Happy 27th birthday Konami Code!

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30 lives, coming right up

They grow up so fast these days. 27 years ago, a humble little cheat code (REMEMBER THOSE?) popped up in a 1986 game by the name of Gradius. Since then, it’s been a pop culture fixture that is known by gamers across the world.

The code was originally meant to give players a leg up in the thumb-blisteringly difficult Gradius game, with developer Kazuhisha Hashimoto programming it to unlock a complete suite of powered-up weapons once it was entered.

But it became really popular in the Americas in 1987, as the unlimited lives cheat code for Contra on the NES. Since then, it’s been a part of Konami and has popped up in numerous other games. In fact, it’s so damn popular, that it’s popped up in games from other studios as well, from Bioshock Infinite to League of Legends.

And don’t forget the impact that it’s had on the rest of the world as well, appearing on merchandise and as interactive Easter eggs.

So well done to a code that is older than me, and is still as relevant today as it was in 1986. Nog ‘n piep!

Last Updated: April 23, 2013

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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