Programmer & Konami Code creator Kazuhisa Hashimoto dies at 79

The creator of the legendary Konami Code, famous in throughout gaming history in the likes of Contra, Gradius, and many more, has passed away.


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.

According to Takenouchi, Konami Code inventor Kazuhisa Hashimoto passed away on February 25, 2020.
According to Takenouchi, Konami Code inventor Kazuhisa Hashimoto passed away on February 25, 2020.

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.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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