Kazuhisa Hashimoto, a veteran programmer who worked on many classic video games, has passed away. He was 61 years old. His death was confirmed by a friend.
While Hashimoto wasn’t a high-level game designer, he is the man behind one iconic innovation: the Konami Code.
Hashimoto put the world’s most famous cheat code (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start — as any self-respecting gamer knows) into the 1986 NES game Gradius, but it became famous for granting 30 extra lives in Contra. Since then, the Konami Code has become a video game version of, say, the Wilhelm scream. It’s an easter egg that works on innumerable games and websites. Castlevania, Dance Dance Revolution, Bioshock: Infinite, Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, Grand Theft Auto Online, Just Dance 3, Mario Party 1 and Fortnite all utilize the Konami code, as do Google, Buzzfeed and some Netflix devices. Alexa responds to it. So does Vogue’s homepage in the UK. It’s everywhere.
Gamers all over the world posted their tributes.
As with many such innovations, Hashimoto’s life was barely impacted by his ubiquitous creation. He was credited as working on at least nine games.