Kazuhisa Hashimoto, game programmer and creator of the famous Konami Code, has passed away at the age of 61.
Japanese composer and sound designer Yuji Takenouchi broke the news on Twitter, prompting an outpouring of tributes to the late programmer.
Hashimoto created the Konami Code -- up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A -- during his work on the NES port of Konami's flagship shooter series Gradius.
It was originally implemented so the dev team could make the title easier during testing, but was ultimately left in the finished product (out of fear of breaking the game) and eventually unearthed by inquisitive players.
Since then, Hashimoto's creation has taken on a life of its own, and has popped up in a huge variety of games as an Easter egg or cheat code that doles out rewards ranging from extra lives, new difficulty modes, and hidden mini-games.