Day 11: Do Konami codes make me weak?

Young gamers will never understand: old school games came with great cheat codes, and I embraced every single one. Some like a true challenge or the strong possibility of failure. I just liked to get through a story and move onto the next game.

That’s probably why I prefer to play RPGs — like watching your own digital garden grow and take on the apocalypse. (Pretty much every RPG followed that general plot.)

The most famous backdoor gaming company is, of course, Konami, where many of their old school classes such as Contra, Gradius, Castlevania, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles come with bonuses, extra lives, and power-ups by using its awesome, catchy code. I mentioned to a few friends recently that I started playing Life Force, part of the Gradius cannon.

Life Force has a special place in my heart. I played it with my cousin in Canada, who moments before didn’t even exist to me. We barely knew each other as we navigated the inner digestive tract with our miniature jets. I didn’t know what I was doing most of the time, and kept dying, but by the end of the game we were bound by the experience. Forever.

Fast-forward to the present, and this game kicks my ass. Everything on the frame can (and will) kill you. There’s no way to get around it — you will die.

Solution: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, START.

30 lives per continue x 3 continues = 90 freaking lives.

Even then, I have yet to beat the game by myself. Like Bubble Bobble, it requires a friend.

I am not good at Life… Force. This person, however … is.

Here’s another person who beat Contra without dying.

Am I wasting my life by playing games on training wheels? Or are they?


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