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One of the biggest mysteries shrouding Sonic history is Michael Jackson's work in the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 soundtrack. While it was hypothesized he was involved in some way, there are conflicting reports about why he departed and whether his music survived the final release.

Well, the Huffington Post recently published a rather nice article regarding all that, titled The Michael Jackson Video Game Conspiracy.

It details the history of the conspiracy, leading into new interviews with some of the people involved with the game. Jackson's team insists their music did make it into the game. Though their stories imply they really did work on it as a team, rather than Michael composing solo.

Of course that last point was pretty much confirmed with the recent discovery of a previously unreleased song by The Jetzons, Brad Buxer's former band. That song being "Hard Times" from 1982, which sounds identical Ice Cap Zone.

One detail that caught my attention was that Jackson's team turned in around 41 songs to Sega. Now imagine if Sega could release those tracks like they did the demos recorded by Masato Nakamura for the Sonic 1&2 soundtrack. Just a thought...


This is the second collection released in Japan, now coming to America under the name Sega 3D Classics Collection.  It's set for release on April 26 for just $30.

It contains five arcade games (Fantasy Zone II W, Galaxy Force II, Power Drift, Puyo Puyo 2, Thunder Blade), two Genesis games (Altered Beast, Sonic the Hedgehog), plus two Master System games (Fantasy Zone II, Maze Walker).

Power Drift and Puyo Puyo 2 haven't been released on the eShop as solo games, so they'll probably be exclusive to this collection for a bit.

Official Site

Hey, maybe if this one sells well, they'll release the first collection as Sega 3D Classics Collection 2! Wouldn't that be confusing...


SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #284

Written by Ian Flynn
Art: Diana Skelly, Terry Austin, John Workman, Gabriel Cassata

SONIC and friends get into some BIG TROUBLE in “Panic in the Sky” Part One: Sonic’s Freedom Fighters are finally ready to restore the planet! Unless, of course, someone does even more damage! Cue: the evil Dr. Eggman (of course)! He has a plan of his own and strikes first! The mad doctor launches a multi-pronged assault that will leave you speechless-everything has been building up to this moment! The final chapter to the Shattered World Saga begins here! Featuring the first of four EPIC connecting covers by mega-talent Dan Schoening and an “Evil Win” variant by the wonderful Lamar Wells!

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SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #283

Written by Ian Flynn
Art: Jamal Peppers, Jennifer Hernandez, Terry Austin, John Workman, Gabriel Cassata

SONIC and the FREEDOM FIGHTERS are GO in “The Mission”: Sonic and Sally put out the call to the world! They have the Chaos Emeralds, they have the Gaia Keys, and now they have a plan! And the central hero to it all is… Cream?! Then, in “Zero Hour,” Dr. Eggman finally tracks down Phage! And when Tails Doll gives the mad doctor some crucial info, will Sonic’s plans for saving the world fall apart? Featuring cover art by the delightful Diana Skelly and a “GUARDIANS” variant cover by the amazing Adam Bryce Thomas!

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SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #282

Written by Ian Flynn
Art: Jamal Peppers, Jennifer Hernandez, Terry Austin, John Workman, Gabriel Cassata

SONIC fights FIRE with FURY in “Wings of Fire” Part Two: When Sonic was infected with the Dark Gaia energy, he nearly all lost control of his mutant Werehog form. So what happens when an ancient and powerful phoenix gets turned to the dark side?! It’s a three-way battle as Sonic and Dulcy’s teams battle for their lives against the Dark Gaia Phoenix and Egg Army! Then, in “Shards and Sparks,” Knuckles and Mighty reunite to take on Egg Boss Thunderbolt! Featuring cover art by the terrific Tyson Hesse and a spooky “Horror Movie” variant by the mega-talented T. Rex!

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If you need proof that the world is beautiful and miracles can indeed happen, look no further. The SegaSonic Popcorn Shop has been dumped and will soon be emulatable in MAME!

As the name implies, this is a Sonic-themed popcorn machine complete with a little video screen, released in Japan in 1993.

The machine has a crank that you can turn for a little bit of interactivity while you wait. In this case, you have to help Sonic get away from a prancing Eggman who is trying to crush him (and your popcorn!!) with a giant mallet. Then you help Sonic actually cook your popcorn...? Of course, you'll still get it whether you actually touch anything or not.

Unfortunately, while you can emulate software, you cannot emulate actual food.

Recently, another obscure Japanese Sonic arcade rarity was dumped and preserved -- Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car. Essentially a glorified kiddy ride, Sonic drives around in a police car and obeys the laws of the road. Fun!


SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #281

Written by Ian Flynn
Art: Jamal Peppers, Jennifer Hernandez, Terry Austin, John Workman, Gabriel Cassata

SONIC is SPEEDING down the Dragon Road in “Wings of Fire” Part One: Sonic and the Freedom Fighters travel to city-state of Chun-nan in search of more Gaia Keys! Dulcy the dragon is bringing all her might to help, but is her fledging team ready for end-of-the-world stakes? Could anyone really be? Then in “Homesick,” Bunnie and Tails come to the aid of a Key Guardian in a time of crisis! Featuring Cover art by the totally-terrific Tyson Hesse and a special Valentine’s Day “Love Struck” variant by the super-expressive Diana Skelly!

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Yeah, you read that right. In an announcement that came completely out of left field, Sega revealed that the (formerly) Wii U exclusive Sonic Lost World will be launching on Steam on November 2nd.

The Nightmare DLC will also be included. It's probably safe to assume the Zelda and Yoshi themed DLC won't be.

The game will sell for $30 and is up for pre-purchase now. Pre-purchasers also get a free copy of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (which is pretty much one of the greatest kart racers ever, y'know).


And if this news doesn't get you hype, here's a quote from the press release:

“This is the latest in a string of high quality PC ports of past SEGA titles that we will be building on in the coming months and years.”

So if you're not interested in Lost World, this hopefully means more Sega-published classics will be coming to PC soonish. Like maybe Jet Set Radio Future, Shenmue, Virtual-On, Vanquish, Bayonetta, Rez HD, Guardian Heroes HD... or maybe Sonic 2006. Well, you never know.


SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #280

Written by Ian Flynn?
Art: Jamal Peppers, Jennifer Hernandez, Terry Austin, John Workman, Gabriel Cassata?

Sonic, Tails and Chip head to the Efrikan settlement of Mazuri to find the next set of Gaia Keys—but they’ll have to go through the tough and menacing Axel, the Egg Boss of the Efrika Egg Army, to find them! While deep in the heart of the Gaia Temple, Chip finds something incredible—but you’ll just have to wait and see what it is! Then, in “A Special Occasion,” Sally and Rotor are one girl’s only hope in a family emergency! Featuring awesome cover art by jamming Jamal Peppers and an "Altered Beast" variant by the exquisite Erik Ly!??

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Famitsu revealed a second retail compilation of Sega 3D Classics set to release on Nintendo 3DS in Japan on December 23, 2015. Five games were announced to be included, with more to be revealed along the way:

  • 3D Sonic the Hedgehog
  • 3D Galaxy Force II
  • 3D Thunder Blade
  • 3D Altered Beast
  • 3D Fantasy Zone II DX

Like the first collection, the cover art was drawn by Pokémon artist Ken Sugimori. The mosaic is obscuring some ~mystery character(s)~ for games yet to be announced. Who could it be...?!?

And also like the first collection, there's probably not a very good chance it will be released outside Japan. And because of the 3DS's region locking, it won't be import friendly either. Thanks, Obama Nintendo.

But (most) of the games in these collections do get western releases on the eShop. 3D Sonic the Hedgehog is available now, with Sonic 2 coming around the bend.


UPDATE: Heeey, the full cover was revealed, along with more info. Four more previously-unannounced games were shown to be included. Will they be exclusive to this collection? Well, probably the Master System games at least.

  • 3D Power Drift [Arcade]
  • 3D Puyo Puyo Tsuu [Arcade]
  • Maze Walker (aka Maze Hunter 3D) [Master System]
  • Fantasy Zone II: The Tears of Opa-Opa [Master System]