Michael Jackson: Video Game Star

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The world didn’t just lose a pop icon when Michael Jackson passed away yesterday, it also lost…a video game star. Many of you probably know about Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker for the Sega Genesis, but do you remember his bizarre inclusion in Ready 2 Rumble Boxing Round 2 for the Sega Dreamcast? How about how he bravely continued his mission to save the galaxy with the power of dance that he started in Moonwalker, with a cameo in Space Channel 5 and a then a co-starring role in Space Channel 5 Part 2?

Join me for a trip down memory lane and let’s relive the video game career of Michael Jackson together, complete with video.


Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker
If you’ve never seen this game before, prepare to have your mind blown. You’ll find a lot to process here, but I’ve included a few important moments that you won’t want to miss:

:29 - Michael does his best impersonation of me entering a club.
:39 - MJ saves a small child who is trapped in a nightclub. He saves a lot of children in this game. As to why they’re in a nightclub to begin with…
:59 - Sweet pose and toss of the hat. What moves!
1:10 - Woman dressed like a whore from Deadwood gets totally rebuffed by Michael. The man is on a mission!
1:28 - It’s MJ’s pet chimp, Bubbles!!! He tells Michael where to go and then gets the hell out.
1:44 - Boss fight? Maybe? Kind of?

Ready 2 Rumble Boxing Round 2

With his reputation of being a finely chiseled, well-oiled fighting machine willing to throw down at the drop of a hat, Michael Jackson was a natural fit for a boxing game. Once again, here are some things to look out for:

:02 - He’s 5’10″ and weighs 125 pounds and people always described him as “sickly.” Ridiculous!
:05 - Michael Buffer is getting ready to introduce Michael Jackson. In a boxing video game. This is happening.
:20 - Is it just me, or does Jackson’s video game nose look more realistic than the one we grew to know in real life?
:23 - Buffer makes sure to point out that MJ is wearing a black fedora. Awesome.
:30 - Jackson does some sort of fighting/dance thing and then talks trash. It’s the worst trash-talk ever.
1:25 - MJ completely forgets that he’s supposed to be boxing and busts out a dance move.
1:46 - Dude just got knocked down by Michael Jackson, who celebrates by dancing.
1:57 - Oh snap! MOONWALK!!!!!! No he didn’t!!!!
2:35 - Knockout!!! Dancing!! Awful trash talk!!
3:07 - MJ fights Shaq. You’re on your own for the rest of this clip. My brain can’t take any more.

Space Channel 5
& Space Channel 5 Part 2

I was going to try and describe Michael’s involvement in the Space Channel 5 games, but nothing I write can match the awesome, matter-of-fact way in which it’s written in Wikipedia: “Space Michael, based on Michael Jackson, appears as a cameo in the first game, but becomes a fully involved character in Part 2. After being rescued by Ulala from the Rhythm Rogues, Michael uses his singing skills against a singing robot.” Here are some “highlights” to look for in the Japanese trailer for the game:

:03 - Michael is doing something…with his pelvis. I’m not sure what, but I don’t like it.
:10 - Ulala is doing the Thriller dance.
:21 - I love that the best name they could come up with is “Space Michael.”
:41 - Michael dancing with aliens. He fits right in.
:58 - I believe MJ is gonna break it down.
1:01 - Yep. Breaking down in progress.
1:03 - MOONWALK!!!!!!
1:09 - Michael is either talking dirty to us or encouraging us. Or both.
1:16 - Robot/moonwalk dance. We all need to learn this.

As you can see, Michael had a career-long relationship with video games. Like the man in real life, his games may have been quirky and bizarre, but they were always entertaining and over-the-top. Goodbye, Michael Jackson, video game star; you’ll be missed. Rather than a moment of silence, let’s all enjoy a tribute from the video game characters whose lives you touched so much, courtesy of Bitmobber Jan Neves.

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