The Konami Code, known in Japan as the Konami Command (コナミコマンド, Konami Komando?), is a cheat code that appears in many Konami video games, although the code also appears in some non-Konami games. The code was first used in the 1986 release of Gradius for the Nintendo Entertainment System but was made famous in North America in the NES version of Contra, for which it was also dubbed the "30 Lives Code". While pausing the game or during the title screen, the player could press the following sequence of buttons on the game controller:
The Konami code was introduced to many gamers in the 1988 NES version of Contra. Due to the game's intense difficulty, many Contra players became reliant on the cheat code, which increased the player's lives from 3 to 30 (9 to 90 including continues), to finish the game. The game's popularity, combined with the near-necessity of using the code, made it renowned to an entire generation of video game players. This led to the code being used in countless games, and even mentioned across popular culture. For example, references to the Konami code have appeared on web sites (including the activation of "easter eggs", substituting the "enter" key for "start"),in comics, TV shows, T-shirts, license plates, music, and even professional wrestling.