If you had to hazard a guess, how many times do you think you’ve punched in the Konami code in your lifetime? You know how it goes. Many of us have this down by heart: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A. From the first time it showed up in Gradius in 1986 (top), to more recent cameos in games as diverse as Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, Metal Gear Solid, GTA V, and even League of Legends, it’s become the least secret “secret code” there ever was. The Konami code is like a Pulp Fiction reference, or that horrible arrow in the FedEx logo. Once you’ve seen it, you see it everywhere.
There are dozens of Konami code Easter eggs throughout other games and entertainment, but none on quite such a grand scale — nor in such an unrelated venue — as the one Kotaku Australia found. When the Bank of Canada unveiled their new $10 bill, they did up a nice website where you can check out the bill in exhaustive 3D detail. But they also embedded an Easter egg in the page. If you enter the Konami code, you get a pleasant dose of nerdy Canadian humor.
The function of the Konami code is usually to unlock an Easter egg: a hidden surprise placed there by the developers, to delight the curious. The folks behind this particular bit of aptly timed lightheartedness must have had that in mind.
This isn’t the first time the nerds in the Canadian government have made official announcements a bit more fun. Back in 2015, the Canadian Senate released a report on the bitcoin. And for the sake of being poetically appropriate, it did so by embedding the message in the blockchain — something like the recent Tienanmen Square reference in the blockchain, but with perhaps less intended political nose-thumbing.
.@Pokemon has been around in Canada since 1998! Which Pokemon do you think is the most Canadian? #PokemonSunMoon pic.twitter.com/yfC0HHisF1
— Canada (@Canada) May 10, 2016
The redone $10 note was released so that its timing would coincide with Canada’s 150th birthday. It celebrates many facets of Canadian history and culture, including the first woman elected to the House of Commons.
As for why the Bank of Canada decided on this particular hidden gem, their answer is simple. “Konami code seemed like a fun way for the web team to celebrate Canada’s [150th anniversary],” a spokesperson told Motherboard in an email. The Bank spokesperson also wrote that the folks over there “love Nintendo and 8-bit music.”