Kazuhisa Hashimoto, the creator of the infamous Konami Code in gaming, has passed away at the age of 61.
The Konami Code, for anyone who doesn't know it, was a cheat code embedded in almost every game created by Japanese developer Konami. In different games, the code gave a different result. For example, in 'Gradius', the Konami Code gave the player a full set of power-ups. In 'Contra', the player would receive 30 lives. Even in more recent games, such as 'Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots', the code would reveal a boss character's location on the map.
The cheat code wasn't just used in Konami games, however. 'Fortnite', 'Grand Theft Auto Online', 'LittleBigPlanet 2' and 'Bioshock Infinite' used the same code to access hidden menus and Easter eggs in their game.
The real reason for the Konami Code, however, was surprisingly straightforward. According to Hashimoto, he found that 'Gradius' - the first game to use the code - was too difficult to play and often found himself dying early on in the game. As Hashimoto was responsible for porting 'Gradius' from arcade to the NES / Famicom, he decided to alter the code to allow for special power-ups. The idea was that the code would be simple enough to remember, but complex enough that people wouldn't happen upon by accident.
Here's Konami's tweet offering condolences to Hashimoto's family and fans through the years.
We are saddened to hear about the passing of Kazuhisa Hashimoto, a deeply talented producer who first introduced the world to the "Konami Code".
Our thoughts are with Hashimoto-san's family and friends at this time. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/vQijEQ8lU2
— Konami (@Konami) February 26, 2020