In the '90s, Michael Jackson appeared in Scramble Training, a combination of arcade shooter and theme park ride built for Sega World amusement parks. Now, thanks to a chance encounter at a flea market, all the footage from that game has been preserved for viewing on YouTube.
Michael Jackson's history of collaboration with Sega is well-known, from the games based on the Moonwalker film to the now very open secret of his involvement with Sonic the Hedgehog 3. One of the lesser known crossovers, however, is Michael Jackson in Scramble Training, where Jackson appears as an FMV narrator guiding players through a theme park ride built on Sega's Advanced Simulator-1 motion pod.
Michael Jackson in Scramble Training, as the full title goes, is pretty similar to something like Star Tours at Disney or the Back to the Future ride at Universal, though its film and hydraulics were enhanced by actual sprite-based shooting mechanics. Those rides are long since out of service, and the only real record of Scramble Training's existence came in the form of shaky camcorder footage.
You can read much more about the history of Scramble Training thanks to the folks at Gaming Alexandria, but the real twist here is that what appears to be an original master of the footage recorded for the game turned up at a flea market earlier this year.
More specifically, it was a car boot sale in the UK where someone was selling items owned by a departed relative - one who happened to be a former employee of Sega Amusements Europe. A D-2 digital tape labeled 'Sega AS-1 (Michael Jackson Vers)' was on sale, and it's pure happenstance that a collector with a mind for preservation took a chance to pick it up without even knowing what was on it.
It's only after the tape was submitted to the Oxford Duplication Centre that its contents became clear: full recordings of all the Scramble Training footage, available both in English and dubbed into Japanese. The actual game ROMs remain unpreserved, but for now, you can see all of Michael Jackson in Scramble Training on YouTube.
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