Categories: News

Kazuhisa Hashimoto (the Creator of the Konami Code) has Died

There will always be debates about whether gaming was harder back in the NES days than it is today, but one thing is certain. Gaming these days is certainly a lot more forgiving.

If you did, however, own a Konami game in the late ’80s or early 90’s you will undoubtedly be familiar with ‘the Konami code’. A semi-universal ‘cheat’ across their games that essentially allowed you to have far more lives than was originally intended. A code that largely jumped into popularity due to the exceptionally hard nature of games such as Contra. While I never really played Contra myself, I was exceptionally happy to have it in the NES port of the TMNT arcade game. Put simply, I’d have never beat that game without it!

Well, if you were very grateful for this cheat back in the day, then we have some sad news. Kazuhisa Hashimoto, the person who actually created and inserted this into the classic games, has sadly passed away at the age of 61.

Konami Code Creator Dies at 61

Having joined Konami in 1981, Kazuhisa Hashimoto was involved in some of their biggest gaming releases. It is, however, mildly amusing that he never intended the code to go public. In a report via TechSpot, he revealed in a prior interview that the code was originally intended to be used only by him. Specifically, so he could beat a game he was working on:

“I hadn’t played [Gradius] much and obviously couldn’t beat it myself, so I put in the Konami Code because [as] I was the one who was going to be using it, I made sure it was easy to remember.”

The Legacy Lives On!

So, you might be wondering why the code was retained? You know, since he was the only one who intended to use it. Well, quite simply, it all boiled down to the fact that the developers didn’t want to remove it from Gradius. Not because they liked it, but because they feared it would scramble up the code too much!

It’s unclear as to the continuation of it was because they thought it was a good idea or the fact that they simply recycled code for alternative games, but anyway you look at it, there are very few gaming people these days who don’t know the Konami code. Even if, ironically, they’ve never actually used it themselves. I must admit though, it gave me great pleasure to see it used within the Disney film ‘Wreck-it Ralph’. You can check out the clip of it below.

So, as we bid farewell to Kazuhisa Hashimoto, let me take this moment to say thank you. As a gamer growing up with some pretty damn hard games, I learned that I didn’t need to get just one life. With the Konami code, I could just get 30 of them instead!

What do you think? Have you ever used the Konami code? – Let us know in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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