In 2012, I was assigned to write a feature for Colossus's tenth birthday. The article itself was my best work if I don't say so myself. It was my intention that I would be able to do a similar piece when it came to 2003's blisteringly hot but underwhelmingly* tepid Nemesis Inferno in 2013. But this did not happen. No matter what I wrote, constructed or thought about, inspiration abandoned me and I just couldn't put together a piece that would do Inferno justice. And the problem comes down to one sticking point;
There is just nothing special about Nemesis Inferno.
Nemesis Inferno, distinctly middle of the road.
But worry not fellow Thorpe fanboys and coaster nerds for the story doesn't end there. It is for that reason that for me, Nemesis Inferno is one of Thorpe's very best roller coasters and one that I get the most pleasure out of riding during a visit. Let me tell you a tale about a ride that was hyped to the max, but could never reach those lofty heights.
Back in 2002, Colossus had done unexpected things for Thorpe, it's visitor numbers rising and rising and the construction of a brand new Inverter would have been a spectacular thing indeed for English enthusiasts. Remember, we are talking about a time when Nemesis most definitely ruled the roost in the UK and unless you were up for travelling to America, Italy or Spain, chances are it was your only shot. The hype surrounding Inferno was definitely something different, particularly when it was associated with the Nemesis name. I can remember at the time, discussion on Inferno's finale helixes being discussed as potentially as intense as Nemesis's helix after its first inversion. Talk about building the hype.
Of course, come April 2003, Inferno opens and it isn't quite as good as it's predecessor. My favourite description at the time was a ride on Inferno's front row was not as intense as a ride on the Happy Halibuts of Octopus Garden. Talk about damning a product.
At the time, with only Colossus complimenting Inferno, it came under harsher criticism then it probably deserved. With only two major roller coasters** to keep customers happy, Inferno came under the limelight in a way that many rides do not. After all, inverters had really boomed in the 90's with the Batman clones being installed all across America and rides that dominated their respected parks like Katun, Montu and Alpengeist. By 2003, with new types of rides starting to dominate such as sky hogging mega coasters and Intamin's brand new launch technology breaking record after record it's easy to see why Inferno was not enough and why Inferno could actually be seen as a bit, old hat.
This is all hindsight of course. With the addition of Stealth, Saw: The Ride and The Swarm, things have increasingly changed at Thorpe and of course, so has Nemesis Inferno. As higher, faster and more attention grabbing rides have been added, Inferno has become more of a support roller coaster. When everything else goes to hell in a hand basket, Inferno is the old reliable. Always the ride with minimal queues, always the ride that eats through queues like it's going out of fashion and always the ride that delivers a smooth, intense experience. Never really pushing its customers too far but always delivering its promise of an enjoyable and satisfying ride. I know there are those that will disagree. A B&M inverter should be the absolute pinnacle of intensity, nothing should be considered more when riding this ride type. If that is the promise then Inferno doesn't deliver. Luckily, just up the M1 and left a bit is another roller coaster that does fulfil the necessary criteria.
At Thorpe however is a ride built on the tail end of a coaster boom, one that is loved by a small but vocal minority. And for me personally, it holds some very special memories. It was my very first B&M and by default my first B&M inverter, it was the first ride that I really followed construction of and I know full well that it is my most ridden ride thanks to many Single rider sessions in 2004.
More then most then, I can say that Inferno is an average ride at best. But even average is better then the majority of roller coasters out there. And that's good enough for me.
Thanks for reading, Mark9
*I made up a word just for this review. Now that is dedication for you
**I know people will say X:/ No Way Out was a major roller coaster. it just isn't OKAY!