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Nemesis: Sub-terra (contains spoilers)

Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:22 pm

Please leave your reviews here for Alton Towers' terrifying new addition for 2012.

Please remember the reviews here may contain spoilers, so if you don't want to know the score, look away.... now!
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-terra (contains spoilers)

Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:22 am

Nemesis Sub-Terra, sadly, didn't live up to my expectations. I don't believe that that's because I involved myself in hype, I didn't. My expectations for this ride were totally realistic and achievable, I felt. What is there is well executed but the duration of the attraction is quite frankly laughable, meaning that the ride ultimately feels like a series of pre-shows, as opposed to pre-show, ride, post-show. By no means is this a poor addition to the ride line-up, especially considering that it didn't replace anything, but those who haven't yet ridden really shouldn't raise their expectations.

The queue line meanders outside of the building and, though the entrance itself is nice, with the backdrop of the main building, the queue line appeared to be sparsely themed. Admittedly, I enjoyed the use of queue line videos, even if the main viewing appeared to be the Nemesis promotional footage recycled, and the actors roaming the queue line and the area outside of the batching building were excellently cast and very effective. My concern in that regard is that, over time, many actors will be removed, and the ride will lose what spark it does have. It's the actors that 'make' the ride throughout.

The batching area is very effective for what it is, but again, it's down to the military personal barking orders at terrified guests, which makes increasingly for a frightened and amused set of guests, eagerly anticipating the ride ahead of them. Unfortunately, this comes to be near enough the highlight of the attraction... the anticipation of it. And, unfortunately, that in itself will only prove to please some visitors and, more importantly, will only be effective during their first ride.

You're then crowded into an 'elevator', in which persons are ridiculously tightly packed in, making for an uncomfortable experience especially if you're riding with undesirables, whilst you head 'underground'. Placed in quotation marks because the lift doesn't actually move, and you can tell that it doesn't actually move. Meanwhile a completely pointless video, with audio which is far, far too quiet explains that you're going underground... just to make sure that you're aware of this fact.

You then proceed down a short (too short, no opportunity to build tension) underground tunnel, and into the main ride chamber, where something has been uncovered. The four drop towers all face inwards and, once you've boarded, the ride begins with little explanation. Essentially it's "HI. THIS IS AN EGG."... "SH!T, IT'S HATCHING"... *ride drops*... *ride rises again*... *insert strobe lighting here, restraints release"... admittedly this worked very well upon first riding. The drop came as a complete surprise, having personally expected to go up before going down, and there was a genuine sense of panic as the strobe lighting came on and you were ordered by ride hosts to get to the elevators as quickly as possible. Unfortunately the story simply isn't explained well enough and the ride is too damn short to be effective.

And, finally, the elevator back upwards, which works far better as a simulator (as it's impossible to tell that you're not actually moving) is attacked by the creature, essentially an awful lot of bumping and banging... then you exit. Up until then I had felt satisfied, despite the flaws of the ride, but I had certainly been expecting one final scare, rather than the anti-climax which came to occur.

Worthwhile, not special. 6/10.
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-terra (contains spoilers)

Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:41 am

I was very impressed by Sub-terra, maybe because I hoped for some world-class theming, and we got it. The fact the drop isn't as punchy as other Extermis' I can't really comment as I haven't been on the others, but I don't like drop rides, so it was perfect for me. It was a bit short and rushed, yes, but this added to the atmosphere and tension and created quite a bit of panic in the riders.

For those who haven't been on it yet but wants to know what happens D4n has understated it a bit, it does drop and rise again, but all in all you see three scenes. All well themed. If you're looking for a strong drop tower which offers white knuckle thrills then it's not at all for you. But if you're looking for a fun, well themed experience then you'll be sure to love it.

I'm just a bit worried about its future, when the actors get bored, or they even reduce the number of them working then it may not be so good. But that's in the future, live in the now!
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-terra (contains spoilers)

Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:16 pm

I've written a full review at:

But in summary:

An opportunity has been missed to create a lasting and quality dark ride experience based on a fantastic and absorbing storyline.

Elaborate and extravagant ride systems are not always critical in the creation of such things, as Alton Towers itself proved with Hex twelve years ago.

Re: Nemesis: Sub-terra (contains spoilers)

Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:49 pm

Nemesis Sub-Terra Review

Billed as "Terror Underground" and "Your worst nightmare underground", Nemesis Sub-Terra is Alton Towers' first new 1.4metre attraction in 7 years - the last being Rita - Queen of Speed in 2005.

The new attraction, which is hoped to signal the dawn of a new era in “experience”, is a medium investment. From the beginning, it was widely assumed that the ride system in use would a basic ABC Rides mini drop tower, which are commonly found in several dungeons attractions both in the UK and Europe (London, Edinburgh, Blackpool, Hamburg). Together with this, it was anticipated that a wide range of special effects would be used to create an intense experience using the Nemesis backstory as the plot.

My expectation was as follows:
A weak ride system backed up with unique and scary special effects together with pre and post shows which build strongly on the story. The image in my head was one which included an animatronic, lots of jolts and bumps and a scare-factor to rival a typical Halloween scare maze. Would there be a lot of smoke? Tentacles dangling inches in front of you? Sparks? Even flames? 

The experience has failed to live up to even modest expectation. I fail to accept that just because Nemesis ST is a “medium” investment, it means that everyone should be prepared for mediocrity. “What did you expect?” is not good enough. This is a multi-million pound attraction at the UK’s biggest theme park whose last new ride, Th13teen, was billed as the scariest ride ever and now needed to prove the doubters wrong.

So, it starts in a queue line which is perfectly OK and features screens developing the story. It’s not totally clear or loud enough, however - and once at the batching area most people are none the wiser (myself included). The waiting area for the lifts included lots of shouting (although I wasn’t sure why the Phalanx were so angry with the guests?). At this stage, everything seemed satisfactory. Then, enter the lift. The lift fails to really simulate a descent way below the surface although I wasn’t too concerned about this.

Upon exiting the lifts, you are met with a really well themed short corridor into the main chamber - although everything is so quickly paced you do not have time to take this in. A moments pause here, with some basic rumbling sounds would be pretty cool. But no - straight into the main chamber and into the seats.

The ride begins cleverly - with no inclination that you are on a tower of any form. There is an egg in the middle, with screens and lights shining on to it. All looks quite cool. The show begins, but within just a few seconds - it’s dark, you are sprayed with water, a lot of noises and then you drop. The drop is less than Th13teen’s and feels very weak. It lacks any punch at all. Then you are greeted with a few small eggs and (when they worked) some strobe lights. However, there was no understanding what was really going on. Then, after about 15 seconds ( ? ) the ride car goes up and you see the original egg, broken. Strobes are going off. You are told to escape. Sorry? Why? The bars come up and you walk out into the lifts. The whole thing just seems VERY, VERY rushed.

The final lift then starts going up, and with some Charlie and the Chocolate Factory style jolts and bangs, and a few effects such as panels moving a few centimetres, you leave and exit.

The ride is incredibly rushed. You have no time, like on Hex, to truly engage with what is happening. The first lift is 20-30 seconds. The main show is barely 1 minute. The post show lift is barely 1 minute. Nobody understands what is happening and it is not scary.

The drop is also poor compared to Th13teen. There is nothing scary enough after this point. There is nothing at the bottom but some small eggs. Where are the top quality effects? Where was the terror?

This is, I hate to say it, yet another disappointing thrill-marketed attraction from Alton Towers. With Th13teen and Sub-Terra, they now have two rides with a total cost of around £20m - both of which offer a quick flash in the pan drop mechanism and neither of which have anywhere near the excitement of the parks other thrill rides.

What upsets me most is that they have clearly had ideas, and have made efforts with the theming. But it fails to deliver what it is supposed to: Terror Underground.

Loitering by the feedback hosts for some time, the general public opinion was poor. Certainly, amongst TowersTimes members, I have never known such negative response to a new ride at Alton Towers.

As a matter of urgency, Alton need to buy a couple of thrilling flat rides which are themed and will tick the boxes. Forget buying cheap, family claptrap and dressing it up as something scary. Go back to your roots and build the new Ripsaw. Something which you know, 100%, guests will go on and get off and be “yeah - that was cool, that was thrilling”. It’s cool to try new things, and I respect what they are going for here - but there has been no new thrill ride since 2005 and this is absurd for the UK’s number one theme park.

And what is with opening a new ride that is not 100%? It should be ready on opening day. Especially if it’s as special effects driven as this.

Someone needs to get a grip. It’s so bloody sad.
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-terra (contains spoilers)

Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:54 pm

I went to the park today for my first ride on Sub-Terra. I waited till the afternoon and went on it with my girlfriend and her mum the que was only ten minutes so i thought great lets see what the fuss is about. Que line theming was good giving the impression that you were on a temporary site constructed for the dig as it should have done. Although when the couple started hugging in front of us and one of the staff in character said no canoodling if im not getting any your not either

i found that unecersarry especialy in front of young kids maybe thats why its a 12 a ride lol.  As we got onto the ride the scene was set very well as the other actors barked orders to stand still etc while people mainly giggled and talked which ruined the effect but cant do much about that !. as mentioned in other posts the first lift looked like a metal box with some 29.99 leds flashing up and down to try and simulate movement which it failed at badly. Upon the doors opening we were confronted by another actor barking orders to move along which re set the scene. upon entering the main room i was very impressed with the theming as they have made an effort that was almost on par with disney (and another certain ride i will come to later). The sequence commenced and the drop was what i expected as ive been on extremis. The lower chamber theming was again fantastic but thats when it went very wrong. Sat in darkness having water sprayed at my face is something i could do in the shower at home none of the pokers leg ticklers worked and it felt like the ride had broken down and you were sat wating for something else to happen their was no explnation of what the water was supposed to represent and even and strobe light and a few tentacles coming out of the floor would have helped.

Then the lift up to the surface much better felt like you were riding in a real lift and the walls shook and it felt like the monster was trying to pull you back down in to the catacombs  we were then again rushed out which ended the ride.

As i got off imediate comparrisons were made by people to Stiches Great Escape in Florida with him jumping on shoulder bars and whispering in your ear. all this could have been adapted for sub terra an alien like drip on the ear cold breath on the neck etc i feel sadly that a trick was missed which would have added more to the experience.

A lot of people just said is that it and looked confused and one family said im glad i didnt que for more than ten minutes for that rubbish i even heard one lad exclaim its sub terrible.

This must be my longest post ever thanks for reading i went on it a total of 3 times today lets just see if they can fix it so all the effects work . Appartently ive heard they are adding a monster in with the eggs cant rember where from but only time will tell for 4 million i think that it could have been invested in something a lot better lets hope im proved wrong.

sorry for spellings im dyslexic and couldnt find the spell check

Re: Nemesis: Sub-terra (contains spoilers)

Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:15 pm

Nemesis: Sub Terra
Your worst fears, underground!

Well, that is if you fear that the Towers design team have lost all creativity, imagination and innovation. There have been rumours of what this ride will involve for several months, whilst officially guarded under secrecy, except for the early release of the Nemesis branding and connection to the back story.  However, it became common knowledge from an early stage that this would involve an ABC drop tower: as for the level to which the "experience" relied upon this ride system alone was up for debate, and I eventually settled on ignoring the actual ride, to see how well it was integrated into the back story of the ride to forget that it's essentially Extremis underneath.

My expectations were low, but I was optimistic. And I'm very sorry to say that even with this above knowledge, the whole experience, if it can rightfully claim to be so, was dire, disappointing, and actually an embarrassment.

The build in the queue line is good, with the various TV stations giving a mild - if somewhat quiet - back story to the research base in Forbidden Valley, and Phallanx as an organisation. The TV's were rather quiet as I said, and so I may be forgiven if I have got my understanding of Phallanx wrong, however they appeared to Be a relatively peaceful research organisation investigating areas of seemingly non-terrestrial activity, and making it safe. Indeed, the site seemed to be a visitor complex of a research facility, designed to allow civilians access to their findings.

So, could someone please explain to me why when entering the facility you are treated to a boot camp style discipline control that is more suited to Victorian schooling than a visitor complex? This was the embarrassment for me, to see Ride Hosts  - who are importantly not theatrically trained - apparently under instruction by Ents to shout as load as possible and find reason to insult guests who are crammed into the batching area for over 2 minutes with no information as a continuation  the theme.  It's horrendously unprofessional, inappropriate, and certainly did not enhance the experience for me. They follow no script, and lack any inspiration other then to shout "face forwards", "stand straight", " stop talking". When did Towers lose all sense of theatre to produce such an obvious, cheap and uninspired introduction to the ride, for the only purpose to be intimidating to guests? I would much rather a pleasant "welcome to Phallanx Control. Please be reminded that this is a High Security facility, and to obey our instructions at times. Every step has been taken to ensure your safety whilst onside this facility, we hope you enjoy your visit"

So, on to the "pre-show", where a pre recorded video resumes some sense of normality, where they lady advises of how to enter the facility - ie loading instructions. However, the lift fails to create a sense of going underground, other then some flashing lights, and has no continuation of the back story. So much for actually bring a pre "show".

Upon exiting, we are greeted with a lovely themed rock tunnel. It's convincing enough. I have no issue, it feels underground.

Suddenly we are shouted at again, to sit in the seats to observe an egg on a plinth in the centre. We are ordered to sit down. We are ordered to be quiet, and to hold our arms out. Once staff leave, we return to the pleasant lady - I'm starting to think she is the only normal person in Phallanx - who tells us an egg was discovered several years ago, believed to be dormant, and is now showing signs of life. It reminded me of the tour in Jurassic Park when they witness the eggs being incubated. However, this is far too short, does not develop any story, and is not complimented by any effects. A video gives some visuals of an egg, but we can see an egg in front of us doing very little. And we drop.

The drop is accompanied by cheap tricks common in a 4d cinema - water spray, lights going out, and air cannons. I would love to know how this links to the egg, but we never get informed. Instead, some lights kick in inside this collapsed undiscovered cavern - I know, the Nemesis monster must have been tapping into the National Grid ALL THIS TIME - and we see more inanimate eggs. Clearly Nemmis didn't pay the electricity bill however and we rise magically rise from our collapsed benches to come level to the egg, but... OH MY GOSH, the plinth holding the original inanimate egg has flipped to reveal an empty inanimate shell!

Now the ride hosts get to shine, where their talented shouting is actually part of the experience, as we are told to get out before it's too late. Too late for what, we don't know, as we were too busy watching the inanimate eggs down below (oooo, I GET it now... Down below ground, sub terra... Silly me!). However, I assume we are subject to a spare velociraptor from Jurassic Park running smock from this dog sized egg. We must be careful not to get our ankles nipped, so we are rushed out to a second lift, where somehow this new-born beastie has climbed the lift shaft and is fire air cannons again. For such a flimsy lift with the loose panels, it's amazing how we get out alive, I must say. But we do, and are greates to the open air with a touch more shouting, just in case we didn't get it, and allowed to calmly collect out bags from the locker. Once collecting our bags, I assume we are expected to continue to run around forbidden valley screaming?

In summary, this is worse than my expectations which were set low. The experience is dire, as there is no experience. I'm not entirely sure what they were trying to achieve. A cross between a scare maze and a dark ride perhaps? The ambiguity derives from a complete lack of story, an extremely short ride experience, cheap effects that could be mistaken for surplus after Ice Age was installed, and an overall lack of ANYTHING happening! The real disappointment however lies with my expectations that Alton Towers should be capable of so much more than this.  I don't doubt that the budget wasn't scrimped on with the ride. However, as the flagship theme park of the second largest Amusements operator in the world, second to only Disney in fact, you would expect a) higher levels of investment than £5 million on a "medium" installation, and b) something with a bit more imagination than could have been written on the back of a sheet of toilet paper in Magic HQ staff toilets. It has been 12 years since the last dark ride was installed, and since then we have seen a ratio of near 2:1 of rides being removed to this installed. As said above, this by reason should have been something special, something to encourage the punters to return. I think the jury has already returned on this to say it most certainly isn't. Why should we be happy that we have a ride, as it's "only" a medium-scale investment?

There is a desire to be unique, but there appears very little drive to find this imagination and innovation. Everything is half-hearted. The creative team is relying on the marketing solely to sell an attraction, and there have been too many poorly and wrongly marketed attractions in recent years. To create a ride that involves a theatrical element, then perhaps a theatrical expert ought to be brought in, and not briefing staff on minimum wage to shout themselves hoarse. To create illusion, then perhaps something more than "two-a-penny" leg ticklers and air cannons should be exchanged for genuine special effects and animatronics.

I won't be in a hurry to ride this again. Whether or not all the effects were working on the first day - and there is really no excuse for them to not be working - the experience is not tainted by a lack of leg tickling, but a lack of story and imagination. Sub-terra shall be live under the legacy of Sub-Terrible
Last edited by Satch on Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-terra (contains spoilers)

Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:03 pm

I have just returned from a weekend at Alton Towers where I experienced Sub-Terra twice. I was intially quite looking forward to the new ride and my first impressions were good. The themeing outside, though not as detailed as on the plans, was of quite a high standard and I feel it fits into the area very well. We got to NST yesterday by about 11am by which point the queue was said to be 120 minutes, it turned out to be only 60 minutes however this is something I'd expect to happen on opening day.

The queuline wasn't particularly heavily themed but the placement of several large air vents gave the impression you were above some kind of underground facility. I was particularly impressed with the video playing on the various monitors dotted around the queuline, these clips seemed very well made and professional and really set the scene for the ride, even including a 3D map of the cave system (albeit it's scale exaggerated). The staff really contributed to the overall theme aswel, and they did a very good job of staying in character.

Once into the building I noticed the pre-batch area was slightly different to how it was set out on the original plans and wasn't quite 'inside' the building, which sort of added to the temporary 'quick build' feel of the facility, however I'm not quite sure if this was a good thing or not. The first lift seemed rather nondescript with the exception of a flat screen monitor above the door showing the 3D map of the facility again as you 'descended', however I was not convinced the lift was actually moving, yes it was making noises and vibrating but the LED lights moving up the doors as the lift 'went down' sort of gave it away as their movement became jerky and no longer fluid as they slowed to simulate the lift coming to a stop, not what you would see in a regular lift.

After the doors opened the staff once again were there in characted ushering you to your seat (which they did very swiftly and efficiently) after you'd walked through a short but very convincing 'cave' section. The themeing in the room was of a very high standard and once again the numerous flat screen monitors and realistic graphics on screen were really quite impressive but once the ride started it seemed merely seconds from the voice over explaining what they had found to all the screens breaking up and the lights going off...and then the ride dropping. After wiping the water spray off my face I looked up and saw we were in a very dark cave, there were lots of sounds and people screaming (no doubt as they were getting squirted with water again) and in the middle there was another Nemesis egg, I'm still not quite sure of any other details down there as it was so dark and so fast. after being sprayed a few more times we moved slowly back to the top room where lights started flashing and it appeared the egg in the centre of the room had hatched and the creature escaped! The voice over told everyone to get out, at which point there was a 10 second pause as nothing happened, this is where I assume the leg ticklers and other effects were meant to have happened to simulate the newly hatched alien however these weren't operational...

After the lapbars raised everyone rushed out to the exit lifts, egged on by the staff members, again I think adding to the atmosphere. Once inside the exit lift everybody seemed to be thinking and in some cases saying the same thing 'was that it?'. The lift once again began to 'move', this time with various evacuation sounds in the background, then suddenly the lift began to groan and the floor moved violently, the walls and the roof creaked in and out and you could hear a roar. This was quite a surprise to most people and managed to get a few screams. After this final attack the doors opened and the ride op shouted at everyone to get out quick, at which point everyone ran for the exit. I thought this was a great way to round off the ride and dare I say it was better executed than the actual ride sequence.

To summarise I did enjoy riding Sub-Terra but I do understand why alot of people were disappointed, going into this expecting some kind of intense/frightening underground ride will certainly leave people let down. My main issue with the ride is the ride sequence itself is far too short, and I can't help thinking this could be vastly improved by just adding an extra drop and building up more suspense at the beginning instead of jumping straight into it. I was very disappointed the leg ticklers and other effects weren't working as I think these were probably quite an important part of the show, hopefully this will be rectified by my next visit. Overall I think it is worth riding, and I will be doing so again; I'd certainly rather have it there over Dynamo or a climbing wall. Nemesis Sub-Terra had and possibly still has the potential to be a great attraction, whether Alton Towers recognise this remains to be seen.
Last edited by Ryan. on Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-terra (contains spoilers)

Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:35 pm

Ok, here we go.

Like it seems many others have done I travelled to AT for the main reason of riding the new ride! Sub-terra!!  I was fully expecting to be waiting in line for most of the day and as we glided past the site on the monorail there seemed to be quite a line.  What was in store for us?  Would the nervous excitment I was experiencing be satisfied by a terrifying underground happening??  Couldnt wait!!

I zapped my magic Merlin pass and with a purposfull stride I started making my way to 'Forbidden valley'  On arrival I was surprised to see that the queue time was only 25mins.  I joined the single rider line, I say line but there was only 2 of us.  The theming seemed pretty good and the actors were doing a very good job in fact they were maybe a bit too convincing barking orders in millitary style at quivering folks in the queue line.  Noone seemed to have a clue what to expect in the mysterious looking metal shed people were disappearing in to.

After about 5 mins us singles were ushered through into the loading area.  The lift doors opened and we were told to move inside,  Then came the 'decent'  well I was determined to believe that we were 'decending' hundreds of feet into the ground but even my wild imagination was having difficulty with this one.  A very poor simulation indeed, bit more rumbling n bumping needed please.

Doors open.  We have arrived underground in a very well themed rock tunnel and we are rushed in to a chamber.  We are told to quickly sit down in one of the seats around the edge of the chamber that look suspitously like the seats I had sat in last week at the London Dungeon to be hung!

In the centre of the chamber is an egg!!  A well lit egg at that and a flat screen showing a computer graphic of the egg!!  We are then told to raise our arms and we are clamped in.  The story of The Egg then begins but its all been so quick that nobody understands what is happening.  suddenly it all starts going wrong, TERROR!!  Sirens, flashing lights the screens are failing, WHAT IS GOING ON??? WILL WE GET OUT ALIVE???  Suddenly not 2 minutes after we have sat down and been clamped in the lights go out and we drop.  the chamber is filled with the petrified screams of myself and the others as we have some kind of alien fluid sprayed in our faces! lights briefly flicker on and im not quite sure what i am looking at?  a few seconds later and its dark again and we are rising from the terrifying 'something' back in to the Egg chamber only to everyones horror the egg has hatched,  "YOU MUST LEAVE!!  ESCAPE ESCAPE ESCAPE!!"  but we are still clamped in!!  everyone is looking confused, what do we do, finally the restraints are raised and we make our way to the exit lifts that will take us back to the surface.

Safety at last, a nice gentle lift ride to the surface, but whats that noise?? OMG!!!  The 'something' is attacking us in a rather good simulation this time and quite unexpected.  then the lift doors open and suddenly we are back in the magical land of Alton.

You may detect a slight touch of sarcasm in my review and it is not as long and as some of the others, just like this ride!  I say 'Ride'  I genuinely believe that this should not be classed as a 'ride'  more of a 'pre show' or 'experience' which should be directly linked to its big sister 'Nemesis' maybe leaving the final lift straight into the queue line for Nemesis.  Although greatly dissappointing and extrememly rushed Sub-Terra is not a bad attraction, it just could be better.  The actors were good and were still very much in character with 15mins of the day to go, how long this will last who knows.  I only waited 5 mins both times I experienced Sub-terror but i would have been mightly brassed off if I had queued more than say 20mins.  I have a feeling that Alton Towers have had no good feedback about their newest attraction,  I even heard staff saying it wasn't what they thought it would be and was very disappointing, maybe we will see imrovements sooner than we think.

Give it a go, it's worth a giggle, just dont expect it to be the terrifying experience we were all expecting!
Last edited by magicmaker on Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-terra (contains spoilers)

Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:54 am

After finally riding today, I have been able to make up my mind. I haven't posted regularly in the Sub-Terra topic as I didn't want to get involved with judging unfairly before I'd been on it.

At the minute, I would rate it a 4.5/10; it's not bad, but it's by no means good. For me it's just kind of 'floating', not knowing whether it should fail or succeed. I shall start from the beginning.

I joined the queue at about 2 and only queued for about 25 minutes. I really enjoyed the TV screens in the queue line - very professionally made and loved the voice overs. But where Alton have made a mistake here in my opinion is that the screens don't explain enough. People do watch them, in fact, pretty much everyone around me in the queue was watching them. Perhaps use these screens to explain the Nemesis legend more - my group of friends (non-enthusiasts) were none the wiser to the backstory so had no hope in understanding Sub-Terra. Just a bit of clearing up of the alien story and an introduction to the Phalanx and why we are at the facility would do here.

So after leaving your bags in the hold you enter the holding area, all fine, we didn't have any shouty guards which I thought probably worked better. By the time I entered the lifts I was quite excited, but for me, the only way to describe the lift is abysmal. It seriously lacked pretty much everything it should have been. It looked fake (although for the time you're in it, it probably doesn't matter), it didn't vibrate once to signify movement and the lights flashed way too quickly. The lift should be a good, strong opening, but it failed in all aspects in making you feel like you were moving.  In my opinion, the ride fails from this point onwards - it's like a 3-course meal: if the starter's crap, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth and you expect everything else to be crap, it's basically setting itself up for more disappointment.

So on we go to the caves, (I don't understand the people who say it's well themed after the lift, it's a bit of fake rock?), and then into the core. It's not badly themed and I think in general it gives off a nice atmosphere. The tension does start to build as you near the drop (which I personally thought packed a decent punch). Underneath, again, it's relatively well themed, I like the dingy cavern scene, but a few eggs as the focal point, really? There needs to be something down here to shock you; leave it dark after you drop, then add some lights onto something moving up close to you. I loved the leg ticklers and back poker (although I was the only one in my group to be poked), but as others have mentioned, it's over way too quickly. I would think it'd be better to swap the sequence around so that the effects come first then the drop, as this would build even more tension. Furthermore, when the lift was rising back to the top, the lights came on before the carriage had levelled, so the whole of us were looking down on the bottom floor for a good few seconds, which kind of spoiled the fluidity.

After being yelled at to run and escape, even though our restraints were still down, we finally stumbled into the 2nd lifts, where the majority of peoples' reactions were of 'was that it?' and 'hughuhuWTF?dkd'. Again, I don't think these lifts are very effective at all. The jumpy floor was a nice touch, but there really needed to be more shaking from side to side. I noticed the panels moving, but that was only because I had heard about them, nobody else seemed to care. I was also stumped as to how a baby alien that had just hatched manages to damage a lift carrying >1000kg of people. So after being ushered out of the lifts, I took some time to look at peoples' reactions and as has been said a lot, the general consensus was 'is that it?'.

The disappointing thing about this ride is that it had so much potential; everything leading up to it (bar Jack Osborne), was pointing towards a good, solid attraction that we have been needing for a while. As many have suggested, we could be seeing more effects added soon, but for me, these won't detract from the poor ride mechanisms we already have in place. Nothing will be able to improve the 1st lift (at least I don't think, unless they contacted the manufacturer to increase vibration-ness?) and that's where my problems lie - a bad start usually equals a bad finish. The incredibly rushed nature of the ride doesn't help, so instead of worrying so much about throughput, Alton should consider adding something (whether it be a pre-show in the caves or longer lifts to tell more of the story) to spread the experience out more and get riders more involved in the story.

No matter how much Alton improve the ride by effects etc., the ride will not redeem itself, as the GP will continue to judge the ride on the drop, similar to Hex. Hex rarely gets queues these days, it's a 'cult' ride, and it's simply because the bottom line is that it's a spinning room, similar to how Sub-Terra is a frog-hopper in a tin shed.
Last edited by SIMR on Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-terra (contains spoilers)

Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:54 pm

Went on this yesterday for the first ride of the day- the queue time was 30 mins and I really liked the screens in the queue path with the video and audio. The most interesting parts were the computerised plan of the caves, showing the various levels and lift shafts and the lift video showing you where to sit in the ride chamber. The staff alongside the queue were also a highlight in the phalanx uniforms, with one man shouting "stop leaning on my fence" at unsuspecting guests, which helped to build the tension.

Once in the loading area, we had to wait much longer than the previous group did and thought there must have been technical problems. Eventually got into the first lift, then the corridor and finally into the ride area. Once the bar was down, the staff informed everyone they were having technical issues and we had to get back off and stand in the corridor again.

After what felt like an eternity we were informed the ride was now closed and had to go back through the ride area to exit via the second lift. There seemed to be a lot of water on the floor in the main room, presumably the nemesis monster must have broken out and they must have been battling with it to put it back underground!

Went back on later when it was working- the ride area looks great, nothing like I was expecting. The seat layout was interesting and clever that the drop towers are not visible. The ride itself is too short and not enough happens underground. As others have said, the monster should appear or the car should drop again to make it more exciting. The final lift was good with the bangs and shaking, and all staff played their parts well.

I heard a number of negative comments at the ride exit from other guests including "That is the worst ride I have ever been on". I think with some tweaks the ride could be improved a lot.

Overall- Staff- 10/10
Theming- 9/10
Ride- 6/10
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-terra (contains spoilers)

Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:40 pm

I went on Sub-Terra with my 13 year old brother and we waited in queue for 30 minutes.
finally getting in indoors we are instructed to watch a TV with a looping company logo for 5 minutes
We moved into groups to enter the "lift" when exiting lift we move in the "caves" where the egg is in the centre of the room.

We sit down in our chairs and next the bar comes down, followed by a video stating that they are about to awake the egg.

Next they start zapping the egg, then a gust of wind, flashes and bangs followed by getting sprayed and being dropped, when I open my eyes it was dark and my BACK and LEGS were being tickled by the alien for like 10 seconds,
next I notice the egg has hatched and the alarm sounds and the bar comes off the seat.

We start to escape back into the lift which the alien starts attacking (My bro hid his head under my arm), lastly a security guard screams at us to escape when the door opens.

I give this a solid 10/10 Nice work Alton Towers ;)
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-terra (contains spoilers)

Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:06 pm

Image Me and my boyfriend went to Alton Towers on a really hot nice sunny day on Wednesday 28th March. I was suprised to see that the park was relatively empty dispite it looking quite packed in the car park and coming into the park. However Nemesis Sub-Terra was the longest ride we had to queue for all day.
Image We queued 20 minutes for this ride, and damn what a waste of time that was. I had already heard that it wasn't the best ride ever, but i though I'd give it a go as we come all of 3 and a half hours away and it would've been silly not to do it. Anyway, the queue line is fairly bland, i thought it might of been a bit more adventurous and daring seen as you're suppose to be going underground to meet the alien nemesis! Although they did quite tactfully have members called the phalanx dotted around at the start of the queue line, before you go in, in the lift, underground and coming out. A lot of the actors put on a real convincing performance, however the guess that we talked to before going in seemed disinterested and effortless. That was a bit of a let down. However i do credit those actors that put on a good performance. Image The queue line like i said was boring, the only half interesting thing is having the monorail next to the line and getting occassional passers waving. All i did was stood with some chavs muttering or should i say shouting things i really didn't want to hear next to me!!! Image There were TV screens around the queue line saying things such as 'restricted area' and photos showing the inside of the building and warnings about what we were going to go up against! It gave me something to read or some interest within the line. Image This is the queue line, just the thorpe park style wooden fensing with bark either side. Please as much as i love TP, please AT don't do it !!! Image  would've maybe been nice for some rough looking theming? not perfectly in tact, but with an army twist? Image There are cameras outside on the roof looking for tresspassers Image Just before you go in you get ushered to the bagging area to put you're bags inside, then told to stand on a number by the phalanx. They shout at you to stay on the numbers and keep in the correct places. You are then shouted at to get inside of the lift. Once inside the lift rocks down to suppossedly underground, we all know it's just a bit of rocking in the same place. Image Once you exit the lift, you are told to very quickly sit in one of four rows around the outside of the room. The four rows are facing inwards, with a big vicious looking egg in the centre of the room locked up. The bars are pushed down. The seats and safety restraints are identical to the drop tower at London dungeons. Infact the only difference is there is a floor so you're legs aren't hanging and you're all looking towards a centerpiece instead of a wall!!! The ride then starts to take a turn when the lights start to flicker, an alarming noise starts to whimper before you are plumetted 20ft towards the floor. The lights switch on for a brief moment in silence, where you see some caves (very small set of caves at that!) you are then taken back up where the egg has escaped. Well more like the monster has hatched. You run or as i did walk back into the lift where you are violently told to get in, before the door close and bashing on each side occurs. The monster is supposedly outside of the lift. You fall and get a couple of puny knocks before the door opens and the phalanx tell you to get out and go.
This is pretty much what the ride consists of. It will sorely disappoint devoted themepark fans or general Alton Towers enthusiasts , and has already seen rave and immensely negative reviews. Do not make a special trip to AT for this, and for all of you who voted nemesis as the best ride at AT, this sequal to the story does nothing by discard all previous hope for a reveal of the nemesis monster. I would rather have not known and Alton Towers spent money else where!!!
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-terra (contains spoilers)

Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:43 pm


I experienced sub terra for the first time yesterday (14/4/12) and to be honest I think it is a very good attraction!

Before entering the queue you are greeted by a actor who gives guests unsettling looks, and shouts out orders about the different entrances (main, single and fastrack). The main queue is simple but effective with vents seen coming out the ground and T.V. screens plotted around the queue. The T.V. screens explain about the facility and what they do. It also explains how the facility is structure with 4 sub levels and the viewing chamber is on sub level 4. A voice is also heard telling guests that it is a restricted facility and you must follow all instructions given by the O.P.S. The metal fencing was simple but linked in with the theme of the attraction. The structure of the queue was very simple but it gets very close to the monorail.

Baggage Area
After being in the queue you are ordered to put all personal belongings in the baggage hut. Once guests have done that the actors are ordering guests to stand in a line and wait to be ushered into the facility. The actors are again giving guests unsettling looks, however this completing got the guests surprised about some actors running out of the facility and ordering them into the pre-show room.

Pre Show Room
When entering the room you are thrown into darkness with tv screens facing both ways in the spilt room. The actors order you to stand on a black dot on the floor and if you don't get it right they will sort you out themselves. Once everyone is on a black dot, the O.P.S check that everyone is on one. The actors them tell you about what is going to happen. They tell you how you will enter the lift in a 'quick' speed. The Pre-Show video is very good as it tells the audience what the facility is about and tells the story of the attraction. It also tells us about the Nemesis monster and the nest with is deep underground and you will be enter viewing chamber to see one the these eggs for the Nemesis. After that you are ushered into the first lift.

Lift 1
You enter the lift which is very small and it is quite a squeeze! Once the doors close the lift starts to travel down into the facility. You are told again that you must follow all instructions and a video tells you how to enter to viewing chamber. 

Viewing Chamber
Guests are ordered to find their seat and sit quickly. After that the actors push down the lap bars. The lap bar has a lot of space between your body and the bar, which made me feel a bit unsafe. The actors then leave the room and the doors close behind them. The eye in the middle is glowing and guests hear a heart beat and beeping sounds showing that the egg has life inside. A voice is then heard telling the guest that the egg was found deep underground and it has life which is unknown to science, suddenly the heart beat and beeping sound increases in speed and their is a bang and the lights go out. Air is sprayed onto the guests faces which to be honest took my breath away in shock. Noises are heard of a egg cracking and little monster sounds are heard. The lights are then up again and the egg has broken and the Nemesis monster roars and the room goes into darkness and you DROP. The drop isn't very forcefully as the thirteen drop and it still shocks you as you don't know then you will drop. After the drop guests see eggs in the centre, you are in the monsters nest! Darkness falls you are poked on the back, whipped by pipes under your seat and sprayed with water. You are then rised back up into the main chamber with strobe lighting being turned on. The O.P.S. then come running in a telling you to get out and head for the exit lifts.

Exit Lifts
You are ushered into the lifts and again it is a squeeze! The doors close and you rise up to the ground again, suddenly the nemesis monster roars in the background and the lift goes in total darkness and the lift starts to shake, the walls spilt and air you sprayed into the lift. The lights are turned back on and the lift doors opened and a O.P. jumps out and chases you out the facility.

I think this a very good attraction which some scare elements to it. The main scary thing about it is a sort of panic about the thing.

Queue = 6/10
Baggage Area = 7/10
Pre-Show Room = 9/10
Lift 1 = 7/10
Main Chamber = 10/10
Exit Lift = 9/10

Overall = 9/10

(Sorry about spelling I have dyslexia)
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-terra (contains spoilers)

Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:47 am

Nemesis: Sub-terra....I had seen the adverts, I had heard the hype and I have to admit, I was actually worried! I am a wimp, major wimp. I have been to AT lots of times and I have never touched air, oblivion or nemmy because of my fear of heights (I know its no excuse!) and when I read about NST whilst it was being developed I thought it would be quite scary, how wrong was I?

I forced myself not to read anything on here about it as I didn't want to spoilt it but I kind of wish I had now, maybe I would have queued up for such a long time if I had known what it was really like! Now don't get me wrong, I think the concept was such a great idea, I just don't think they executed it properly. Here's my experience:

Walked past NST on the way to the Blade and the queue time was about 60 mins I think so we went on the Blade, had a wander round and came back as the queue time had dropped. I noticed the officer at the entrance but he was too interested in what ever was in his pocket to interact with any of the guests walking in. Just as we got to the back of the queue we nearly walked into the next officer that was walking round the queue! I enjoyed the theming and the videos that were playing throughout the line, they were very well made, entertaining and believable for some people. I couldn't believe the amount of people discussing going underground and would they still be able to breath!

When we eventually got into the first area just in front of the lifts, the confusion began. 2 people were shouting at us to move and get inside, or at least I think thats what they were shouting, it was a bit garbled! When we got in side we figured out we had to each stand on a circle, another instruction that was a bit garbled. We were told to shut up and stand still. One woman behind us kept talking so the officer came right up behind her and shouted down hear ear to shut up which I thought was a bit too far to be honest. If it was me I would have found it hard not to hit him!

We get into the lifts and its quite obvious that we aren't actually moving. We come out the other side and we were seemingly left to our own one was waiting for us on the other side and no one told us where to go, our group just wanded towards the chairs and sat down (some people had no clue where to go and were just walking round!) Once we were all seated (I had to jump into my seat cause i'm too short which was kind of funny) and the bars came down we were all staring at an egg. There was no real explaination, you couldn't hear a word the officers were saying and then you dropped.

The drop was ok, small but ok. When you hit the bottom and your surrounded by eggs you get sprayed with a little bit of water and a few people mentioned something sticking in their back. The stobes weren't working on our run (I didn't know there was meant to be until I came on here).

Then you are slowly lifted back to the top and oh em gee! The egg is broke! Yet again no explaination or anything just warning bells and people shouting at you to get out as everyone wanders towards the lifts. Once you are in the lift you experience the 'Charlie' still effects as other people have mentioned, the doors open and you are out and have no clue what has just happened to you for the last 2 minutes.

I feel it was all far too rushed, there was no time to soak in the story or what was happening unless you already know the back story which most people don't. I think this could have been so much better if they had made it similar to Hex with a proper walk through and then the final drop at the end.

I'm going back this weekend with a bunch of friends so I will be going on it again with them, I doubt my opinion of this ride will change though. Unless i'm with someone new, I wont be going on it again. 5/10
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-terra (contains spoilers)

Thu May 03, 2012 9:54 pm

I finally managed to get to AT yesterday for my first trip of the season, and was quite eager to see what NST was like. There has been lots of negativity as far as this ride is concerned, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Needless to say, NST didn't disappoint.


As you approach the entrance to the ride itself, you are given orders by aggressive Phalanx actors. Guests are split into two groups (similar to Hex) where you are then ushered into a waiting area to watch a pre-ride film. The film tells of an alien like creature which was pinned down in the ground. This method proved to be successful in containing the monster, however, explorers soon discover mysterious eggs years later. The films tells of the possibility to view an egg in a special chamber, before drawing to a close. It is at this moment that guests make their way to the lifts...

The lifts themselves are dark and cramped, and it is at this moment that mild claustrophobia sets in. After a falling simulation, the doors of the lift open to reveal a passageway to a chamber with four rows of seats on each side. Right in the middle of this room lays an egg surrounded by screens and laser(?) devices (if you've seen the Alien films, then a strange sense of deja vu will set in now).

Riders take their seats to watch a short video, before being sprayed in the face with water. The lights cut out and the ride drops. Sitting in total darkness, you are aware of leg-tickler effects and pokes in the back. The ride ascends the shaft slowly, whilst evacuation orders are given via speakers. The strobe lighting and general noise makes you feel very agitated at this point.

Riders are now ordered into the lifts to escape. While in the lifts, eerie creature sounds and jolts add to the illusion of a monster trying to gain entry. The ambience is absolutely brilliant.

That is more or less Nemesis: Sub-Terra. It's short, it's cheesy, and it's GOOD.

Do take time out to try NST. The experience doesn't last long, so you've nothing much to lose.

Oblivion beckons in T-minus five minutes, be prepared for embarkation!

Eat, sleep, Apocalypse!

Re: Nemesis: Sub-terra (contains spoilers)

Fri May 04, 2012 10:27 am

To my disappointment, heard a lot of negative reaction following a ride on this yesterday.


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Re: Nemesis: Sub-terra (contains spoilers)

Sat May 05, 2012 6:14 pm

To be fair to Sub-Terra i don't think its the ride but people's personal preferences that people are hearing the negative comments from, some people just don't find dark rides scary or thrilling, but its not the blame to dark ride because i've herd people come off Hex saying "that was boring!" and even Nemesis saying "is that it?"
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-terra (contains spoilers)

Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:44 am

I have to say I was TERRIFIED! We get on, theres the two guards barking orders and your ushered into the lift. Feeling nervous we go sit in our seats. We see the egg and have some video...Then the lights went out and that was it. I was scared. Really scared. THe drop, things poking, air and water... The strobes and smoke disorientated me.

Then theres an alarm going off giving you 15 seconds to evacuate. Then on the way out there are guards shining torches in your face.

I would never ride it again as I dont like rides that scare me to the point of a panic attack.
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-terra (contains spoilers)

Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:26 pm

Firstly i must admit, i have not yet been on this, and, reading the reviews, not just on here, i wasnt exactly itching too.

I think a plus point is they are using actors to create a sense of atmosphere.  The question is, how long will it last?  The larger US parks of this world, do this to great effect, and, if used correctly, it can highten the tension.

I've heard that the ride was opened with a lot of the "features" still unfinished.  Hopefully, Alton Towers can learn from this and perhaps make the experience a little more tense.

Planning to go very soon, so i will be sure to write out a review when i do

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