Thursday, April 14, 2016

Michael Jackson's Moonwalker is Weird and Amazing

Michael Jackson's Moonwalker for Sega Genesis is based on the 1988 film of the same name, which serves as an anthology film featuring several of Michael Jackson's music videos promoting his album Bad. The game was released on several platforms, from the arcade, to several variations of home computers (including DOS, Amiga, MSX, C64, etc.) and the Genesis and Sega Master System.

I don't think anyone needs to tell you this, but Michael Jackson was kind of a big deal in the 1980s and 1990s. Millions obsessed over his music, his style and his charisma. He was a supremely talented musician and it showed. One of those people obsessed with him was a young version of myself.

When I say obsessed, I mean obsessed. Not only did I listen to his music constantly, I would watch music video channels for hours waiting for his music videos to come on so I could hurry and record them to a VHS tape. I had tapes filled with music videos, documentaries, and even that made for TV movie that VH1 played constantly in the 90s, The Jacksons: An American Dream. 

Combine a kid's Michael Jackson fandom with his obsession with video games and Moonwalker is pretty much perfect. It is a fascinating and strange game.

Click through for more!

The premise of the game is strange, but that just adds to it. Basically, Joe Pecci has kidnapped a bunch of young children and it is up to Michael Jackson to save them. Joe Pecci has ordered his henchmen to shoot Michael on sight, but thankfully for MJ he has magic powers which strengthen his attacks.

When Michael finds all of the children in the area, his legit pet monkey Bubbles shows up to point him to the end of the level where he confronts Joe Pecci, who always escapes at the last moment.

The best part is that Michael has the ability to hypnotize his enemies to join him in dance!

What's even better about this is that all of your enemies/backup dancers fall over dead after they finish their dance sequence. Does all of this make sense to you? No? Oh well. You can actually moonwalk in the game, so it doesn't really matter if this makes sense.

The game has 5 levels with 3 parts per level. Each level has a different theme with different bad guys. The first level resembles the Smooth Criminal music video, the second level emulates the setting of the Beat It video, etc. All of the music in the game is MIDI versions of popular MJ songs, so you are never without some killer music to listen to.

I can't talk about this game without mentioning my favorite aspect of it; the fact that if you save children in a specific order, a shooting star will fall from the sky. If you are quick enough, you can grab the star which turns Michael Jackson into...


This game is packed full of legitimately strange things, but that just adds to its charm. And the fact that it is fun on top of everything makes it very much worth your time. I know it has some detractors, but those people are awful. Don't listen to them. Embrace the weirdness that is a Michael Jackson video game.

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