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Founded March 21, 1969
Headquarters Tokyo Midtown, Minato, Tokyo, Japan
Website www.konami.com
Other Names Ultra Games, Palcom

Konami Corporation (コナミグループ株式会社) is a highly successful Japanese game developer and publisher, and have been making games for several decades. In addition to video games, the company also produces other products such as anime and trading cards.

The company started off producing arcade games in the early 80's. These included games such as Frogger and Yie-Ar Kung-Fu. The company later started developing games for Japanese home computers, primarily the MSX line of computers, as well as developing the SCC audio device. In 1982, Konami expanded their business to North America. When the Nintendo Entertainment System was released, the company started producing games for the console. However, due to Nintendo's rules of publishers releasing up to five games a year to ensure quality over quantity, Konami easily got around this issue by using the alias Ultra Games (Palcom in Europe). They would also use these names for their Game Boy games. The company later focused on the 16-bit and 32-bit systems when those consoles were released, and it was around this time that Konami started creating several subsidiaries, most of them with the prefix of KCE (Konami Computer Entertainment).

Over the years, Konami has created several popular franchises, many of which live on to this day. These include Castlevania, Contra, Metal Gear, Parodius, Silent Hill, Snatcher, Tokimeki Memorial, and Yu-Gi-Oh.

Konami still lives on as a highly successful game development studio. The company produces games for the current-gen platforms. In addition to those, they also create pachinko, slot, and other gambling games.

Konami is also known for the famous Konami code which appears in many of their games (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A).


Music Development

Game Boy

Konami's main studio made use of a sound driver that was designed by Hidehiro Funauchi. Their other studios in Nagoya, Kobe, and Sapporo each had their own sound drivers; it's unclear who programmed these, though based on the credits in the games they developed the Nagoya studio's driver may have been designed by Jun Yamaguchi.


Konami had three different sound drivers; the Vampire Killer variant, Hyperstone Heist variant, and Lethal Enforcers variant. Based on the various credits found in these games, the drivers were programmed by Atsushi Fujio and Osamu Kasai. Akira Soji and Hideto Inoue may have also worked on the variants based on various game credits.


To create music for the NES in Konami's sound driver was a tedious process; the composers would write their music on various synths and sequencers. Then, they'd type their music in assembly macros into the Konami sound driver, then assemble the music to make sure it played properly. After this, the data would be entered into a mainframe computer that all the developers shared. Then, the music would be run through a sound emulator. Finally, the composers would tell the programmers of the games when and where to use the music.

The company's original NES sound driver was written by an unknown programmer (possibly Shigeru Fukutake), but the version used in most of their NES games was designed by Hidenori Maezawa. Many composers, such as Jun Funahashi, Atsushi Fujio, and Kouji Murata, either tweaked Hidenori's code as needed, or designed their own drivers from scratch. Sometimes the composer would be directly responsible for the in-game arrangements; otherwise, they would just write the music out in sheet form and have a programmer arrange it in-game.

Some Chinese and Taiwanese developers would later use Konami's sound engine (mainly Super Contra, Tiny Toon Adventures and TwinBee 3) such as Ren Yongming from Waixing or Han Ming Liao from Gamtec.


Their earliest SNES titles used a largely unaltered version of Nintendo's Kankichi-kun sound driver. Atsushi Fujio later made some tweaks to this driver to create the version that was used for most of their subsequent SNES titles.

Game Boy Advance

The company used Nintendo's MP2K sound engine.

The company's Hawaiian development division used Factor 5's MusyX sound engine.

For the Konami Computer Entertainment Japan games, it used a custom sound driver programmed by someone named GUN.

Audio Personnel

These composers/sound designers worked at Konami: