The Story of CCS and Fusion
Before the 64 - Dragons, Pets and the incredible flying ZX81
The C.C.S. years
Fusion is born - A tale of a lame horse
The shit hits the fan - Four take on the world
Cooking with gas
Onward and upward - Moving on up
I Ball 2 from who?
Babe I'm leaving... I must be on my way... The time is drawing near...
(Another) Stab in the back!
Before the 64 - Dragons, Pets and the incredible flying ZX81
The infamous ZX81
The first truly commercial computer on the UK market this Zilog Z80 based
machine is what most people into computing at the time cut their teeth on.
The machine had 1k of ram as standard with an optional 16k ram pack which
plugged into the user port at the rear.
It seems as if Sir Clive Sinclair had made a boo boo when it come to the
design of the ram packs as they all had one problem... They wobbled....
I remember typing in a huge basic program one day, it took about 10 hours
to get it all in. I pressed the keys to save the program to tape and pressed
record. It was just at that moment that the ram pack wobbled and the machine
I never knew that ZX81's were so aerodynamic.. I threw it across the
room into a wall. Strange at it may seem I picked up the now cracked machine
and plugged it in and guess what?. It still worked!!!.
This computer was manufactured by Mettoy in the United Kingdom and sold
to Dragon Data.
The machine used a Motorola 6809 processor and ran Microsoft Extended
Basic. The processor was 8 bit with 16 bit registers and was far more
advanced than anything else available at the time. Similar to the Tandy
Co-Co in design this was Ian's first real computer. Ian programmed in
basic and 6809 on this platform and had programs published in Your Computer
Stuart also used this machine but only through his work with the
Community Computers Scheme.
Games on this system were usually in 4 colours although the machine could
display 16. The choices were Green,Blue,Yellow and Red or Purple,Cyan,Buff
and Black. Dragon Data went into receivership in 1986 and the machine was
lost into obscurity shortly after.
Other CCS members came into computing via a different route.. Citizens
Band Radio.. Chris Jackson AKA The Joker started with a ZX81 which was used
solely for the purpose of decoding RTTY signals over short wave radio. The
programs that were available at the time to decode radio signals were of a
very poor quality so Chris was forced to write the software himself, first in
BASIC and then in Z80 assembler. Chris not only cracked for CCS but was an
electronic wizard, building all manner of cartridge based systems for the C64.
Chris used his electronic expertise building programming rigs to allow
programmers to code for the Nintendo Entertainment System using first C64 and
then PC. Chris was part of the development team that invented the Game Genie
cheat system produced by Codemasters Software.
The C.C.S. years
The Cleveland Cracking Service was born early in 1983 when 2 guys got
together to learn to program 6502 on the Commodore 64. These guys, Stuart
Morton and Micky Campbell both lived in a town called Middlesbrough in the
county of Cleveland, on the east coast of Great Britain hence the name
CLEVELAND CRACKING SERVICE..
Here Stuart of C.C.S. takes up the story...
Screen shot from an early C.C.S. crack
Micky and I started up the group C.C.S when we got together to learn
machine code on the C64. We decided that it was more interesting to
learn by cracking games than going through the machine code books of the
time. We managed to crack a couple games. I can`t remember what the
games were but at that stage the games did not really have much protection
anyway. We designed (??) a crack screen,.
Remember the C.C.S. sprites with flashing colours. A really awe inspiring
intro. We spread the games between a few friends and started to get our name
I remember going into our local software store and talking to the
customers, offering to crack the games they had bought and swap others for a
copy of the original to crack. Through this method I met many people who
eventually became software supplier of the group.
One day, I met a guy called 'Smelly' who said his mate had loads
of games and that maybe we could swap a few with him. We arranged for me to
meet this mate who turned out to be Ian. He brought some games with him and
we swapped a few copies between us. In his collection he had a game that he
had just got and asked if I could crack it for him as he could not copy it.
I had a go and managed to crack it. Remember this was all from tape, we
couldn't afford disk drives in those days. Anyway, I arranged to take
some more games over for Ian and we started to swap games on a regular basis
from then on.
The next break came when we met Geoff from Seaton Carew (a small seaside
town close to Middlesbrough). Ian and I used to travel through there about
once a week to swap games. We used to spend hours copying games with two tape
recorders and then spending days trying to crack them from the copies. This
is where we first came across a copy of ~>L fast tape loader.
We set about converting our not inconsiderable software collection over to
this format and in the process learned a lot about how the program worked.
We then proceeded to modify the program to create flashing lines on the
screen to indicate when it was loading correctly and this came to be known as
By this time Micky had left the group to work for a PC company and Ian
had finally learnt how to program 6502 so a new screen crack screen was
designed and C.C.S got down to the business of cracking games in volume.
Original members at this time where just Myself and Ian. We started to have
weekly meetings for swapping and cracking games. Other lads started to come
around on Friday nights (our computer night).. Steve (Burnsy)..
Gerry (Gez).. Mick (Shaggy).. Mark (Fatty).. Chris (Joker)..
These were great Friday nights !!. A good bunch of guys who even
now after almost 13 years still get together on a Friday night an Ian's
house. We would all crowd into my bedroom where we would crack a couple of
games and have a cool time playing games and taking the piss out of the local
lamers. At this point we decided that we needed a few more contacts to
swap with so Ian and Mike put out a demo called TGT asking for people to swap
cracks. TGT stood for 'The gruesome Twosome'.
We got swamped with letters. After sorting through them we got quite a
few good contacts and started mail trading first with lame groups and as time
went by with more elite groups. By this point it was now about 1985?
The group had about 8 actual members and quite a few outsiders who used to
buy games for us for copies of our latest cracks.
One of the first CCS intro's ever to be used. This intro was written by
Stuart and features 3 sprites which change colour every now and then. I think
it accurately reflects the level of programming ability Stuart possessed at
the time. I think it looks remarkably like the old GCS (German Cracking
Service) intro with one of the sprites changed to a 'C' What do you
We were now sending out about 10 to 15 parcels a week to contacts between
We learn how to do colour bars.. Strobing colours on black text with a
sweeping sound made this intro colourful to say the least. It was also one
of the least used of the CCS intro's. Written by Stuart it was used
on only about 5 games before being replaced by a series of intro's
exploring an opening doors theme.
So as you can guess the Friday nights started to become more of a copy
party than anything else.
As we became better known we started to trade with the T.C.S. (Teesside
Cracking Service) another group based in Cleveland ran by a guy called Dave
Chiles. Dave had a reputation for being an Ace coder and was a lot of
help to Ian in the early days. Dave invited Ian to join T.C.S. but because of
personal differences refused to allow Stuart to join. Ian refused to join
without Stuart and amidst the ensuing slanging match two other C.C.S members
left to join TCS. This action started a war between the two groups.
Looking back it seems absolutely stupid to enter into a so called war of
words with other crackers but at the time it was very serious. We took our
good name seriously and fought to defend it at all costs.
Demo's were written by both sides and released onto the scene. TCS
accused us all of being gay and useless crackers. We like to think we
answered their criticism in a demo called 'Open Letter'.
The war did not last long. TCS and C.C.S were both cracking the same
games so it became a matter of who had the best support network for spreading
the cracks and I am (not) sorry to say that we left TCS well behind in that
matter. We cracked them first, made them smaller, and got them all over the
world before TCS were even out of bed on a morning.
As a group we tried to visit every Commodore show in London as they were
a useful source of cheap disks and hardware. One time we had arranged to
travel the 200 miles to London one morning, when Burnsy told us that he
didn't think he could come as his girlfriend wanted him to look after the
children. When the time came to leave Burnsy turned up and said he had sorted
it out and that it was ok for him to come. It transpired that Burnsy had told
his girlfriend that he was popping to the shop for a bag of sugar. She was in
a wonderful mood when we returned after two days!.
At this time Joker began building hardware. He used his wizardry with
electronics to build Expert cartridges, Dolphin Dos Systems and Mega
Cartridges containing everything from Final Cruncher to Fast Hackem disk
copiers. I remember Chris making everyone a replacement ROM with fast load
and save routines as well as other utilities all available at the press of a
key. The ROM allowed fast formatting of disks and even stamped the disks with
your name and initials. Unfortunately he forgot to change the code for the
initials before writing the rest of the groups ROM's so all of the
ROM's formatted disks with the initials IB (Ian Bean).
Ian used this to good effect stating that any disks with his initials
must be his and collected hundreds of disks before the other members
Joker left the C.C.S to work for Codemasters developing the Game Genie, a
system for adding cheats to cartridge based systems like the Nintendo and
Everything looked rosy for C.C.S. We had cool swap partners like HOTLINE
who had exported our games to the states and we were waiting for our first
modem to begin exporting games into the U.S.
C.C.S was cracking more games now than ever with the help of Joker and
Mark who had started cracking some of the games. The writing was on the wall
though. The war with TCS had taken it's toll on the group and certain
members were becoming unhappy with the level of commitment others were showing.
The amount of copying that had to be done on an almost daily basis was
too much for some members who simply stopped sending out wares. Tempers
started to fray. There were meetings every week to try and decide what could
be done to get the group pulling together again to no avail. Disks
mysteriously disappeared, crack files were deleted and accusations flew thick
It was in the midst of this upset that the idea of a new group was born.
Fusion is born - A tale of a lame horse
A Stab in the back!
During the last few weeks of CCS, a couple of the members Ian and Mike
got together to talk about the possibility of starting a new group. We were
having no end of problems with some of the other members and were very
unhappy at having to do so much work cracking and trading while others did
Ian takes up the story..
Mike and I were sat in my house one Sunday evening. We were both pissed
off with the way things were with CCS. I was cracking everything that came my
way and was not allowed to give that crack to some people because they were
considered 'too lame'. Mike was sending out software around the world
expecting that others were doing the same but they were not. It seemed to us
at that time that we were the only ones who were serious about making the
group a success. What is the point in carcking a game if your not going to
spread it?. Stupid eh!, but that's the way it was.
Mike suggested a new group. I thought the idea had merit but was worried
about leaving CCS, so we decided to start the group and stay in CCS, working
for two groups as it were. The idea was that I would crack the games and we
would send them out as Fusion cracks. I would then wait a day or so and
change the intro on the crack to CCS and give it to the rest of the CCS
members. They would not suspect anything as I was still getting new cracks
for CCS, but it would be the Fusion cracks that were spread to our contacts.
We enlisted the help of Burnsy, another CCS member, primarily because he
lived next door to me and we were worried that he might let the cat out of
the bag. He was also a useful mailing address as he did not have a computer
at that time so we had no worries about FAST getting involved.
We needed a name for this new group and had a brainstorming session. Mike
as always was looking in the papers at the horse racing results and suggested
FUSION. It was the name of a horse that had come last in a race. The write up
in the paper said the horse was probably lame.. This seemed a very
appropriate name for our fledgling group. I wrote a little intro and
added the music from ACE 2 and we were in business.
We had no games to crack that day but we had a crack from Stuart called
COMBAT SCHOOL which Mike was to send to his contacts the next day. I whipped
off the intro and stuck our new Fusion intro onto it and it was sent to our
contacts, Fusion Man and Machine was born.
Sometime in the last few weeks of CCS, I cracked a game called Inspector
Gadget which was sent to Hotline in Germany who in turn sent it to their
contact in the United States. This game had contained my telephone number and
suddenly CCS was known in the United States. I started to receive phone calls
from American guys wanting to swap with me over the modem. I didn't have
a modem at the time (neither did all but one English group) so I arranged for
the American guys to send me one on condition that I would trade with them
exclusively. The modem arrived about 3 weeks after we had started Fusion. I
started modem trading with a group called Rowdy American Distributors (RAD)
and imported my first American cracked game called Kid Nikki a day or so
later. It was not long before Fusion cracks started coming back into Europe
via the Elite groups at the time who downloaded them from the U.S. boards.
Fusion's most used intro. Written by Ian this intro uses the character
set developed for the unreleased Ocean Software game 'CHUTE PURSUIT'
written by CCS member Ted Carron. The music used in this intro was from a
demo written by the Judges, and called Raah Lovely II
In these days of 56.6k modems and ISDN connections a 1200 baud modem must
sound pretty Mickey Mouse, but in those days only IKARI had a working modem,
and theirs was only 300 baud.
Soon we were sending cracks into the States most days, I decided early on
that I was not interested in having the smallest, most elegant crack of a
game. We as a group would save time by packing cracks with Matcham's
speed packer, getting a trainer working, and getting the game to the States
first. We soon realised that we needed the help of an original supplier who
could get games fast!. During the CCS days I had become friendly with a young
lad who worked in the local sotfware store, he even used to attend our Friday
meetings. I am not sure if he ever really was a member of CCS but he sure
wanted to be. I remember getting a guy to buy a game for me and finding a
note in the cassette case say 'SOLD TO YOU BY CRAIG OF THE W SQUAD' with a
copy of his telephone number. I rang him, basically to have a laugh ( at his
expense I might add) and invited him over to my house. As I remember he
brought over a frozen copy of some shoot'em up. He was keen to learn about
cracking so we let him stay.
I asked Craig if he would be interested in joining a new group, as a full
member. He would be responsible for getting his hands on some new software
and spreading our cracks. We took a chance and he didn't let us down.
Craig had an uncanny knack of being able to get every original game that came
out in his store, same day. He would organise his friends and customers to
get games and lend them to him for an hour or so. They would get a load of
Fusion cracks in return. To the best of my knowledge Craig only missed one
game in over 6 months in Fusion, and that was because he could not get out
of work early enough to get the game to me before someone else.
It was inevitable that the rest of CCS would find out about Fusion before
too long. We were cracking some 10 - 12 games per week and getting them to
the states before any of the other European groups could manage. CCS members
were bringing me Fusion cracks they had received from their elite contacts
and asking me 'Who the hell is this group Fusion who is beating everyone?
'. Eventually Mike, Burnsy, Craig and I decided that enough was enough
and we should tell them. Remember that we were still attending CCS meetings
on Friday nights and I was still rehashing Fusion cracks into CCS cracks for
The shit hits the fan - Four take on the world
When the members of CCS found out that we had been deceiving them for the
last few weeks, and that the cracks they had received from their contacts
were in fact done by us they were bloody furious. There was a suggestion from
some of the members that we be kicked out of CCS. Well that was worrying for
us, we had started a group that was rocketing to the top of the world with
the fastest cracks on the planet and being threatened with being thrown out
of a dead group.
Thankfully most of the CCS members saw sense and realised it was better
to stay around and have access to all the new U.S. stuff and the Fusion
cracks we were doing. Stuart did not agree, he had been one of the founder
members of CCS and as I had been his mate for a couple of years he felt that
I had betrayed him.
He could not understand why we had not asked him to join Fusion, after
all, he had taught me how to crack in the first place. I suppose looking back
he was right but at the time I was pissed with Stuart for a number of
personal reasons apart from the group. The Fusion members had discussed the
idea of asking Stuart to join and had a ballot. The results I'm afraid
were that no-one wanted Stuart to join.
Stuart and I had a very strained relationship at this time. He made some
attempts to get back at me for what I had done to the group (he blamed me
alone) by deleting files from my work disks. The last time this happened I
caught him and asked him not to come to my house again. Stuart attempted to
keep CCS alive but it was an impossible task. The war with TCS meant that
half the worlds crackers would not swap with CCS because they were afraid to
upset the TCS \ RADWAR alliance arrogantly called THE INNER CIRCLE.
Stuart left Middlesbrough and went to live in North Shields a coastal
town some 30 miles away.
We decided that as a policy we would not allow any of the old CCS members
to officially join Fusion. Some of them did 'guest' cracks and helped
with the mail trading, but none were ever members. We also decided that we
would trade with any group that wanted to trade with us. We traded
exclusively with RAD on the modem but by mail, anyone who sent disks would
have them returned with the latest Fusion cracks. It was our idea that cracks
are spread by the small groups who are keen to get new stuff to try and make
a name for themselves rather than elite groups who are only interested in
getting their own stuff spread.
To this end every Fusion member was mail trading with at least 20 groups
at any one time and when you consider we used to release 10 - 20 games per
week that's a lot of copying. I used to send out about 20 parcels a day
at one time. The plan worked and Europe was swamped with Fusion cracks spread
by small groups who were mail trading with us and keen to stay that way.
That is not to say that we didn't swap with the elite groups. I
personally swapped with Janitor (TRIAD), Jeff Smart (TRIAD), Strider
(FAIRLIGHT), Mitch (Eaglesoft), Bam Bam (Hotline), The
Dominators, F4CG, FBR, amongst others. I was once asked by Strider if I would
like to merge Fusion with FAIRLIGHT or even join the mighty FAIRLIGHT myself.
I have to say I was tempted but I politely refused.
As more and more of our cracks were spread across the network of
BBS's in the U.S. we were contacted by more and more U.S. guys wanting to
trade with us. There was The Shark, who at that time was a 14 year old kid
living in Arizona. He used to call me a couple of times a day trying to
convince me he could spread wares quicker than RAD and that we should trade
with him. He once sent me a newspaper by Federal Express, something I was
very happy to receive, it cost him $20 to send it.
He had even started up his own group called INC with a guy called THE
BUTCHER doing some of the coding for him. Sorry mate, I realise we fucked
you around a bit but business was business and we were not unhappy to see
that you made it to the elite without our help.
I heard that The Shark had set up a web site at the university where he
now works, which is dedicated to the old 64 scene. As a matter of interest I
logged on to see what he had wrote about me. As you can guess it was less
than flattering. I would recommend anyone interested in the old C64 scene to
visit the INC site as it is possibly the largest source of information about
the C64 scene on the net.
There were of course others like Mike from Minnesota, a guy, so inept at
modem trading that when I sent him a game, he could only transfer 300 baud
Xmodem and it was going to take an hour or so. He went to school leaving me
unable to disconnect for 8 hours (he had football practice). I feel sorry for
the poor bugger whose card he had used to call me with that day.
There was another Mike, this time from New York. This guy was an
insufferable pratt who thought he was doing me a favour ringing me at 3 am
and offering to swap with me. I am happy to report that I fucked that guy
over big style. I told him the only way I could trade with him was if he sent
me a 1200 baud modem and an American telephone by express mail. This he duly
did and when I received it I changed my telephone number and gave his modem
to one of the other members of Fusion. I heard that he was asking everyone
for my new number, threatening to war dial me to death.. Sad Man!.
Cooking with gas
Fusion came into being in October of 1987 and officially ceased to exist
after May 1988. In only 7 months of operation the group went from obscurity
to the very top of the crackers charts. From it's inception Fusion
cracked all but one game rleased in the UK first!. That game was
This release by Eastenders Cracking Crew took us all by suprise. We found
out later that the game had been released in the south of the country, one
day before it was due for release here in the north.
We decided that we had to have at least one member who lived in the south
in order to catch those odd games that were released first there. There were
lot's of people who would have been interested in joining the group but
we eventually decided that Mark Le May (The Casual Dude), a cracker who lived
in Portsmouth and Paul Geins (Tri-Dos) who we knew and liked from our CCS
days would be allowed to join.
It was sod's law that from that time there were no other north/south
releases. This didn't bother us too much as both Mark and Paul were cool
guys and we liked having them in the group. Mark was instrumental in the
purloining of the game '' from the Jesters house and releasing it to
the states. I only wish I could have been there to see Colin's face when
I played the music of the game over the telephone.
Mark cracked a couple of games for Fusion in the seven months we were
officially active and tried to keep Fusion going on his own after the rest
had quit. Any Fusion releases after 1988 that were uploaded to INC were
cracked by Mark. He eventually started a new group PHOENIX, declaring that it
was from the ashes of Fusion. I can't really say if he was successful or
not, I was firmly on the Amiga by then.
Tri-Dos talked his way into the group, I have tried to think of anything
that Paul did for Fusion, but I can't think of a single thing. He had
been a contact of Ian's since the CCS days and had visited Ian's
house on a couple of occasions. I think the real reason that Paul got into
Fusion was that his Norfolk accent made us all laugh. There was a number of
adverts shown on British TV about turkey farming and the guy used to at the
end.. There Bootifull.... . Paul talked just like that guy.
These were intro's for Marks group which he called Phoenix. The
intro's were quite clever in design but Marks scroll text always left a
lot to be desired. Fek this and Fek that etc..
From February 1988 things were very cool for Fusion, we were rising
rapidly up the cracker charts, and most importantly beating TCS into the
Paul had done a fair bit of cracking for his own group, putting stuff out
under the name of 'The Highlander'. He used to have a mate called
'The Master' who he informed us was a better cracker than the mighty
Janitor of Triad himself. I never say anything by the Master in the time I
knew Paul but having seen some of the awesome cracks by Janitor, I doubt
that what he said was true.
Ikari had also become embroiled in the TCS / CCS war by supporting the
TCS and saying in one of his demo's that 'I will stomp them all',
meaning the members of CCS. I did respond by giving him my telephone number
so we could arrange a time and place for this 'stomping', I am happy
to report that he never did ring me up to sort it out. It did my heart
good to read in the Illegal magazine that NIK had been accused of
'Freezing' games. I don really think that Ikari as a group froze
many games, just the two or three hundred that NIK couldn't crack. What
luck for NIK that Just Ice came along to save his reputation.
We used to get all kinds of messages from Ikari at that time. We made it
impossible for them to release games into the states as they were just too
slow!. NIK sent out a demo to all of his contacts whining that he had nothing
new to send them and PLEASE PLEASE, PLEASE, keep greeting Ikari.
NIK needed a plan... He decided on a strategy of sending up to the
states, garbage files with Ikari intro's that did nothing but lock up the
machine when you ran them. He would then tell his contact in the states that
the game worked in the UK and must need a fix for NTSC. The Yank would then
tell everyone that Ikari had cracked a new game and not to upload the game
from any other group.
NIK of Ikari put out this demo entitled 'SORRY /IKARI' because they
were unable to put out any new releases during the 7 months that Fusion were
most active. The demo is a whining piece of crap done with some
He knew that Americans were only interested in the first crack and would
stupidly spread the file across the BBS's, he would then take a couple of
hours to crack the game properly and then send it to the states as an NTSC
fix. The plan might have worked if Fusion hadn't already uploaded the
game that was not supposed to work on NTSC machines, fully cracked, trained
and working. RAD would upload Fusion cracks they imported first onto
Eaglesoft boards so even Mitch himself with the crap that NIK was pulling.
Ikari went on to be great again. After June 1988, and with no Fusion to
get in the way, Ikari climbed into elite status and with the merger with
Talent became perhaps the UK's most prolific cracking group.
Onward and upward - Moving on up
Fusion climb to the very top of the cracker charts in March 1988From February 1988 Fusion rapidly climbed the cracker charts first
appearing at number 8 and then the following month at number 1. This was
perhaps the busiest time for the members of Fusion, we had cracks to do every
day, sometimes 3 or 4 games. The telephone never stopped ringing with
American and European groups wanting to swap with us. Best of all was the
I used to love to get on the conferences... Some were run by Americans
who I had never heard off and filled with lame people from lame groups all
wanting to contact Fusion. I used to hang up on the guys or put the phone
near to the television and go to bed, but mostly I would get a conference
with elite groups, run by a decent American with lot's of very cool
people on there.
My fave conferences were those with some of my buddies. I remember being
on a conference one morning, I cant remember who was on but we decided to
ring Lazer of the New Bencors. I was to pretend to be Mitch of Eaglesoft
(I could do a decent American accent) and wind the guy up. Well it worked
better than I could have imagined. Lazer fell for it hook, line and sinker.
The guy butt kissed me that bad he MUST have had shit on his nose for
Games came thick and fast at this time, we had a brilliant original
supplier in Craig and he never let us down, except once...
I Ball 2 from who?
Craig supplied the group with originals through his network of contacts
in software stores, companies and even programmers. He achieved an
awesome reputation with those who knew him but didn't really get the
recognition for the work he did as he always wanted to credit Peter of the
Tigers for the originals.
This served two purposes.. First it allowed Craig to work without
suspicion and secondly it was a cool laugh when guys talked about Peter of
the Tigers and how cool he was at supplying originals. Some guys even told
me they had been talking to him, something we knew was utter ballocks.. (we
may even reveal their names if you really wanna know).
Well there was this one day that Craig was beaten by none other than the
real Peter of the Tigers. This day Craig was unable to get out of work early
to bring me the days games and Peter came to visit me with a copy of I BALL
2. I cracked the game and had it sent to the states before Craig came home
When Craig came to my house he was furious. He couldn't believe
he had been beaten by perhaps the lamest person an the planet.
Craig is still a little 'touchy' about this as Peter has never,
ever let him forget the day he beat him.
So a word of warning... If you are chatting with Craig on IRC, DON'T
mention I BALL 2!!!.
Babe I'm leaving... I must be on my way... The time is drawing near...
It was during May of 1988 that I decided that it was time to give up on
the old C64. This may seem to some to be a stupid decision considering
our group was riding at number 1 in the world, but for me I had achieved all
that I set out to do. I wanted to hammer the TCS and prove to the world that
we could beat them into the ground. We had done that in grand style.. All I
saw of TCS during my time was a couple of lame demos by Zeus and Thor. Their
name dropped from greeting lists and I swapped with a lot of their old
contacts who were very happy to be swapping with Fusion.
There were other reasons too. As I have mentioned elsewhere my son was
very sick at the time and it was getting more and more difficult to find the
time to crack all the games that were coming out. So the decision was taken
that Burnsy, Craig and I would leave (Craig didn't want to stay in the
group, after all when you are at the top the only way left to go is down)
and Mike, and Mark Le May would carry on by themselves.
Tri-Dos was kicked out of Fusion a couple of weeks earlier.. I
can't remember the reason why that happened, but if you know..
Please remind me.
RAD too had decided that they were going to get out of the business and
so we decided to set up a system with ESI to import the cracks from Mike and
Mark on an exclusive basis. I gave Mike (and earlier Mark) modems so they
could transfer stuff and left them to it.
(Another) Stab in the back!
On my first day out of Fusion I got some very strange telephone calls.
They went like this..
'Ian.. Have you heard of a group called ANON?'
'Because INC have released a game called Gothic by them... Fusion is finally beaten!!'
This puzzled me a bit.. I knew that Mark Le May had a game to release for Fusion and putting two and two together I asked Mike.. 'Who is ANON?'
Well Mike went red and said he didn't know about it.. but with
some persuasion he eventually admitted that ANON was him and Mark Le May.
They didn't want to trade with ESI... they wanted to trade with
INC.. so they concocted this little plan to fool me. I was very angry
with Mike and Mark for doing it all behind my back instead of telling
me... Mike decided that he had had enough of the 64 business and he
rang Mark to tell him that as far as we were conserned Fusion was no longer
on the 64.
Mark attempted to keep the old legend alive for a couple of weeks more,
but without the Middlesbrough network he was dead in the water.. Fusion
dropped like a stone and was gone...
I wasn't sad to see the end of the group, I had in fact initiated
it's demise. It was sad to lose contact with many of my old friends on
the scene although I wrote to some of them for long after I stopped
I have asked the old members to write a bit about their memories of the
Here are their Stories....
Story written by: Ian of Fusion
Source: Fusion's homepage