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Robert.W
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Duel - General Discussion

Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:24 pm

Team TTSP Edit - New topic created.

I rode Duel mulitiple times on Tuesday and Wednesday. Overall, I'm actually very pleased with all the changes and improvements. 

The façade looks much better with the ivy trimmed back, and the new outdoor music really sets the spooky atmosphere well. On to the queue inside, the new portraits, while they are just a little too bright, are still a nice addition, giving the queue something new for guests to look at. The new queue and station music is nice too, even if I was a bit disappointed to see they had removed the old announcements in the station.

On to the ride itself, there were certain scenes which had improved dramatically! The first scene with the moving walls and thunder looked much better than before. Another was the Screaming Heads room, the actual heads looked much fresher, and the overall effect was a much better experience than before TLC. Another of the areas which I really enjoyed was the garden scene, where the new lighting has been very effective in my opinion! I was also very impressed on how many of the effects were working too, although, on some of the later rides on Wednesday, one or two of the effects had seemingly been turned off or had broken. One of the best things to come from the TLC has to be the new soundtrack though. It's just what the ride needed, and anyone who isn't sure of it now, I'm certain you'll grow to like it. It really is much more atmospheric, and I found it worked very well, along with the old sound effects, and certainly wasn't too quiet, which I have seen some criticism of. If there was one thing I'd change about the soundtrack, it would be that I would bring the old spider sound effects back to the giant spider scene, as I always thought that worked pretty well, and was actually surprised it had been removed in the first place.

All in all, I'm very pleased, and with further tweaking as the season continues, I'm sure it'll only get better and better! (And I can't wait for them to get that Trommel Tunnel working again!) :)
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Wumbamillo
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Re: Duel - General Discussion

Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:23 pm

Some of the works are much needed improvements, but there's still a lot more to be done.

There needs to be a lot more done to choreograph the ride together as an experience, which is the element of surprising and timing that made it really excellent in the past.

Some of the lighting is a step forward in some places, in others it is a step back. They've clearly not understood how to do the UV effects properly and you can still see the moving mechanisms for the bats and flying heads, as well as blank walls in the spider scene, none of which should ever be seen. It's that principle of illusion that's missing currently.

The UV throughout is that horrible LED UV style, which doesn't produce the same 'invisible light' effect of traditional UV. The previous UV was also poorly installed in recent years, but nothing like the original UV in the ride's first year which was really profesh! It now does reveal some of the old UV artwork that hasnt been seen for years, but looks faded and worn now after so long.

Also, the preshow is mixed. I'm so glad they removed the TV screens with the contrived attempt at a 'backstory'  instead of just delivering a fantastic haunted house experience, but the new screens are just as distracting I think. They beam out a digital glow and look like stock images downloaded from the internet, not a convincing portrait effect at all. The actual painted portraits with moving eyes were much creepier. The room is lit far too brightly, I remember it being a lot more detailed and chilling.

The new music is really excellent though, I think people complaining that it's too cartoony or doesnt suit the ride need to take a step back. It's really atmospheric, jaunty and builds up in the dramatic moments really well. It's cleverly like an on board soundtrack that rises and falls with the scenes you go through, rather than a constant background loop, so much more effective, and gives the ride its spook back.

However audio wise it's no where near as good as it could be, there are many dead spots for music, missing or dated sounding SFX, it's all a bit lame overall.

So it's fantastic to see this kind of work finally being done in Duel, but that's my constructive criticism. I really hope eventually it could be restored as a staple family attraction for Towers and not resigned to a cheapo Scooby Doo redo or something!
 
glittabones
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Re: Duel - General Discussion

Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:45 pm

I had a lot of re-rides on Duel this week - enjoyed it much more than I did a few years ago. I still hate the laser guns and ride without using them, and some rooms need to be a little darker, but overall it's a fun experience. The new music is BRILLIANT.

The tunnel is still broken!
 
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Cobby
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Re: Duel - General Discussion

Mon May 07, 2018 9:16 pm

I'm really happy with the overall improvements on Duel and I think as a whole they have/are doing a good job. The only thing I would say is that, after talking to some GP friends, they could do with putting a sign up on the main entrance/ doors saying some a long the line of, "A million apologies but Duel is under going some TLC and may not look its best at the moment, however we have opened the ride for you to enjoy as we continue to make magical experiences. Follow our progress on twitter @AltonTLC." Something along them lines to basically inform the GP that it is under going some refurbishment and that somethings may not look right because of it. At the moment a few people may think that it looks rubbish as somethings may not be finished/fully working and they don't know about the referb work that is going on.
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Zach
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Re: Duel - General Discussion

Fri May 25, 2018 12:16 pm

I’m really not sold on the new music, I don’t think it has the effect or punch the old music had
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Robert.W
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Re: Duel - General Discussion

Fri May 25, 2018 12:20 pm

I think it's a lot more atmospheric than the old. Although I think the old music better suited the type of ride that it was. It's like they want Duel to be both an amazing haunted house and a laser shooting dark ride... regardless, I still like it better than the old music! 
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CtrlAltonDel
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Re: Duel - General Discussion

Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:22 pm

The only part of the change I’m disappointed with is the outside queue line music, I found the previous theme much more creepy. I do prefer the change to the actual ride music though as felt that was completely out of place.
 
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Piplup2003
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Re: Duel - General Discussion

Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:04 pm

On the subject of the digital portraits, I also prefer the older style actual paintings with the eyes. The newer ones look too Modern Ghostbusters-style (look up Ghostbusters World and you'll see what I mean). Also, the same digital portraits can be seen in the Dracula Experience in Whitby, which I found made the experience a bit less unique for me. 
I actually prefer Duel how it used to be however as the last time I rode it before the TLC improvements, I was probably around the age of 10 or 11 so that may just be pure nostalgia and how I remember it, not noticing it's flaws as now I'm old enough to see how much of a warehouse the building actually looks.
Although, I do have to say I prefer the old music and the backstory. (Which again, nostalgia more than likely).
All in all, Duel will still be my favourite ride at Alton and no amount of poor UV lighting and cheap digital portraits can change that.
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Wagstaff04
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Re: Duel - General Discussion

Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:59 pm

Rode Duel yesterday, and I think this is an improvement. Things like the new portraits, which are a huge step up from the outdated news story and, in my opinion, the ride music, really drag this ride into the present. Also, one of the more subtle(ish) changes is that, instead of the zombies in the windows being silhouettes, they’re actual models, but I haven’t made my mind up on that one yet. 
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michael.boyd
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Re: Duel - General Discussion

Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:40 pm

I have seen some povs and highlights of the new TLC Duel over on YouTube to get a glimpse to see what it's like; the scream sound effect is either switched off or not loud enough in the re-opening season last year in the spiders scene.
 
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Morgan
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Re: Duel - General Discussion

Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:02 pm

Duel seemed to be struggling throughout last year in terms of effects and audio quality, and unfortunately it's only gotten worse.

The speaker set up is a bigger issue than last season. A milder one is that the station and poltergeist room is slightly out of sync, but a bigger issue is that after that room most of the ride is quiet. It's such a shame as the first room is really loud and sneaks a little bit of atmosphere in, but it never hits the same volumes- in fact, in most scenes it's as if it's playing off TV speakers. Also to note is that there was a distinct lack of spot SFX early on. It was quite funny hearing the music turned down a little, obviously for a scream that was absent.

The majority of effects still work but some are in dire need of work with seemingly low air pressures and lighting cues. Lighting hasn't changed a whole lot, but in general it's still not great. The spider scene is arguably the best, even if there's a bit of a timing issue.

The ride still needs a lot of work, here's hoping it'll be fully working one day. It has all the pieces to be one of the best dark-rides in Europe with it's stellar soundtrack, large setpieces and transit- but everything is broken to some extent.
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Piplup2003
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Re: Duel - General Discussion

Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:10 pm

Fingers crossed this is gonna be resolved later in the season. Anyone who's spent more than five minutes talking to me will know how much I absolutely treasure this ride but Christ I feel bad for it. How hard is it to at least get the Trommel back in operation?

Also, I have pretty much all the sound effects bar the announcements saved on my phone. Do you reckon they'd let me crouch behind a prop and fill in those missing screams? I'd happily do that tbh. (I of course jest, but admit that'd be a fun job that I would actually do).
Last edited by Justin on Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Wortho
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Re: Duel - General Discussion

Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:38 am

To be honest I think Duel’s problems are more than skin deep.

The ride opened in 1992 and, in my opinion, needs a huge overhaul to bring the ride system and effects into the 21st century. It really needs to be shut for a year and completely redone.
 
streetmagix
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Re: Duel - General Discussion

Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:41 am

The ride system is fine, it's been super reliable since forever and the company who made it are still in business so no issues with support or spare parts. I do agree the scenery needs updating, a Version 2 as such. Same idea, just using modern technology. Similar to Gruffalo at Chessington but without the IP Rebrand!
 
Loakin
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Re: Duel - General Discussion

Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:02 am

Are you allowed to film on Duel, been seeing a lot of people doing so and just wanted to make sure for my next visit.
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Justin
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Re: Duel - General Discussion

Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:13 am

I believe no filming is permitted within Duel. I'm sure there is a notice at the entrance too. :)
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Dan
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Re: Duel - General Discussion

Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:05 am

Loakin wrote:
Are you allowed to film on Duel, been seeing a lot of people doing so and just wanted to make sure for my next visit.


If the operator sees anyone filming via the CCTV, they will tell you to put your phone/camera away over the tannoy.
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tom_taylor
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Re: Duel - General Discussion

Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:51 am

I’ve visited 5 times this year, and unfortunately each time has varied with what’s working or has been changed - I've formally complained to AT also because this ride ‘when running right’ is one of the best dark rides and my favourite also!

Most of the issues reported below as of Sunday 18th August 2019, along with earlier dates.

These are my observations, feel free to add yours

- Queue line effects such as Girl in Dolls House and the Fire have been hit and miss and not working this season - last visit the Dolls House has ‘insert dvd’ message! Annoyingly this was fixed in July and is now broken again! The old ‘Sparks Head’ in the fire was much better too that just a fire!

- In July the ride broke down towards the end of the day, it wouldn’t reset - over the sound system in the loading bay whilst sounding distorted it declared ‘we are sorry we are having technical difficulties’ in the same voice as ‘dont touch your blasters until the safety bar has lowered’ All visitors were provided with complementary fastrack passes for any ride (we used ours on Wicker Man!)

- First part of the musical score once you are in the ride after boarding was either not playing or too low (before the moving walls with flashing light), it seems the volume again throughout the ride is much lower than normal

- Room with tables and chairs after the moving head and walks seems to be damaged, some of the candles with lights are broken?

- Tunnel has not tumbled at all this year - will it ever work again? AT TLC put a new UV Cannon in so hopefully!

- Earlier visits to the park the new music was in the correct order, but when i visited again on 18/08/19 the part which hypes the score before the final scene with zombies and lasers has been moved to the end (and the scene before is quiet!) - it doesnt sound right at all - seems the staff keep messing around!

- The volume of some effects keeps varying each time we visit, you can now hardly hear ‘are you scared of spiders’ which was much better when louder with an echo

- Spinning Ghoul has stopped working, and the screeches and ‘yeeeaaaaHoo’ noise is sometimes hit and miss! The volume of these was better when it was louder! New TLC UV Lights are too bright, spoiling these effects

- It appears some or the LED targets are missing, there are also 2 sections of the ride where nothing happens and are rather quiet also (after ghoul which used to have teapot and now serves rat, and the old straight (after skeleton switches power with flash) which was meant to have the flying ghost above you down the corridor - this was removed after the first season of the haunted house ‘before Duel!’ when it first opened due to reliability issues)

- Some of the new lighting effects with the updated LED UltraViolet are too strong and you can see some of the support structures like the Bats section for example which spoils the effects - also doesnt help it’s all dusty which the UV lighting reflects from!

- The undertakers arm used to move

- The old creep after the hearse and coffin (before the static grim reaper) is stuck and doesnt swing out at you - was working in July, now broken in August

- AT keep adding smoke machines to areas like Nemesis and the Runaway Mine Train, but still no smoke machine effects anywhere in Duel or in the queue-line? It would be great to see smoke effects in and around Duel!

AT need to get this right before Scarefest!

The ride also needs a good clean. When boarding the ride, look at the dust on the speakers and draped fabric, and when you exit the ride and just before the on-ride photos, look at the ceiling with the 20 years of dust!

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