Konami Code creator Kazuhisa Hashimoto passes away aged 61

Kazushisa Hashimoto Konami Code
Rest in peace Hashimoto-san. (Image credit: Konami)

Kazuhisa Hashimoto, the creator of gaming’s most iconic cheat code and a true staple of the NES era, passed away this week.

The sad news was announced by the Japanese game studio Konami via Twitter.

According to Konami, Hashimoto-san was a deeply talented producer. While working on many games in his time, he is arguably most famous for introducing the Konami Code – a gaming mainstay that keeps appearing to this very day, 34 years after its invention.

Konami Code
The Konami Code. (Image credit: Wikipedia)

The Konami Code, or up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-B-A, is a true relic of the past that always makes gamers nostalgic. Originally introduced for debugging purposes during a game’s development, this secret combination is used to unlock cool things like extra lives, endless ammo, or other helpful assets.

We first saw the Code back in the Gradius series in 1986 for its Nintendo Entertainment System/Famicom console release. Since then, it has made dozens of appearances in Japanese games such as the Contra and Castlevania series. Furthermore, many Western games implement the code to pay respect to gaming’s history or just as a fun Easter egg. The list includes Super Meat Boy, Borderlands 2 and even Rocket League.

The cultural significance of the Konami Code has extended beyond the boundaries of gaming and has made appearances in other media, such as the song Final Boss by rap group Doomtree.

We thank Hashimoto-san for his great service to video games and send our deep condolences to his family and friends.