Kazuhisa Hashimoto, veteran video game developer and creator of the famous Konami Code, died this week at the age of 61.
“We are saddened to hear about the passing of Kazuhisa Hashimoto, a deeply talented producer who first introduced the world to the ‘Konami Code,’” Konami said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with Hashimoto-san’s family and friends at this time.”
The news of Hashimoto’s death was first shared on Twitter by composer Yuji “TECHNOuchi” Takenouchi.
Hashimoto created the code—Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A—as an employee of Konami in the 1980s, when he was creating the Nintendo Entertainment System version of the arcade game Gradius. “I hadn’t played that much and obviously couldn’t beat it myself, so I put in the Konami Code,” Hashimoto said in a 2003 interview. “Because I was the one who was going to be using it, I made sure it was easy to remember.”
Konami would go on to use the code, or slight variations of it, in many of its games. It also became an iconic pop culture reference that has shown up practically everywhere, from more recent games like Rocket League to the website for the Bank of Canada.