The late Michael Jackson loved video games, and had a long association with Sega, going as far as to star in the likes of Moonwalker (both in the arcades and at home) and Space Channel 5; he also contributed to the Sonic 3 soundtrack.
However, there's another collaboration between Jackson and Sega which has had far less attention over the decades. He acted as the lead character in the Advanced System-1 (AS-1) motion simulator game Scramble Training, and while footage of the game exists online, it is incomplete and of low quality – until now, that is.
Amazingly, the complete Scramble Training footage has been preserved by fans after it was discovered on a D-2 tape at a car boot sale (flea market) in the United Kingdom.
Ben Bizley is the man who made the discovery, having met up with a local contact to buy some gaming items. "He had some Sega merchandise he got from a gentleman whose father, a former Sega employee, had recently passed away," Bizley tells Forbes. "I bought some promo posters and toys, but after I left, he sent me pictures of a D-2 tape he forgot to mention he’d paid a fair bit for."
Unaware of what might be on the tape, Bizley took to Facebook – and was informed that the tape in question was taken from an AS-1 simulator at the now-defunct SegaWorld in London. Nick Greenfield was the man who made the connection, having written about the ride on his personal site previously.
"I was scrolling through the posts in the Galaxy Sega Facebook group when Ben popped up to tell us he’s bought the tape at a car boot sale, but had no idea what it was," Greenfield told Forbes. "Some other people in the comments clocked the AS-1, but I seemed to be the only one who knew what he might have found. I’d seen the footage that existed, but the nature of the ride meant none of the vids were complete."
The next step was to get the tape digitised so it could be preserved and shared online – which took more effort than you might at first suspect – but now, thanks to the efforts of fans, you can watch the entire Scramble Training experience online.
Kenji Sasaki, who worked on the game and the AS-1 hardware, has been sharing some memories since the footage went live: