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. pic.twitter.com/vQijEQ8lU2
— 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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