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Michael Jackson's Moonwalker

From Sega Retro

For the Sega System 18 arcade game, see Michael Jackson's Moonwalker (System 18).
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Moonwalker MD title.png
Michael Jackson's Moonwalker
Publisher: Sega
Developer:
System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System
Genre: Action































Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
JP
¥6,000 G-4028
Sega Mega Drive
US
$? ?
Sega Mega Drive
CA
$? ?
Sega Mega Drive
UK
£34.99[2]
Sega Mega Drive
FR
?F
Sega Mega Drive
DE
DM ?
Sega Mega Drive
ES
?Ptas
Sega Mega Drive
AU
$? ?
Sega Mega Drive
BR
R$? ?



Sega Master System
US
$29.95[4] 7052
Sega Master System
UK
£29.99[2][5] 7052
Sega Master System
FR
?F 7052
Sega Master System
DE
DM ? 7052
Sega Master System
ES
?Ptas 7052
Sega Master System
AU
$? ?
Sega Master System
BR
R$? 026070
Sega Master System
KR
₩? GB2004JG



Michael Jackson's Moonwalker (マイケルジャクソンズ ムーンウォーカー) is the name of one of two video game tie-ins made by Sega based on the 1988 film, Moonwalker. The other is an arcade version produced for Sega System 18 hardware, and a third (sometimes subtitled as The Computer Game) was released by U.S. Gold for home computers, but had no involvement from Sega. As the name suggests it is endorsed by pop sensation Michael Jackson, who would go on to have a long history working with Sega.

Gameplay

Moonwalker is made up of a number of short films and does not tell a coherent story from beginning to end. As a result, all versions of Michael Jackson's Moonwalker are based on one segment of the film, Smooth Criminal, which sees Jackson using various music and dance related abilities on a quest to save kidnapped children from the hands of the evil "Mr. Big" and various American gangsters.

Console versions of Moonwalker play similarly to their arcade counterpart, but are played from a 2D perspective. As with the arcade version the objective is to go around destroying enemies while finding the missing children. C/1 jumps, B/pressing 2 kicks, and A/holding 2 spins/shoots your hat at enemies. Music is shortened in this version.

This version is notable for having several pointless features which do not appear to have much effect on gameplay (for example, B + Left/Right moonwalks and it is also possible to do crotch grabs). Up opens doors and sewer lids. Once all the children in a level are saved, Bubbles the Monkey will appear and will point you in the direction of Mr. Big, and once you get to the right spot you will have to fight a barrage of his cronies to complete the stage. The Master System version cuts the Bubbles scene and goes right to the boss barrage.

If a meteor falls out of the sky, catch it to turn into a giant mech that shoots lasers and is invincible for a short period of time. You cannot rescue children while invincible.

History

Release

In the early days of the Mega Drive, Moonwalker was often used as a flagship product of Sega's system (particularly in North America), with Jackson's persona being used along with many other celebrities in an effort to put a dent in sales of Nintendo products.

Even though both versions of the game have a stage takes place in a graveyard and have the "Thriller dance" which can be performed, the theme of Thriller does not feature in either game (being replaced with Another Part of Me). It is suspected that the reason for this was that Michael did not write the song (Rod Temperton wrote Thriller for Michael). However, in the first revision (REV 00), excerpts of Thriller are used for the dance attacks in the Round 3 stages.

In North America, the Master System version was released alongside the redesigned Master System II console.

Legacy

The Sega versions of Moonwalker have now achieved cult status and are remembered for being a memorable point in Jackson's career, marking a change in stage personas between the albums "Thriller" and "Bad". Jackson would work with Sega on several future products - he would be responsible for much of the music in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (though remains uncredited) and features in both Space Channel 5 and Space Channel 5: Part 2.

A sequel was planned but later dropped due to child molestation accusations to Michael Jackson in 1993.

Production credits

Mega Drive version

Master System version

  • Designers: Udi, Sadou, Fudou
  • Planners: Tomozou, Asohy, Pata
  • Sound Programmer: T N
  • Programmers: Minepy, Kidopyu, Mochaponpon, Kozaoyaji
  • Presented by: Sega

Magazine articles

Main article: Michael Jackson's Moonwalker/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Mega Drive print advert in
Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #10: "July 1990" (1990-06-08)
</div>
<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Mega Drive print advert in
Sega Visions (US) #1: "June/July 1990" (1990-xx-xx)
also published in:
  • Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #13: "August 1990" (1990-xx-xx)[7]
  • GamePro (US) #12: "July 1990" (1990-xx-xx)[8]
  • VideoGames & Computer Entertainment (US) #18: "July 1990" (1990-xx-xx)[9]
</div>
<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Mega Drive print advert in
Game Players (US) Vol. 2 No. 8 "August 1990" (1990-xx-xx)
also published in:
  • GamePro (US) #13: "August 1990" (1990-xx-xx)[10]
  • VideoGames & Computer Entertainment (US) #19: "August 1990" (1990-xx-xx)[11]
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #16: "November 1990" (1990-xx-xx)
also published in:
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
Sega Visions (US) #4: "April/May 1991" (1991-xx-xx)
also published in:
  • Sega Visions (US) #5: "Summer 1991" (1991-xx-xx)[15]
  • Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #27: "October 1991" (1991-xx-xx)[16]
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Master System print advert in
Sega Visions (US) #6: "Fall 1991" (1991-xx-xx)
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Mega Drive print advert in
Computer & Video Games (UK) #111: "February 1991" (1991-01-16)
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Master System print advert in
Computer & Video Games (UK) #111: "February 1991" (1991-01-16)
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
Computer & Video Games (UK) #112: "March 1991" (1991-02-16)
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Master System print advert in
Computer & Video Games (UK) #113: "April 1991" (1991-03-16)
also published in:
  • Computer & Video Games (UK) #114: "May 1991" (1991-04-14)[17]
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
Computer & Video Games (UK) #113: "April 1991" (1991-03-16)
also published in:
  • Computer & Video Games (UK) #114: "May 1991" (1991-04-14)[18]
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
Mean Machines Sega (UK) #11: "September 1993" (1993-07-30)
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
Hobby Consolas (ES) #2: "Noviembre 1991" (1991-xx-xx)
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Master System print advert in
K (IT) #25: "Febbraio 1991" (199x-xx-xx)
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
K (IT) #31: "Settembre 1991" (1991-xx-xx)
</div>
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<div style="width:Expression error: Unexpected < operator.px; padding-left:2px; padding-top:9px; padding-right:2px;">Print advert in
K (IT) #32: "Ottobre 1991" (1991-xx-xx)
</div>

Physical scans

Mega Drive version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
61 №38, p89[19]
88 №4, p32[20]
81 №0, p44-46
88 №108, p80/81[21]
71 №1, p72Media:MeanMachinesEssentialSegaGuide Book UK.pdf[22]
91 №26, p36
78 №5, p87[23]
87 №9, p88[24]
64 №5, p93
78 №9, p21
85 №1, p79[25]
72 №18, p93
81 №4, p36[26]
96 №4, p24/25[27]
59 №10/90, p140[28]
87 №2, p42/43[29]
90 №17, p10/11
80 №23, p54
84 №4, p19[30]
84 №18, p66
91 №14, p130/131
Sega Mega Drive
81
Based on
21 reviews

Mega Drive, US
Moonwalker MD US Box.jpg
Cover
Moonwalker MD US Cart.jpg
Cart
Moonwalker md us manual.pdf
Manual
Mega Drive, US (cart misprint)
Moonwalker MD US Box.jpg
Cover
Moonwalker MD US Cart Misprint.jpg
Cart
Moonwalker md us manual.pdf
Manual
Mega Drive, EU
Moonwalker md eu cover.jpg
Cover
Moonwalker MD EU Cart.jpg
Cart
Mega Drive, JP
Moonwalker md jp cover.jpg
Cover
MJMoonwalker MD JP CartTop.jpg
Moonwalker MD JP Cart.jpg
Cart
Moonwalker md jp manual.pdf
Manual
Mega Drive, AU

Mega Drive, BR (cardboard)
Moonwalker MD BR Box Cardboard.jpg
Cover
Mega Drive, BR
Moonwalker MD BR Box.jpg
Cover
Moonwalker MD BR Cart.jpg
Cart
Michael Jackson's Moonwalker MD BR Manual.pdf
Manual
Mega Drive, CA

Mega Drive, SE (rental)

Master System version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
80 №1, p22Media:TheCompleteGuideToSega UK.pdf[31]
80 №0, p44/45
70 №112, p78[32]
70 №4, p94[33]
71 №1, p146Media:MeanMachinesEssentialSegaGuide Book UK.pdf[34]
64 №20, p66/67[35]
90 №16, p146[36]
80 №4, p34/35[37]
91 №9, p20/21[38]
55 №7/91, p137
83 №17, p18/19
60 №23, p58
81 №4, p19[30]
40 №91, p80/81[39]
Sega Master System
73
Based on
14 reviews

Master System, US
Moonwalker SMS US cover.jpg
Cover
Moonwalker sms us manual.pdf
Manual
Master System, EU (6 languages)
Moonwalker SMS EU 6lang cover.jpg
Cover
MichaelJacksonsMoonwalkerSMSEUManual6L.pdf
Manual
Master System, EU (8 languages)
Moonwalker SMS EU Box.jpg
Cover
Master System, AU

Master System, BR (cardboard)
Moonwalker SMS BR cover.jpg
Cover
Moonwalker SMS BR Cart.jpg
Cart
MJMoonwalker SMS BR Manual.pdf
Manual
Master System, BR
MJMoonwalker SMS BR Box(code bar).jpg
Cover
Master System, KR
Moonwalker SMS KR Alt backcover.jpgNospine.pngMoonwalker SMS KR Alt cover.jpg
Cover
Moonwalker SMS KR cart.jpg
Cart
Master System, KR (Alt)
Moonwalker SMS KR AltB cover.jpg
Cover
Master System, KR (Alt B)
Moonwalker SMS KR backcover.jpgNospine.pngMoonwalker SMS KR cover.jpg
Cover

Mega-Tech version

Mega-Tech,
Moonwalker MT cover.jpg
Cover
Moonwalker MT Cart.jpg
Cart

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 6a70791b
MD5 7baf9fb775ee130bd7a4a779cb3bb612
SHA-1 8960bac2027cdeadb07e535a77597fb783e1433b
512kB 1990-07 Cartridge v00
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 11ce1f9e
MD5 73b63cac3f15bfe4a7bad170654878a9
SHA-1 70d9b760c87196af364492512104fa18c9d69cce
512kB 1990-07 Cartridge v01

References