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Proto:Michael Jackson's Moonwalker (Genesis)

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This page details one or more prototype versions of Michael Jackson's Moonwalker (Genesis).

A sample version of Michael Jackson's Moonwalker was discovered by brian the hedgehog in September 2017, and later acquired and dumped by Landon White who released it on August 6, 2018.

This build is dated April 24, 1990, four months before the final release.

Download.png Download Michael Jackson's Moonwalker (Prototype)
File: Michael Jackson's Moonwalker (Prototype).zip (info)

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ROM Header

Prototype Final
(C)SEGA 1989.AUG
GM 00004017-00
(C)SEGA 1990.JUL
ンズ ムーンウォー
GM 00004028-00

The prototype's ROM header is copied from Kujaku Ou 2.

Title Screen

Prototype Final
Moonwalker-Title-Proto.png Michael Jackson's Moonwalker Gens Title.png
  • "PUSH" was changed to "PRESS" and a trademark symbol was added.
  • There are no gameplay demos, instead the game goes straight to the player selection menu after the copyright splash screen instead of waiting until the player presses Start.
  • The copyright splash screen is displayed after pressing Start, in the final game it's only shown after the title screen during the attract mode.

Menu Differences

  • The Level Select menu is activated by default and it has differences:
    • Every individual stage in the game can be selected by using the Scene section which has 3 options. In the final game, the Scene section is excluded and the player can only select the first stage of each Round.
    • The player can select Round 6, in the final game this option is not given.
    • Forcing the game to select Round 6, Scene 2 (which is not normally possible) will play the ending and credits. Round 6, Scene 3 can also be forcibly selected, and it is a glitched version of Round 1-1 with the laser cannon from Round 6.
  • In the Options menu:
    • The Sound Test lists the stage music tracks as ROUND 1-5, instead of listing them by the song name as in the final version.
    • Alongside the stage music, the tracks for the boss fights, Mr. Big fight, Round 1-1 Dance Attack, Round 1-2 Dance Attack, and the ending are included, they're respectively listed as ENEMY, BOSS, DANCE 1, DANCE 2, and ENDING. In the final game, they're not here, the stage tracks are the only music included.
    • The voice samples are not included here, unlike the final game.


  • The door sound at the beginning of Round 1-1 is bugged and messes up the console's SPU, so certain sounds won't play until an enemy is defeated.
  • The Magic attack sound processing is glitchy and the magic sound can play indefinitely at times.
  • Pressing Start on Controller 2 during Player 1's turn pauses the game, the same thing happens during Player 2's turn if the button is pressed on Controller 1.
  • The "PAUSE" text that flashes on-screen in the final game when the game is paused is absent.
  • Enemies fly away slower and at less dynamic angles when defeated.
  • If the player uses all magic/health and doesn't have enough to do a Dance Attack, nothing will happen. In the final game, the player instead will always do the hat-throwing attack.
  • Making contact with Mr. Big does less damage.
  • Turning Michael into his robotic form always plays the Bad stage track instead of the current stage music, and the form itself doesn't have a radar function showing the locations of the hidden children. Also, the lasers do far less damage to enemies, and they are shown defeated normally rather than exploding.
  • There is a bug that occurs occasionally when defeating enemies that sends the player's score into the high hundreds of thousands, if not the maximum of 999,999.
  • There is no time bonus screen after each level.
  • There are no continues. In the final game, the player has infinite continues.

Round 1

  • Bullets from the mobsters' guns kill in one hit, and their attack animation is much slower to compensate.
  • One of the debutantes is not possible to be knocked away, the player has to move back before hitting her.
  • The cats are bugged: they jump much lower than usual, and cannot leap over objects - instead, they'll either just jump through them, or in the case of pinball machines, they will freeze in place and move in the direction they were traveling until they leave the screen.
  • The bosses of Round 1-2 have more health, and the battle area is missing some pinball machines.
  • The boss of Round 1-3 is bugged: there are three of the same bosses from Round 1-2, but killing them does not end the level properly and the game gets soft-locked.

Round 2

  • The dogs are more aggressive: they don't walk near Michael and bark, they usually just collide directly into the player.
  • The time bombs are conversely more passive, and content to just sit in the objects they are found on and explode rather than jumping out at the player and bizarrely doing contact damage.
  • The lifts in Round 2-2 don't move floors with the player.
  • Mr. Big's speech balloon gets caught behind the background at the Round 2-1 boss.
  • The AI of the boss run in Round 2-2 is more glitchy, the suited men are more apt to fire on top of the car, above your head.
  • The girl that appears after defeating the boss of Round 2-2 can spawn incorrectly above the ground if the player is above it when defeating the last guy.
  • The dog bosses of Round 2-3 just mindlessly walk on the ground toward the player instead of constantly jumping around the battle area.

Round 3

  • The player can only move the graves using a ducking attack or the Spin Attack. The final game lets the player open them by pressing Up and the Spin Attack leaves them unaffected.
  • The zombies only need to be hit once to be defeated. In the final game, they have to be hit twice.
  • The bosses of Round 3-2 are just a bunch of zombies walking mindlessly at the player. There are no super zombies, and the normal zombies walk slower.
  • The previous point applies for Round 3-3, the bosses are another crowd of zombies instead of the two super zombies that the the final game has, although the zombies in this fight move faster.

Round 4

  • The spider and "No Moonwalking" walls, like the gravestones in Round 3, can't be opened by pressing Up. They can only be opened with either the Magic attack, the Up + B upward attack, or by Moonwalking.
  • The spiders are less aggressive.
  • The stalactites do minimal damage to enemies instead of killing them in one hit.
  • Enemies can be protected from being hit by having them stand behind the large rocks, this seems to be a collision issue.
  • Many spider and "No Moonwalking" symbols are interchanged between the prototype and the final game.
  • The suited men can get stuck in midair if the player kicks them off ledges, this can also happen in Round 5.
  • Mr. Big's face palette is messed up in Rounds 4 and 5 and alternates between red and yellow.
  • The Round 4-1 boss run includes zombies. In the final game, there are only suited men.
  • The Round 4-2 boss run is more of the same from 4-1. This combined with the one-hit laser kills makes this fight incredibly (if not impossibly) difficult.

Round 5

  • The lasers shot by the enemies kill Michael in one hit.
  • The ceiling lasers are destroyed in one hit instead of having to be hit twice like in the final game.
  • In the final game, destroying the computers will disable nearby ceiling lasers, here this doesn't happen.
  • The boss location of Round 5-2 is different and the boss run itself consists of normal suited men, in the final game the bosses are three green suited men.
  • In Round 5-3 the player can still get one-shot by the lasers as the Michael robot.
  • In Round 5-3 all the enemies are regular suited men instead of green suited men.
  • The boss fight in Round 5-3 doesn't seem to have an ending yet - enemies spawn infinitely.
  • The player can sometimes get stuck in mid-air by walking off a teleporter.
  • Suited men attack at close range by... spinning in place. In the final game, they have a proper rifle bash attack.
  • Enemies (suited men) aren't layered properly when they fall through the trapdoors.

Round 6

  • The prototype refers to this as RD. 6-1, when the final version calls it Round 6.
  • It is completely different from the final game: instead of chasing Mr. Big in space, the stage takes place on a cliffside (which uses the same background seen in Round 5-3) and Michael pilots some sort of cannon and has to shoot another cannon (piloted by Mr. Big), this makes it a more accurate representation of the events of the Moonwalker movie. Mr. Big's cannon appears to not register any hits despite playing a different sound when shooting at it, and Mr. Big's shots also lack any sort of collision. It's impossible to win or lose, rendering the stage unbeatable.


Prototype Final
Moonwalker-Hand-Proto.png Moonwalker-Hand-Final.png
  • The cursor in the main menu is Michael's bare hand, unlike the sparkling red glove from the final version.
Prototype Final
Moonwalker-Bird-Proto.png Moonwalker-Bird-Final.png
  • The crows in Round 3 are colored black. They were changed to red for the final game, probably so that they would be easier to see with the dark background.

Sound and Music

To do:
Add the rest of the music for comparison.
  • Overall, music instrumentation/samples are rougher.
  • Round 3's background music is completely different, it's a rendition of "Thriller". Of course, under unknown circumstances, the song still somewhat made it to the final game: three small snippets of it are heard in the earliest retail copies of the US release. "Another Part of Me", the replacement song, is not present anywhere in the prototype.
  • "Billie Jean" is in an earlier state, with some different notes compared to the final version.


Prototype Final
  • The credits sequence is slightly different, showing Michael dancing alone, unlike in the final where a child is seen dancing with him.
  • Numerous text differences:
    • Several grammatical fixes to the role titles.
    • There was supposed to be an "&" between "PLANNER" and "COORDINATOR" in the prototype, but that symbol doesn't exist in the font graphics, so it doesn't appear.
    • "JINYA" was changed to "JIYNA".
    • A period was added between "MT.BOOK". It's actually spelled correctly in the prototype ROM, but the character to display a period is supposed to be a "<", so it was fixed for the final game.
    • Al Nilsen, the director of marketing at Sega of America at the time, was given a special thanks.
    • Michael Jackson's role was changed from "supervisor" to "game concept and design".
  • The "END" text is just part of the text scroll in the prototype. In the final game, Michael throws his hat, which causes the text to appear.
  • Michael continues to dance as the screen fades out in the prototype. In the final game, he and the kid strike a pose.