⬆️⬆️⬇️⬇️⬅️➡️⬅️➡️🅱️🅰️ RIP
February 26, 2020 1:48 PM   Subscribe

Kazuhisa Hashimoto, creator of the Konami Code, a cheat code first used in Gradius and later popularised in Contra, has died at 61. The Konami Code has been used in over 100 Konami games, and has spread far and wide beyond the company in games, software, and other media.

Thanks to Fizz for the pointer on this story.
posted by adrianhon (39 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 1:52 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]

↑↑↓↓← → ← →(B)(A)

posted by Fizz at 1:53 PM on February 26 [15 favorites]

Man, I learned that code on an actual playground back when Contra was new. We were all writing in down on paper to take home. So Cool. R.I.P. to a boss.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 1:55 PM on February 26 [6 favorites]

I know people who can speedrun Contra without using the Konami code to unlock thirty extra lives, but I have never been that type of individual. I needed every life. It was the first cheat code I ever learned and used.

It's cemented into my memory. Ask me what my social insurance number is and I'll struggle. Ask me what the Konami code is and I can do it blindfolded.
posted by Fizz at 1:56 PM on February 26 [12 favorites]

posted by ZeusHumms at 1:57 PM on February 26

posted by JakeEXTREME at 2:17 PM on February 26

Time goes fast, even when you have 30 lives.

posted by Strange Interlude at 2:18 PM on February 26 [7 favorites]

posted by badbobbycase at 2:39 PM on February 26

When I performed my younger brother's wedding, I snuck the Konami Code into the service, following a suggestion by miasma in an AskMe.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:48 PM on February 26 [8 favorites]

So, 98 lives to go I guess.

posted by Going To Maine at 2:52 PM on February 26 [3 favorites]

Just a couple weeks ago I revisited Contra for the first time in years. There were a few reasons: I wanted to test the display latency on my new TV. I wanted to try out the Japanese version. I'd only recently learned that the game actually gets (slightly) harder on each playthrough. And most of all, I wanted to see if middle-aged me still had the reflexes and muscle memory necessary to beat that total bastard of a game.

I got halfway through the fourth consecutive playthrough when I finally ran out of lives. No code, no continues. Muscle memory is a hell of a thing.

I never would've been able to do it if it weren't for all that time spent as a kid "training" with the Konami Code...

posted by neckro23 at 2:52 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]

XYZZY, good sir. XYZZY.

posted by rhizome at 2:52 PM on February 26

I learned the code playing Kingdom of Loathing.
posted by Obscure Reference at 3:02 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]

The Moldy Peaches immortalized it as a lyric in Anyone Else But You. Which is likely the reason I remember it accurately.
posted by atomo at 3:08 PM on February 26 [3 favorites]

posted by Faint of Butt at 3:09 PM on February 26


Also I just checked and the front page of Buzzfeed is still Konami-enabled.
posted by Mchelly at 3:22 PM on February 26 [1 favorite]

I grew up thinking how nice the game developers were to put cheat codes in for us. It blew my mind later to find out that cheat codes were actually there to aid in testing - the testers needed the ability to have unlimited lives, spawn all weapons, skip to any level - and once the code base was tested as "stable" they wouldn't want to alter it in any way in case they introduced new bugs, so the cheat codes were left in there permanently.
posted by xdvesper at 4:16 PM on February 26 [11 favorites]

posted by JoeXIII007 at 4:37 PM on February 26

I was a Gradius man, myself.

posted by LionIndex at 5:11 PM on February 26

posted by Big Al 8000 at 5:35 PM on February 26

Please observe 30 moments of silence in his honor.
posted by Servo5678 at 5:42 PM on February 26 [3 favorites]

The Konami code, 007 373 5963, and JUSTIN BAILEY are all permanently inscribed in my memory.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 7:18 PM on February 26

May he enjoy his remaining 98 lives.

posted by snuffleupagus at 8:20 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]

it's so wild that a specific sequence of button presses became like a secret meme 30 years ago or whatever. like i still remember finding out about it and it felt like knowing some forbidden knowledge at first.

there were so many stories we told about video game secrets. i think the konami code was the first one that like, EVERYONE knew though, maybe. almost everyone..

(me and my cousin used to play 2 player contra, each using 30 lives of course. our younger brothers would demand to get next game, but we wouldn't tell them the code, so they would like, die immediately and we'd get to play again.)
posted by capnsue at 8:52 PM on February 26

posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:59 PM on February 26

I played the hell out of Contra as a kid (well, a few years after it came out when we finally got an NES at home) but never knew about the code until well into adulthood. A couple of years ago I set my homepage to trigger a JS NES emulator on the Konami code. Even though these days I need the code to even reach the 2nd or 3rd boss, it's a fun nostalgia trip. Fond memories of Parodius, too.

Nobody tell me when the folks who coded in ABACAB cheats on the Genesis go.
posted by sysinfo at 11:18 PM on February 26

posted by not_on_display at 11:52 PM on February 26

posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 12:47 AM on February 27

Woo... I remember some kid telling me the Konami code in school, and I thought for sure he was bullshitting me. (Kids did that a lot.) Went home and tried it, and when it worked, I was amazed. I think my brother and I beat Contra for the first time that night and then celebrated with Stouffer's french bread pizzas?

Without the code, I would have beaten Contra eventually. However, I would have NEVER beat the first Ninja Gaiden game without the trick on stage five... you get the 1up, then go down the ladder, and get it again... because to get past the final stage, it took me at least 70 lives.

posted by Chronorin at 3:36 AM on February 27 [3 favorites]

posted by filtergik at 4:14 AM on February 27

posted by Faintdreams at 4:22 AM on February 27

posted by joedan at 5:24 AM on February 27

posted by Gelatin at 6:26 AM on February 27

NEVER beat the first Ninja Gaiden game without the trick on stage five
You beat that game? I have the NES Classic where I can make the saves at the boss level, and I still can't pass the first (!) boss in the final level. Konami knows how to make cruel games, that's for sure.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:03 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]

My kid has this little Fisher Price toy controller that makes noises when you press the buttons. If you press the Konami code it plays a special little sequence. Such a fun easter egg.
posted by stripesandplaid at 8:24 AM on February 27 [6 favorites]

posted by Canageek at 10:07 AM on February 27

Moldy Peaches, Anyone Else But You: "Just because we use cheats doesn't mean we're not smart."
posted by hydra77 at 1:36 PM on February 28

I thought for sure that I'd used the Konami Code to unlock extra lives in Super Mario Bros on the original NES. Am I mis-remembering that? (I don't see it referenced on the Wikipedia page.)
posted by hydra77 at 3:58 PM on February 28

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