Games | February 27, 2020 12:06 pm

The Creator of the Ultimate Video Game Cheat Code Has Passed Away

Kazuhisa Hashimoto created the extremely helpful "Konami Code"


Up up down down left right left right B A start.

If you know those instructions by heart, this was a sad week. That “Konami Code” was the work of programmer Kazuhisa Hashimoto, who passed away Tuesday night at the age of 61.

That button code first appeared in in 1986’s Gradius and became popular with 1988’s action game Contra. According to the Contra Wiki, that code — entered during the title screen — allowed players to obtain 30 free lives. Hashimoto has originally devised the code during testing of Gradius when he discovered it was too difficult, but forgot to remove it from the finished release.

Since then, the code has made appearances in several gaming titles (including Dance Dance Revolution and Metal Gear Solid) all over pop culture, including clothing, Netflix, ESPN and a song by the pop-punk band The Ataris.

Subscribe here for our free daily newsletter.