Finally putting the ongoing did he / didn't he mystery to rest regarding the late Michael Jackson's alleged involvement with the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 soundtrack, French Michael Jackson fan magazine Black & White has an interview with musician Brad Buxer in which the truth is apparently revealed at last. Courtesy of the VGMdb forums, here's the translation:
B&W: Can you clarify the rumor that Michael had in 1993 composed the music for Sonic 3 video game, for which you havel been credited?
Buxer: I've never played the game so I do not know what tracks on which Michael and I have worked the developers have kept, but we did compose music for the game. Michael called me at the time for help on this project, and that's what I did. And if he is not credited for composing the music, it's because he was not happy with the result sound coming out of the console. At the time, game consoles did not allow an optimal sound reproduction, and Michael found it frustrating. He did not want to be associated with a product that devalued his music...
B&W: One of the surprising things in this soundtrack is that you can hear the chords from "Stranger in Moscow", which is supposed to have been composed later...
Buxer: Yes, Michael and I had composed those chords for the game, and it has been used as base for "Stranger in Moscow".
Well, concrete proof from a guy I don't know from a magazine in a foreign language posted on a website I've never heard of is good enough for me. But seriously, all of the pieces fit and most people have taken the Jackson/Sonic connection as truth for years already, so I'm inclined to go with this one and consider the matter closed. Check another gaming urban legend off the master list.