Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker Variant Guide

By Dan Gomez


We’ve recently discovered a neat variant Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker on Sega Genesis. We’ve identified copies that contain added copyright text on the back cover. The text includes copyright for Triumph International Inc, a merchandise licensing company owned by Michael Jackson’s estate, as well as copyright for Ultimate Productions.

Something I find interesting is that certain copies of the game also have the copyright text added to the games intro, following the title screen. The only difference being the year “1990” being present in the game intro copyright, which isn’t present on the game box.

It’s a little known fact that the early version of the game contains a chiptune version of Michael Jackson’s Thriller during the dance sequences in certain levels. I was hoping there was some correlation between the thriller audio existing in the game and the copyright text existing on the on the box and intro screen, but unfortunately out of the many copies I surveyed, the thriller chiptune audio exists on both copyright and non-copyright screen versions of the game.

So which came first? Copyright Text or No Copyright Text box copies? It’s not 100% clear at this time. The Sega Master System version of the game also contains the copyright text on the box, which may or may not be an indication of the copyright copies being released first. We’ll continue to research this topic and report back our findings if we find any novel information.

Something we do know is that copyright text copies seem to be quite rare, with only a single sealed copy being graded by WATA. (Tube Seam!)