Kazuhisa Hashimoto, a producer credited with implementing the fabled "Konami Code" that gave players godlike cheats in Contra, Gradius, Castlevania, and other Konami games for the Nintendo Entertainment System, died on Tuesday. He was 61. Polygon reports: Hashimoto was a programmer and producer for the home console port of Gradius, which in 1986 was the first video game to use the Konami Code. Hashimoto put it in the game as an aid for his playtesting, memorably saying that he "obviously couldn't beat it." For unclear reasons, the Konami Code was left in the shipped game, and was later used to playtest other games made by the publisher.
Contra, which launched on the NES in 1988, sold much better than Gradius and is more closely associated with the Konami Code's origins. In it, cheat-code sharers discovered video gaming's Charm of Making -- up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start! -- and were blessed with 30 lives, absolutely critical to a super-tough one-hit-kill side-scroller like Contra. Nostalgia for the Konami Code, if not gratitude for its usefulness to many difficult games of the day, led to its inclusion in numerous other works. A Wikipedia entry on the code counts more than 100 Konami games with the cheat or some version of it inside them. Another 22 games made by other publishers included the code as a tribute, often revealing an Easter egg or secret message. It has also shown up elsewhere in popular culture, most recently in Google Stadia's website (and on its controller), and as a pastime Easter egg in Fortnite in October.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.