In 1994, Phalanx Operatives secured the Nemesis creature deep within its pit. However, during the 2011 closed season they returned to the area following reports of strange activity, possibly in relation to the Nemesis monster. To their surprise, they uncovered a nest of Nemesis eggs and built a high security compound prior to the park reopening in 2012. Guests were permitted to enter the facility, although little did they expect to uncover the terrifying secrets that lay in wait, deep underground?

Fact File

Location: Forbidden Valley

Manufacturer: ABC Rides

Ride Type: Drop Tower

Cost: £5 million

Max. Drop: 7m

Guests per Viewing: 40

Capacity: 1200 riders per hour

Duration: 3 mins 0 secs

Opening Year: 2012 (24th March)

Closing Year: 2015

In the queueline, quests were informed about Phalanx and their other operations around the world, including their involvement with securing the second Nemesis creature at Thorpe Park. Before entering the attraction, guests arrived at the bag drop where they could leave their possessions for the duration of the ride experience. They were given a keyring to keep safe during their journey into the facility.

Guests would first enter a room which held 40 people in groups of 10, and were ordered to stand on a spot to watch an introductory video. During this video feed guests would discover that Phalanx has uncovered a nest of eggs, belonging to the Nemesis creature, and that they will be given access to the very chamber that they are in. Once the video finishes, they were directed into a lift that would take them deep down into the facility. At the bottom they then entered the viewing chamber where guests would be seated around the edge of the room, in one of the four seating areas. A Phalanx operative then secures guests in their seats and a video presentation begins.

It is revealed that the egg is “alive and dormant”, while a heart rate monitor is shown on the presentation screen. However, the video feed became intermittent, before the lights go out whilst a generator noise can be heard alongside an announcement of a system malfunction. Suddenly the noise of the egg breaking could be heard and it was as if something was moving around the room. As well as sound effects, the ride also utilised water effects, back prodders and leg whippers, to create an immersive experience. A further announcement was made, followed by the lights going out once again. Shortly after, the ride would unexpectedly drop, revealing that there was a large nest of eggs laying beneath the chamber above. The back up generator would then kick in, lifting guests back to the secure level, where another announcement stated that the security of the unit has been compromised and an emergency evacuation was in progress.

The Phalanx operatives then released the bar and evacuated guests into another lift that to take them back to surface level. Unfortunately, the lift was then attacked and shaken by the recently hatched Nemesis creature, causing it to fill with smoke, as the lights strobe. When the lift doors open, guests would be greeted by a Phalanx operative who had been attacked by the creature. The only way to escape the facility was then through a maze containing several operatives who had fallen victim to the creature, before guests finally exited on the opposite side of the bag hold.

The advertising tagline was “your worst nightmare, underground” and followed an advertising campaign much like The Smiler’s. Most press releases regarding the new attraction came from Phalanx Control, who, in February 2012, stepped in to take responsibility for the Nemesis Sub-Terra egg, which had been included as part of the Faberge Big Egg Hunt in London. It was believed a similar egg would be integral to the findings Phalanx were preparing to reveal to civilians.

The campaign also included a lift experiment at Southside Shopping centre in Wandsworth, where an artist designed the floor of the lift to look as if there was a gaping hole in it. Alton Towers also called for people who previewed Nemesis in early 1994. Marketing also involved the newly appointed ‘Director of Fear’ – Jack Osbourne, who was said to be involved throughout the attraction’s development stages and was supposedly the first to test out the new attraction; “guaranteeing that every element is as scary as possible”.

Unfortunately for Alton Towers, in March 2012 the ride opened to a largely underwhelming response. Therefore, based on feedback that the resort received from guests, it was decided to close the ride for a few days (20th to 25th of May) and overhaul it. When it reopened in June, it was met by far better reviews and most guests agreed that it had been improved. However many still think that the experience was overstated in the advertising, and that the attraction failed to live up to expectations.

Since the end of the 2015 season, Nemesis Sub-Terra remained standing but not operating with no indication as to when, or even if, it would reopen.

With activity seen around the site during the 2018 season, there was much speculation about what this could mean for the attraction’s future. However, this was confirmed to be for the new Scarefest maze, Project 42, when the Resort announced the Halloween line-up in July. Although the scare maze’s theme paid homage to that of Nemesis Sub-Terra, with the Phalanx inviting guests to become ‘valiant volunteers’ and assist in the search for the technician who held the cure to a deadly virus, the attraction had been transformed with a range of detailed sets.

It was to be in February 2019 that the attraction was seemingly finally confirmed to have permanently closed, with the removal of its page from the Resort’s website.

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In 2012, the entrance to Forbidden Valley was changed forever as guests discovered What Lies Beneath, as the park revisited the legend surrounding Nemesis.