Sonic Origins is meant to be an authentic celebration of classic 2D Sonic the Hedgehog games, but not all of the content makes it into the compilation that launches later this week.
The game, which includes remastered versions of Sonic 1, 2, 3 & Knuckles, and CD, also features new animated cutscenes, bonus objectives, and more. However, fans are not happy that the game does not contain the authentic Sonic the Hedgehog 3 soundtrack.
The Sonic the Hedgehog 3 soundtrack has a complicated history. Michael Jackson apparently worked on the Sonic 3 soundtrack, leading to years of speculation over whether or not Sega may have legal rights to re-release the game with its original music.
For years, Sega reissued emulated versions of Sonic 3, which included the original music. But now, this version of the game is unavailable as Sega pulled classic Sonic games from digital storefronts before Origins was released.
Now, with Origins, it appears to be confirmed that Sega is not reusing the original music in Sonic 3. Earlier this month, Sonic’s social media manager Katie Chrzanowski confirmed that the full soundtrack will not be returning for Sonic Origins.
“We can’t use all the original sounds [from S3&K]. Jun Senoue worked very hard to adapt the original music that was composed in 1993 for Origins,” Chrzanowski said. She also said that Senoue used the same sound chip from the Genesis to reproduce faithful recreations of parts from Sonic 3 & Knuckles. soundtrack.
– Sonic the Hedgehog News & Updates Tails Channel (@TailsChannel) June 9, 2022
The 1993 music that Chrzanowski is referring to is from a prototype of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 that surfaced in November 2019. The unearthed version of the game had unused music tracks that were eventually replaced in the final version that fans know today. The prototype includes music for Carnival Night Zone, Ice Cap Zone, Launch Base Zone, Knuckles theme, competition menu and credits.
For Sonic Origins, it looks like Senoue took that prototype music and recreated it for use in the compilation version of Sonic 3, and fans aren’t too happy with the results.
Senoue has been working on the Sonic the Hedgehog series since Sonic 3 in 1994 and is also working on the upcoming Sonic Frontiers. You can get an idea of how his work on the prototype tracks sounds for yourself in a GameXplain video presentation:
As expected, the Sonic 3 tracks replaced by Origins are frankly absolute pants.https://t.co/rwxCvO4cxg
—Andy Robinson (@AndyPlaytonic) June 21, 2022
I totally accept the lack of Jackson tracks in Sonic 3. It is what it is
but oh no why does it sound worse than the Prototype
— Jon Cartwright (@JonComms) June 21, 2022
Sega needs to license Sonic 3 music back en. I’m sorry but the prototype tracks are crap.
— LonelyGoomba (@LonelyGoomba) June 21, 2022
They messed up the Sonic 3 prototype music pic.twitter.com/U3iOgis1S7
— hiatus until July (for real this time) (@_WarpFormat_) June 21, 2022
As someone who loves the prototype songs of Sonic 3, I’m flabbergasted that Sonic Origins makes them worse. Especially on carnival night. pic.twitter.com/yQVef3q8iy
— Tuna “tuner” fish (@TunaTunerFish) June 21, 2022
NO WHY DO PROTOTYPE TRACKS SOUND LIKE ORIGINAL
— Cherribun (@ghostbunbun) June 21, 2022
On Resetera, Sonic fans are also unhappy with this element of the final product, with the conversation surrounding Sonic 3’s missing music dominating the conversation in the Sonic Origins thread. Some fans say they plan to pass on the collection because of this, while others say they’ll take the Steam version and wait for modders to integrate the original music into the game.
Sonic Origins – Screenshots
This isn’t the first controversy Sonic Origins has dealt with, either. When the game was announced, fans were angry and confused over Sonic Origins’ convoluted DLC strategy.
Sonic Origins launches June 23 on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. For more, you can check out the first 18 minutes of gameplay on PS5.
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPplant.