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Kazuhisa Hashimoto, creator of the Konami Code, most famous cheat code ever, dies at 61
The Konami Code — an input sequence of "up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Start" — took on a life of its own after its debut in the Nintendo Entertainment System versions of Gradius and Contra.
Hashimoto implemented the code into the notoriously difficult Gradius as a way to get extra lives, because he “obviously couldn’t beat it” when he was porting it to the system. The code became such a famous and memorable cheat code that various other games — and even Google — added it to their systems as a way to earn extra lives, play secret tunes, or give other winking nods to gamers who know their history.
The code appeared in dozens of Konami titles as well as games like BioShock Infinite, Anthem, League of Legends, Rocket League, Fortnite, and more. Various websites will respond to the code, as will Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa.
Here are just a few examples:
Hashimoto started his career with Konami in the early '80s making circuit boards for games like 1983’s Track & Field. His duties changed to porting these arcade games to home consoles soon after, which is where he was able to leave his lasting mark on gamer culture.
"We are saddened to hear about the passing of Kazuhisa Hashimoto, a deeply talented producer who first introduced the world to the 'Konami Code,'" the company wrote in its statement. "Our thoughts are with Hashimoto-san's family and friends at this time. Rest In Peace."
Hashimoto's friend Yuji Takenouchi, a video game sound designer, also paid tribute to him on Twitter, writing that "We pray for [his soul.]"