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Original Sonic 3 & Knuckles soundtrack won’t be featured in Sonic Origins

The launch of the multigame compilation Sonic Origins is right around the corner, but today veteran fans are gobsmacked by a piece of news that hit them like a smooth criminal. The original soundtrack for Sonic 3 & Knuckles won’t be featured in the game.

Sonic the Hedgehog social media manager Katie Chrzanowski confirmed the tidbit in a post-Summer Game Fest livestream on Thursday. She said that the soundtrack from the classic Sonic game is being reproduced by none other than Sonic music composer and Crush 40 guitarist Jun Senoue.

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“While unfortunately we can’t use all of the original sounds from the Sega Genesis version of the game, Jun Senoue has been working really hard to adapt the original music that was composed in 1993 for Origins,” Chrzanowski said. “He’s going so far as reproducing it, with the same sound chip from the Sega Genesis, and using his own digital audio tape collection to make this as faithful to the originals as possible.”

New: @SEGA's @KatieChrz on Sonic 3 & Knuckles' partially adapted soundtrack in #SonicOrigins:

📢 "We can't use all of the original sounds [from S3&K]. Jun Senoue has been working really hard to adapt the original music that was composed in 1993 for Origins,"#SonicNews

— Sonic the Hedgehog News & Updates · Tails' Channel (@TailsChannel) June 9, 2022

Sonic 3 & Knuckles started Senoue’s music career with the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise upon its release in 1994, but he wasn’t well-known until he formed Crush 40 to compose tracks for Sonic Adventure four years later. But the real reason for the game’s soundtrack being recreated for Origins may have to do with Michael Jackson’s rumored involvement.

Sonic fans knew that the late King of Pop composed the soundtrack for Sonic 3 & Knuckles because the melody and chord sequence in the track that played during the ending credits sounded similar to his single Stranger in Moscow, which wasn’t released until 1995. While it was confirmed that Jackson did in fact compose the music for the game, Sega said he left the project after child sexual abuse allegations made headlines, while the singer said he left because he was dissatisfied with the limitations of the Genesis’ sound chip. Musical director Brad Buxer said that Jackson’s music remained in the game, but he was left uncredited.

Sonic Origins releases on June 23.

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