Everybody knows it, everybody's done it, the famous Konami Code has been around for as long as cheat codes have existed, and is one of the most famous and well known cheat codes in history - most well known for being in Contra, and originally put into Gradius, it's been ported into so many different places that you can't escape it these days.

But how did that code originally get discovered? Which game was it first discovered in, and how did it get found by so many people playing the same game, to the point of being the phenomena it is today?

  • My guess: People heard about the code, tried it, realized it worked, and then told some other people. That's how things usually go. As to how it was first discovered, maybe one of the devs had a loose lip?
    – Nolonar
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 12:48
  • It was originally in Contra, iirc. It was put in the game by the developers to make the game easier to play/test and left in there. It's more than likely that the developers told their friends and it spread from there.
    – Vemonus
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 12:51

1 Answer 1


This was translated in a hurry so please forgive any grammatical errors.
From the wikipedia entry:

It was first discovered in the Famicon version of "Gradius", where it was a 'full-powerup' command entered while the game is paused to give the best equipment and stats/abilities etc.

The details are as follows: When the arcade version of 'Gradius' was ported into Famicon, a junior staff had trouble with the difficulty of the game and used the command for debugging. This was published in an interview by the staff of that time, HOWEVER this was not the source of the spread of information.

Then, without removing that cheat code, they released it in the retail version. The code was then discovered in the 裏技ブーム (Trickery boom? Sorry idk how to translate this but basically there was a point of time where everyone was looking for cheat codes in various games) and became widespread.

Source: 業界技術狩人 ギョーテック、2008年12月12日放送より (If you can find a recording of the 2008/12/12 broadcast of this show, you should be able to find the full details)

About the origins of the form of the command itself (why is the code entered like this?) that is derived by the staff member involved. Apparently it is an easy-to-remember command to him.

In anticipation of the Konami Code being used in a portion of the future games, they implemented it such that normal use of the command would lead to adverse outcomes such as an instant gameover or some other negative effects. As a replacement, the game will give hints for the 'correct' command to enter.

  • 4
    I have edited the source in. Translation is difficult.
    – Yuu
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 14:15
  • 6
    @Yuu It is but you are adding a lot to the site. Keep up ! I appreciate a lot of your answers even though I don't ask or comment most of them ;)
    – Karlyr
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 14:23

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