Sonic was inspired by Michael Jackson

NatureCriminal7896

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Inspiration can come from anywhere, and video game characters are no exception. For instance, a disgruntled landlord and the classic cartoon character Popeye led to the creation of Super Mario. Creativity is limitless, and ideas can spring up from the unlikeliest of sources. That's clear from Zelda Fitzgerald being the inspiration for Zelda's name in the Legend of Zelda franchise. Who would've thought that a writer and artist from the 20s would go on to influence a major video game?

This creativity isn't just limited to Nintendo characters, either. So what about Sega's own Sonic the Hedgehog? It's obvious where his base character comes from: he is literally a hedgehog. But what about those iconic sneakers? Who looked at an anthropomorphic hedgehog and said, "Yes, I'll put sneakers on him." What about his signature blue, red, and white color scheme? Incidentally, Sonic was influenced by none other than the King of Pop.

Sonic was inspired by Michael Jackson

Sonic designers Naoto Ohshima, Yuji Naka, and Hirozaku Yasuhara set out to make Sonic cool. Sega "wanted him to be a '90s icon, [and] his design was intended to embody the spirit of 1991 with a rebellious streak and a cool attitude." Because of this, the team took inspiration from two cool people, Michael Jackson and Madonna, as well as future U.S. President Bill Clinton. According to Newsweek, Clinton had a "'get it done' attitude which appealed to Sega designers who were attempting to capture American culture in a single character."

Even so, Michael Jackson's influence can be seen on Sonic at all times: Sonic's sneakers were inspired by the color scheme of one of Jackson's albums. Naoto Oshima said as much in a 2009 interview when he was asked about Sonic's sneakers, stating, "His shoes were inspired by Michael Jackson's Bad which contrasted heavily between white and red."

He went on to add, "I also thought that red went well for a character who can run really fast, when his legs are spinning."

Michael Jackson's musical influence

Interestingly, although Jackson was an inspiration for Sonic, Sega's relationship with the singer did not continue for long. According to numerous rumors, Michael Jackson initially provided music for Sonic the Hedgehog 3. The theory goes that Jackson's tracks were discarded by Sega following the emergence of Jackson's many scandals in the early '90s. But, there are some people who believe the music Jackson created was still used, although Jackson went uncredited.

Although Sega denies working with Jackson, Jackson's collaborator Brad Buxer also agrees with Jones that Sonic the Hedgehog 3 does indeed include Jackson's music. Apparently, the Ice Cap Zone theme closely resembles an unreleased Michael Jackson song titled "Hard Times." Also, in an interview with French publication Black & White, Buxer straight-up said, "Yes, Michael Jackson worked on Sonic 3." Additionally, the Sonic 3 end credits allegedly feature an instrumental version of Jackson's song, "Stranger in Moscow."

https://www.looper.com/300722/the-iconic-singer-who-was-the-inspiration-behind-sonic-the-hedgehog/
 

Electro

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Although Sega denies working with Jackson, Jackson's collaborator Brad Buxer also agrees with Jones that Sonic the Hedgehog 3 does indeed include Jackson's music. Apparently, the Ice Cap Zone theme closely resembles an unreleased Michael Jackson song titled "Hard Times."


hmm...
 

analogue

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The bassline from Ice Cap Zone Act 1 sounds like Smooth Criminal to me.
 

Sophia2023

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Sonic 3 music was originally created by MJ, but he left the project due to conflicts and differences.
 

Electro

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Not an unreleased MJ song. A previously unreleased Jetzons song.

Yes, only Brad Buxer was involved with this song, not Michael.

"On December 11, 2009, independent record label Fervor Records released several previously unreleased Jetzons songs. One song, "Hard Times", closely resembles the theme for the level "Ice Cap Zone" in the 1994 video game Sonic the Hedgehog 3, for which Buxer composed music." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jetzons

 
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mj_frenzy

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NatureCriminal7896;4314017 said:
Interestingly, although Jackson was an inspiration for Sonic, Sega's relationship with the singer did not continue for long. According to numerous rumors, Michael Jackson initially provided music for Sonic the Hedgehog 3. The theory goes that Jackson's tracks were discarded by Sega following the emergence of Jackson's many scandals in the early '90s. But, there are some people who believe the music Jackson created was still used, although Jackson went uncredited.

https://www.looper.com/300722/the-iconic-singer-who-was-the-inspiration-behind-sonic-the-hedgehog/

There are at least two other theories about that.

Michael Jackson was reportedly unhappy with the sound quality of his music that he provided for the Sonic 3 game when his music was compressed (music has always to be compressed when it is inserted into a video game).

As a result, ha changed his mind and he decided to remove his music and also any reference to his name from the game.

According to the second theory, Michael Jackson had to remove his music from the Sonic 3 game (and also any reference to his name again) because of contractual obligations and conflicts that involved music for a 1991 episode of The Simpsons animated sitcom.

It appears that the theory that Sega discarded his music from the Sonic 3 game due to his many scandals in the early '90s is the true one because many Michael Jackson’s deals and ventures were cancelled during that period because of those scandals.
 

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A prototype of Sonic 3 was actually released recently, and the music for the rumoured "mj music" stages is the pc version music, which means that it was created before sonic 3 was released. Can't know for sure but this could imply that the pc version music that later replaced the rumoured mj tracks was actually the original music for the game before MJ's stuff was implemented.
 

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Sonic 3 music was originally created by MJ, but he left the project due to conflicts and differences.

In actuality according to Brad Buxer and the anonymous source who worked Sonic 3 development, that Michael left the Sonic 3 project due to his dissatisfaction with how his tracks sounded in the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive console. Pop Fiction from GameTrailer made their investigation on the matter.

 

mj_frenzy

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PoP;4314233 said:
In actuality according to Brad Buxer and the anonymous source who worked Sonic 3 development, that Michael left the Sonic 3 project due to his dissatisfaction with how his tracks sounded in the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive console. Pop Fiction from GameTrailer made their investigation on the matter.

[video=youtube;EFgnUa1v8uA]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFgnUa1v8uA[/video]

Roger Hector (Sega’s Technical Director at the time) stated officially two times, in 2005 and in 2013, that Michael Jackson’s music was removed from the Sonic 3 video game because of his scandals at that time.

Apparently, Sega thought that the nature of his scandals (child sexual abuse allegations against the singer) collided with their child-oriented video game products.

Besides, Michael Jackson in 1990 had already provided his music for his ‘Moonwalker’ video game, and he had no problem at all with how his tracks sounded in the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive console.
 

R1chard

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A couple of months ago, I watched an hour-long documentary on Sonic and his inspiration, and MJ's name never even came up...

"His shoes were inspired by Michael Jackson's Bad which contrasted heavily between white and red."
A lot of this article seems to be reaching. This line in particular. So because it's red, it's automatically Bad?! Nevermind the fact that MJ isn't famous for wearing trainers...

Seriously, he's blue because that's Sega's color, and red simply because it contrasts with blue and green, which is the other main color in the game

There are at least two other theories about that.

Michael Jackson was reportedly unhappy with the sound quality of his music that he provided for the Sonic 3 game when his music was compressed (music has always to be compressed when it is inserted into a video game).
It had nothing to do with the sound quality of the hardware, and everything to do with the allegations. Sega just didn't want to admit it.

The Megadrive did a fantastic job with Moonwalker the year before. It's not so much compressed, as completely resynthesized.

Anyway, a lot of the Buxer stuff remains. I'm surprised nobody mentioned Jam yet.

 

SmoothGangsta

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It's pretty well known that Sonic's original design took inspiration from MJ. Weird that we're now trying to revise this well known fact lol.

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SmoothGangsta

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Also yes the MJ tracks remain. I mentioned before that a prototype leaked that included the PC version music in the alleged MJ stages. Which implies the MJ music replaced that music and was later itself replaced by the original soundtrack in the PC version.
 

PoP

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mj_frenzy;4314237 said:
Roger Hector (Sega’s Technical Director at the time) stated officially two times, in 2005 and in 2013, that Michael Jackson’s music was removed from the Sonic 3 video game because of his scandals at that time.

Apparently, Sega thought that the nature of his scandals (child sexual abuse allegations against the singer) collided with their child-oriented video game products.

Besides, Michael Jackson in 1990 had already provided his music for his ‘Moonwalker’ video game, and he had no problem at all with how his tracks sounded in the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive console.

I really still don’t buy Roger Hector’s statement on the matter. I still stick with Buxer and the anonymous source on this, I mean look at the original Sonic 3 and the Sonic 3 and Knuckles games, the original had some of Michael’s tracks and the Sonic 3 with Kunckles they replaced with Howard Drossin’s work.
 

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mj_frenzy;4314237 said:
Besides, Michael Jackson in 1990 had already provided his music for his ‘Moonwalker’ video game, and he had no problem at all with how his tracks sounded in the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive console.

Probably because the Super Nintendo and CD-based game consoles weren't out yet, so there weren't any better choices at the time. =P
 

Seldervi

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Here's a 1994 Promotional Video made before the released of Sonic 3 that confirms Sonic's shoes were based on the BAD Shoes.

Anyways, all of those videos about the "Sonic 3 MJ Tracks" are really outdated. While the main idea of "Jackson & his team worked on these tracks" is correct, a lot of new information & prototypes have surfaced that shed more light into the production of the Sonic 3 and all of the music associated with it (including the non-Jackson tracks), to the point that there might be a third reason why these tracks weren't fully added into Sonic The Hedgehog 3.

SEGA (or at least SEGA Of Japan) & Jackson's relationship seems pretty health, even after the allegations. As Jackson made appearances in Space Channel 5 Parts 1 & 2 in 1999 & 2002 (where he is the immortal Station Chief that saved the world & a main character in Part 2, where he appears in multiple promotional material). SEGA Technical Institute (who made Sonic 3) closed doors in 1996 trying to make a 3D Sonic game for the SEGA Saturn that was stuck in production hell since 1993.
 
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NatureCriminal7896

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Sonic shoes are inspire by Michael. if you look closely it look like he wearing the same shoes MJ wear just red. Michael was a fan of Sonic he also was apart of Sega with the Moonwalker games.

it would of been interesting if the lies never existed what else they could of done with Michael and Sonic.
 
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