Legendary Konami Code Creator Kazuhisa Hashimoto Has Died

The lifelong Konami employee was 61 years old.


Kazuhisa Hashimoto, the creator of the legendary Konami code, has died. He was 61 years old.

News of the veteran game developer’s passing was first announced today by former Konami colleague and sound designer Yuji Takenouchi, who worked on numerous titles for the company, including Pennant Race, SD Snatcher, X-Men, and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, among others, on Twitter.

Konami later issued a statement on Twitter mourning the developer’s loss. “We are saddened to hear about the passing of Kazuhisa Hashimoto, a deeply talented producer who first introduced the world to the “Konami Code”.” the statement read. “Our thoughts are with Hashimoto-san’s family and friends at this time. Rest In Peace.”

Born on November 15, 1958, Hashimoto began working with Konami in 1981, developing circuit boards for slot machines. However, following the release of the Famicom, he was charged with helping to bring the company’s popular arcade titles to the home market, including Track & Field, Gradius, and The Goonies.

One game that the budding developer found especially challenging was Gradius. To make testing the NES port of the 1985 arcade game easier, he added the now-iconic Konami code to max out the ship’s power-ups, including options, shields, and missiles. While it was initially intended only to be in the game during its development, the code was inadvertently left in the finished product. However, it wasn’t until the release of Contra in 1987 that the code became the stuff of schoolyard legends.

Godspeed, Hashimoto-san. While your code may have granted players countless lives over the past three decades, your legacy will live on forever. The entire Hey Poor Player team wishes his family and loved ones the best during this difficult time.


Frank has been the caffeine-fueled evil overlord of HeyPoorPlayer since 2008. He speaks loudly and carries a big stick to keep the staff of the HPP madhouse in check. A collector of all things that blip and beep, he has an extensive collection of retro consoles and arcade machines crammed into his house. Currently playing: Chorus (XSX), Battlefield 2042 (XSX), Xeno Crisis (Neo Geo)

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