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Nemesis Inferno (Thorpe Park)

Forget everything you were told in Geography. Calypso Quay, a colourful tropical retreat can be found just down the coast from Amity Cove, the disaster-struck New England fishing village.

Whilst in the sleepy province of Calypso Quay, it is easy to forget the traumas of Amity, where the good citizens of Marlin County cheat death daily as tidal wave after tidal wave pounds the tide-marked town.

Sleepy Joe has had it easy for the last year dozing in his hammock to the tropical beats of the calypso music. But the tables have turned, and a volcano now threatens the peaceful Caribbean township with disaster as it smoulders with activity.

Visitors are urged to clamber into carriages to escape the perils of the active volcano and are in for an explosive performance from Nemesis Inferno, the red-hot new impression on the Thorpe Park skyline.

A subtle tropical style gives newfound depth to the previously flat but colourful Calypso Quay theme. The rocky landscape of the volcano forms a perfect backdrop to the lush green foliage surrounding and the rich maroon track-colour of Nemesis Inferno.

Adding spice to an already hot theme, vapour pours from many peaks on the rich amber volcano as the soft roar of the coaster encircles the pathways below.

Adhering to a Wardley trademark, Nemesis Inferno literally plays with the hot-footing members of public on the ground with the rideís acrobatics being nothing short of a spectacle.

The queue takes you under the figure-eight finale with a few small cattlepens to soak up a busy dayís queue. The vantage points are unsurprisingly plentiful, and a climb up the side of the volcano gives a unique view of Calypso Quay before you enter the station.

The station is quite a vanilla affair when compared to the rest of the ride with charred wood panelling on the walls and flickering lanterns on the ceiling. The layout is impeccable, though, with the front-seat queue stretching the whole length of the station and using the available space to additionally zig-zag three times before you get to the gates.

Whilst the dťcor is only moderately atmospheric, music adds a certain drama to the whole experience of loading the trains. Whilst outside the music it is quite subtle, as the station floor drops and the train is lit in a rich shade of red, a pounding bass-line leads the train out of the station, evolving into a warming melody welcoming back returning riders before fading out ready for the next train to depart.

Trains flow through the station like lava through a valley with wheel covers and the underside rain-catchers emblazoned with a striking flame design, beautifully flaring up against the understated black of the train and the warm shade of maroon that colour the seats and restraints.

At the moment, loading times are very impressive, and once the floor drops, a smooth curl downwards encircles the volcano before squeezing into a tight tunnel underneath the rocky landscape.

Inside this active volcano, a thick mist licks around the tunnel walls with a life of itís own as you cut through the rolling smoke, lit with a warming red luminance.

Inside, from a turn pitched to the right, the train sweeps around into a blissful curve to the left, swooping gracefully to the right, over a dip and back into daylight.

As the mist is dragged with the train out of the tunnel, a final sharp turn sends the train skywards on an impressively quick lift.

Any scaredy-cats with eyes closed will have the upper hand, as they wonít see the rather unflattering view of the Amity Hotel below as the train drops into a curling 180-degree swoop ground-wards. Whilst this drop arguably looks like a poor-manís version of the tight Batman: La Fuga drop, it rides really well, and doesnít feel dissimilar.

At the bottom, a blast of water from the pond below clears just as the train scathes through the clearing spray, pulling away from the water underneath into a tight vertical loop.

As the train drops out from this loop, a blast of water is heard behind as another geyser of water explodes and the train swoops up over the pathway into a sleek inline twist.

At the moment, the inline twist only hints at what we can expect from the summer months - currently it is only a lukewarm version of Batmanís truly explosive inversion.

But what separates this inline from the rest is yet to come. Just as you are scooped back up into your seat, a swooping turn sends you into a ground-hugging turn, pulling sharply up into a forceful flick from a barrel roll.

Just as you realise where you are, the train pulls up away from the ground, offering a nice sensation of height from a turnaround into the second barrel roll, this time going clockwise over the pathway below.

Following a waterfall upstream, a sharp climbing turn soaks up a lot of speed as you navigate a 270-degree clockwise helix sharpening tightly at one point before ducking down under the brake-run structure, finding the lost speed and pulling into an anti-clockwise spiral, climbing away from the ground and flicking into the brake-run where you stop smoothly.

Nemesis Inferno is merely smouldering at the moment, but has the inklings of erupting into something special. Inferno goes beyond being just another B&M coaster with a unique opening, dropping through the volcano in a nicely paced entrťe long before a superb figure-eight finale wraps things up.

Inferno carries across all that is good about a B&M coaster. Impeccable pacing harbours elements that are always smooth but never forceless. In fact, itís nice to ride Nemesis Inferno in the knowledge that it is one of only a few 100ft compact inverted coaster designs (Batman and Nemesis being the other most notable examples).

Even with an original layout, Nemesis Inferno avoids the perils of settling for being a coaster with a volcano-shaped station by offering effects like the spectacular introduction of the smoke-filled tunnel and the 30ft-tall geysers under loop 1.

Also, lest we forget Thorpe Park once making light of what could otherwise be a grim theme. In this case, too, theming actually adds to the ride experience itself. Furthermore, you donít need to know much about the theme to even enjoy it. It makes sense in every possible way.

Nemesis Inferno perfectly compliments Colossus. Inferno is the coaster with substance that follows hot on the heels of a coaster that has impact.

Nemesis Inferno is no lukewarm affair. Hot theming, explosive effects and red-hot pacing mean that Inferno will send temperatures soaring during what is a flaming good ride whether youíre in the midst of itís searing wrath or just standing away from the heat on the sanctuary of the ground.

4/5 Marcus Sheen


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