Way back in 1985, Kazuhisa Hashimoto was working on the arcade game Gradius. Because he didn’t want to actually play the whole game during the testing process, he developed a little shortcut that gave him a full set of power-ups, letting him live long enough to easily get to where he needed to without dying. When the game went live in 1986, the code was still there. To get full power-ups, all a player had to do was enter the code up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A.
The trick caught on, and soon, the so-called “Konami Code” could be found in a number of arcade and video games. Most notably, it gave you 30 extra lives in Contra. This super-secret (…or not) code has a special place in the hearts of geeks who have since grown up and used the insider code in websites, in movies, and on TV shows. Here are a few places to watch for the UUDDLRLRBA reference.
1. It’s Shark Week every day at Qiwi.be. Keep hitting enter once you key in the code.
2. Some old-school Nintendo nostalgia for you at virtualNES. Enter to activate.
3. Just when you thought the bacon craze had reached its limits, SoundClick takes it to another level.
4. The Code plays a key role in Wreck-It Ralph.
5. You can also find a reference to the code in the queue to meet the Wreck-It Ralph characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios:
Photo courtesy of Jason English
6. If you didn't catch the reference in Archer a few weeks ago, don't feel bad—it was disguised as a code within a code.
Photo courtesy of Gamesided
A Redditor thought that the code above resembled hex code, so he sent the chain through a decoder to see what he would get. The result? "UUDDLRLRBA." The find was confirmed by the animator who put it there.
7. In 1976, Gene Roddenberry and William Shatner sat down and had a little chat about Gene's history and the development of Star Trek. It's not terribly hidden, since the page spells out exactly how to find this "hidden" interview. But it's fun anyway!
8. Here's a little twist on the code: Go to a Google search bar, then use Google Voice to search for "Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right." (No "b" or "a" necessary.) It unlocks a Google "cheat mode" that will make you laugh. Or at least roll your eyes.
10. The UK Wired (also Conde Nast) site also has a little hidden treat. Meow go on over and try it out.
11. Try it at digg.com—and turn your speakers on.
12. The code works on BuzzFeed. It's diabolical, though. SFW—just diabolical.
13. There's no missing the effects of the Code at Dango Design.
14. Eagle-eyed fans of the animated Disney series Gravity Falls may have noticed the gaming reference on the journal page in the intro. You can see how fast it goes by here, which is where I grabbed the screenshot.
15. Scott Pilgrim fans won't be surprised to learn that there's a hidden message on the Scott Pilgrim iPhone app site. Be sure to press enter.
16. Could you use more rainbows and unicorns in your life? Cornify thought so, too. Head there and enter the Code for a sparkly surprise.
17. Geek and Hype's Konami Code contribution is quite fitting.
18. Get ready for fun graphics and earwig music over at Nikdaum.com.
19. The next time you're over at dancesportinfo.net, checking out the latest in the world of ballroom dancing, give the code a try.
20. The Easter egg at teddy-o-ted.com is actually somewhat useful ... or at least more so than most of these.
21. I'm going to show you one of the images you see when you enter the code at http://www.ukoakdoors.co.uk/, but trust me—you're going to want to go see the other two. (Let us know if you find more than two.)
22. Get goosed over at kuppiya.com. And keep clicking! There are plenty of geese to go around.
23. A geeky insider joke on Family Guy—who could have guessed?