|Attraction type||Dark ride; drop tower|
|Drop||6 m (20 ft)|
|Speed||21 mph (34 km/h)|
|Capacity||800 riders per hour|
|Riders per row||10|
|Height restriction||140 cm (4 ft 7 in)|
Single rider line available
||This section possibly contains original research. (October 2013)|
As the entrance is approached, one of the Phalanx operatives shouts orders at riders to move into the batching area in a group of 40 in front of an entrance of two fake lifts. Riders are then instructed to watch a pre-show video, which outlines the story of how one of the Nemesis creature's eggs have been made safe for viewing by the public. The Phalanx Operative then makes a special warning to riders that there are live actors present throughout the experience and anyone uncomfortable with this should leave the batching area. Riders then move into the lifts, where it is further explained that it is travelling down an underground shaft, whilst lighting and sound effects create the illusion of travel.
The lift door opens to reveal an underground cavern, or catacomb, just ahead of the main ride chamber – which remains sealed at this point. The cavern is themed with rock effects to give the impression of a recently excavated site.
The main ride chamber then opens, and the aforementioned egg can be seen in the centre of the room, with four sci-fi-style zappers focusing upon it. Four rows of ten seats face the egg centre-piece and riders are ushered into the seats and told to pull down their lap bar.
Details of the discovery of the alien egg are then played via TV screens, and riders are told that it has been displaying signs of life. Midway through this presentation however, the TV screens cut out and lighting effects lead riders to believe that there has been some kind of power failure. Sirens then start to go off, and after a few seconds the lights go out altogether. The lights are then restored to reveal that the egg has hatched, and sound effects indicate that a creature is moving around the ride chamber. Each gondola then abruptly freefalls around 20 feet (6 metres) to the bottom of the chamber. The ride is programmed so that each gondola drops at a slightly different time to the others - to increase the tension for the rider. After the freefall, lighting effects reveal the other eggs that were unsafe to view. The riders are then put back into pitch-blackness, and slowly lifted up to where the main egg lay. Rapid light flashes occur and water is sprayed at riders whilst more sound effects are played. 'Back pokers' and 'leg ticklers' surprise riders, giving the impression that the monster is in close proximity. Air bursts are activated which blow onto the back of the neck of the rider, imitating the monster's close proximity.
Sirens then begin to sound, as a 30 second countdown timer displays on the screens, indicating that the facility will self-destruct when the time limit expires. Phalanx security personnel quickly usher riders into the escape lifts. The lift begins to ascend, but shortly after the lights flicker before then once more plunging the riders into pitch darkness. The lift then begins to shake and bang violently. A roof panel becomes dislodged and the wall panels move, simulating the alien creature attacking the lift and attempting to gain access.
Once the lift doors open riders are greeted by a Phalanx operative wearing a gas mask and covered in blood, holding a small torch. Those in the left lift are abruptly led out whilst those in the right lift are kept in by another masked actor who lets them out a few seconds later. Riders then enter a strobe maze, whereby powerful strobe flashes to disorientate them. Metal chain link fences surround riders, whilst "contaminated" Phalanx operatives jump out at them. Air cannons, strobe lighting and loud sound effects simulate the supposed 'decontamination' of the visitors. Riders are then chased out of the ride by a 'rabid' Phalanax worker.
Plans for the ride were submitted in August 2011, although they only showed the exterior of the buildings; revealing nothing of the interior. Construction commenced in October 2011, with the site being closed off to the public during the Scarefest event.
Pictures were leaked in early January 2012 of the ride mechanism before installation. They revealed the ride to be an ABC manufactured drop tower; similar to ones previously installed in both the London and Blackpool Dungeon attractions. In a publicity stunt Jack Osborne was appointed as Director of Fear for the attraction.
Images of the ride's interior were released on the 24th of January, via an official Twitter page by the name of Phalanx Control.
In February 2012 Alton towers starting marketing by making a video of a bottomless lift, hinting at what may be coming with the ride. The ride was at this time also confirmed by the Alton Towers website as having a height restriction of 1.4m.
The ride was tweaked after significant negative feedback from the general public. The changes to the ride were believed to have been implemented during the park's closure due to high winds on the 4th of April. However this was not the case as the entire site, plus other nearby attractions, was deemed unsafe because of the high winds and proximity to large trees, and the attraction was improved during planned maintenance sessions before and after the theme-parks normal public opening hours. Various trees were felled and cut back during the following weeks to improve safety in future bad weather.
From 20th May 2012 the attraction closed for a period of six days (Sunday 20th to Friday 25th inclusive) in order for improvements to be made. Alton Towers Operations and Developments Director Mark Kerrigan revealed that the ride has yet to be officially completed by the park.
Upon opening, Nemesis: Sub-Terra received a large wave of negative reviews, with many saying that it was a complete disappointment. The ride closed for a week in May to be improved upon; since the update, the ride has been much more favorable amongst guests.
Despite queues of over three and a half hours during its opening year, the ride failed to increase attendance, in fact, gate figures fell by 200,000 people in 2012 (the ride's opening year), but poor weather and the London Olympics were blamed for impacting attendance.
- "Ice Age The 4-D Experience and Nemesis Sub-Terra launch at the Alton Towers Resort on 24th March.". Alton Towers Press. 9 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
- May 2012 "Nemesis Sub-Terra Review". Towertimes. 27 May 2012.
- "Jack Osbourne appointed as 'Director of Fear". Alton Towers Press. 9 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
- "Nemesis: Sub-Terra Marketing Picks Up Pace". UK Park News. 24 January 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- Alton Towers Nemesis Sub-Terra Lift. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
- "Nemesis Sub-Terra tweaked following negative feedback". RideRater. 6 April 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
- "Alton Towers forced to close due to weather". RideRater. 4 April 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
- "Nemesis Sub-Terra set for 6 days of closure". TowersTimes. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
- "Fans praise updates to Nemesis Sub-Terra at Alton Towers". Theme Park Tourist. 5 June 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
- "Nemesis Sub-Terra: Disappointment turned into delight". Ride Rater. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012.