If you are of a certain age then cheat codes will be things that are burned into your brain, destined to never leave. In an age where game saves were not as common and death literally meant starting again a lot of the time, cheat codes were a lifeline and some of them are impossible to forget - points if you know instantly what up, down, left, right, A and Start at the same time is from.
Sometimes the code will just give you a fun little Easter egg, while others times it can make a huge difference if you are stuck on a certain part and need to get past it with some sneaky rule breaking.
The most famous of all is the Konami code and while it started out as a code for one game, it has gone on to appear in many different forms and will no doubt be used for countless years to come.
But what is the Konami code, what games can you use it for, and where did it originate from? Here's all you need to know!
What is the Konami code?
On the off chance that the Konami code is not already burned into your brain, here is what you needed to type in its original form - Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A. There have been some tweaks over the years and variations on it, but that was the code that may of us remember very well - it has gotten us out of some jams over the years.
What is the history of the Konami code?
Kazuhisa Hashimoto is who we have to thank for the Konami code as he came up with it while working on Gradius for the NES - it was originally an arcade title. The code, which has also been known as the Contra code or the 30 Lives code, was created because Gradius was so tough that Hashimoto needed to be able to make it easier for when it was tested.
It was its inclusion in Contra that really made the public notice it and since then it has been used in countless games, surprising other places, and has been referenced in TV, film, music, and all sorts of other things. What started as a simple cheat code certainly grew legs and a life of its own!
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List of Konami code games
Back in the day, the Konami code popped up in all the big franchises the studio released games for. So Gradius, Contra, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Metal Gear, Castlevania and many others took advantage of it. Not to mention Dance Dance Revolution!
Other games from back in the day that used it included Batman Returns, Silent Hill 3, Tiny Toon Adventures: Wacky Sports Challenge and Frogger - but we are very much cherry-picking here as the list of games that we could mention is not on the short side.
But what about more recent games – do they have the code? Yes, and there are many that are not even Konami titles that have taken on the gaming tradition. Here are some of the games you may own now that take the code:
Want the difficult "1999 Mode" from the start? If you are that way inclined, the Konami code will start you on your tough journey right from the beginning.
Dead by Daylight
Use the code while you have one of the Silent Hill characters equipped on the main menu and you will hear a jingle from Gradius, and you will nab yourself a charm!
Friday the 13th: The Game
Use the code while in the Virtual Cabin 2.0 and it will open the Debug menu.
The Bard's Tale
Inputting the Konami code will give you extra silver and Adderstones for spell casting.
Using the Konami code in Rocket League will give you an older title screen with a different song used.
Just Dance 3
Want an extreme version of Barbra Streisand? You'll get it by using the Konami code in Just Dance 2!
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
You get 1986 mode here which is less of a cheat and more of a way to make the game as difficult as the Castlevania series!
Just Cause 4
Want a Cowpet Bomb? Tap in the code in Just Cause 4 and that is what you will get!
Entering the code in this game brings up a whole menu full of cheats to take advantage of!
Type in the code at the launch screen and you will get a second screen accepting a code. Enter 06061984 for the 1984 level.
Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!!
If the idea of seeing an 8-bit version of Adventure Time's creator, Pendleton Ward dancing appeals then use the code - and you will also get Jake and Finn dancing alongside him!
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition
Sadly, the code could not be used to fix all the launch issues with the GTA Definitive trilogy, but you can get Big Head Mode by inputting the Konami code. So, you know, swings and roundabouts.
Using it in the game gets you the "fully" uncensored mode!
Rivals of Aether
Type in the code on the Milestones screen (only available in the Definitive Edition update) and it will temporarily unlock all Milestone rewards for your current play session.
Unlikely places you can use the Konami code
It is not just gaming-related things that have got in on the Konami code action, here are some of the other unlikely places you can use it!
Want to activate Super Alexa mode? Just read the code out to her and she will give you a gaming gift of nostalgic fun!
Just open the creator dashboard and type in the code and you will find that you have access to a bunch of advanced options!
Remember the classic game Snake that took up a lot of our time back in the day? You can play it on Discord by using the Konami code on any Discord Error 404 website.
Use the code in Google Hangouts and you will be able to change the background of a conversation.
Say the code to Siri and and you will hear either "Cheater!", "Nerd!", or "I'm getting dizzy..." spoken back to you.
Want to see a panda spin? Of course you do, so tap in the code on the UK WWF website to see just that!
And while it does not work now, even Marks & Spencer got in on the fun in 2016 when the code was used to make festive creatures appear on its Christmas website - this code really does get around!