The Definitive Way to Play Sonic 3 (And More)

The Definitive Way to Play Sonic 3 (And More)

(Sigh) Okay. Here we go. The Sega Genesis Sonic games probably rate
among some of the most ported games of all time. Starting with Sonic Jam on the Sega Saturn
in 1997, Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic 2, Sonic 3, and Sonic & Knuckles have appeared in some
form on nearly every major gaming platform to follow. But for almost eight years, something strange
has happened. One of the most important games in Sonic’s
legacy has quietly gone missing, disappearing almost as if never existed at all. DOC BROWN: “Erased… from existence.” Where did it go? Why did it leave us? And how do we get it back? It’s hard to understand Sega, sometimes. Back in 2013, Sega paid Christian Whitehead
and Simon Thomley, perhaps better known under the internet handles of Taxman and Stealth,
to co-develop updated versions of the original Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic 2 for Android
and iOS. They did this through Taxman’s “Retro
Engine,” a game creation tool and scripting language made especially for developing modern,
sprite-based games. Most famously, Retro Engine was the underlying
technology that powered Sonic Mania. The first major application for this Retro
Engine was their version of Sonic CD, released two years earlier, in 2011. This Retro Engine version of Sonic CD immediately
became the definitive version of the game thanks to widescreen visuals, improved controls
and a handful of bonus features not present in the original Sega CD release. That same attention to detail translated over
to the Retro Engine versions of Sonic 1 and 2, once again with widescreen graphics, extra
playable characters, extended abilities, and even restored lost levels, like the infamous
Sonic 2 version of Hidden Palace Zone. They even went so far as to source the original
studio synthesizer that the Sega Genesis sound chip was based on, remastering the music for
both games to sound crisp and clean in a way a home console in the 90’s never could. Take a listen: [Music] The end result was, again, the definitive
versions of those games. But with a catch: Unlike Sonic CD, which was
released on nearly everything back then, the Retro Engine versions of Sonic 1 and 2 were
trapped on mobile platforms. At the time, Sega had just made a deal with
Nintendo to release the next three Sonic games exclusively on the 3DS and Wii U, limiting
what they could do with Sonic 1 and 2. That meant no console or PC ports. Where things get tangled up is what Sega did
after that exclusivity deal ended. Instead of having Taxman and Stealth port
their existing Retro Engine versions of Sonic 1 and 2 to other platforms, they hired a separate
company to develop COMPLETELY DIFFERENT, BRAND NEW ports of Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 for the 3DS
under the “Sega Ages” label, ignoring the fantastic work that was collecting dust
right under their noses. The “Sega Ages” ports were done by a company
called M2, a work for hire team that specializes in assisting developers with ports and other
tasks. This means they don’t usually produce original
games, they just help out when other developers need their games ported from one platform
to another, and it’s a legacy that traces all the way back to the 1990s. M2 has become known for their excellent work
with emulation. Sega hired M2 to handle all of the Sega Genesis
games on the Wii Virtual Console, as well as the “Sega Vintage Collection” games
on Xbox 360. M2 has also collaborated with Namco and Konami
when it comes to emulating their back-catalog of older games on the Nintendo DS, and even
Nintendo hired them to handle Gameboy Advance emulation for the Wii U Virtual Console. Typically, M2 has become known for going above
and beyond with bonus features, and they’re one of the few developers to successfully
emulate the notoriously complex Sega Genesis sound chip. But even then, M2’s Sonic 1 and Sonic 2
pale in comparison to the Retro Engine versions of those same games. M2’s versions aren’t bad, not by any stretch
of the imagination, but in terms of bang-for-your-buck, the Retro Engine versions are STILL the definitive
way to play Sonic 1 and 2. Well, assuming you can put up with touch screen
controls or want to spend $7 on an adapter to plug a USB controller. And yet, Sega continues to ignore them, preferring
to instead let M2 handle everything. Or worse still, hire a THIRD developer to
sell you some basic Genesis ROMs and a lackluster emulator, like Sega’s Genesis Classics Collection
for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and even the Nintendo Switch. This collection is handled by a studio named
d3t, and their versions of Sonic’s Sega Genesis legacy are on par with most official emulation
efforts Sega has gone with in the past; which is to say, it’s passable, but not great. But what this ultimately means is that you
have the Retro Engine versions of Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 on mobile platforms, the Sega
Ages 3DS versions of Sonic 1 and 2, d3t’s versions of Sonic 1 and 2 in the Genesis Classics
Collection, brand new Sega Ages versions of Sonic 1 and 2 for the Nintendo Switch, and
while producing this video, brand new versions of Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 were released on the
Sega Genesis Mini. All of these are on the market at the same
time, and all of them have different features. Heck, there are even multiple different versions
of Sonic 1 and 2 available on the Switch at the same time. Are you confused yet? And there was one more big question: what
about Sonic 3? Would Taxman and Stealth give it the Retro
Engine treatment? Would M2 make a Sega Ages port of it? Would it show up on the Genesis Mini? The answer to all of those questions turned
out to be “No.” Earlier I mentioned that Sega released a Genesis
Classics Collection on the Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Unlike the loving, meticulous work done by
M2 or Taxman and Stealth, the Sega Genesis Classics Collection is just a bunch of ROM
files running in an emulator, with all of the positives and negatives that entails. It’s fine, certainly playable, with features
like rewinds, save states, and the lot, but just like most Sega Genesis emulators, it
has some nasty sound problems. Give it a listen: [Sound comparison.] It also features extras like a new Mirror
Mode, but those features are tacked on gimmicks at best. It’s a functional, but not outstanding collection
of Sega’s 16-bit history, where quantity of games beats out quality of emulation. But there’s something missing from the recent
editions of the Genesis Classics Collection, and that’s the absence of the final chapter
of the 16-bit Sonic legacy. You get Sonic 1, Sonic 2, even spin-offs like
Sonic Spinball and Sonic 3D Blast, but what you DON’T get Sonic 3. It’s the biggest, most ambitious Sonic game
on the Genesis, so not having it leaves a gigantic hole in that collection. So where is it? In 2014, members from the community website
Sonic Retro helped launch a campaign to prove to Sega that having Taxman and Stealth handle
a Retro Engine remaster of Sonic 3 would be financially viable. The answer the community received was a disappointing
one: Even if the fans put all of their financial
weight behind it, it simply was not possible at that point in time to do anything with
Sonic 3. Obviously, not much later, Taxman and Stealth
announced Sonic Mania with Sega, so they became too busy to handle a theoretical Sonic 3 remaster. But that doesn’t explain why Sonic 3 never
turned up in any of the other ways Sega was re-releasing the Classic Sonic legacy. Something is going on, and they aren’t telling
us. To understand the secrecy, we have to dive
in to the controversy surrounding Sonic 3. Buckle up, because things are about to get
really complicated. Hoo-hoo. I think it’s a pretty widely accepted fact
at this point that Michael Jackson was on board to produce music for Sonic the Hedgehog
3. He had a good relationship with Sega, appearing
in no fewer than three games under their banner, and numerous people known to work with Jackson
are credited for sound production in Sonic 3. The final nail in this coffin is Jackson’s
1996 single, Stranger in Moscow, which resembles notation used in Sonic 3’s credits theme
heard two years earlier. [ Music ] There are conflicting reports on why Michael
Jackson departed the project. According to Brad Buxer, Jackson was unhappy
with the limitations of the Sega Genesis sound hardware. “At the time, game consoles did not allow
an optimal sound reproduction, and Michael found it frustrating. He did not want to be associated with a product
that devalued his music…” The Sega Genesis sound hardware was based
on the Yamaha YM2612, a power FM synthesizer that could produce amazing tones when placed
in the right hands. Its biggest weakness was samples, which are
pre-recorded audio clips not generated by the synth. Voice samples on the Genesis were often scratchy,
jittery, and generally difficult to listen to. “Ahaha… yatta!” [Elephants] It’s possible Michael Jackson had hopes
of including more vocal elements in his music for Sonic 3, which the Genesis was clearly
not up to handling. Whatever the case may be, Jackson was reportedly
frustrated by the end result, and it may have lead him to quit the project. Sega themselves probably wanted to avoid being
associated with Michael, as well. In August of 1993, roughly six months before
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 was set to release, Jackson became embroiled in the first of multiple
child molestation accusations. It was in Sega’s best interests to distance
themselves from any kind of collaboration with Michael, as it could damage the sales
of Sonic 3 if his involvement became widely known. It gave Sega more than enough justification
to kick him off the game. But in all honesty, it’s probably a little
bit of both. Sega and Michael Jackson both had good reasons
to break up, and likely came to a mutual agreement back out of the collaboration. No harm, no foul. Except it would appear that Sega made a mistake. It’s thought that Michael Jackson and his
sound team completed some amount of work on roughly ten songs for Sonic the Hedgehog 3,
or a little under one fifth of that game’s soundtrack. We know this because of the 1997 release of
Sonic & Knuckles Collection for the PC. Those ten songs were all replaced with original
compositions exclusive to this PC version of the game. A lot of the songs that were replaced have
direct, identifiable connections to Michael Jackson or the people he worked with. Sonic 3’s credits theme was replaced because
some of its structure got reused for Stranger in Moscow, and songs like Launch Base Zone,
Knuckles’ theme, and the Mini-Boss theme contain voice samples likely tied to Jackson. Icecap Zone’s music also had to be replaced,
given its bassline and chorus were taken from Brad Buxer’s unreleased 1980’s pop single,
“Hard Times.” It’s not a stretch to assume that the other
three songs that got replaced also had some relation to the collaboration, as well. The question you should be asking yourself
now is WHY did Sega feel the need to replace these songs for the PC version of Sonic 3? And the simple answer to that is because Sega
probably didn’t actually have permission to keep using the music after the collaboration
with Michael Jackson ended. Sonic & Knuckles Collection also post-dates
the release of Jackson’s Stranger in Moscow single, perhaps offering Sega the first clue
that they shouldn’t have used the music. And we know this became an issue for them
because people from the Sonic Retro community actually tried contacting members of Sonic
3’s sound team, including those involved with Michael Jackson. When spoken to, Cirocco Jones and Bobby Brooks
made reference to a possible lawsuit impending for money Sega allegedly owes to Michael Jackson’s
production team specifically for the Sonic 3 soundtrack. Such a lawsuit would compromise Sega’s ability
to keep re-releasing new versions of Sonic 3 with the infringing music still present. What this ultimately means is that when it
comes to newer collections of their old 16-bit games, Sega has started leaving Sonic 3 out,
possibly fearing potential legal complications. But, hold on… if you dig deep enough, there’s
a place Sega is still selling Sonic 3. If you have a Steam account, and really, who
doesn’t these days, then you can still buy a brand new, official version of Sonic 3 & Knuckles
on your PC, right now, for around five bucks. Why does that version get to exist, when Sonic
3 gets blocked from being included on any of the more recent classic collections? The answer is quite simple: Sonic 3 was released
on Steam in 2011 and the legal threats involving Cirocco Jones and Bobby Brooks weren’t known
about until 2012, AFTER the Steam version was already on sale. If such a lawsuit were to ever come to pass,
the Steam version of Sonic 3 would likely always be included as evidence of Sega’s
infringement. As such, there might be less of a reason to
remove it from sale, as the damage has kind of already been done. For Sega, this is more likely about preventing
future damage. Now, the lawsuit from Bobby Brooks has, as
of yet, never come to light. Beyond vague threats of Sega owing him money,
nobody actually knows on what SPECIFIC grounds he planned to sue, or whether or not he even
had a solid case against Sega at all. Just the same, Sega obviously has reason to
believe his threats are valid, because it’s clearly influencing how they conduct business. If they were to ignore his threats, it could
lead to a lawsuit that may result in Sega paying out millions of dollars in owed royalties. A lot of the people working at Sega today
didn’t sign those contracts in 1993 and undoubtedly want to avoid inheriting a problem
that wasn’t originally theirs. In the most extreme bad case scenario, losing
a legal battle like this could even destroy the company entirely. Unfortunately, this leaves one of Sonic’s
greatest games caught in the crossfire. Sega is so dedicated to this that when they
announced the Sega Genesis Mini, they also announced a shell that attaches to the unit,
turning it into the so-called “Tower of Power.” It’s a fake Sega CD, attached to the the real
Genesis Mini console, with a fake 32X plugged in to the slot, and sitting top everything
is a tiny Sonic & Knuckles cartridge. But instead of it being locked on to Sonic
3, it’s locked on to the original Sonic the Hedgehog. Sega won’t even reference Sonic 3 as a joke. It just doesn’t exist anymore. So what are we to do? Well, there’s a couple alternatives to play
the definitive version of Sonic 3, but I think one is better than the other. Normally, this is where I’d recommend something
called Sonic 3 Complete, which is a modified version of Sonic 3 with a heap of bonus features. It is originally based on a version of Sonic
3 that Sega actually planned to release in 1994. It would have combined Sonic 3 plus Sonic
& Knuckles in to a single cartridge. It has since grown into a much larger project,
full of tons and tons of small quality-of-life improvements to visuals, music, and gameplay. But there’s one problem: it primarily exists
as a gray-market ROM file to be used in an emulator. Now things get REALLY complicated. When I do these videos, I don’t like to
bring up emulation. If you’re new to this term, an emulator
is a piece of software, most commonly for your PC, and it allows you to run games from
other platforms. So, for example, there are emulators that
let you run Playstation games on your PC, there are emulators that let you run old DOS
games on modern versions of Windows, there are even advanced emulators that let you run
recent consoles like the Wii U, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3, all natively on your computer. I personally use emulators all the time, but
they can be difficult to work with and largely target tech savvy individuals with advanced
skill sets. Some emulators require external files to run
that are difficult to obtain legally, and I am against promoting piracy on this channel. Plus, emulators often require obscenely powerful
PC hardware in order to run smoothly. Depending on how accurate the emulator is,
even something like the nearly-30-year-old Super Nintendo requires a somewhat modern
computer with a multi-core CPU to emulate at full speed. Using less intensive emulators often introduces
compatibility issues as well, so it’s kind of a mess I’d rather not include in these
videos. The point of these videos, at least currently,
is to outline the safest, easiest, and most legal way to play these games. The Sonic 3 Complete ROM is fantastic. But it is technically illegal to download
and play. I’m not here to pass moral judgements. You do whatever you want. Sonic 3 Complete is pretty easy to find through
a Google search. Obviously, if I’m telling you about the
game, then I myself have played it. Many times, in fact. This is more about wanting to present the
best option for my audience. Now, it would normally be possible for you
to LEGALLY download Sonic 3 Complete through the Steam version of Sonic 3. Sega enabled what they refer to as “mod
support” for all of their Genesis games exclusively on the PC, which basically means
users can upload modified ROM files to the Steam workshop for you to play in their official
console emulator. The problem is, that in itself has turned
into a mess. The part where I said Sega lets users share
ROM files on the Steam Workshop? Yeah, what that eventually turned into was
a place for people to upload pirated games. Sega used to be very proactive in keeping
illegally uploaded games off the service, but it’s clear they’ve been asleep at
the wheel for a long time, because the workshop today is flooded with this stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as rah-rah game
preservation as the next person, but there’s more at stake here than you getting a slap
on the wrist for downloading a pirated version of NBA Jam. “Whoooaaa, boomshakala!” This could be seen as Sega THEMSELVES facilitating
piracy. What’s going to happen when a big, scary
corporation like Disney sees that Sega is enabling piracy of games like Aladdin? Disney sells the Genesis version of Aladdin
bundled with The Lion King on Steam for $30, when instead, you could buy a game like Ristar
from Sega for $0.99, and then use Ristar to pirate the same version of Aladdin from the
Steam Workshop for free. That is a significantly cheaper option. But it’s also piracy, and Disney is a notoriously
heavy handed company when it comes to solving legal matters. Disney could very, very, VERY easily sue Sega
for financial damages and it would essentially be an open and shut case. This makes the Sega Genesis Steam Workshop
a massive liability, because there are hundreds of pirated games available. It’s safe to say I don’t think it’ll
be around forever. Sega’s already kind of given up on it, so
all it’s going to take is for a lawyer breathe in the direction of that Workshop and the
whole thing is going to get deleted. You might be able to play the Sonic 3 Complete
ROM file through the Sega Genesis Workshop today, but there’s no guarantee that’ll
still be possible tomorrow, or a week from now, or a year from now. And you wouldn’t even want to play it there
anyway, given that as of an update last July, the emulator used on the Steam version of
the Sega Genesis Collection won’t even save your progress if you’re playing a modded
Workshop game. This means that even if you DID try to play
Sonic 3 Complete from the Steam Workshop, none of your progress will be saved. You will start that game over from scratch
every time you load it. It’s just, all around, this Sega Genesis
Collection on Steam is a big, messy nightmare and don’t even think about using it for
anything right now. However! There is another, and considerably more legal
way to do all of this, and it’s almost as good, if not better in some ways. A new project was completed recently called
Angel Island Revisited, or A.I.R. for short. For the sake of simplicity, I’m just going
to call it AIR. Essentially, AIR is a piece of software that
pulls data out of the official Steam version of Sonic 3 and puts it in to a new engine
that provides full-on 16:9 widescreen support, enhanced visuals, and enhanced music, very
similar to what Taxman and Stealth did for Sonic 1 and 2 in the Retro Engine. Unfortunately, as of yet, AIR does not support
all of the features from Sonic 3 Complete, and may never. But it makes up for that discrepancy with
exclusive features of its own, including expanded controller button support, a new achievements
system, and other fun bonuses, like the ability to play as Knuckles and Tails in a team, or
unlocking the Drop Dash from Sonic Mania. It even has its own real, actual mod support,
allowing you to create new levels using the SonEd2 level editor, replace the soundtrack,
and eventually, even more. AIR is still a pretty new project, so hopefully
it’ll adopt more of the quality-of-life fixes from Sonic 3 Complete in the future. The developer, Eukaryot, has been pretty steadily
providing work-in-progress development builds on the Sonic Retro forums, so the project
has a bright future ahead. Installing Angel Island Revisited is incredibly
simple. Just download the game, extract the folder,
and run the Sonic3AIR executable. If you have the Sega Genesis Classics installed
on Steam and Sonic 3 & Knuckles in your library, AIR will automatically find all of the required
files and boot up without any setup required. It just works. At worst, if it can’t find the required
file, it will ask you to manually find it. From there, it’s as simple as finding the
“Sonic_Knuckles_wSonic3.bin” file in your Steam folder. Just open Steam, right click the Sega Genesis
Classics, bring up its properties, and click Browse Local Files. You should be brought to wherever your Genesis
games are installed, and the required .bin file should be in the Uncompressed ROMS folder,
assuming you own the game. If you happen to still have an old Sonic & Knuckles
Collection disc, you can also still technically play that on modern versions of Windows as
well. Just like with Sonic R, copy the contents
of the disc to a folder on your hard drive, then use something called “Sega PC Reloaded”
to install the game. It’ll fix everything up and make it work
again, but you won’t get any of the bonus features from Sonic 3 AIR or Sonic 3 Complete,
it’ll just be the regular version of Sonic & Knuckles Collection from 1997. I’ll link the full Sega PC Reloaded install
tutorial in the video description. And if you want the definitive way to play
Sonic 1 and 2, I really cannot stress enough that I think the mobile ports still have the
best bonus features and extras. The good news is, the Retro Engine versions
of Sonic 1 and 2 are actually free on mobile platforms right now, as they are now part
of a service called Sega Forever. Games released on Sega Forever are ad-supported,
but the ads can be removed by purchasing said games for a very reasonable price of $2. If you don’t want to use touch controls
to play Sonic 1 and 2, there’s a good chance your Playstation, Xbox, or even Nintendo Switch
controller can be paired with your phone through bluetooth. On Android, that can sometimes cause input
lag, so what I ended up doing was buying a $7 USB adapter from Amazon. Now I can connect my Playstation 4 controller
to my Android tablet, hassle free. Different phones and tablets will require
different kinds of adapters, so it’s up to you to figure out which one you’d need
to buy. Personally, I say it’s worth it. And that’s it. That’s how you play the definitive version
of Sonic 3. And Sonic 2. And Sonic 1. Thanks for watching the video! Before you click off, I just want to take
a moment to say something. I know I tend to give the generic Patreon
spiel at the end of these videos, and people probably take that as their cue to leave. But I want to take a moment and just emphasize
how important your support on Patreon really is, because things on Youtube are getting
kind of sketchy these days. If there’s ever, like, an emergency in my
life, Patreon is my safety net. You may remember that a couple years ago,
my computer was damaged while I was moving and ended up getting fried because of a power
surge. The money I’d saved up from Patreon donations
helped me buy replacement parts so I could fix it. Around that same time, I spent almost a week
in the hospital with pneumonia. Patreon helped pay for some of my medical
expenses. If it wasn’t for the support I get on Patreon,
this video you’re watching right now might not even exist at all. The people that support me on Patreon are
heroes, and I wish I had more to give back to them. Special shoutouts to Thomas G, Gabriel M,
Dave M, Keith S, Rose S, Juan Pablo, and everyone else on my Patreon. If you’d like to be one of my heroes, just
visit to learn more. If even half the people that subscribe to
me on Youtube donated just one dollar to my Patreon, I’d never have to worry about anything. And even though it’s a Patreon, I have links
over there for other ways to help out, too. Though, look, I get it, if you can’t afford
to donate, don’t stress about it too much. Even if you don’t donate, consider subscribing
to this channel, liking this video, and sharing it with anyone that may enjoy it. If nothing else, that’ll help Youtube’s algorithm
find my video, and in turn, it’ll help others find the video, as well, and that, obviously,
helps me out. Anyway, I’ll stop being sappy now. But again, thanks for watching, and hopefully
I’ll see you on the next video.

59 thoughts on “The Definitive Way to Play Sonic 3 (And More)

  • November 28, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    I just watched Cybershell's video on the topic the other day

  • November 28, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    Your videos are very good and informative.
    Edit: The video was probably edited before the info was released but the PC soundtrack was actually the original soundtrack.

  • November 28, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    How do I run Sonic A.I.R. on Mac?

  • November 28, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    Great vid, editing is really good!
    And you explain things really well

  • November 28, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    Why can't they release Sonic & Knuckles on its own? It doesn't have any MJ music and it's better than nothing.

  • November 28, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    It doesn't make sense for him to be unsatisfied with the sega genesis hardware at all.

    He had already released the Moonwalking game for the Genesis four years prior and also had a Master System version of the game.

    He most likely already knew what the genesis was and wasn't capable and was ok with it enough to release a game with him as protagonist and with his musics as soundtrack for the game.

    The statement that he didn't like the genesis sound capabilities was probably a PR movement in the attempts to save face. He was already being bashed left and right. They probably just wanted to avoid giving more attention to the accusations.

    So, it's not impossible that he didn't like the sound of the genesis but it is mostly unlikely and I would dare say it's a bit naive to truly believe it.

  • November 28, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    Very nice and well researched history section! There's just one thing: The replacement compositions in The Sonic & Knuckles Collection (PC) weren't created just for the PC port; they're actually prototype compositions from before the Michael Jackson collaboration. The recently documented prototype of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Nov 3, 1993 prototype) proves as such.
    EDIT: Whoops, I missed your note at the end. Sorry.

  • November 28, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    Is there really no way to play these retro engines games on a PC? I'd rather play on my monitor then some phone screen

  • November 28, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    This was a wonderful breakdown, no detail spared. These videos are great, thanks so much.

  • November 28, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    I mean, they could always use the music from the prototype.

  • November 28, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    24:28 – I just want to make a note here that these uncompressed roms are all roms that can run in an emulator of your own choosing.

  • November 28, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    That's it i'm subscribe.

  • November 28, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    1. Since Sonic 3 and Sonic&Knuckles were originally gonna just be Sonic 3 but had to be split up due to cartridge space, as far as I'm concerned, Sonic&Knuckles is just Sonic 3, and I just call the whole thing Sonic 3.

    2. I don't see why they don't just replace the music with the PC version replacements. Yeah, I know that was made with modern (for the time) synth instruments, and the version being rereleased is a Genesis rom, but how hard would it be for them to make Genesis versions of those songs and insert them into the game? It's only 10 songs, and they'd only have to do it once, and then they could just port that forever.

    EDIT: I just read that the replacement music was actually also made for Genesis before Michael&co. were brought on, which means it'd be much easier than I originally thought, so now they really have no excuse.

    3. I also don't see why Sega doesn't just try to buy the rights to those 10 songs. I'm sure they could cut a deal and be done with this forever.

  • November 28, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    Sometimes it feels like all of this legal stuff is made to punish us

  • November 28, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    Wasn't there also beta leaks for sonic 3 where the music made by Jackson associates wasn't there, or was the PC version music

  • November 28, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    The closest I can get to playing Retro Engine S1 and S2 on my PC is via scrcpy, a free, open-source phone mirroring program. And I can apparently play them with my keyboard.

  • November 28, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    sonics ultimate genesis collection is like the last time they released sonic 3 and sonic & knuckles but you cant lock-on and the audio fucks up alot (and you have to do funky ps3 shit to get it to play in 4:3 with no border)

  • November 28, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    lmao this was uploaded not too long after it was discovered that the so called "replacements" were actually the original compositions.

  • November 28, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    Frankly Sega can take an hike with S3 as far as I’m concerned it’s abandonware untill they grow a spine and deal with whatever shit they left on the carpet in 93.

  • November 28, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    I feel so guilty for learning that sonic 3 complete is technicly piracy

  • November 29, 2019 at 12:10 am

    Fantastic video, great job on making everything so clear and informative. I appreciate your production values in terms of editing and motion graphics as well.

    Long live Sonic 3!

  • November 29, 2019 at 12:22 am

    For Apple device owners, You can also play the Retro Engine Versions of CD, 1 & 2 on Apple TV. Especially good since tvOS 13 now supports Xbox One & PlayStation 4 controllers (like iOS 13)

  • November 29, 2019 at 1:26 am


  • November 29, 2019 at 1:34 am

    No sonic 3 Still exists a lot of people still remembers sonic 3 but yet again the game was never finished. But i respect your opinion.

  • November 29, 2019 at 1:48 am

    18:32 Snes9x did THAT? What the fuck??

  • November 29, 2019 at 2:44 am

    This is a great video. As I made my small video commemorating S&K's 25th anniversary, I was pretty surprised at the lack of a modern rerelease for 3 and/or S&K. I had just assumed they were widely playable.
    As for the mobile version of 2 and CD, I have them sideloaded on both my Ouya and Nvidia Shield TV. Works great on the TV with controller support. I guess I ought to seek out Sonic 1 as well.

  • November 29, 2019 at 3:39 am

    12 HOURS LATE SQUAD WHERE YOU AT??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

  • November 29, 2019 at 3:47 am

    12:16 the music was in the Nov 3 1993 prototype of sonic 3 it's the same it's just a non-midi version of the 10 songs

  • November 29, 2019 at 3:56 am

    hey everyone, its me! The voice of Brad Buxer! Bask in my glory!

  • November 29, 2019 at 5:01 am

    Said this when the vocal tracks for Sonic CD’s Japanese songs didn’t make it in the remaster, saying it again with this fiasco. Sega needs to fire and look for new lawyers. Imagine if Nintendo couldn’t release Super Mario World because it happened to have a collaborative soundtrack and their legal team just kept sitting on the issue for years on end

  • November 29, 2019 at 5:39 am

    The DS classic Collection included Sonic 3 and Knuckles. Every zone got to keep its original soundtrack. Do you know what that is?

  • November 29, 2019 at 7:48 am

    Man, I could listen to you talk about Sonic's history for hours even though I know most of this already. You're just a chill, nice dude.

  • November 29, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    I can play S3C on my Linux box, Android phone, real hardware, Dreamcast, etc
    Sonic 3 AIR is Windows-only. Wish it wasn't so exclusively one platform.

  • November 29, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Sonic 1&2 on Mobile only:
    “Let me out, let me out!

    Sonic 3 on Steam only:
    “Let me in, let me in!”

  • November 29, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    It's a real shame to think that the quintessential Sonic game will never be officially re-released (and with the whole Neverland movie, it's almost certainly banned). And it's also a shame that the real definitive versions of Sonic 1 and 2 are only available on mobile.

    Good video as usual, "Definitive way to play Sonic Adventure 2" next? (I got the game recently but I refuse to open it if there's not a "Dreamcast Restorarion" project of sorts)

  • November 29, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    28 mins to tell me absolutely nothing I didn't already know. Yay.

  • November 29, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    …i was actually surprised when i saw the view count. this is such a well-done, professionally structured video! im broke, but heck yeah i'll sub and all that. sweet content, man!

  • November 29, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    Play Sonic 3 Complete

  • November 29, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    F for the mobile port…

    And for Sonic 1&2 mobile outside of phones

  • November 29, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    Sega are so dense when it comes to Sonic… They disrespect the classics while not making Mania 2…

  • November 29, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    WHAT, Sega Alladins its 30$ on Steam? what kind of drugs are they consuming?

  • November 29, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    I wish people would stop saying that downloading ROMs is illegal. It isn't.

    Uploading ROMs is. There is a huge difference.

  • November 29, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    I dont gety why they dont just sell a version with different music, anyway i never would buy a +20 year old game

  • November 30, 2019 at 12:35 am

    Aw man, its a shame that this video doesnt include information about the recently discovered Sonic 3 Prototype that bassically answers EVERYTHING about the music concerns regarding the game. But anyways, i completely forgot about AIR, i heard about it when it was brand new and i instantly forgot about it, but now i have an excuse to actually give it a try!

  • November 30, 2019 at 12:41 am

    The music from, for example, Launch Base Zone, doesnt actually use any Jackson-esque sound. All the "Go"s, the "What"s and the "Go-What"s come from sample albums that Sega used in all the classic sonic games.
    For more juicy information (Like for example, the origin of the "HUE HUE HUE" in Stardust Speedway) check out these videos, because i can assure you that if you are curious about the origins of some of the samples in Sonic´s music, you gonna love them:

  • November 30, 2019 at 1:06 am

    Very good video, but I expected you to talk or atleast mention the new found prototype of sonic 3 that shows that the music from S&K collection was really the original songs from before MJ became involved.

  • November 30, 2019 at 1:34 am

    Now that we have Jackson-less versions of the music there's no more excuses to make a Sonic 3 port

  • November 30, 2019 at 1:46 am

    How come they didn't change the soundtrack for Sonic 3 in Sonic Jam? It came out 5 months after the PC Collection port and kept the music intact.

  • November 30, 2019 at 2:25 am

    The real reason for the PC soundtrack change was due to hardware limitations of the PC sound system back then, a PC sound card was not capable of mixing midi music (which was used on the PC) and sampled sounds. All tracks listed changed, had samples in them which gives further credence to MJ doing those tracks as well as the theory he was not entirely happy with the audio capabilities of the Mega Drive/Genesis. Given the recent release of a Sonic 3 Prototype featuring the PC soundtrack, it would be safe to say that was going to be the official soundtrack until MJ/MJ's Sound team signed on to do some of the music.

    If there was a law suit involved in the music revolving around this game why has no one ever filed? Sega are still selling it, they don't seem to be planning on not selling it anytime soon, If i was going to sue I would have done it by now or came up with a licensing agreement as the game is a license to print money and royalties would be had by all. As for the Steam workshop if it is such an easy "slam dunk" of a sue job why has no one done so, as you said the might Disney will sue or C&D within a femtosecond but they have not, so its probably a lot harder than you think.

    Sega have not done themselves any favours at all when it comes to Sonic 3 and have botched it to a point where it probably can not be released ever again but the fact they have stayed quite for so long tells me there is a lot more to this story than just MJ and his sound team holding the job up. They had a similar problem with both sonic 1 and 2 as the composer to bother those games actually owns the rights to the music, but those 2 games are re-released over and over again with no problems. So there has to be more to this.

  • November 30, 2019 at 3:46 am

    It's amazing how much can be fixed by a bit of work and prototype discovery…

    Like seriously, SEGA: Just set up a moderation group for the workshop and mod Sonic 3 & Knuckles to utilise the Sonic 3 prototype music! Then you can re-release Sonic 3 and settle the whole MJ thing afterwards.

    Heck, even hire Eukaryot himself. The man re-coded Sonic 3 from the original data, so he's kinda the guy you could go to for ports of Sonic 3.

  • November 30, 2019 at 4:16 am

    Some Japanese company really needs to buy the Sonic IP from Sammy. Current Sega is 100% incapable of doing anything good with the series point blank period. They have literally no talent left. Its gotten to the point where they are so inept, they purposefully spend money on port jobs while owning source code to already existing ports. This level of mismanagement is, as far as my knowledge goes, unrivaled in gaming.

  • November 30, 2019 at 4:29 am

    3:36 wrong. those were released as sega 3d classics, not SEGA AGES

  • November 30, 2019 at 4:32 am

    "Genesis has a horrible sound chip for voices"

  • November 30, 2019 at 5:55 am


    not to be that guy, but there i think there is some misinfo in this portion AFAIK.

    carnival night zone uses motifs and samples from michael jackson's Jam. not only that, but the glass shattering sample was reused in the song "in the closet."

    as for the mini boss theme, the voices in those samples are not michaels, surprisingly! they are actually from a sound library SEGA would use often in their music. because of this, people found these higher quality samples, and i think those are the ones used in the remastered music of Sonic A.I.R. :

    more about the mini-boss and knuckles theme, the drum samples are most likely from michael jackson's blood on the dance floor. yes, the song did come after the game, but im thinking that just like stranger in moscow, these samples were used in sonic 3 first, then reused in blood on the dance floor.

    loved the video! just an avid fan of both mj and retro sonic!

  • November 30, 2019 at 7:06 am

    Sonic 3 is the magnum opus of the Genesis. Before Sonic Mania, almost every classic sonic fan would rate it as their favorite.

  • November 30, 2019 at 7:15 am

    FYI the music that was replaced in the PC collection were not original compositions, and were present in a beta build of the game dated November 1993, four months before the game's release.

  • November 30, 2019 at 7:23 am

    Is it just me, or does he sound like a mix between Wallace Shawn and Winnie the Pooh?

  • November 30, 2019 at 8:47 am

    Just play them on Apple TV

  • November 30, 2019 at 9:09 am

    very informative and in depth video, thanks for the good content


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