The Konami Code Celebrates Its 35th Anniversary with Special Album of Lo-Fi Gradius Tracks
Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start.
It’s been a banner year for anniversaries in video games. Zelda turned 35 in February, Pokemon turned 25, Street Fighter II turned 30, Halo is about to turn 20, the list goes on. But on April 25th, another video game legend celebrates its anniversary. It’s the Konami Code, probably the most well-known cheat code ever, which turns 35 this year.
To celebrate the code (and Gradius, which is where it initially appeared), Konami has released several remixed “lo-fi” tracks, complete with a cool animation of a pilot playing Gradius in space. While most folks probably associate the Konami Code with 1987’s Contra, where it would give you 30 extra lives, it actually got its start in the home release of Gradius in 1986, where it would unlock just about every power up in the game.
The story behind the code is that Kazuhisa Hashimoto, who worked on the Famicom port of Gradius, which was originally an arcade title, found the game so hard to test that he added the code to help him beat the game. Konami didn’t learn about the code until after the game came out, but they decided to leave it in instead of removing it and potentially messing up other sections of the game’s code.
Unfortunately, Hashimoto died last year, but his legacy lives on every time someone inputs Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start.
You can check out the lo-fi Gradius remixes below, courtesy of Konami.