Cheat codes: the old currency of cool

Later Levels

Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start.

I’m guessing a lot of people reading this will know exactly what that sequence is. It’s the essence of dreams, the giver of life and the answer to our prayers instilled into 11 simple button presses. It’s the Konami code.

This little saviour was created by Kazuhisa Hashimoto while developing the NES port of scrolling-shooter Gradius in the mid-eighties. Testing was tedious due to the game’s difficulty level so he programmed in a code which would grant the player a set of power-ups when entered. After it was left in the final release, it became the stuff of legends: players discovered the sequence and shared it with friends.

The Konami code must be the most famous cheat in gaming and has made an appearance in hundreds of titles since. From Contra where the player received 30 extra lives

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