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Konami Code creator Kazuhisa Hashimoto has died

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Kazuhisa Hashimoto, the created of the famed Konami Code—up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A—has died. Konami announced Hashimoto's death in a brief tribute on Twitter.

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Hashimoto created the Konami Code in 1985, to assist with testing during the development of Gradius for the NES. "I hadn’t played that much and obviously couldn’t beat it myself, so I put in the Konami Code," he said in a 2003 interview available on Siliconera (opens in new tab). "Because I was the one who was going to be using it, I made sure it was easy to remember."

For some reason, the code was left behind when the game was released, and when its presence was discovered Konami made the fortuitous decision to leave it in place. From there, it grew into a phenomenon, in videogames and beyond: It's been used in dozens of games since, including multiple PC games like Fortnite (opens in new tab) and BioShock Infinite (opens in new tab), it's embedded into GOG's website (opens in new tab), and in 2017 the Bank of Canada (opens in new tab) stashed a Konami Code Easter egg in its announcement of a new $10 bill.

The cause of Hashimoto's death wasn't provided. He was 61.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.