What is the Konami Code?
The “Konami code” (a cheat code first popularized by the NES version of Contra) doesn’t end in a start or a select start, it’s simply ‘↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A’.
The History of the Konami Code
Kazuhisa Hashimoto created the code for Gradius while developing the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) version of the game, due to the arcade game’s difficulty. He forgot to remove the code from the original game before it was shipped. Players discovered the code and shared it. The code was mainly passed through word of mouth until it was published in the first issue of Nintendo Power as a code for the NES game Contra.
A video discussing the Konami Code (but incorrectly including the start button).
What Did the Konami Code Do?
Inputting the code into the title screen of Contra gave the player 30 lives (rather than 3) allowing the average gamer to have a fighting chance at the game. If the select start button was pushed, the game would start in two player mode with each player having 30 lives.
The Konami Code Doesn’t Have Anything to Do With the Start Button
Although pressing start begins the game (and select start begins the game for two players) the Konami code doesn’t include the use of the start or select buttons. In fact, in some games pressing select or start after the code will cause the code not to work.
The most solid proof that start is not part of the code is that you can add on extra button-presses after “A” but not anywhere else in the code.
Where Did the Start or Start Select Myth Come From?
In Contra, you had to press start to enter the code, if you had a friend with you then you pressed select start. In some instances, you can tell if a person typically played with friends by how they remember the Konami code.
The Original Konami Code Doesn’t End With the Start Button, but There are Variations of the Code
The original Konami Code doesn’t end with the start button, but relaying the code to someone to include a start or a select start isn’t wrong. Furthermore, many variations of the code have existed over the years, depending upon what system you are playing and what game you are playing. The code does different things and is entered in different screens depending upon the game and system as well.