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The original Hex pre-show storyline

Posted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 4:08 pm
by Tom
As most people know, when Hex first opened the storyline was drastically different than what we have today. However, it only lasted for a short period of time as from what I understand the story didn't work that well with guests leaving many people a bit confused as to what was actually going on.

I never experience the original storyline myself but over the years I've heard little bits and pieces about it and I was also intrigued to find a full description of what it was like. Well after all of these years and a little help from the Internet Archive's WayBackMachine I've found a pretty good description.

The attraction is housed inside the Towers buildings themselves. It was a stroke of genius to do this as the visitor is totally immersed into the story. There is no tacky theming here, everything you see is genuine. Well, almost everything! The entrance is through the old armoury, which in recent times used to be a gift shop. Huge banners hanging on the wall above the gigantic wooden doors proclaim the name of the ride. However, the only clue that this is not simply a walk-through exhibition is provided in the statutory warning notices outside!

The queue line zig-zags its way through the long and narrow room that is the armoury. It is not a long queue - it takes about 15 minutes from the door. If the queue rack outside the door is full, you can expect to wait a further 30 minutes. Ignore the notice by the door which says that you have 30 minutes of queueing inside! Dotted here and there are artefacts that have been discovered by Professor Nicholson and his team, during the huge Towers restoration project. Of course, this is all part of the story, and while the restoration of the room looks incomplete, it is meant to be that way! Statues can be seen on stone plinths lining the walls, but they are covered in dust sheets. Scaffolding can be seen in various places and you can hear the distant sound of chiselling. If you walked through any room in the Towers, this is what you'd find. It looks, feels (and smells) like a genuine room in the process of being restored.

You reach the end of the queue and pass through a turnstile. This attraction can take 75 people at a time. The chosen few move forward and collect at the far end of the room. This is the part of the armoury that is reputed to be haunted. Gift shop workers would often report a strange chill coming from that end of the room. The attention to detail here is magnificent. Look at the noticeboard, on which Prof. Nicholson has pinned plans of the Towers buildings. If you look closely, you will find hints of what's to come! Photographs also adorn the noticeboard. A huge piece of scaffolding can be seen on the wall in front of you, dust sheets hanging limp. A voice then greets you via the PA system. It's Prof. Nicholson, welcoming you to this tour. He invites you to move into the next room, whereupon the doors magically open and everyone files through.

A smaller room this time, with a huge video screen at the far end. A five-minute presentation then follows, in which Prof. Nicholson introduces himself and explains the legend. He is seen visiting the oak tree as it stands today, and presents a short piece of 'Victorian' footage which I saw as a typical John Wardley touch of humour! In an extension to the original story, lightning struck the oak tree causing a branch to break away and fall. Inevitably, a member of the Earl's family mysteriously died. The Earl's diary was found, and in it he detailed that he had taken the fallen branch to a secret vault, where he used supporting pillars in an adjacent room to conduct lightning into the branch to try and rid it of this curse. The Professor then moves into the Octagon where he shows us this giant pillar in the middle of the room. And his crowning glory - by moving the old bookcase at the far end of the Octagon, the archaeological team discovered the secret vault itself. Prof. Nicholson opens the door to the vault, but before we can see what's inside, the video transmission breaks down in a haze of interference.

In a bit of confusion, an announcer apologies for the inconvenience and invites us to move foward into the next room, which is in fact the Octagon. In the meantime, he will try to contact the Professor via radio. So we all file into the Octagon, with a huge pillar right in the centre. A big window with a curtain hanging loose in front of it can be seen on the right. And all around the room you can see scaffolding again and items covered in dust sheets. The observant among you may notice a contraption at the end of the room that looks like an electricity generator. Suddenly, the lights go out. Thunder is heard, and strobe lights start flashing. Wind blows at the window, and the curtain billows out. You feel a splash of water. Horses can be heard in the distant. And the generator starts flashing. The mayhem dies down and radio contact is established with the Professor. He says he is in the secret vault behind the bookcase but is not quite sure what happened. Something 'weird' went on! Anyway, he invites us to move forward and to walk behind the bookcase and we enter the vault itself.

Information taken from this website: http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/csimon/alton/hex.htm

I hope that you enjoyed reading that, I know that I did! :)

Re: The original Hex pre-show storyline.

Posted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 4:22 pm
by Morgan
Thanks so much Tom, I've always wondered what the original Hex was like. I can't wait to read it later!

Re: The original Hex pre-show storyline

Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 5:41 pm
by JonDoesTT
Oh wow, I wish they'd have kept it like this!

Re: The original Hex pre-show storyline

Posted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:33 am
by Aidan Lowe
Apprentice4 over at TS has found this intriguing ebay auction of the plans & a lot of other documents, VHS tapes of all the queue line videos etc, take a look! Click here.

Re: The original Hex pre-show storyline

Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:45 pm
by lindsay1
That is really cool, you can actually read one of the pages in full, it details exactly how Hex was put together and designed!

http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTYwMFgxMjAw/ ... b/$_57.JPG

Re: The original Hex pre-show storyline

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:01 am
by Tom
lindsay1 wrote:
That is really cool, you can actually read one of the pages in full, it details exactly how Hex was put together and designed!

http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTYwMFgxMjAw/ ... b/$_57.JPG


That page is an especially interesting read as it is on about the changes that they made to go from the original show to the current one. Show's how early on it happened too, Easter of the opening year.

Re: The original Hex pre-show storyline

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:52 pm
by RedStar98
I remember going on Hex on my first few visits to Alton Towers and there was always a long inside queue. I used to really like watching the videos playing on the televisions in the queue line, I was only about 8 so I don't remember too well, but I distinctly recall a man walking in the grounds, through trees and by bushes and things, possibly with a map or papers. I also remember it showing a group of people 'investigating' the buildings (possibly in the dark with a torch at points? I'm not sure) and looking at plans of the towers. This would've been around 2007ish I believe- was there a video like that at the time?

Re: The original Hex pre-show storyline

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:14 pm
by Aidan Lowe
Not sure if the said videos were there when it first opened but the video you described I'm assuming is this one over on TowersTimesMedia.

The problem with it being so quiet on Hex now is you don't fully get the build up of the queue line which is absolutely beautiful imo.

Actually sent shivers down me watching some of the clips in the video, in 11 days I'm going to be in those towers at night.

Re: The original Hex pre-show storyline

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:24 pm
by RedStar98
Andy Mc wrote:
Not sure if the said videos were there when it first opened but the video you described I'm assuming is this one over on TowersTimesMedia.

The problem with it being so quiet on Hex now is you don't fully get the build up of the queue line which is absolutely beautiful imo.

Actually sent shivers down me watching some of the clips in the video, in 11 days I'm going to be in those towers at night.


That's exactly the one I was thinking of, yeah, it's funny I how I remember some of those things so clearly from 8 years ago.

Re: The original Hex pre-show storyline

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:15 pm
by dazza4783
This is the full experience of the original version of Hex. Only the audio unfortunately but you get a good idea of what it used to be like before they changed it.
https://soundcloud.com/electricblll/hex ... -audio-mix

And the original radio advert too.
https://soundcloud.com/electricblll/hex ... dio-advert

Re: The original Hex pre-show storyline

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:42 pm
by Aidan Lowe
Needless to say I feel it was the right choice to change things up. I never experienced Hex in that form but by the sounds of it, it sounds pretty bad.

Re: The original Hex pre-show storyline

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:50 pm
by dazza4783
Andy Mc wrote:
Needless to say I feel it was the right choice to change things up. I never experienced Hex in that form but by the sounds of it, it sounds pretty bad.


Yeh, I have been on it in it's original form and it is definitely a lot better now.

Re: The original Hex pre-show storyline

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:08 pm
by Morgan
The original pre-show video can be viewed herehere

I'm glad that Hex was changed, the original version sounds quite sketchy and, although I hate to say it, bad.

Re: The original Hex pre-show storyline

Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:37 pm
by Justin
Thanks for posting the link to the original show. I'm so please it was changed, as now in its current form, Hex has become a classic!

Re: The original Hex pre-show storyline

Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:29 pm
by Bert2theSpark
Here's a soundtrack for the ride that was never used. 

Re: The original Hex pre-show storyline

Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:35 pm
by jackf1tz
Never thought that hex could've been a flop, it's such an icon now. Glad they changed it!

Re: The original Hex pre-show storyline

Posted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:53 pm
by Justin
I've never heard that version before. I still like it though!