The decades old rumor/worst kept secret has finally been officially confirmed.
Michael Jackson's Moonwalker

Sonic the Hedgehog creator Yuji Naka took to Twitter to officially confirm a rumor that has been kicking around for literal decades now: Michael Jackson composed some of the music for the 1994 release of Sonic the Hedgehog 3. It makes a lot more sense now as to why some of the Sonic 3 tracks in the recently released Sonic Origins package had to be changed.

It's long been a theory that Jackson created music for Sonic 3 but it was seemingly never confirmed before now. Jackson and Sega worked together prior to Sonic 3 on games such as Michael Jackson's Moonwalker and Space Channel 5. Jackson was allegedly hired to compose music for Sonic 3's development but left once the child abuse allegations started to circulate in 1993. Jackson was never credited in the game or anywhere else.

Jackson's composer and musical director Brad Buxer said back in 2009 that Jackson was uncredited because "he was not happy with the resulting sound coming out of the console." That statement was certainly open to some interpretations. Sure, that could be taken to mean that Jackson's music was scrapped after this, or what he had created was still used in some capacity. It was just never really made crystal clear until now.

After confirming that Michael Jackson's music was used in Sonic 3, Naka then tweeted out a photo taken while flying in Jackson's helicopter during a visit to see Jackson at his home.

Tracks that have been replaced for Sonic 3 within Sonic Origins include three different Zones: Carnival Night Zone, Ice Cap Zone, and Launch Base. These tracks are now almost completely different in the Sonic Origins release from the original sounds featured in the 1994 version. Replacing Jackson's tracks in Origins are some remixed versions of the songs originally used in earlier Sonic 3 prototypes.

A comparison of the old (Jackson) tracks and the new ones in Sonic Origins can be heard in the GameXplain video below. It's a damn shame too, because the 94's Ice Cap Zone track was a certified banger.

(Image courtesy of Retro Review)