Sonic Origins won’t include the original soundtrack for Sonic 3 & Knuckles, it’s been confirmed.
Speaking during an official Sonic livestream, Sonic social media manager Katie Chrzanowski noted that the game won’t have the exact soundtrack that featured in the 1994 release.
“I know one question that we’ve seen kind of over and over is, what is the situation on the music in Sonic 3 & Knuckles,” Chrzanowski said.
“While unfortunately we can’t use all 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 Sonic Origins.
“He’s been 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.”
Sonic 3’s soundtrack is infamous because it’s widely believed that some of the tracks were composed by Michael Jackson, who wasn’t credited in the final game.
Jackson’s musical director Brad Buxer has claimed that Jackson worked on the soundtrack for four weeks in 1993, but Sega has never officially confirmed it and notable Sega executives including former Sega of America president Tom Kalinske have said that if he was involved it was without their knowledge.
A 1997 PC port of the game contained ‘new’ music tracks that had seemingly been created to replace the music that was allegedly Jackson’s.
It’s not clear whether these were removed for legal issues, or simply because the PC port used MIDI music which didn’t support the sound samples used in the Mega Drive game.
A Sonic 3 prototype was discovered in 2019 which contained these same tracks, suggesting that these were actually part of the original soundtrack before the ‘Jackson’ music replaced them.
It’s not clear whether Chrzanowski’s comments refer to these other tracks or the ‘Jackson’ tracks, but it’s likely the latter.
Sonic Origins contains remastered versions of Sonic 1, 2, 3 and Knuckles, and Sonic CD.
Each of the classic Sonic games included will have brand new opening and ending animations and will feature Classic and Anniversary modes.
The Classic mode will show the game in its original resolution and have limited lives like it did in the 16-bit era.
The Anniversary mode, meanwhile, will give players infinite lives and will present the game in a new widescreen resolution.