Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right BA Start. RIP in Peace To The Dude Who Invented The Konami Code For Contra

Up, up

Down, down

Left right. Left right.

B, A

(Are we 2 players?) 

Select. 

Start. 

Anybody from my generation that can’t recite that by heart or doesn’t know what that code does, I don’t wanna know you as a human. We can’t be friends. We can’t be colleagues. I can’t even fucking LOOK at you. If you don’t know the sights and sounds of Contra and the rush of getting 30 men, finding a Spread Gun, and running through that insanely difficult game, you can kick rocks.

The Konami Code (AKA the Contra Code because let’s be honest, that’s what this code was. Nobody played Gradius and nobody used this for TMNT or Zelda or Transylvania) is a pillar of the gaming community. It’s woven into the fabric of video game pop culture. It’s so much more than just a secret Easter egg in a video game. Its one of those “explain to me how old you are without telling me your age” things in social media. It’s a time capsule. It’s almost like a password to a special club. Like Fight Club or Project Mayhem. If I say “up up down down” and you don’t reply “left right left right” then I know you can’t be trusted. If you’ve never felt the rush to punch in that code while the opening screen scrolls to the left:

and then that flood of hope when you look up and see that “30” on the next screen

I just don’t think I can ever fully relate to you. Because the Konami Code taught me way more than just how to beat Contra. It was worth way more than that. The Konami Code taught me about how to make it through life.

You see, life is much like the game Contra - it’s fucking impossible. Both life and Contra are an astoundingly difficult challenge. They are very very similar in the sense that A) it’s a lot easier if you have a partner in crime to help you, and B) you have to unlock all the secrets to help you survive and thrive. In this game called Life, you gotta find the way to unlock your metaphorical “30 Lives.” Thinking you’re gonna get through Contra with just 3 lives and 2 continues is so ignorantly naive, as is going through life playing by all the rules thinking you’re gonna make it to the top. Never gonna happen. You dont wanna be the sucker who always goes by the book. You gotta take advantage of every extra edge you can gain. Every bit of leverage matters.

In the case of Contra, they coded this advantage into the game for a reason. Its there for you to use it. The same way you get the spread gun and the laser gun. You would never tell yourself you have to play the whole game using the single fire rifle, right? Fuck no, you gotta get the machine gun, laser gun, and spread gun (FUCK the fire ball gun. That thing sucked.) So, if you're gonna take advantage of all those upgrades everywhere around you, you're perfectly within your rights to take advantage of the secret one as well, right? The game creators hid it, but not really. They left it there for you to use. So you do just that.

So my point here is that you gotta find your Konami Code for life. When you go to work, press up up down down left right left right BA start and make sure you fudge your billable hours to hit your goals. Bolster those numbers Q1 and Q2 so you hit your bonus. Exaggerate your worth when you're asking for that promotion. Use all of the tricks the corporate world offers to get ahead in life. Dont be afraid to cut those corners to get to the top. 

Its not just work. Same thing at home. I mean parenting is ALL about survival and if you think you're gonna survive by parenting by the book you're an idiot. You're gonna need ALL 30 men to raise your kids. Some Benadryl to knock em out. Letting em sleep in your bed to get a few extra hours of sleep. Letting them watch TV to maintain your sanity. Or how about with your wife? How about when you offer to go to the grocery store or go pick up the food because you know you're gonna sneak off to the bar for 1 in order to get some alone time? Or you get out of work early but you still take your normal train home. Taking an extra long shower even though you're just hanging out in the bathroom watching porn with the volume all the way down. Because you just posted an extra sappy picture on social media or had flowers delivered to her office and won some brownie points. All these things are examples of the Konami Code of life. And it doesnt even have to strictly be Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right BA Start. Maybe you use 007 373 5963 to skip right to the Mike Tyson of Life. Maybe you use Justin Bailey to land the girl of your dreams. Use any and all of those codes to get ahead. Know the tricks of the trade to keep your boss, your spouse, your kids, your coworkers, your friends etc etc impressed with you. Its not cheating when its there at your disposal to use.

Nintendo presented us with a shortcut and we took it. Make sure you do the same thing in life. Unlock the secrets. Take the shortcut. Use the cheat codes. Because otherwise you're never gonna win.