The Konami Code is a special combination of buttons that appears in several Konami games, including the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series of video games. Since it was first revealed, the code has become part of popular culture in general, even appearing in many non-Konami games and diverse media, like clothing, advertisements and non-gaming related software.
The code was first used in the 1986 release of Gradius for the Nintendo Entertainment System and was popularized among North American players in the NES version of Contra, for which it was also dubbed both the "Contra Code" and "30 Lives Code", because of its nearly necessary use in the game.
The Konami Code was created by Kazuhisa Hashimoto, who was developing the home port of the 1985 arcade game Gradius, a horizontal scrolling shooter released on the NES in 1986. Finding the game too difficult to play through during testing, he created a cheat code to give the player a full set of power-ups (normally attained gradually throughout the game). The code was still present in the released version after Hashimoto forgot to remove it. Players discovered and shared the code. The Konami Code was thus included in the series' other sequels and spin-offs.
The code has been subsequently re-used in a large number of other games and is now used in the Opera web browser to activate hidden advanced settings.
The code is usually entered during the title screen before the game demo begins, and the player must press the following sequence of buttons on the game controller to enable the cheat:
Usage in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES) - Entering the code (Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A and Start) at the title screen will extend the number of continues from 2 to 4.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan (GB) - Pausing the game and entering the code will replenish the player's energy. This code will only work once per game.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game (NES) - Entering a variation of the code (Up, Right, Right, Down, Down, Down, Left, Left, Left, Left, B, A, Start) at the Player Select screen will trigger the sound "Cowabunga!" and start the player off with 99 lives (doesn't work). Entering another variation of the code (B, A, B, A, Up, Down, B, A, Left, Right, B, A, Start) at the title screen will send you to a level select screen after you choose your character.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project (NES) - Entering the code at the title screen with the A and B buttons reversed gives access to a stage select mode. In the Japanese Famicom version (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2), the game will simply display a message from Konami saying "Thank You for Purchasing This Game" in Japanese. In order for the code to work properly, the functions of each button must be reversed (Down, Down, Up, Up, Right, Left, Right, Left, A, B).
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time (Super Famicom/SNES) - Entering the code at the title screen on controller 2 allows the selection of 10 lives in the Options menu.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (Super NES) - Entering the code at the title screen on controller 2 will unlock Speed Level 3 in Options menu.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PS2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, PC) - Entering the code (Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, X, Circle on the PS2 version) on the title screen will give the characters silly noises while walking.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (GBA) - Entering the code at the title screen unlocks Very Hard Mode.
- Jay Garmon (5 March 2007). The cheat goes on (English). Tech Republic. Retrieved on July 6, 2020.