It’s the most famous video game “code”. A series of presses on the buttons of the controller which gives access to hidden functions: ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A.
Its author, Japanese Kazuhisa Hashimoto, died on the night of February 25 to 26, at the age of 61, announced composer Yuji Takenouchi, former employee like him of the video game editor Konami, information confirmed a few hours later by the company.
He has been working for Konami for five years when, in 1986, Kazuhisa Hashimoto (future producer on the series International Superstar Soccer) is responsible for adapting the very difficult arcade game Gradius for Nintendo's Famicom console.
It was to be able to test the game, looking for bugs without having to worry about enemies, that he programmed this ten-key sequence which, once in order, gave the developer 30 more lives and of an important arsenal. Discovered by players, the code becomes a way for them to cheat and see the end of the game more easily.
A special place in pop culture
If it’s not the first cheat code (cheat code) in the history of video games, it has established itself as the most famous. Reproduced in the suites of Gradius, then in other Konami games (notably the series Contra), it's also easy to remember that the games from the Japanese publisher are difficult and demanding.
The so-called “Konami Code” is no longer confined to Konami games today. In 2010, the ten-key code entered the Guinness Book of Records, which considers it the most widely used “cheat code” in video games. According to him, it would appear in at least 151 titles.
Developers from other studios, websites or programs that have nothing to do with video games often have fun hiding features or winks in their work, accessible only with the key sequence ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A. In 2012, by entering the Konami Code on François Bayrou's campaign site, it was thus possible to access a hidden animation, taking up the aesthetics of Japanese video games.