Ah frequently asked questions yum yum yum. This is absolutely the most tasty section of the ULTRAZONE website. Over the years we have taken great pride in responding to questions with a cynical but loving tone. Now that hazard sign above is not to be taken lightly. If you don’t have a decent sense of humor, just skip this section.
Are there age requirements for ULTRAZONE?
Yes. All guests must be at least 7 years old to play. This restriction is strictly enforced. No we don’t ask for birth certificates; although given some adults penchant for shall we say a less than truthful approach to reporting their child’s age; we have considered this alternative. Please respect our rules; they are for everyone’s benefit. Oh yeah, we don’t care about upper age limits.
Are there clothing restrictions?
Yes we prefer you wear clothes. Backless sandals are frowned upon due to traction issues on the ramps to the upper decks, but if that’s all you have with you then no problem. We really recommend tie-shoes of the athletic type. Also, the infamous “athletic t-shirt” (you know the muscle type/”_______ beater” shirt) is a poor choice as they look ridiculous on guys. Save them for the gym or the beach or better yet just throw them out.
Is running permitted in the game?
Never!!! You are playing in a dark, blacklit arena, filled with mazes, ramps and obstacles. It’s simply too dangerous to run.
Are the games supervised?
Yes. ULTRAZONE staff is always in the game to ensure players have a safe and thrilling experience.
How many people are in a game?
While we can play up to 36 in a game, the size of your game may vary depending upon the number of players purchasing passes at the time.
How often do you run games?
On typical player flow days, we run games every 15 to 20 minutes.
Do I need a reservation to play?
Nope, “Walk-In” play is our standard any day that we are open. Its first come first served. Actually, we take reservations for groups of 15 or more for walk-in play or less if we like you or if you plead with us. We take group reservations for any number for businesses, youth groups, sports teams, sororities, etc.
What’s up with using 2 hands on the laser?
ULTRAZONE lasers require that you use 2 hands for better accuracy AND for safety to keep the laser closer to your body. (See we really love our players and want you to get a good score and to leave the game unscathed!)
What is Late Night?
As in “I play Late Night” or ” Will you be at Late Night?” This phrase refers to our Late Night laser game hours at the ZONE, Friday and Saturday nights from midnight to 2:00 am. Late Night is a San Diego original, developed when we first opened where games are priced at $7.50 and usually play to a packed house.
Okay- this is your last warning. Read on at your own peril!
How long will I have to wait to get in a game?
We love this one. After consulting all known astrology charts, as well as completing extensive statistical analysis, we state with absolute certainty that we have no idea how long the wait will be. Are there better times to come down to play? Sure there are, but they change from week to week. All kidding aside, if you call us, a manager can give you some advice on better arrival times for the day that interests you, but beware, as we have no control over what group might walk in the door five minutes before you get here.
Will it be very busy on____________ (you fill in the day)?
See question number 3. This has to be a trick question. You tell us, what’s the correct answer here?
- No, we won’t be busy at all for the entire day, which means ultimately we won’t be able to pay our bills, which ultimately will mean we won’t even be here the next time you call.
- Yes, we will be completely slammed, so if you love astounding ZONE excitement and consistently large games, this is the day for you.
It is now time for a special ZONE insight moment. First, ask yourself, what is the correct answer to your question? We figure that you want the ideal game. Ah, the elusive search for laser tag nirvana- the “perfect” game.
You know the one we mean: just the right amount of first time players to make certain that you get a good score; not too many young kids, because they always play better than you; the perfect number of players on each team so you and your friends can be together and not have to relate to any strangers; and definitely a game with no really good players. Certainly a modest set of expectations. Well good luck in your quest; because we can only guess at crowd size and game make-up. On a more reasonable customer service note, a manager can offer a few suggestions for certain days in case we have large groups booked.
Can I be on the same team as my friend?
Better question, does your friend want you on his team? Are you any good? Anyway, we do our absolute best to put friends on the same team. Just tell your game master during the briefing that you have some people that want to be on the same team; but just as in life, there are no guarantees (how poignant) because we have to make even teams, both in size and skill level.
Are the lasers safe?
Another question we love. Years ago a prominent dermatologist asked if he could borrow our lasers for dermabrasion, and skin peels; but unfortunately we need all the equipment on site for regular play. However, with our new equipment, we do have the ability to crank the laser beams to high power industrial-level, but not too often as the beams damage walls etc.
Just kidding. Duh, of course the lasers are safe. Think about it. Over 3 million players over 20 years equals safe equipment. Our lasers seem powerful because they are used in a darkened, fog filled, and themed environment.
Tedious player question- “How Much Time Is Left In The Game? Also When is the Next Game”?
Question asked to front counter staff typically every 45 to 90 seconds by agitated players in the lobby. These players have proven themselves, despite our extensive efforts to comfort them, to be either 1) maddeningly unable to tell time or; 2) in desperate need of constant reassurance that in terms of the universe’s space/time continuum, time does continue to move forward at its 60 seconds per minute pace, even when one is waiting for the next game.
Exasperating player question: “Hey, did you call Katiness or IronMan yet?”
(Fill the pack name of your particular pack) This question is asked to front counter staff either during or after scorecards have been announced. The reality is this scorecard has either: 1) not been called yet, proving that the player has a difficult time with not have his needs met before everyone else’s; or 2) the scorecard was called five minutes ago, proving that the player was too spaced out to pay attention to this most critical moment in his life. (We all shoulder the burden of those with uncomfortably poor listening skills.)
Aggravating player question formed into a statement: “My Laser Wasn’t Working for Most of The Game”
(Overheard as an angry complaint to front counter staff at the end of a game) This is an accusation and/or explanation, typically by adult players and rarely by children, for poor game play and a resulting lousy score. In actuality, this is really indicative of a failure by that player to take personal responsibility for his/her own poor play. Here’s a news flash for you. Your laser wasn’t working because 1) you didn’t use two hands on the laser; or 2) you were just getting lit-up for most of the game or 3)because you simply suck at laser tag!
Who would want to talk with Steve, Chief Sarcasm Officer of ULTRAZONE?
Hey, who would not . . .?
Answer provided courtesy of Vivian Q., Jacob Tyler Office Manager
What are Solo, Eliminator, Stratego, Zone Ball, Lightning 3’s, Base Attack etc.?
These are special format games that are typically not played during general public play. They are used extensively at “Tuesday Night at the ZONE” and in 5-day summer camp programs.
The following FAQ “old school” section is dedicated to the guys and women from our early days in the mid to late 1990’s. Thanks guys for all your devoted support and our best to you and your families. Here’s a trip down memory lane
What is a Role Player?
Well first you were a member of ULTRAZONE and had a role play button. However, more than that, you were a very skilled and dedicated player. Typically top player in Tuesday Night Leagues and participated in tournaments around the country. These guys could literally dodge laser fire.
Who were Smokey, Time Bomb, Dr. Doom, TriggaHappy, Exit Sanity, Wildstar, Baal, Afrothunda, Doughboy, ROM, Raven, Ace, Griffin, Type-O, Goofball, and Bane?
These are original Role Players
What does the phrase “Lit Up” mean?
(Slang term) As in “I lit him up” or “I got lit up” This is the act of one player very successfully tagging another (usually many, many times) during the course of a laser game. The origin of the term comes from the first version of our old school game equipment where a white light flashed on the pack at the instant of a tag.
What does the phrase “got worked in the game” mean?
A term not exclusive to ULTRAZONE describing a player’s game where he played quite poorly was rather seriously Lit Up; as in “I got worked in that game.”
What is a Deactivation?
Deactivation is otherwise known to the general player as simply a “tag” where the pack goes dark or off for approximately 3 seconds after you have been tagged. The slang term for this is- “deacs”.
What is a Stun?
In the old days ULTRAZONE laser tag, tagging a player on the shoulder or laser resulted in an approximate four second stun, where the player’s laser stops working and he/she cannot fire back. Three stuns equaled a full deactivation.
What is covering?
The most despised form of cheating in the ZONE consists of covering your chest targets with your arms during game play. Covering was also known to lead to uncontrollable fits of whining and complaining from Role Players, who moaned that newbies are covering, when in actuality the newbie had very little idea how to even find a base let alone cover sensors.
What is a Newbie?
This is a term of endearment for the new player, as in “this game is full of newbies”. The term includes totally new players as well as those who have played some games but are still in the very early stage of their ZONE lifespan.
What is a bunny hunt?
Bunnies are newbies. So in an old school game with lots of newbies and a few Role Players, the advanced players can have a bunny hunt where they seek out and “work” the newbies. This led to Role Players not being permitted to play in bunny games.
What is Smurfing?
Here we enter the world of grotesque poor taste and unsportsmanlike conduct in a game. Smurfing is when friends who have been placed on different teams continue to work together during the game, at the expense of the rest of each of their teams. Of course this is a guaranteed way to alienate other players as well as have them make extensive plans to exact a measure of revenge. Surprising as this may seem, this maneuver is fairly easy to detect.
Who is Tulasi?
Tulasi is many things. She was hired at ULTRAZONE at age 16- totally a punker with mesh stockings and Docs. Pete wanted to hire her on the spot; Steve not so much. Then she became a famous staff person and then a manager. Now she’s on her way to be a nurse and totally adored by all of The ZONE.
What is a Face Off?
This is squaring off one-on-one during the game with another player. The goal is to both dodge your opponent’s shot and/or tag your opponent first. This is seen mostly in highly experienced players, and is not at all recommended for newbies unless you are interested in getting lit.
What is a Terminator?
In old school laser tag, the Game Master carried an electronic device that could shield a player from being tagged, delete 1,000 points for and/or terminate the player’s game by shutting down the pack resulting in a zero score.
What is a “Red”?
As in “I got a Red” or “I got redded in that game”. A 1,000 point penalty deduction administered electronically by a Terminator at the discretion of the Game Master for Rules of the ZONE violation during game play. Two Reds equaled a full termination and removal from the game.
What is Worlds I?
In August of 2003 we hosted the first ever international laser tag tournament, “Worlds I.” It featured 12 teams traveling from Sweden, Finland, Canada and the USA. The tournament lasted 4 nights where the games and preliminary events would be played from 11pm to 6am. We were witness to the most amazing level of laser tag play possible.
Who were Ground Zero?
In an amazing “come from behind” victory in the final game on the final night of the laser tournament, the San Diego Team “Ground Zero” edged the USA All Star team “BOC” for first place. Our congratulations to these elite Role Players who brought honor and legend to our site: Pacman, Goofball, Rom, Exit Sanity, Griffin, Time Bomb, Dope Dude, and Sniiiiper!
What is Lord of the Rings or LOR?
This is the highest level of one-on-one elite player competition, and is typically used as part of a major laser tag tournament championship play. Two or three players face off within a 12 foot square or “ring” for typically 5 minutes. The player with the least amount of recorded deacs is the winner and moves on to the next round.
this photo is the LOR chart from Worlds 1
While ULTRAZONE is always the dark and fun side, in this instance this is really the “Dark you better have a well developed sarcastic sense of humor and be ready to laugh as things are presented to you in life side.” Items will appear and disappear at our whim. Actually this is all ZONE Bunny’s fault anyway- he made us do it!
Is ULTRAZONE like an eharmony type of deal where you can really “score big” and not just in the game?
Actually ULTRAZONE typically presents the same type of gender bias set of player viewpoints and expectations that one might expect to see in other social settings.