There are few bits of gaming history as transcendent against the test of time as the Konami Code. Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A is the sequence that has gifted players through decades with any number of secrets and bonuses throughout the Konami gaming library and behind. Unfortunately, the originator of the famous code, Programmer Kazuhisa Hashimoto, has passed away at age 79.
Hashimoto’s passing was announced by his friend and musical composer Yuji Takenouchi via Yakenouchi’s personal Twitter on February 26, 2020. No cause of death was cited in Takenouchi’s tweets on the matter, but apparently Hashimoto was deceased as of late February 25. Takenouchi took to Twitter to eulogize his friend for which he had worked with at Konami and maintained a friendly relationship after departure.
Kazuhisa Hashimoto first designed the Konami Code for use in the very first Gradius on the NES and Famicom. When testing the game, Hashimoto found it too difficult to play normally and designed the code as a bypass to activate all power-ups at any point the game is paused. It was then more famously used in the Contra games on NES and Famicom to provide players with 30 lives with which to more easily play through the games.
Throughout history both inside and outside of Konami, Hashimoto’s code has continued to be an Easter Egg to unlock secrets in games. It was kept intact in the Contra Anniversary Collection and Hard Corps: Uprising, unlocked new modes in Bioshock Infinite, and even opened secrets in games as recent as Friday the 13th: The Game, Fortnite, and Rocket League.
Kazuhisa Hashimoto invented a neat little workaround for his time in early game programming and it had an effect that has resounded throughout gaming history. Gaming, and Shacknews, thanks Hashimoto for his contributions to the world of good game cheats and secrets and wishes him peaceful rest.
TJ Denzer posted a new article, Programmer & Konami Code creator Kazuhisa Hashimoto dies at 79
I shall have 30 lives in NES Contra in his honor.