Good things do come in small packages… But
sometimes they also come in big UPS boxes!
So let me start with the story behind these System T/Infusion packs. Several months back I saw a seller on an entertainment industry resale website offering a whole lot of these packs at a very reasonable price and describing them as “for parts”. Well, for parts or otherwise I was definitely intrigued and I dropped a note expressing my interest in them. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear back right away, and simultaneously was pursuing another (unsuccessful) effort to obtain some Infusion packs for my collection. By the time I finally got a reply and confirmed my interest someone else had pulled the trigger and within only a few minutes I got a follow up email saying the packs had already been sold. :(
Fast forward to a few months later, I have just been gifted a couple of V3 packs from Australia and after seeing me post about them my friend, the great “General Nicolas, Grand Master of infusion” (aka Glendale) has offered to coach me via Zoom to see if we might be able to get them up and running. As it turns out the micros are too old and that effort fails, BUT during the course of all this Nick mentions something interesting. His friend Noah (who I met at a tournament in California a couple years ago) is working on refurbishing some Infusion packs...and it turns out that these are those very same packs I saw online a couple of months earlier!
For what it’s worth, in hindsight I’m glad Noah beat me to the buy because he has been able to work some real magic with bringing these packs back to life and fixing them up to be in stand-alone, playable condition. Refurbishing electronics like this that date back about twenty years is quite a talent. We worked out a deal that resulted in a big box of awesomeness arriving on my doorstep with three packs ready to go!
I’m going to call Noah and Nick my Mod Squad (in this case “mod” as in modification). I am lucky to know people who can tech packs because I am NOT a tech savvy person at all. I really have no idea what went into revitalizing these packs, but I am appreciative that I am connected with others who do have that skill set. I know these packs are now running player-devised “Sev-fusion” coding (not an official Zone term), but that’s as much as I can add to that discussion.
Since General Nick was responsible for the “Superterminator” design to start and stop the games I went to him for guidance on setting everything up. I don’t know what others are using for terminators, but he tells me that I now have one of only three of these superterminators that exist.
It was quite a thrill to hear the familiar sounds as I fired up these packs for the first time.
It has been at least a few years since I have had the chance to play using Infusion. My last time was either in 2016 when I brought a group of friends out for a pre-con tag night in Albany on the last weekend that Zero Gravity used it before they upgraded to Helios Pro or it may have been at Stratum whenever I last made it out to Mesa, AZ prior to them switching to Helios 2. Either way, it had been far too long, so I was itching to play. Since it is January and I live in the Northeast there was no chance of any parking lot tag because of all the snow, so instead I made arrangements to take these packs to my local laser tag center on a quiet day and try them out in an arena setting.
I arrived carrying the packs in a big, pink plastic tote and set them up on the counter to put the batteries in and fire them up. It was really cool to watch Ethan and Jackal get into checking out old school Zone for the very first time and realizing these packs were older than they were! Introducing them to this system was a lot of fun.
And then Fox, Jackal and I suited up to try them out.
I’ll be honest, I had a blast playing around with these, but Tiv didn’t get her groove back just yet. Even though these were familiar packs, the new coding made them play more like V4s (which I have spent very little time with in the past). Guess I will have to get more game time in with them! :)
The packs are programmed for five minute games and since there is no other way to keep score we just had to press the silver button to compare the stuns and deactivations on the small screen at the top of each pack with the lowest number of hits received being the winner. This was such a great time and I thank Fox and Jackal for joining me for a few games while Ethan held down the fort.
I also want to give big thanks to the Glendale guys for putting some playable Zone gear back in my hands. During the pandemic I have barely been able to play this system at all, so to now have access to these packs in my collection is amazing. This system is sentimental to me as Infusion was the very first laser tag system I ever played back around 2006 and that gets me reminiscing about my first ever laser tag home, Fun Junction. Over the holidays I took some time off from work. Since I couldn’t go anywhere this year, vacation with no travel equaled time on my hands for craft projects. So I used that time to cross stitch the old FJ map sampler-style.
This is now hanging in my office as a reminder of all the great memories I have of this site, this system and laser tag in general. After all, there’s no place like Zone. :)
Comments or Questions?