Are you looking for answer to the question, What is the Konami Code and How Do You Use It? then you have come to the right place because we will be explaining everything you need to know here.

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A It’s known as the Konami Code, and in the 1980s, it could mean the difference between life and death in a video game.

If you press the buttons in the correct order, you’ll gain access to cheats that will help you win.

Contra and the Konami code in Gaming

Contra for NES Title Screen

The Konami Code began as a cheat code—a series of keystrokes that unlocks hidden functionality in video games, usually making them easier to play.

Gradius for the NES, developed by Japanese third-party developer Konami in 1986, was the first game to feature the Konami Code. When you pause the game and enter the code, various useful power-ups are activated.

Gradius is a challenging game, and Kazuhisa Hashimoto, the Konami code’s creator, stated in a 2003 interview that he devised the code to make play-testing the game easier for him. (Unfortunately, Hashimoto died in February 2020.)

Another Konami game, Contra, published for the NES in 1988, helped popularize the Konami Code. This run-and-gun shooter is visually stunning and has a fun co-op mode, but it’s quite difficult. Entering the Konami Code at the title screen of Contra right before starting the game grants the player 30 extra lives, allowing non-experts to go past the first stage.

In the late 1980s, when each NES game cost around $40 (around $87 now, adjusted for inflation), cheat codes that allowed you to get extra fun out of a game were a major deal. Many kids only get a few new games each year; if you’re stuck with one that you don’t like, it could be a frustrating situation.

Fortunately, hint books and publications were frequently available to help. In its debut edition in 1988, Nintendo Power, a widely popular video game magazine owned by Nintendo, featured Contra’s Konami Code as part of its “Classified Information” segment, and fans never forgot about it.

Examples of the Konami Code in Gaming

  • Gradius (NES): During gameplay, pause the game and enter Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A. Your ship will get all power-ups except for Laser, Double, and Speed Up.
  • Contra (NES): Enter Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A then Start (or Select, Start for two players) on the title screen, and you’ll get 30 extra lives.
  • Gyruss (NES): If you enter the Konami Code in reverse order at the title screen (A, B, Right, Left, Right, Left, Down, Down, Up, Up), you’ll get 30 extra lives.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan (GB): Pause the game and enter Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A. Your health will fully replenish, but you can use it only once per game.
  • Gradius III (SNES): In this game, you need to substitute the Left and Right directions for the shoulder buttons. Pause the game and enter Up, Up, Down, Down, Left Shoulder, Right Shoulder, Left Shoulder, Right Shoulder, B, A, and your ship will power up.
  • Mario Party (N64): During player 1’s turn, pause the game with controller 2. Then, with controller 1,  input Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A and you’ll hear Toad’s shout. Then Press C-Left, and a debug menu will pop up.
  • Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (GBA): When the Konami logo appears, enter Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, and then choose Boss Rush mode. You’ll be able to play as Simon Belmont from the NES version of Castlevania.
  • Bioshock Infinite (PS3): At the main menu, enter Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, O, X. You’ll unlock the challenging “1999 Mode.”

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