Tech

The Creator of the World’s Most Famous Cheat Code Has Passed Away

Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A.
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The Japanese man behind the world’s most famous cheat code has passed away, according to an announcement on Twitter on February 26.

Kazuhisa Hashimoto was the man behind up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A—also known as the Konami code. For many people who grew up in the late 1980s to the early 1990s, this piece of code has been plastered in memory for over 30 years.

A cheat code is a string of commands you press on a controller or keyboard to activate a certain video game cheat, such as gaining additional lives, having unlimited resources, or getting additional weapons. Players typically use cheat codes to leverage against the game’s difficulty or to get past a certain level.

 

The Konami Code was accidentally released

In 1986, the Konami code was accidentally released on shooter game Gradius as the first cheat code ever invented. But it was not originally intended as a cheat. The code was invented by Hashimoto to aid developers in improving various aspects of the game because they found it too difficult to finish. 

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The fun part was that Hashimoto forgot to erase the code from the game. Players soon discovered this flaw: If they paused the game and pressed up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, they would gain all the power-ups available in the game.

Games that used the Konami Code

One of the world’s leading game developers, Konami is the company behind titles and franchises such as Metal Gear, Castlevania, Dance Dance Revolution, and Contra. All of these games have used the Konami code to allow players to unlock powerups and other Easter eggs.

Konami developers thought that the cheat code was a nice little in-game treat, so they decided to use it for other titles. According to a Forbes report, when Contra was released in 1987, gamers tried the code, and they gained 30 lives, granting them near-immortal status in the game. This gave rise to the Konami code’s nickname known as the 30 Lives Code, a reference to the infamous and ridiculously overpowered cheat code in Contra.

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Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Kazuhisa Hashimoto. He was 79 years old.

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