Up up, down down. Left-right left-right. Press B, Press A and then Start. It may sound like the most outlandish method ever for rebooting for a computer with finger aerobics, but for anyone who played a Konami game in the last 30 years they know exactly what the end result of that code is. A cheat code for anyone having a hard time in ye olde video games of yesteryear, the Konami code is the legacy of video game developer Kazuhisa Hashimoto and was first introduced inside of Gradius in the 1980s.
Hashimoto is sadly no longer with us, as the veteran shuffled off of this mortal coil at the age of 61 this week. “We are saddened to hear about the passing of Kazuhisa Hashimoto, a deeply talented producer who first introduced the world to the ‘Konami Code,’” Konami said in a statement.
Our thoughts are with Hashimoto-san’s family and friends at this time.
Back in 2003, Hashimoto detailed the origin of the code, revealing how he’d set it up to get through some of the trickier sections of Gradius. “I hadn’t played that much and obviously couldn’t beat it myself, so I put in the Konami Code,” Hashimoto said in a 2003 interview via Kotaku.
Because I was the one who was going to be using it, I made sure it was easy to remember.
The code is arguably infamous for its use in Contra, a hard as nails run ‘n un platformer that required the tightest of reflexes to duck through enemies and could be used to add a whopping 30 lives on top of the paltry amount that players started out with. Since then, the Konami code has evolved and grown over the years, popping up not only in Konami games but also in media beyond that studio and even gaming.
Last Updated: February 27, 2020