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"Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right... I don't remember the rest!"

The Konami Code is a specific version of the Classic Cheat Code, and is one of the most popular variants in video game history.

While the code first appeared in the Nintendo Entertainment System version of Gradius, it became famous for its use in Contra.

The typical form is the directional combination followed by two buttons and then start and/or select, though most of the time, start is just pressed to start the game and not part of the cheat code proper. As the code is used on Konami games of various systems, the actual buttons will vary. For the examples listed below that include a select before the start, in Contra, select was used to select a 2-player game after entering the code.

Named for Konami, the video game company that made it. Although games from other companies will give a Shout-Out.

The weird thing was that for such a universally well-known code, it's hardly been seen at all since the NES, and most of the time it just gives the player a little easter egg or even does something harmful. And of course, it won't work on any game that doesn't use a standard controller (which rules out everything under the Bemani label) or a console that doesn't have an A or B button (like, oh, everything Sony has released ever).


Konami:

  • The NES version of Gradius was the first game to use the code. Entering the code while the game is on pause powers-up the player's ship.
    • In later Gradius games, this code instantly killed you, but variant versions of it would provide the original benefits. For example, in the SNES version of Gradius III, replacing Left and Right with L and R (the shoulder buttons) would grant the ship four options and the selected ? powerup.
      • The original version, with thirty lives, is also in the game - it's activated by pausing, then pressing B, B, X, X, A, Y, A, Y, Up, Left, and Start. The observant will note that this is the button sequence you'd hit on the SNES controller if you held it upside down while entering the original code.
    • Gradius V accepts both the left-right-left-right and shoulder trigger versions (in the case of the latter, L1, R1, L1, R1). One version gives you full power with Laser, the other is full power with Double.
  • In the NES version of Contra, the code increases the starting number of lives from 3 to 30.
    • Oddly enough, none of the Contra sequels featured the code until Contra: Shattered Soldier for the Play Station 2 (they used different cheat codes). For the code to work in Shattered Soldier, the player must input the code using the second controller and substitute the left and the right on the d-pad with each successive L and R button (L1, R1, L2, R2, L3, and R3).
      • Of course, all this did was make it really easy to get the worst ending.
    • It's used again in the semi Spin-Off Hard Corps: Uprising. Inputting the code during the loading screen of the first stage replaces the music of that stage with a metal remix of the first stage music from the original Contra.
    • The NES version of Life Force, a spinoff of Gradius, uses the Konami Code as a 30-live cheat similar to Contra.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Falsebound Kingdom as a code for getting bonus money.
    • Using it in either Yu-Gi-Oh Tag Force games would unlock a Konami themed booster pack, featuring Gradius cards, which was carried over in the second and third games. A nice nod, but fairly impractical, as the cards themselves aren't that great, and the cost for just one pack is several times that of the others.
      • To be fair, the usual price is 573DP (573 being 'Konami' in a Japanese number Mmemonic.) But in Tag Force 4, it didn't have the Konami Code Cheat, instead you had to press a certain button a number of times. (a directional button five times, a command button that isn't X or O seven times, and Select three times) to unlock the Konami pack. (Sorry, it has been a while since I unlocked that pack.)
    • It got a revival and then some in Tag Force 5. To unlock the Konami pack, input Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, L, R, L, R, Square, Triangle, Square, Triangle.
    • Anime got in on this too. Episode 129. Kaiba's code to control one of Yugi's monsters went as follows: Left right A B. It has been said to be an homage, but it's possible the connection was unintentional. Word of God hasn't confirmed whether it was a coincidence or if Kaiba's input was designed as a Shout-Out to Konami.
  • Using this code in a certain room in a certain bonus dungeon was the only way to get One Hundred Percent Completion in the first Boktai game.
  • A recent using of the code was in Silent Hill Origins, where one of the bonus costumes has to be unlocked in this way. The game itself refers to the cheat as "an ancient and powerful spell".
    • A few years earlier in Silent Hill 3, you could enter the Konami Code... to remove Douglas' pants and shirt. Why couldn't they have done that for Henry in Silent Hill 4?
  • On Normal or less difficulty mode, the notoriously tricky boss The End in Metal Gear Solid 3 could be seen on the Map screen with the help of the code. When your rank is displayed in Metal Gear Solid 2, enter the code and Solid Snake'll make fun of you for trying to cheat so late. Entering UUDDLRLRAB as your name on the Dog Tag has an interesting effect, too.
    • Enter it as your name before starting a VR Missions save on Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, and it will unlock all the characters and their missions for you, so that you can skip tricky levels and come back to them later.
  • In the NES version of Gyruss, you had to enter the Konami code backward (A, B, A, B, right, left, right, left, down, down, up, up) in order for it to work properly.
  • While Dance Dance Revolution has never used the Konami Code as a cheat, it has referenced it a few times. "Twinbee ~Generation X~" and "Make A Jam!" include the directional part of the Konami Code in their routines (and the latter samples the classic 90's Konami jingle too!). But then, a song on DDR X and Universe 3 (which won a contest to get on the game), "30 Lives" by The Motion Sick not only incorporates it in the routine, but is in fact a pop song about the Code!
    • The original versions of DDR (not including the American PS 1 version, which was based on 3rdMIX) require directional codes to turn on other difficulty levels and options. Sure enough, the eight directions of the Konami Code make up one of them (Double Basic).
    • In the PS 1 version of Dance Dance Revolution 5th Mix, highlighting the correct picture in the gallery and entering the code, replacing B and A with X and O (which are in the same respective positions on the PS 1 controller as the B and A buttons on the SNES controller), unlocks the last four pictures in the gallery.
  • In Zone of the Enders the Second Runner, it was possible to get Zoradius mode by entering a shortened version of the cheat code: Up Down Left Right Start at the pause menu during the boss battle with Vic Viper. Entering the code again in the minigame itself gave you full powerups just like a real Gradius game.
  • In Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, the code unlocks 8-bit Simon Belmont (complete with the NES Castlevania's unfair Jump Physics) for use in boss rush mode.
  • The second Game Boy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game had one of the code's least useful appearances - it refills your health meter, essentially giving you an extra life on command, but can only be used once per playthrough.

Other games:

  • Insaniquarium Deluxe uses this code to open up the Sandbox, which not only lets the player do whatever the hell they want within said Sandbox, but also gives him/her/it a shiny new trophy and lets them put a whole batch of extra pets into their Virtual Tank.
  • In the English version of the game Hyperdimension Neptunia, Neptune invokes her EX-Skill with the quote "Up, Up, down, down, left, right--aww, whatever... Secret Code entered!"
  • The game Gundam Seed Destiny: Generation of C.E. features the "SEED Sense" effect, where starting to watch an attack animation had the chance to prompt you to push one of the Play Station 2 controller face buttons. Doing so had the chance to improve any number of things, and even prevent death automatically at low health an unlimited number of times, as long as you hit the right button. However, starting an attack animation locked you into viewing it, so the game took longer to play and got stale more quickly. How do you get out of the attack animations after using your "SEED Sense," you ask? Push Down, Down, Up, Up, Right, Left, Right, Left, R3, L3, and Start. An inverted Konami code.
  • In the online game Kingdom of Loathing, the code is the answer to a certain puzzle.
  • In Super Monkey Ball Jr., entering the code on the title screen changes "Monkey Ball" on the title screen to "Nice Try".
  • In indie game Iji, there is a logbook that encourages you to try the Konami Code on the start menu. If you do, a dialogue scrolls across the screen chiding you for beating tired old memes to death.
  • In Samurai Zombie Nation, entering the code while the game is paused refills your life, but unfortunately it doesn't work on bosses.
  • Entering the code in Achievement Unlocked (a Flash Platformer where the only object is to collect enough Cosmetic Awards to get One Hundred Percent Completion) gives you the achievement "Too Much Contra".
  • Tengen's NES version of Tetris uses the Konami code to activate a precursor to later Tetris games' "hold piece" feature. Inputting the code while the game is paused replaces your current piece with an I piece, as seen in this video. It only works once per 30-line section.
  • The third Star Ocean game has this in a weird way. Somewhere in the middle of the game, you can pick up a special trophy if you allowed Roger to join your party. Entering the code with it equipped on someone killed that character and dealt damage in a large area equivalent to one-half the HP of that person. Upgrading the effect merely swapped the last two buttons (X and Circle) that would do this.
  • Raizing's shooters (particularly Battle Garegga, Armed Police Batrider, and Battle Bakraid) have a variant of this: entering Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, A, B, C at the title screen after inserting your coins will trigger extra features, usually Guest Ships and Characters from past Raizing games (in Garegga and Batrider) or all-new ships (in Bakraid, and you must input the code at a rate of 1 button press per second).
  • Entering the Konami Code in the main menu of Reset Generation opens up a Space Invaders-esque minigame.
  • Seen in the console versions of Quake 4, where the Konami code gives you all weapons, armor, and health.
  • Seen in a slightly truncated form in the arcade game Manx TT, entering Gear Up, Gear Up, Gear Down, Gear Down, Left, Right, Brake Accelerate would allow you to... ride a sheep instead of a motorbike.
  • A puzzle in Tales of Phantasia has the party hitting floor switches in a precise order. The order is "Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right"
  • If you enter the code on the title screen of Viva Pinata Party Animals on the Xbox 360, you will get the Classic Gamer achievement. The instruction manual even has the code spread out over most of the pages.
  • Entering up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, square on the title screen of Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped unlocks a demo of Spyro the Dragon.
  • Mad Moxxi's first husband was a cheat. No points for guessing what Visual Pun appears in the background when she says this.
  • Burai Fighter Deluxe on the original Game Boy used this code.
  • Used by Mylandah in Battle Athletes to confuse a robot in a three-legged race.
  • Used by 3D Dot Game Heroes to make your shield invisible.
  • Entering the code on the title screen of the Homestar Runner game TROGDOR! will give the player 30 lives instead of 3.
  • The Little Big Planet 2 Beta has an easter egg where if you use a Controllinator to enter the Konami code on a seemingly broken arcade game, it will explode displaying an 8 digit code on the wall behind where it was.
    • As well as this being in the fullgame, there is also a level where you ride a camel shooting at enemies. Inputting the Konami Code early in the level makes disco mucic play and makes the camel wear sunglasses.
  • In the Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World game, holding L2 and R2 (or the two triggers in the Xbox 360 version) and entering the code will cause your character to explode into a pile of coins.
  • In Ratchet and Clank Up Your Arsenal, the code "Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, Circle, Square, Start" unlocks Captain Quark in a tutu in the ingame Captain Quark 2D videogames, according to a cutscene. Has anybody tried it?
  • The Code is used to dodge bottles thrown by an angry crowd in an 8-Bit Guitar Hero clone in an episode of Regular Show
  • The Xbox port of Half-Life 2 adds the code as a way to regain 25 health.
  • In 3-D Worldrunner and Cosmic Epsilon, entering the code would merely produce the message "I am not Konami."
  • In the SuperGrafx version of Daimakaimura, the code allows the player to add up to nine credits.
  • In Arnold Palmer's Tournament Golf, after missing 100 shots on a single stage, the code can be entered on the Game Over screen to play a Mini Game version of Fantasy Zone.

Other media:

  • Linkin Park has a fake DVD menu that looks like the the main menu on their oldest DVD. Entering the Konami Code (the directional part, anyway) unlocks a secret chapter.
  • Seattle Geek Rock band Kirby Krackle has a song called "Up, Up, Down Down" which uses the code as part of the chorus. It's about a geek guy flirting with a girl who looks to share his interests She turns out to be a Humanoid Abomination and eats him though.
  • While this is more of an Easter Egg, the Google Reader recognizes the Contra Code and unlocks a ninja theme when it is used.
  • The Konami Code is quoted in Disgaea 3 Absence of Justice, known for its many references; in need of power, the main character tries it.

 Mao: Games have cheat codes, too! What was it already? Up, up, down, down...

  • The Konami Code is featured in an episode of Spaceballs The Animated Series where Lonestar and Vespa are trapped in a video game.
  • In Grandia, a character mistakenly quotes the directions of the Code when trying to remember a password to open a necessary door in the enemy fortress and progress in the game. The actual password is a slightly reshuffled version. Entering the correct code without finding the password in-game results in a brief scene where a flustered Justin tells the others he was just pushing random buttons.
  • For reasons that are as yet unexplained, entering the code on espn.com causes unicorns to appear every time you hit enter, and inserts adjectives like 'sparkly' and 'wonderful' into all the story titles. Quite possibly their web designer is about to get fired. This started, so far as we can tell, on the 27th April 2009. No idea how long it'll last.
    • It was fixed later the same day, unfortunately. A website with similar code is here ("enter", then the code through A, then "enter" again).
  • Believe it or not, this used to work on Facebook of all things: entering the code finishing with Enter enabled Lens Flare.
  • Using the code on the Marvel Comics website brings up Deadpool squirrel.
  • Elder Xelpud in La-Mulana makes a reference to the Konami Code in one of his 'guy ranting about old video games' dialogues. He doesn't know what it is, though, as he's an NES-hating MSX fanboy, and MSX games don't use the Konami code.
  • Used in Houshin Engi as an order from Taikoubou to his steed, Suupuushan. At first, Suupuu doesn't understand it and does nothing. Many chapters later, after Suupuu's upgrade to a dragon, Taikoubou says the command again and Suupuu executes a very complex evasive maneuver that would make Guld Bowman proud.
  • Hellsing references the Konami code in its usual fashion. During the first attack on the Hellsing manor, Jan Valentine finds himself at a four-way hallway intersection with Hellsing troops coming from each direction. His response?

 Jan: Up Up! (fires both machine guns down north hallway) Down Down! (fires both machine guns down south hallway) Left Right Left Right! (points one machine gun down the east and west hallways respectively and alternately fires them) Bringin' the motherfuckin' death by Konami! Aaah, I'm so hard right now... Mwahahahaha... AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

  • Of all things, the band The Moldy Peaches. In "Anyone Else But You":

 Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start

Just because we use cheats doesn't mean we're not smart.

 Now punch in Up Up Down Right Left Right Left Right B A Start,

But I don't have to tell you, it should be down to an art.

  • Mercenaries 2 uses the directional pad inputs of this code to give you twenty-five nuclear bunker busters.
  • Referenced in Silent Hill: Promise when the protagonist encounters a directional pad on an electronic box.
  • One of The Gothsicles' most popular tracks is "Konami Code."
  • One of the tracks on Deftones' Saturday Night Wrist album is named 'U, U, D, D, L, R, L, R, A, B, Select, Start'
  • When one of the hosts said the code out loud on Escapist News Network the watermark suddenly changed color.
  • On Gene's Journal, a special interview between Gene Roddenberry and Bill Shatner is unlocked with the code through this news post. (This obviously used "Enter" rather than "Start.")
  • This Dueling Analogs comic.
  • One episode of the cancelled series Coconut Fred has the heroes turned into videogame characters. Fred uses the Konami Code for summoning a Mario pipe needed to escape from a monster (that looks similar to Triclyde from Super Mario Bros 2). See for yourself
  • The second ED theme of Seitokai no Ichizon is "Ue Ue Shita Shita Hidari Migi Hidari Migi B A".
  • Typing upupdowndownleftrightleftrightbastart into the Palm Pre will unlock the Developer Mode, which is required to install third party software.
  • The Konami Code is how the Hero activates invincibility in RPG World.
  • At one point in Yuria 100 Shiki, Yuria becomes convinced she has a "cheat code" to unlock some kind of special abilities. She imagines this cheat along with a Gradius spaceship.
  • Used in the beginning of the fourth Kiss X Sis OVA by Riko. On her breasts.
  • Using the Konami Code at the Newsweek site (use the Enter key for Start) used to yield reports of zombie apocalypse.
  • Knowledge of the code and the ability to estimate his height are apparently all that is necessary to pass the Trial of the Shadowhog.
  • Used in, oddly enough, the official wiki of Team Fortress 2 (ENTER substitutes for START.)
  • Skuld from Ah! My Goddess uses a very similar code (leaving out the B A start in favor of the "set" button twice) to reverse the expansion of her space doubler.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei: during the opening for the Magical Girl Spoof, Meru's phone is using this code (must be Game Breaking). [1]
  • Used in the third episode of The World God Only Knows anime to help Keima to dance with Mio.
  • Ep 1 of the Umineko no Naku Koro ni has what is most probably a reference to it as when Rudolf pulls Battler's ear exactly as the code (except "a, b, start" which would be difficult to do with an ear).
  • One of Amelia's over-the-top For Great Justice speeches in Slayers NEXT actually has the code scrawled over the bottom of the screen during her Dramatic Finger Pointing.
  • The Petitte Project's 99 Lives

 Up up down down left right left right B A select start

Now I'll play you all night

 Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start

Just because we use cheats doesn't mean we're not smart

  • Netflix uses a variant to reset Instant Play on the Nintendo Wii. Lacking some buttons, they use U U D D L R L R U U U U
  • In the anime Pani Poni Dash!, an ancient civilization's language is deciphered as this code. A news bulletin mentions that "Professor Tokimemo" believes that it is incomplete and will cause an explosion.
  • In the Choose Your Own Adventure book Can YOU Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? by Max Brallier, you at one point fight off a zombie at Comic Con using an old NES - smashing the console up into the zombie's jaws twice, then down on his head twice, then two quick left-right combinations. You then give yourself a B for originality and an A for execution before starting to push the Zapper through the zombie's brain. You still die. Cheaters never win.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist (manga), you can see the Konami code on a post-it on a door, just in passing, in Fuery's cache (vol. 11 or 12)
  • In PHD Comics, Konami Code is spoofed as the secret magic dance to make lab equipment "start?"
  • In Matt Fraction's Defenders, Black Cat is trying to activate an artifact while in freefall.

 Black Cat: Come! on! stupid! claw! Up Up Down Down B A Start? [claw activates] Oh, you gotta be kidding--


"Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right..."
No, don't! That's the wrong code!
"...B, A, Sta--"
[BOOM]

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