Sonic Origins: Fans don’t seem happy about the major changes to Sonic 3’s soundtrack

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Sonic Origins: Fans don't seem happy about the major changes to Sonic 3's soundtrack

Sonic Origins is meant to be an authentic celebration of the classic 2D games from Sonic the Hedgehog, but not all of the content makes it into the compilation, which will be released 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 include the original, authentic soundtrack for Sonic the Hedgehog 3.

The Sonic the Hedgehog 3 soundtrack has a complicated history. It’s a well-known piece of video game trivia that Michael Jackson appears to have worked on the Sonic 3 soundtrack, leading to years of speculation as to what legal rights Sega may or may not have to re-release the game with its original music.

For years, Sega re-released emulated versions of Sonic 3 that included the original music. But now this version of the game is no longer available as Sega removed classic Sonic games from the digital storefronts prior to the release of Origins.

With Origins it now seems confirmed that Sega will not reuse the original music in Sonic 3. Earlier this month, Sonic’s social media manager Katie Chrzanowski confirmed that the full original soundtrack would not be returning for Sonic Origins.

โ€œWe can’t use all the original sounds [from S3&K]. Jun Senoue worked really hard to adapt the original music that was composed for Origins in 1993,” said Chrzanowski. She also said that Senoue uses the same sound chip from Genesis to faithfully reproduce parts of the Sonic 3 & Knuckles soundtrack.

The 1993 music Chrzanowski is referring to is from a Sonic the Hedgehog 3 prototype that surfaced in November 2019. The unearthed version of the game contained unused music tracks that were eventually replaced in the final version fans know today. The prototype includes music for the Carnival Night Zone, Ice Cap Zone, Launch Base Zone, Knuckles theme, competition menu, and credits.

For Sonic Origins, Senoue seems to have taken this 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 1994’s Sonic 3 and is also working on the upcoming Sonic Frontiers. You can hear his work on the prototype tracks for yourself in a breakdown video from GameXplain:

Many fans seem to be okay with the decision to use the prototype tracks due to the legal issues, but are unhappy with how the new versions of the prototype songs sounded.

Over 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 review thread. Some fans say they plan on giving away the collection for this reason, while others say they’re going to grab the Steam version and wait for modders to bring the original music to the game.

Sonic Origins screenshots

This isn’t the first controversy Sonic Origins has dealt with, either. When the game was announced, fans were upset and confused by Sonic Origins’ complicated DLC strategy.

Sonic Origins launches June 23 for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC. For more information, see the first 18 minutes of gameplay on PS5.

Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.

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