Hiding jokes, goofs and gags in programs, commonly known as Easter eggs, is a popular form of ‘entertainment’ programmers like to indulge themselves in. Google is pretty good in this department. Little tricks are found aplenty on Google’s various products and subtle jokes show up when performing search on innocent keywords.
An entirely different kind of Easter egg found on a large number of websites is based on what is commonly knows as the Konami Code.
The Konami Code, is a cheat code that appears in many video games published by Konami Corporation, a leading Japanese game developer and publisher, although the code also appears in some non-Konami games. During gameplay the player can press a sequence of buttons – the Konami code – to enable the game cheats.
Soon website developers began implementing this code within a website. When a visitor enters the Konami code on the site, the joke is revealed. Many popular sites are known to have the Konami Easter egg.
For instance, go to Newsweek.com and type the Konami code – Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Enter – and the stories are replaced with news about an impending zombie attack.
When you are logged in on Google Reader and at the Home page, enter the code to reveal a Ninja. On GameSpot, entering the code will take you to the cheat code page on Contra, a game that popularized the Konami code.
Various sites had implemented the Konami code in the past but had taken it down. Examples of this includes Facebook, that added a lens-flare effect to the page and ESPN that showed an invasion of unicorns and rainbows. It’s no longer available but you can watch the intense effect below.
You can find many Konami code sites on Wikipedia.