How To Unlock The Konami Secret In Excel


Back in 1997, Microsoft was in talks to buy the Japanese entertainment company Konami (which produced such classics for the NES as Castlevania and Contra). To celebrate the impending acquisition, the Excel development team was working on a Contra game Easter egg hidden in Excel.

Unfortunately the acquisition fell through but the development team had already finished coding the Easter egg into the core code. The Easter egg addition was long forgotten and was never removed from the core Excel code but can still be access during the Excel loading screen.

While Excel is loading press Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A on your keyboard.

If you entered the code correctly during start up, you will be able to play Contra from within Excel.

  1. Go to the new tab Contra in the ribbon.
  2. Press the Contra Logo button.
  3. A playable Contra game will appear in the sheet below.

Wow, so much fun! Happy April Fool’s Day!

About the Author

John MacDougall

John MacDougall

John is a Microsoft MVP and freelance consultant and trainer specializing in Excel, Power BI, Power Automate, Power Apps and SharePoint. You can find other interesting articles from John on his blog or YouTube channel.



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  1. dab on them haters

    i actually tried this

    • John

      Haha, sorry to disappoint you. I think productivity would take a nose dive world wide if it was in there.

  2. Anthony

    Oh man – i tried this too haha

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