2017 is the 150th anniversary of the great nation of Canada, and many things are being done to mark the big event. One of them is the release of a brand-new $10 bill featuring four of our most significant historical figures, including our first female Member of Parliament and our first senator of First Nations origin. All of this and more, you can learn about at the official Bank of Canada website, which is currently festooned with history, trivia, and a detailed, three-dimensional image of the bill.
Don’t worry, here comes the game part: You can have a little fun by entering the famous Konami code into the site. The Konami code, as Wikipedia explains, is a cheat that first appeared in 1986 and has turned up in dozens of games since. Because it originated on the NES, it’s designed to be entered with a controller, although your keyboard will do the job nicely as well, using the arrow keys: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A.
The PC connection is a little tenuous, I admit, but a handful of Konami games released for the PC over the years have used it, and others have paid tribute: BioShock Infinite’s 1999 mode, for instance, is unlocked with it, and Rocket League has a Konami code-driven Easter egg, too.
And it works! I won’t spoil the surprise for anyone, but entering the code on the Bank of Canada site will treat you to a nice little dose of Canadiana. As to exactly why this was done, a Bank rep told Motherboard that it “seemed like a fun way for the team to celebrate” the anniversary, and that the people on it “love Nintendo and 8-bit music.”
For the record, this isn’t the first time that an official Canadian government agency has done something silly: On a particular day last year, Library and Archives Canada quietly declassified the military record of James “Logan” Howlett, a former soldier who has recently begun working with various NGOs.