Today is the 31st birthday of the Konami Code. The memorable cheat first appeared in 1986's Gradius and has been a fixture of games ever since. Here are ten great uses of this legendary code
Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A. It’s ingrained in countless gamers’ minds. The Konami Code has unlocked plenty of in game bonuses and extra lives but it’s also been used for silly and devious purposes. The list below has a bit of everything. Secret items, hidden characters, jokes, and trolling. Keep in mind that this list if according to no one but me, a pretty cool person.
The list starts off with a little bit of fun. Inputting the Konami Code at Rocket League’s title screen will cause the menu to change to the logo for it’s lesser known predecessor Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. I’m always a fan of Easter Eggs that send us back to the past. This is a cute way for the game to give a shout out to its lineage. Well played.
It’s always good to unlock new characters and the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series has some of the best. In a throwback that feels at home on the tiny handheld, the Game Boy Advance version lets you unlock your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man for some webslinging and rail grinding.
Boktai was a pretty awesome title. Produced by Hideo Kojima, it used a special sensor to tell if you were in sunlight or darkness, adjusting the game and enemies based on where you were. Deep within a hidden dungeon, the Konami Code is used to summon a hidden chest. This chest is required for 100% completion and even though a nearby plaque tells players what to do, it’s neat that the cheat affects the completion ratio.
You unfortunately can’t download this game anymore, which means you won’t be able to use the Konami Code to burst your character into a shiny pile of gold coins. This silly cheat has some practical use if you play with more than one character. You can keep turning them into coin piles for tons of cash to spend.
Oh hey, a Gradius game. If I use the Konami Code, I’ll get a ton of lives. Ha! Fooled you! Inputting the Konami Code in Gradius III will instantly kill you. That will teach you for trying to cheat your way through our difficult arcade shooter.
There’s no rule that says the Konami Code needs to be used in a game. Earlier this month, the Bank of Canada revealed a new $10 bank note. Inputting the Konami Code adds an extra dash of bizarre patriotism by summoning a horde of confetti and playing the boisterous Canadian national anthem.
You’ve made it so far. You’ve almost beat Shredder. If only you had move lives! Fret not, friends. The Konami Code has a ton of uses in Ninja Turtles games. It granted more lives in Turtles in Time and Turtles II while unlocking stage select in The Manhattan Project. Now you can go kick some shell with ease.
Hideo Kojima’s criminally underrated sequel to Zone of the Enders has one of the most elaborate uses of the Konami Code. Inputting it during a boss fight against the Vic Viper will send the game into Zoradius, a 3-D take on Gradius with waves of enemies to blast.
Well, this is a weird one. Sneaking up to a turkey that stumbles around your homestead and inputting the Konami Code puts a tiny little assassin’s hood on the bird. With just a few button presses, you can create the most terrifying assassin ever and strike fear into everyone who dares talk politics at the Thanksgiving table.
We might as well end on the classic. While Gradius was the first game with the code, most people know it from Contra. A brutally difficult game where a single shot can kill you, the Konami Code gives you 30 extra lives to tackle to challenge, thus granting you a way to actually play this game with your friend before the school bus arrives.