We’ve had a lot of 35th Anniversaries this year, including the Mario celebrations and the Zelda… non-celebrations, and this weekend — specifically, the 25th April, 2021 — is the birthday of the Konami Code, perhaps the most famous sequence of buttons in history (not that there’s much competition for that title).
For the 35th anniversary of the code (and Gradius, the game it came from), Konami has released a bunch of remixed “lo-fi” Gradius tracks, complete with a sweet little animation of a space pilot playing the game.
The Konami Code came packaged in Gradius upon its release in 1986. Players could press UP UP DOWN DOWN LEFT RIGHT LEFT RIGHT B A and access almost all the powerups in the game. However, many Western players didn’t get to know the Konami Code intimately until it popped up in Contra on the NES, in 1987, where inputting the correct series of button-presses would get you 30 extra lives.
Sadly, the creator of the code, Kazuhisa Hashimoto, died early last year — but his legacy lives on in a generation of people who can remember the Konami Code better than their own phone numbers.