sorry,” Naka writes.

This is related to an earlier Tweet where Naka seemingly links the music from Sonic 3 to Michael Jackson through a tribute that Sega Tweeted paid to the pop star. We’ll just have to take this rumor back to the vaults of gaming history’s greatest untold stories.

Original story: Former Sega programmer Yuji Naka seems to have confirmed that Michael Jackson did indeed work on the original Sonic the Hedgehog 3 soundtrack, which could explain why it’s no longer being used in new reissues of the game.

On Twitter, Yuji Naka reacted to the fact that the soundtrack of Sonic 3 in the Sonic Origins collection has changed† He continued with, “Oh my god, the music for Sonic 3 has changed, even though Sega Official uses Michael Jackson’s music.”

Naga then goes on to clarify that he’s referencing a TikTok video from Sega in which the company uses the star’s song to celebrate Sonic’s 31st birthday† However, this doesn’t seem to negate its previous implications about Sonic 3’s soundtrack.

Earlier this week, Sonic social media manager Katie Chrzanowski confirmed that the original soundtrack for the game would not be included in the new collection of classic games. It has long been speculated that pop star Michael Jackson worked on the original soundtrack because of its similarities to his greatest songs such as Smooth Criminal, Stranger in Moscow and Jam.

Instead, the soundtrack in Sonic 3 for Origins is adapted from the Prototype from 1993 discovered in November 2019† fans were not really happy with the results

Sonic Origins launches on June 23 for Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

George Yang is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @yinyangfooey

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