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If Nemesis never existed what would be the UK's #1 coaster?

Discussion in 'General Discussions & Opinions' started by Ian, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. Ian

    Ian From CoasterForce Staff Member Administrator Moderator Social Media Team CF Award Winner 2016

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    Before you start saying "it's not my number one UK coaster", good for you, I'm thrilled for you. That's not what this topic is about. Generally speaking, Nemesis is regarded as the top cred in the UK. It features heavily in many goons Top Tens, it wins polls and it was, urgh, here comes that term again, a game changer. Nemesis is, undeniably, the UK's most must-ride coaster for homegrown goons and especially for goons visiting from overseas.

    If Nemesis was never built, what would generally be regarded as the UK's best coaster?

    And in conjunction, do you think the UK coaster horizon would look much different today without its unmistakable roar taking over a small corner of Staffordshire?
     
  2. TLARides

    TLARides Well-Known Member

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    Probably Smiler.

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  3. jayjay

    jayjay Well-Known Member

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    I was about to post "inb4 TLARides says Smiler."

    Nemesis isn't my favourite, but let's think about why it has its reputation: it's intense, it's got a unique layout (especially for the 90s) that builds momentum, it creatively exploits planning restrictions, it's well terrained. Ignoring the things that are specific to Nemesis, I can't think of a ride that has both universal love for its quality and its design significance. Oblivion comes closest for its creativity and groundbreaker (literally) status, but is often criticised for being short or not intense to the hardened enthusiast. There's Inferno, but that wouldn't exist without Nemesis.
     
  4. DelPiero

    DelPiero Well-Known Member

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    I honestly believe that there would be a huge range of faves, nothing stands out as the obvious queen.
    Some foolish folk would argue the Smiler, other more portly folk would say Oblivion, some of the younger lot would plump for Stealth, maybe The Big One, or T'Ultimate. Welsh Wizards would proclaim Megafobia still rules the roost, or those lucky bastards who have Odyssey might go for that. Some may even go for Vampire, not Lofty tho, Ha!
    Unfortunately the majority of the UK coaster scene is decidedly meh, so until Construction 2018 arrives, the queen is... mediocrity.
     
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  5. TLARides

    TLARides Well-Known Member

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    How'd you know I was gonna say that?

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  6. ukthemeparkfan

    ukthemeparkfan Member

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    Probably Stealth or Oblivion
     
  7. Howie

    Howie Well-Known Member

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    Ha haa - I guess I'm what you'd call a more portly fellow then!
    To be fair though, I reckon Stealth, The Swarm or The Big One could also have a shot at the title.
    And if Nemesis never existed, what would have existed instead? If it was, say, the cross valley woodie - then that. Probably.
     
  8. Thekingin64

    Thekingin64 Well-Known Member

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    I may be overthinking this but I'm not sure that without Nemesis, Alton Towers would have continued growing into the park it is today and probably just stagnated. That would mean no Oblivion, No Smiler etc.

    I can't say how other parks would have been affected by this but I'd doubt they'd keep up with what we have today. This would probably mean that we'd be stuck with The Big One as the UKs best without the likes of Swarm or Stealth.
     
  9. Howie

    Howie Well-Known Member

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    Here's a thought: What are some of the biggest problems with the UK theme park industry?
    The Merlin monopoly?
    Emphasis on 'gimmick' coasters and theming, rather than quality coasters?
    The reluctance to build anything big?

    Could some of these characteristics be directly attributed to our beloved Nemesis? We've all agreed that Nemesis was a 'game changer', could it be argued that it changed the game for the worse?
    If it wasn't for Nemesis, Alton Towers wouldn't have landed on the map in quite the same way. If Alton Towers wasn't on the map in the same way, then Tussaud's might not have been able to buy up Thorpe, Chessie and Legoland too. If Tussaud's hadn't bought Thorpe, Chessie and Legoland, then there might not be the Merlin monopoly there is today.

    If Nemesis hadn't demonstrated that you don't need huge heights and speeds to create a good ride, then UK parks might still be trying to break records and build big stuff.
    If there wasn't the Merlin monopoly there is today, then maybe other UK parks could afford to break records and build big stuff.
    And let's not forget that Nemesis is, of course, a gimmick coaster. Perhaps the ultimate gimmick coaster. Back in '94, being an inverted coaster was the gimmick. It just turned out to be a bloody good gimmick that has since become a major theme park staple.

    So there you have it. The UK theme park industry sucks... and it's all Nemesis' fault.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
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  10. balrog

    balrog Well-Known Member

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    .. Or, without the Nemesis phenomenon, the UK could be like France, where the GP is mainly impervious to rollercoasters. Those who ride them never heard about quality, so don't seek it, and think that the old vekoma looper is the best thing there is, and thus that all rollercoasters give headaches, so they don't want to ride so many of them.

    Result : Not a single major modern high quality coaster built before 2009, and only 3 operating as of 2017.
     
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  11. CanobieFan

    CanobieFan Well-Known Member

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    For me, growing up in the US....Both Nemesis and Pepsi Max Big One were rides I could have only dreamed about riding. (and one day, would be able to ride <3) I still have a VHS back home somewhere of a Discovery Channel show from 1993-1994 about the race to build those two, as well as 7-Up Shockwave at Drayton. (Also opened with a video of Ripsaw at Alton, first time I had ever seen a Top Spin and from that point on, longed to ride one... Getting the chance 4 years later in 1998 when Riverside added one) I probably watched it once a week for a good year at the time. There was something so mesmerizing about Big One and Nemesis... Shockwave not so much (but at the time it may have been the first Stand-Up I knew) the show ended with Blackpool talking about the early planning stages of what became Valhalla.
    So uh, while it might not see so much now.. I'd say Big One would probably be the #1, or at least most famous.
     
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  12. Smithy

    Smithy Well-Known Member

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    Oblivion for me.

    Just think it has the shock factor, the impact, the lasting image. Not looking at overall best ride but I think it'd be the one most talked of, most loved by people.

    I think without the accident, Smiler would probably reach that level of nostalgia in a few years.

    It's gonna have to be something at Alton though for me, I just don't think any other UK park over the past 10 years could come close to the national appeal the park has. Thorpe will probably run it close with some of the southern members and BPB with the northerners but on the whole, I'd say it'd be something from Alton.
     
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  13. TLARides

    TLARides Well-Known Member

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    It's not THAT bad...

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  14. Howie

    Howie Well-Known Member

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    Ok you're right, maybe it's not THAT bad - I do realise that I must sound like a right miserable old git sometimes - it's just that, I dunno, for a country that is supposedly, on the whole, quite good at stuff, our theme parks and rollercoasters... should be better.
     
  15. TLARides

    TLARides Well-Known Member

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    I don't know. Theming is a strong point in Merlin parks.

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  16. Howie

    Howie Well-Known Member

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    ^True, but from an entirely personal point of view, I'd take one, plain, bog-standard, no frills B&M hyper over a dozen well themed Gerstlauers.
    And I'd donate body parts to have a giant, kick-ass RMC under construction over here!
     
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  17. TLARides

    TLARides Well-Known Member

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    They seriously leave all the good theming to the Gerstlauers?

    Gerstlauer coasters are cool and all, but come on, guys! At least try with the other types!

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  18. DelPiero

    DelPiero Well-Known Member

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    Really good post, so I'd like to explore it further.

    Bearing in mind that prior to 1994, Alton was still one of the big players in the UK coaster scene, it's not beyond the realms of imagination to think it would have steadily grown even without Nemesis. I'm sure Wardley would have got something else in, and probably still would have gone down the Oblivion route.
    The Merlin Monopoly(MM) isn't just about the Merlin parks though, it's the lack of drive from the other parks which has made the MM so bad. The US for example has the 2 big players Six Flags and Cedar Fair, but there's also QUALITY parks sprinkled in most areas. Hershey, Compounce, Dollywood, Holiday World etc. If Blackpool/Gullivers/Pleasure Island/Insert other park here invested correctly then the MM would have to up their game, or buy them out as well, greedy Merlin.

    Not sure on this point, does the best park in the world have a single coaster over 100ft? No it doesn't, and it's last coaster, one which is dominating top 10s around the world is hidden within a themed town. Nemesis may have been the first small coaster to show height isn't everything, but many recent coasters follow the same trend are are absolute world beaters.
    The UK scene has stagnated so much that apart from Paultons, which everyone is raving about as a park, I can't remember the last mid to large scale investment by a park that isn't in the MM. Flamingoland added a :emoji_zipper_mouth:ing Volare ffs! Watch Blackpool, now they've actually gone with a good coaster it will start to compete with the MM, and hopefully Paultons will add the GG and will rule the south.

    It's partly Nemesis' fault, but more blame lies with MM for focusing on awful ride types and the rest of the park owners for investing in Mice and Volares.
     
  19. Will

    Will Well-Known Member

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    We'd live in a country where The Swarm was the best ride. And where PMBO was the best ride to open in 1994.
    That's not a world I wish to envisage.
    And it's possible there's a fair few of us on this forum who'd never have become enthusiasts in the first place.
     
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  20. jayjay

    jayjay Well-Known Member

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    Good thoughtful post, but I'd take issue with some of this. Whatever CF members think, The Smiler was a hit with the public* (at least until it was a literal hit with the public). I hear far more praise for it outside CF and rides like The Swarm, a critical hit, went over lukewarm. Blackpool have pulled an ace out for enthusiasts, but it'll be interesting to see how the public react to something that's more technical and subtle.

    *I'm also a fan, but I realise I'm in the minority here
     

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