The code – up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Start – was first implemented by Hashimoto into the NES version of Gradius as it was found to be too difficult during playtesting. The code would give players a complete set of power ups. The code was subsequently added to dozens of other games over the years. It is perhaps best known for its use in Contra, where it would grant players 30 lives.
The Konami code can be found outside of Konami games, too, thanks to its evolution into a pop-culture icon. Fortnite, League of Legends, and Rocket League all have a Konami code, and even Netflix has a secret settings menu that can be accessed by inputting an almost identical code. It also is referenced by Disney’s video games themed movie Wreck-it Ralph.
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Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Entertainment Writer. You can follow him on Twitter.