Celebrated Konami Code Also Works For Fisher-Price Game & Learn


  • The Konami Code that many gamers first discovered in the mid to late-1980s has found yet another application, in a toy for toddlers from Fisher-Price
  • The Fisher-Price Game & Learn looks like a cartoon version of current video game controllers but has a funny reaction when you type in Up. Up. Down. Down. Left. Right. Left. Right. B. A
  • First formulated by Kazuhisa Hashimoto to assist people in games he deemed too difficult, the Konami Code has remained popular in gamer culture

Video gamers who grew up in the 1980s all know what the Konami Code is. Created by programmer Kazuhisa Hashimoto as an Easter egg to help players in games he thought were too difficult, keying in a sequence of buttons in the old Nintendo Family Computer and Nintendo Entertainment System would trigger several more lives in certain video games.

Simply put, keying in Up. Up. Down. Down. Left. Right. Left. Right. B. A. could mean 30 additional lives in “Gradius” and in the team-up shoot ‘em up title “Contra.”

For something that first appeared in 1986’s “Gradius” to still be relevant over 30 years later is an amazing feat, but a toddler’s toy might just be the most curious place yet to find the code.

As reported by The Verge, reporter Sean Hollister’s wife bought a toy game controller for their six-month-old daughter, a source of pride for Hollister. Dubbed the “Fisher-Price Game & Learn,” the toy looks like a cartoon version of the typical controller.

With a cartoon face in the middle, hitting any button on the directional pad or the A, B, C, and D buttons triggers any number of sounds corresponding to the letter, shape, or designation on the buttons. There are other buttons too, even where the game triggers are usually found.

Hollister then absentmindedly started clicking in something from his youth, something so ingrained in gamers for decades that Hollister said, “it’s worth punching into practically any game to see if developers decided to pay respects.”

Yet he still keyed in the sequence. Up. Up. Down. Down. Left. Right. Left. Right. B. A. The last button to be pressed is supposed to be “Start,” but the Fisher-Price Game & Learn didn’t have that button. Still, by the time that Hollister pressed “A,” something happened.

“That’s when the controller erupted into sound. A Mario jump. A Mario mushroom power-up. A Mario coin. ‘You Win!’” Hollister noted. It turns out that this is not a new discovery in terms of this particular toy. The Fisher-Price Game & Learn was apparently released in 2018 and some people had discovered the Konami Code application back then.

Still, it doesn’t take away from the whole thing is plain cool. Hashimoto passed away in February of this year yet his code lives on, even in this toddler’s toy.

Though Konami continues to develop games like “Silent Hill,” this particular legacy that is forever associated with them is unmatched in video game circles.

Up. Up. Down. Down. Left. Right. Left. Right. B. A.

An employee arranges Fisher-Price toys at a store An employee arranges Fisher-Price toys at a store Photo: Reuters

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