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Ride / The Incredible Hulk Coaster

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"Everything looks good! I think... I think this time... it's going to work!"
Bruce Banner in the original launch sequence

The Incredible Hulk Coaster is among the several rides that can be found at the Marvel Super Hero Island area at Universal's Islands of Adventure. It opened with the park on May 28, 1999.

The story behind the original version of the ride involved guests being in the middle of Bruce Banner's attempt at removing the Hulk from within himself. Once the guests would enter the "gamma accelerator tube", Bruce's experiment goes horribly wrong and "radiates" the riders themselves into Hulk, with them being launched from the tube at 40 mph into a roller coaster experience that simulates the feeling of having the sheer power of the Hulk.

The original version closed on September 8, 2015 and remained closed for almost an entire year as the coaster was entirely reworked, with the track being replaced, new on-board soundtrack being added in, and the ride's storyline being changed. The new and current version officially opened on August 4, 2016. The revised storyline revolves around Thunderbolt Ross, who in his attempts to put an end to the Hulk once and for all, has recruited the guests to undergo experiments that will change them into a superpowered being much like the Hulk.

A clone of the ride, rethemed to the Transformers Film Series and named the Decepticoaster, was an opening day attraction at Universal Studios Beijing on September 20, 2021.

Tropes shown in The Incredible Hulk Coaster include:

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    Current Version 

  • Amazonian Beauty: In the test footage of volunteers being transformed into Hulk-like creatures, a female volunteer ends up looking just like She-Hulk, despite being exposed to the same amount of gamma radiation as the male volunteers are.
  • Art Evolution: The queue video in this version contains far more cutting-edge animation than the video in the original did.
  • Ascended Extra: Thunderbolt Ross, who merely made a few brief appearances in the queue video of the original version, now plays a very central role in the ride.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The ride, both today and as it opened in 1999, presents itself to the casual observer as using a traditional 'lift hill, then gravity takes care of the rest' setup. Thanks to using drive tires as the lift mechanism however, the ride suddenly speeds up rapidly halfway up the launch right into a zero-G roll, creating a Jump Scare effect that is sure to catch anyone expecting a slow rise to the top off guard.
  • Black Site: The queue is set inside a military base that, while very visible to the public, is strictly off limits to any unauthorized personnel.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: A warning is put out by signs in the queue that anyone found attempting to steal any information regarding the experiment will not only be swiftly thrown in prison, but will also face corporal punishment.
  • Disposable Superhero Maker: The idea of the ride is that Thunderbolt Ross is trying to recreate the conditions that turned Bruce Banner into the Hulk, so that he could potentially have an army of Hulks at his disposal. This trope is averted in the end, as it appears that Ross is successful.
  • The Ghost:
    • Despite being the main character of the attraction, Thunderbolt Ross makes no appearances in this version and is only alluded to.
    • Along with Ross, the queue also references but doesn't show several known Marvel characters that are a part of the military project, such as Glenn Talbot and William Stryker.
  • Government Conspiracy: It's made clear that the experiments done in the ride are meant to be top secret, as there's signs that warn volunteers to never mention what they're about to go through to anyone, and even recommend trying to forget their experience. There's also signs that state that anyone found trespassing on the secret base will be imprisoned for treason.
  • Hulking Out: Towards the end of the queue, test footage is shown of humans volunteers being exposed to gamma radiation and subsequently transforming into a Hulk-like superhuman.
  • In-Universe Camera: The test footage of the experiments is shown from the alternating perspective of several flying cameras.
  • Operation: [Blank]: The experiment in the ride is referred to as "Project Greenskin".
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: From the story perspective, all of the guests gain abilities much like the Hulk's when they are exposed to Gamma radiation.
  • No Ending: The ride ends with the guests being successfully given the Hulk's powers, but leaves what will happen afterwards with Ross and Co. ambigious.
  • Pillar of Light: At nighttime, there's several lights that shoot up into the sky from the military base (shown in the page image).
  • Pop-Star Composer: The music for the ride was done by Patrick Stump, the lead singer of Fall Out Boy.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Averted, as the update removed almost all of the purple colors from the attraction; the launch tube for instance was re-painted to be black and green instead of purple and green. Even the Hulk statue at the ride's entrance sports his more recent look with blue pants.
  • Radiation-Induced Superpowers: As previously mentioned, the attraction has volunteers being given the Hulk's powers by being subjected to Gamma radiation.
  • Shout-Out: Near the end of the queue line, there's a bulletin board that lists several staff names, most of which are people who have been involved in the Hulk franchise over the years, including "L. Ferrigno", "B. Bixby", "Peter David", "J. Buscema", "J. Romita", "B. Everett", "J. Kirby", and of course, "S. Lee".
  • Sickly Green Glow: With the lighting upgrades, the entire attraction glows a strong shade of green at night.
  • Super-Soldier: What Thunderbolt Ross intends on making his volunteers into.
  • Title: The Adaptation: Both versions of the ride are titled The Incredible Hulk Coaster.
  • Updated Re-release: The ride was closed on September 8th, 2015 and remained closed for nearly a year. During this time, the coaster track was completely replaced along with the vehicles and the queue and backstory of the attraction were changed, along with many other additions.
  • X Days Since: Monitors in the queue show that there have been 278 days since the last Gamma radiation exposure incident. It soon after changes to 0 days.

    Original Version 

  • All There in the Manual: A tie-in comic book adds in a lot more backstory for the attraction, showing just how Bruce's experiments have failed in the past.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: One of the queue clips show the Spider-Man villain, Rhino, getting pummeled to the ground by the titular character.
  • Animal Testing: There's a few quick shots that seem to imply that Bruce used monkeys for some of his experiments.
  • Big "NO!": Bruce screams "NO!" several times as his experiment fails and the riders are launched out of the tube.
  • Canon Discontinuity: With the changes done to the ride, the story of this version is no longer connected to the rest of Marvel Super Hero Island.
  • Cigar Chomper: General Thunderbolt Ross is depicted as such during his brief appearances in the queue video, never letting his cigar fall out even while shouting at the top of his lungs.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the more upbeat Marvel Super Hero Island attractions, the original version of the Hulk Coaster gave off a feeling of both tragedy and horror, as it really made it clear how the Hulk has become an unstoppable menace and to what lengths Bruce was willing to take to destroy the beast once and for all.
  • Deadline News: A News footage clip of the military surrounding one of Bruce's laboratories is cut short when the Hulk breaks out and in the ensuing battle sends a tank hurtling right into the camera.
  • Description Porn: Bruce goes into heavy detail of what it's living with the Hulk, describing him like a predator that waits silently for just the right moment when he gets too frustrated.
  • Disposable Superhero Maker: Averted, as Bruce is able to create an invention that duplicates the amount of gamma radiation exposure that he received.
  • Downer Ending: In the end, not only has Bruce failed once again at reversing his super-powered curse, but now he has to cope with the fact that he's caused even more trouble by accidentally exposing innocents to Gamma radiation.
  • Fugitive Arc: Bruce is shown as being on the run from the government and the police, which makes it even more difficult for him to put together the proper research for a cure.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Bruce's attempts to rid himself of the Hulk winds up radiating the riders themselves.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: One of the clips of the Hulk's rampage shows a military tank firing a missile at the Hulk, which he's able to grab mid-air and throws it right back at the tank.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Played with. In the queue video, Bruce mentions that as a reckless scientist, he has inadvertently caused more destruction than a thousand Hulks combined and that the Hulk may not be the real monster after all.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: The original story was based around this, with Bruce's desperation to destroy the Hulk side of him.
  • The Insomniac: The queue video portrays Bruce as this, as the sheer anxiety of trying to complete his work without letting the Hulk come out has left him sleepless for days.
  • Large Ham: Despite his short appearance, Thunderbolt Ross by no means holds back in expressing his anger over the situation at hand.
  • Mad Scientist Laboratory: The queue was themed as Bruce's personal hidden laboratory, where all of his dangerous and radioactive experiments are performed.
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: Like the current version, all the guests are given the power of the Hulk, but in this case it's when Banner's gamma-accelarator tube malfunctions.
  • Militaries Are Useless: It's shown that no level of military personnel can stop the Hulk, a fact that Thunderbolt Ross furiously laments.
  • Mighty Roar: The coaster itself was purposely designed so that when the vehicle would plummet down the coaster tracks, a roar-like sound was created; one so loud that it could be heard from many nearby neighborhoods. The "roar" still exists with the current version, but it has been heavily toned down.
  • Operation: [Blank]: The queue referred to Bruce's experiment as "Project Gamma".
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The queue video depicts the Hulk as having almost completely red eyes, save for his pupils.
  • Resist the Beast: Throughout the queue video, Bruce discusses just how hard it is to resist letting the Hulk take over as he works on his experiments.
  • Situational Irony: Bruce's experiment to de-Hulkify himself ends up instead doing the exact opposite and Hulk-ifying more people.
  • Tagline: "Feel the rage."
  • Tanks for Nothing:
    • In a news report that plays as part of the queue video, the Hulk is shown tossing around tanks as if they were paper clips.
    • During the ride's early years, there was a hard-to-spot prop of a tank that had its cannon muzzle tied into a knot, presumably by the Hulk himself. The tank was later removed sometime during 2007 and repurposed as a prop in the queue line for Disaster!
  • Tempting Fate: As shown in the page quote, Bruce starts by saying that he believes his experiment is going to work this time, only for things to go bad real fast.