Skip to main content

Konami Code creator Kazuhisa Hashimoto dies, leaves legacy of gaming Easter eggs

Kazuhisa Hashimoto, best known for creating the legendary Konami Code, has died. Game developer Konami confirmed his death earlier today on Twitter. He was 61.

Hashimoto was responsible for porting Gradius to the Famicom gaming console. Due to the game being extremely difficult, he inserted a code into the game that would allow him to finish working on it: Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Start. The password was popularized when it was included in the console version of Contra, in which granted players 30 free lives.

We are saddened to hear about the passing of Kazuhisa Hashimoto, a deeply talented producer who first introduced the world to the "Konami Code".

Our thoughts are with Hashimoto-san's family and friends at this time. Rest In Peace.

— Konami (@Konami) February 26, 2020

The code has since become a running joke in the industry, with several games utilizing the cheat as a tribute. In honor of Hashimoto’s contribution to gaming history, here are some of our favorite uses of the Konami Code in video games.

Gradius III

In most Gradius games, entering the code instantly gives players access to every power-up in the game. Konami decided to flip the script for the third game, punishing those who wanted to cheat the game. After entering the code and exiting the game’s pause menu, the player’s ship would explode instead of becoming all-powerful.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Konami Code has several applications and appearances in Metal Gear Solid 3. It’s even spoken out loud by one of the game’s characters during an interrogation scene. The most practical use comes during the boss fight with The End. Entering the code will reveal the enemy’s location on the map every time it’s entered.

Rocket League

The code isn’t just used in Konami’s games. In Psyonix’s Rocket League, players can input the code while in the game’s menu. When entered, the menu will display the logo for Rocket League’s predecessor, Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars.

Bioshock Infinite

Image used with permission by copyright holder

While most games use the code for Easter eggs and cheats, Bioshock Infinite gates an entire mode behind it. Once players beat the game, they can enter the password to unlock 1999 Mode. This adds significant challenges to the game, including increased enemy damage, less respawn points, and no auto-aim. The mode was locked behind a code to stop casual players from accidentally stumbling into a hardcore experience.

Borderlands 2

In traditional Borderlands 2 fashion, the Konami Code can be used ON the game’s title screen to unlock a quick joke. The password adds an “Extra Wubs” button to the game’s options menu. What does that mean? The in-game description for the option says, “This does literally nothing. Sorry.”

Editors' Recommendations

Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
The best video game Easter eggs of 2020
Black Ops Cold War Zombies Coffin Dance

2020 was a great year for games. We got some of the best games of the generation, highly anticipated sequels, brand-new IPs, and even the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X and S. We also got some amazing surprises in our games in the form of Easter eggs. These little secrets have been tucked away in games for years now, but over time they have only gotten more elaborate and fun to find. They can range from just a simple reference to other media, to not so subtle jabs at competing games. While Easter eggs on their own aren't enough to make a game worth buying, they are the little cherry on top of the experience you'd miss if it weren't there. That's why we've rounded up all the best video game Easter eggs of 2020 we've found.

See More

Read more
Konami’s first gaming PCs bear a striking resemblance to the Mac Pro
konami arespear gaming desktop


Video game maker Konami is now entering the gaming PC business with a trio of new desktop towers targeted at gamers.

Read more
Konami is listening to feedback on a new Silent Hill, could be making two games
silent hill konami listening to feedback norman reedius

Back from the dead, Konami announced two Silent Hill games could be in the works after the franchise stood dormant for several years. Though gamers typically aren't shy about voicing their opinions, Konami is actively seeking out feedback from fans before the games' releases.

Without confirming if there are Silent Hill titles in the pipeline, a Konami representative said the company is "listening to customer feedback and considering ways to provide the next title" in the Silent Hill series when speaking to Eurogamer on January 27. This seems to differ from the company's approach in the past on its key franchises such as Metal Gear and Castlevania, and could point to a player-first development plan that returns to core games rather than spinoffs.

Read more