The opening of Nemesis Sub-Terra was not exactly warmly received by the majority of guests that experienced it in its initial condition.
While it was pretty unforgivable for Alton Towers to present a major new ride in such a condition, they have certainly listened and learned from the backlash.
The park has managed to turn a confusing and anticlimactic attraction into one of Britain’s finest dark rides – of which it already has one example in Hex.
As you now prepare to enter the Phalanx facility, you are ushered into the pre-lift batching area by the in-character staff in a less aggressively audible manner as before.
The toning down of the Phalanx operatives is the first thing that’s noticeable, but they’re still straight faced while delivering humorous quips.
Video screens display a minute-long film which briefly explains the Nemesis legend and the discovery of an egg underground.
This is an overwhelmingly huge improvement, as while original video screens played outside in the queue line, they were often inaudible, or simply ignored by guests.
Revamp of main show
There are numerous changes to what takes place in the main chamber, with the lights going out and the egg showing to have hatched before the towers fall.
The four towers reportedly drop at slightly staggered times, but we did not observe this due to the darkness, or perhaps our tower dropping first.
The force is still lackluster compared to the higher mass of the double-sided models at the Dungeons, but effects such as back-pokers and leg-ticklers are now in full operation.
Water sprays, air blasts and extremely loud sounds are also repeatedly used to great effect.
The lower chamber featuring stalagmites and a nest of eggs is now much more clearly visible (while still being dark and eerie) and you can see people’s reactions to the effects on the other towers.
The loudness of the effects drowns out the sound of the towers returning to the top of the structure.
Numerous people have their head in their hands and are clearly scared by the ordeal. The staff re-appear to usher us out before the end of the dramatic 30-second countdown.
The escape lift plunges into darkness for a long period and the movement and sounds of the escaped creature attacking remain.
Phalanx operatives no longer accompany you on the ascent lift ride, instead you area greeted by one by torchlight as the doors open into darkness.
This darkness signals the start of the major new addition to the experience, the inclusion of a mini scare maze featuring gas-masked actors covered in blood.
You make your way through a tight corridor of air blasts and actors lunging at you with flashlights and manic stares.
Eventually emerging into daylight, you are left feeling very satisfied and almost as if you have just had a bit-part in a science fiction film.
Nemesis Sub-Terra is now everything it should have been on opening day. Alton Towers can just about be forgiven.