Kazuhisa Hashimoto, inventor of the most famous video game code of all time, the Konami Code, has died at the age of 79. In honor of the former Konami producer and the famous code he left all of us, here are five fun facts about the Konami Code.
And remember: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A.
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It was initially created because Konami games were very hard
If you grew up in the original Ninetndo era, this is no secret to you. Contra wasn't easy. In fact, if you can beat the game with 3 lives to start, you were basically invincible.
The rest of us needed help, and so did the developers. While porting Gradius from the arcade to the NES, Hashimoto implemented what we now know as the Konami Code into the game to make it a little easier while testing. By the time the game was shipped, he and the team had forgotten to take the code out of the game. Thus, the Konami code was born.
Contra wasn't the first game to have the Konami Code
While it definitely was the game that popularized the code (to the point where people still call it the "Contra Code" to this day), it wasn't the first. Gradius was in fact the maiden voyage for our dear cheat in 1986. Contra didn't hit Nintendo until 1988.
The Konami Code wasn't in every game, nor did it always give 30 lives
In Super C (Contra 2, basically) you get 10 lives by pressing down, up, right, left, A, B, Start (this felt as wrong to type as it did to read). If you want 30 lives in Contra 3, you're pressing press right, down, down, right, right.
In Gradius, the Konami Code gave you a weapons/partial invincibility buff. There are different variants of what the code will give you in other popular Konami series like Dance Dance Revolution, Castlevania, Metal Gear and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But Blades of Steel? Goose egg. You have to earn your victory on the ice with no help (unless you do that pass shot trick that always fooled the goalie).
The Konami Code is everywhere
Eventually the code became so famous that it transcended the industry and other developers gave nods to it in their games.
For example, League of Legends has it within the the Final Boss Veigar skin. Rocket League? It's there. Last October Fortnite incorporated the code during it's successful "Black Hole" event, where it launched a Durr Burger shooter mini game.
Even we weren't immune to the pop-culture icon. The code is in one of our video graphics for our esports videos as an easter egg (but we won't spoil which one).
The code is bigger than video games
The code is a part of pop culture at this point, where toys, Hollywood films and music have all referenced it. WWE Superstar Xavier Woods named his video game content YouTube channel Up Up Down Down in honor of the code.
In 2014, if you went to the Google search app on your phone and searched for Up, Up, Down, Down, Left,. Right, Left, Right, you'd get the response "Cheat Mode Unlocked: Unlimited Free Google Searches." ESPN even got in on it: In 2009, if you entered the code (pressing enter on your keyboard in place of start) on our website, you'd get unicorns!