Kazuhisa Hashimoto may not have been a household name, but the games programmer, who passed away this week, sure leaves a famous legacy.
He was the man behind the ‘Konami code’, which he initially hid in the code for side-scrolling shmup Gradius/Nemesis on the NES as he’d found it too hard to play test.
You know how it goes: UP UP DOWN DOWN LEFT RIGHT LEFT RIGHT B A START.
Composer Yuji Takenouchi shared the sad news on Twitter:
— TECHNOuchi ♓️🅰 (@TECHNOuchi) February 26, 2020
This roughly translates as: “Programmer Kazuhisa Hashimoto, the creator of the Konami command “Top, Bottom, Left, Right, Left, and Right BA”, died last night. We pray for the souls.”
Konami also tweeted:
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
The code was next inserted into the NES port of the insanely difficult Contra to add 30 lives, and went on to feature in oddles of other Konami games. These included entries in such series as Castlevania, Metal Gear, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and even Dance Dance Revolution.
The code has long been more than just a means of cheating, becoming one of the most famous ‘Easter eggs’ around. Many non-Konami games have paid homage, as have websites and other forms of media, including a brilliant scene in Disney’s ace video game homage Wreck-It Ralph.
Vale Kazuhisa Hashimoto.