Ride Review – Legend of Nüwa
Legend of Nüwa is one of the staple dark rides of Oriental Heritage parks and the inspiration for the ride system came from the Spiderman attraction(s) at Universal Studios. Essentially a 6 seater motion simulator that runs on a track, the experience is heavily emphasised by movement – big 3D screens situated around the layout drive the narrative and guests interact with the action by being shaken about, accelerated, tipped and spun according to what’s happening.
As with many of the attractions at these parks, the storyline is rooted in Chinese mythology. Nüwa is the mother goddess who created humanity and this specific tale relates to a story about fixing a hole in the sky. Riders are invited to join on this quest and are dragged around forcefully, mainly by use of some magic whip to witness (and not help with) many action sequences.
There’s several characters both human and non-human out to stop this repair job happening and the visual landscape is in tatters, with a lot of strange gravity and floating rocks, so the ride sensations mainly revolve around fighting and falling.
The queueline is entirely located indoors and extensively themed, usually opening out into several rooms with screens and preshow details. I’ve never experienced any sort of wait time for this ride myself, so it’s quite easy to take for granted all of this extra effort that went into the look and feel of the attraction.
On board I’ve had various differing opinions of the ride. It has always been very good, at a minumum. At least one version suffered from timing issues where the screens got stuck or failed to sync up with the position of the vehicles and this was a bit of a downer, but it is a highly technical ride.
The standout version for me was in Changsha, probably the most freshly built at the time of riding and all the vehicle movements seemed extra vicious. I’m not sure whether they’ve cranked it up on newer versions or if the older ones get weaker over time but I do know that I like it, a lot. It gave a real sense of the ride throwing you about and that you were at the complete mercy of the surrounding action, which fits very nicely into the narrative.
It can get a little repetetive in parts with all the punchy, smashy things going on. There’s onboard audio that contains an ever present pair of buffoons (emulating fellow guests/riders I assume) that are constantly babbling and exclaiming in surprise and panic at literally everything that goes on. Best to tune that bit out if you can. The other thing that bugs me slightly is the amount of times they do slow-mo shots that attempt to emphasise the 3D-ness coming at your goggled face. It’s certainly overdone for how effective this actually is, but the moments are sometimes accompanied by a pyro or two so I end up forgiving it for that.
Overall though, Legend of Nüwa is a high class attraction well worth plenty of attention. I’m happy to help her save the world any time.
Here’s a handy list of where you can do your bit too.