PC and Video Game History: On This Day in History: July 30

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On this day in history, July 30 …


Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore file a patent application for an integrated circuit on the behalf of their employer, Fairchild Semiconductor. The application will be challenged by Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments, but in 1969, the courts will rule in favor of Noyce and Moore.


Releases 59 of the Infocom interactive fiction game Leather Goddesses of Phobos is released for IBM-compatible computers. The first release, number fifty, was published on July 11th. The game is notable for featuring an adjustable level of “naughtiness” and being one of the most sexual games of its period. Despite its scandalous levels of lewdness, the game will go on to be on of Infocom’s five top selling games, and in 1988, Infocom will re-release it.


Video System Co., Ltd. releases the vertical-scrolling shooter Sonic Wings for the Super Famicom in Japan. The game is a port of the original arcade version.


The Software Toolworks releases the single-player, third-person racing game MegaRace for the Sega Mega-CD in the US. (ESRB: MA-13)


Atari Corporation holds a stockholders meeting to vote on the matter of the proposed merger between the Atari and JTS Corporations. Approximately forty-two million votes are cast in favor of the merger with approximately eleven thousand votes opposed. Following the merger, the resulting corporation will adopt the name JTS, leaving Atari a subsidiary.


Enix releases the roleplaying game (RPG) Star Ocean: The Second Story for the PlayStation in Japan. The game will go on to sell 724,000 copies in Japan alone.


Nintendo releases Mario Golf for the Nintendo 64 in the US. It’s the fourth game in the Mario Golf series. (ESRB: E)Rockstar releases the racing game Monster Truck Madness 64 for the Nintendo 64 in the US. The game is a port of the 1999 computer game Monster Truck Madness 2. (ESRB: E)


Midway releases the single player fighting game Mortal Kombat: Special Forces for the PlayStation in North America. Chronologically, it the tenth game in the Mortal Kombat series, but it comes first in terms of the series' storyline. It breaks with its predecessors in that it’s not a tournament games. Rather, players are cast in the role of Major Jackson Briggs (“Jax”) as he searches for the Black Dragon. Perhaps because it is a departure from the gameplay of earlier installments, Special Forces will widely be derided as the worst game in the series to date. (ESRB: M)


Nintendo releases the the seventh game in the Pokémon series, Pokémon Crystal, for the Game Boy Color in the US. (ESRB: E)


Majesco Entertainment releases the single player flight simulator Gun Metal for the Xbox in the UK. In it, players pilot a mech that can transform into a fighter jet. Namco releases the fighting game Soul Calibur II to arcades. The game introduces the notable improvements of arena walls, a “clash system” which negotiates the results of two opposing attacks colliding, an improved avoidance system for evading vertical attacks, and a three-stage Soul Charge system. The game’s arcade cabinet features an eight-direction joystick and six buttons.

Sega releases Virtua Tennis 2 for the PlayStation 2 in the US. This version’s graphics are noticeably degraded from the original DreamCast version, drawing heavy criticism. (ESRB: E)


G4 Media presents the G-Phoria Glow Awards at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City takes Game of the Year award. Jenna Jameson is awarded Best Live Action / Voice Performance for her role in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers wins the award for Best Adaptation. Animal Crossing is named the year’s Most Innovative Game at the Awards ceremony.

EA Games releases the single-player, real time strategy (RTS) game Aliens versus Predator: Extinction for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in North America. It’s the first game in the franchise to be released for either the PlayStation 2 or Xbox, as well as the first not to be first-person shooter (FPS). Players can choose to take on the role of the Aliens, Predators, or Marines, somewhat in imitation of the classic RTS StarCraft. As Aliens, players must expand their hive. As marines, players must secure new territory. As Predators, players must hunt prey. (ESRB: T)

TDK Mediactive releases the single-player action game Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis, based on the DC Comics series, for the GameCube and Xbox. (ESRB: T)


Midway Games launch the single-player, third-person psychological horror game The Suffering for personal computer in PAL regions. The game was a favorite among gamers for its intensely frightening atmosphere, its many cultural allusions, and its original storyline.

SNK Playmore releases the versus fighting game The King of Fighters Neowave for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox worldwide. It’s the eleventh game in the King of Fighters series.

Ubisoft releases the single-player, third-person, stealth-based game Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow for the GameCube in Europe. Its gameplay is largely the same as that of its predecessor, the original Splinter Cell game, save for some minor graphical refinements and the addition of a laser sight to the main characters hand gun. This version of the game will receive mostly unfavorable reviews due to the exclusion of the multiplayer mode featured in the PC, PlayStation 2, and Xbox versions of the title. (PEGI: 12+)


Nintendo releases the puzzle game Picross DS for the Nintendo DS in North America. It’s the second picross, or nonogram logic puzzle, game released by Nintendo. The first was the 1995 commercial failure, Mario’s Picross. (ESRB: E)

Nintendo releases the sports game Mario Strikers Charged for the Wii in North America. It’s a sequel to the 2005 GameCube game Super Mario Strikers. In it, two five-player teams compete in a highly stylized football game in which players must violently clear a path to their opponent’s goal. The game is the second released for the Wii to use the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection for online matches, and when it was released in Europe on May 25th, it became the first Wii online game to be released outside of Japan. (ESRB: E10+)