FAQ - Guide for Hydro Thunder

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A Complete Racing Guide for....
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                  ,sssscrccssssssssssssssssss ,,,,ssssss


              H   Y   D   R   O        T   H   U   N   D   E   R

                                Hydro Thunder
                            Complete Racing Guide
                        by Midway for the Nintendo 64
                         CNICK ([email protected])
                                Version 0.90a
                         Last Updated: March 29, 2000

Unpublished work Copyright 2000 CNICK
This FAQ is for private and personal use only.  It can only 
bereproduced electronically, and if placed on a web page or 
site, may be altered as long as this disclaimer and the 
above copyright notice appears in full.  Feel free to 
distribute between others, but this FAQ is not to be used 
for profitable/promotional purposes; this includes being 
used by publishers of magazines, guides, books, etc. or 
being incorporated into magazines, etc. in ANY way.  Newest 
versions of this FAQ can be found at:


I am no longer going to give permission to sites to put this 
FAQ up on their sites.  The above sites, are the only ones 
allowed now.  Why you ask?  Too many sites won¹t have the most 
updated version of this guide, and I will get emails about things 
Hydro Thunder (c) 2000 Midway

- C O N T E N T S -

I.    Introduction and Revision History
II.   Controls
        - Configuration 1
        - Configuration 2
        - Other Controls
III.  Playing the Game
        - Game Progression
        - Boat Information
IV.   The Tracks
        - Easy
        - Medium
        - Hard
        - Bonus
V.    The Boats 
        - Easy
        - Medium
        - Hard
        - Bonus
        - Comparison Chart
VI.   Gameshark Codes
VII.  Basics of Winning
VIII. Credits
IX.   Author¹s Note



Hydro Thunder is an arcade racing game featuring racing boats
instead of the normal car.  The large arcane company Midway,
created it, and like most Arcade games, there was a port for
just about eveery current Console system.  This is the N64
version, and while I haven¹t played any of the other ports,
Im going to assume theres almost no difference.

Anyway, this guide will include the boats, the tracks, and
how to control them.  Remember, when reading this guide, that
no site not mentioned in the disclaimer can hold this FAQ.
If you see someone with it, please tell me, and I can politely
ask for them to take it off.

T H E   H. T. R. A.

So, you have your own boat you say? You have tapped out of your 
bank account, and spent endless months building it out of state-
of-the-art racing materials.  you have tuned the specialized
motors, refined the hull shape to perfection and won more races
then you can count.  You are at top of the international boat
racing game.  Nobody comes close.  You long for a challenge.

Then one day, that challenge comes to you in the form of a 
sealed envelope with no return address.  Only the words Hydro 
Thunder Racing Association mark the envelope.  You open it.  
Inside, a  single sheet of blue paper, with your name written 
upon it, simply states, ³You have been chosen as a permanent 
member of  the H.T.R.A.² Below, a map and date are printed.  The 
next secret race is located.

Now, you have certainly heard of the H.T.R.A There is no signing
up with these guys.  Nobody even knows who they are or on which
watery location they will race next.  But if you are good enough
and have what it takes to be one of them, dont worry, they will
find you.  This underground clan of adventurous racing renegades
doesnt let anything get in the way of their racing.  No place
is too sacred.  No time is too dark.  No unexplored waterway is
too dangerous.  No guidelines.  No restrictions.  No manners. No
law.  These guys are deadly serious and have only one goal: Do
anything to cross the finish line first.

Revision History
v0.10 (3/20/00) : Just sort of put things together including
4:21pm PST        very basic information.  More to come later

v0.15 (3/20/00) : More work done.  Basic Gameplay done.  This
4:42pm PST        version is unreleased by the way.  I am just
                  finding out more as I type this.

v0.20 (3/20/00) : More work done.  Tracks and boats are yet 
4:51pm PST        to be worked on.  Maybe I will release this
                  guide once I get most of that done...

v0.25 (3/20/00) : Added tracks though MEDIUM difficulty.  Still
5:00pm PST        need to get my own personal notes on a few of
                  them.  More to come, probably late tonight.

v0.30 (3/20/00) : Finished the tracks section.  I will have to go
5:22pm PST        back and add some notes for some of them, but
                  the section is basically done.

v0.40 (3/20/00) : Lots of work done today.  And lots of revisions.
                  Everytime I think I would want to submit, I 
                  thought of something different to add.  Oh well,
                  I am glad I found something to work on.  Anyway,
                  I got all the boats, as well as finishing the
                  tracks section.

v0.45 (3/20/00) : What an amazing day.  Just added the art on top,
                  and thats it.  FAQ is just around complete.

v0.60 (3/21/00) : Added gameshark codes.  Added some new styles
4:13pm PST        of racing including the hydro-jump and the boost
                  starts.  Go down to playing the game> boat info.
                  to read more about it.  Added the weak story
                  put into the game.  Its above the revision history.

v0.65 (3/22/00) : Cosmetic changes.  Nothing new, maybe a few 
                  corrects but thats about it.  Probably the
                  last version, because my brother owned the game
                  and he went off somewhere, so I wont be able to
                  finish the FAQ, unless I get help from others. 
                  Anyway, read the AUTHORS NOTE if you want to

v0.75 (3/24/00) : More cosmetic changes.  And I spell-proofed most
3:18pm PST        of the FAQ.  Other then a few common errors, I
                  kept on using cars instead of boats (I wrote a 
                  GT2 FAQ just recently) and for some reason, the
                  apostrophe is read as a 1, so I had to correct 
                  that and now my eyes hurt.  Also, I added a new
                  section, BASICS OF WINNING, with just minor tips
                  on getting 1st place.  Future revisions will 
                  include updates on that section, so send in a 
                  tip if its not already up there.

v0.85 (3/24/00) : Added a comparison chart for the boats.  Great
11:42pm PST       information when deciding what boat you want.  Also
                  added a secrets part to the first 5 tracks.  It 
                  tells you how to find and use each secret on the track.

v0.90 (3/26/00) : Lots of mistakes, which I just fixed.  Last version of
12:44am PST       the FAQ, because the only thing left is to get the bonus
                  tracks and boats which I can¹t get because I don¹t have 
                  the game.  As you can also see, brand new ASCII art.
                  Thanks to Midway on making a great logo, so you can¹t
                  see the letters, but you get the drift. 

v0.90a (3/29/00): Disclaimer problem.  Fixed it.  Later


=Configuration 1=

Steer.................... control pad or analog stick
Accelerate............... A button
Brake.................... B button
Boost.................... L button or R button or Z button
Camera 1 (High View)..... Down C button
Camera 2 (Low View)...... Right C button
Camera 3 (Pilot View).... Up C button

=Configuration 2=

Steer.................... control pad or analog stick
Accelerate............... L button or Z button
Brake.................... B button or R button
Boost.................... A Button
Camera 1 (High View)..... Down C button
Camera 2 (Low View)...... Right C button
Camera 3 (Pilot View).... Up C button

=Other Controls=

RUMBLE PACK : You can have the rumble go off during certain
              times in the race.  You can select how much of 
              a rumble, as well as turning it completely off.
              You can adjust the vibration during the boost,
              splash down, boat collision, and terrain 


=Game Progression=
        |---|  |---|  |---|
        |   |--|   |--|   |
        |---|  |---|  |---| 
 MED  /                       HARD
 |---|                       |---|
 |   |                       |   |
 |---|                       |---|
   |                           |
 |---|                       |---|
 |   |                       |   |
 |---|                       |---|
   |                           |
 |---|                       |---|
 |   |                       |   |
 |---|                       |---|
              BONUS        /
       |---|  |---|  |---|/
        |   |--|   |--|   |
        |---|  |---|  |---|

The above map is exactly what the game will show you once
you decide 1 or 2 players.  You will see this twice, one
for your boat, and then for your track.  An explanation
on how to get to MED to HARD to BONUS, read below:

You only have 3 boats and 3 tracks at the beginning of the
game.  They are designated EASY.  To gain the MED tracks
and boats, you must place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in the EASY
tracks.  To progress to HARD, you need to place 1st or
2nd in the MED tracks.  To get the BONUS tracks, you need
to place 1st on the HARD ones.  Once you get first on all
of the BONUS tracks, you are allowed access to the BONUS

=Boat Information=

Each boat in the game is unique in some way.   You can tell
this by the way they are built.  If its long and has a small
width, its best for speed in its certain difficulty class.  
Some of them fly better, while the other one turns best.
More information on this will be included in the BOAT SECTION.

The ³Might Hull² feature is released when your using your
boost power.  From the Instruction Manuel :
     ³Developed by the H.T.R.A., ŒMighty Hull¹ technology is
      utilized by every boat in Hydro Thunder.  When your
      boat¹s boosters are activated for a short period of time,
      your boat will flash.  This means that the boat¹s Mighty
      Hull is activated.  Use your Mighty Hull power to clear
      unwanted obstacles and opponents out of your course as
      you race to victory.  Each boat is unique when it comes to
      MIght Hull activation time.²

BOOST ICONS are the blue and red diamond-shaped things.  Blue 
oens give you +4 seconds while red give you +9 seconds of
boost.  Read above about the Mighty Hull activated once you
are in boost mode.

You can use your boosters to jump up into the air to catch some
of the flying BOOST ICONS.  Called the HYDRO JUMP, hold onto
the acceleration (duh!) and when you reach the point where you
want to jump, quickly let go, and press the brake button.  One
you have pressed brake, immediately press the boost button, and
you should fly off the water.  Some boats can go further, and
you can take off some seconds mastering this skill.

Like most arcade racing games, there is a boost start at the
beginning of the race.  I am not exactly sure when to press
acceleration, but I press right after it turns to 1.  Sometimes
it works and sometimes it doesn¹t.  But I know you press it
on 1.


=Easy Tracks=

Thunder Peak
A traditional H.T.R.A. circuit track.  On a sunny day, Thunder
Park offers a competition-style hydroplane raceway loop.  Try
to find the hidden 9 seconds-boot on this track.

Each boost icon can only be picked up once on this track.  This
is crazy fun in multiplayer, but I suggest using the faster type
model because its just a square track (basically).

Lost Island          
Located somehwere in the South Pacific, the Lost Island track 
offers a fast-paced trek through a volcanic island.  Lush
greenery, native villages, ancient ruins, and numerous secrets
await you!

Fairly simple track.  I suggest the better turning boat, because
some of these turns are pretty wicked, but using the faster boat
is another possibility.  

 - Shortcut through the first waterfall right before the first checkpoint.
 - After racing through the huts with spears flying out of the huts, veer
   to the left and you will see a rock.  Race towards it, and you should
   see a shortcut through the mountain.
 -  Jump through the flaming volcano and get the +9 boost icon.

Arctic Circle
Gigantic ice formations and a variety of wildlife line this 
unique track.  The race starts near a fishing village high above
sea level, continues in a river that winds its way down a glacier,
through water-carved ice tunnels until finally dropping you to the
ocean for the remainder of the race.

Take up a fast boat.  Just hang around, grabbing boost icons and
going through the ship to take the shortcut.  Do that, and you have
an easy first place.

 - Right before the first checkpoint, race up the ramp between the 2 houses.
 - After exiting the first tunnel, between the 2 arrows.  Hydro jump though
   the mountain.
 - Enter the ship on the left side of the track, near the end of the race.
   Its right where the penguins are hanging out.

=Medium Tracks=

Greek Isles
Greek Isles water track winds through both modern towns and the
ancient ruins, providing one of the most visually stunning tracks
available.  This is a bright and challenging track, highlighted
by a downhill sliding finish.

Sharp turns.  Use the Damn the Torpedoes boat.  This is amazingly
hard, and you can get screwed on the last downhill part.  This one
was pretty tough.

 - First waterfall located on the left side of the track.

Lake Powell
Lake Poweel, located in Utah, is one of the largest man-made 
lakes in the world.  With its gigantic narrow canyon walls, 1000
year old Anasazi ruins and smooth water, it is the perfect place
for a high speed superboat race.  Unfortunately, the Utah State
Police do not agree.

Lots of turning, so I suggest a good turning boat, but theres
also a lot of jumping so a flying type boat could be smart to
use.  Theres a lot of different boats you can use, so I wont
go too deep.

 - 1st waterfall; go through it
 - Near the end of the track, there will be 2 docks located on both
   the left and right side.  There will be a ramp between the 2 areas,
   hydro jump on the left side of the dock.  There will be an opening
   to the mountain with a hiddem boost icon.

The Far East
The Far East track, located on a river deep in the misty
mountains of China, offeres a unique blend of challenging
river racing and beautiful scenery.  The river drops from the
mountains into small villages, ancient brick canals and even
through palace motes.

Nothing really special. Get a fast boat, and your set.  Fairly

=Hard Tracks=

Ship Graveyard
This deserted atoll was once a productive military shipyard.
Now endless numbers of forgotten, decrepit naval ships line
the coast as far as the eye can see, forming a maz-like water
raceway in and out of hollow steel hulls.  Rough waves, shark
infested watersm stormy weather and the military police await

Interesting track, probably my favorite of the non-bonus ones.
Grab the boat with best turning, this has some of the deadliest
turns, and if you go to fast, you are going to hit the wall a

Venice Canals
Ah, Venice.  One thinks of lovers, romance and of course the
ear-piercing roar of sixteen super-boat motors tearing through
the moonlit canals!  With its extremely sharp turns that never
let up, Venice Canals is arguably the most difficult track in
Hydro Thunder.

Best turning boat is required.  You will get killed with any other
boat, and theres no chance you are going to get above 5th place
without a good turning boat.

New York Disaster
A giant meteor has destroyed the Big Apple and flooded its once 
crowded streets.  Sounds like a fun race, huh?  Tear though the
remains of the late city, avoiding the N.Y.P.D. and the countless
submerged vehicles along the way, until you come crashing down
to a tragic finish.

Fast track needs a fast boat.  I suggest the medium fast boat, its
fairly nice, but you can go full-blown with the hard fast boat.
If you are lucky, you will get 1st on your first try, but I doubt
it.  Your best bet is with the MED FAST boat.

=Bonus Tracks=

Hydro Speedway
Set at night, Hydro Speedway is another circuit track in the
game. With fast-paced excitement, and boost icons at every
turn, Hydro Speedway will test even the best racer.


Go full throttle through a mysterious cavern filled with crashed
ships, sharp rocks and of course, the competition.  Turn and Hydro
Jump your way into victory, if you can.


Castle Von Dandy
Journey to Scotland and take a watery romp through an abandoned 
castle.  Steer around the mat and ancient graveyard to victory!


Nile Adventure
Race through ancient pyramids and narrow waterways.  This track 
features danger at every sharp turn.  This is the longest track in
Hydro Thunder.

Use the best turning boat that you like.  These sharp turns spell
havoc to an unexpecting racer.  Just make sure you are prepared
for these turns, and with a nice turning boat, it should not be
too much trouble.


=Easy Boats=

Damned the Torpedoes
Description  : Damn the Torpedoes is a good introductory boat
               for racing.  Although it is slower than most boats 
               in speed and Might Hull activation time, it is ideal 
               for the beginning racer.

Motor Type   : Twin 525 HP Turbo-charged Silva trek motors, each 
               driving a single extra-large prop

Booster Type : Embedded twin mega-rockets

Review       : Great beginner boat, I suggest this for all 3 easy
               tracks, and you can probably win the MED ones too.

Description  : Very stable and not susceptible to being knocked around
               by other boats, Midway is another good choice for the 
               beginning racer.  Midway¹s weaknesses are its slow booster
               and Mighty Hull activation times.

Motor Type   : Marine 850 HP Browning V-Drive with a sing extra-large prop

Booster Type : Twin V-Drive motors

Review       : An ok racer, its nothing compared to the DTT, so I would not
               bother with this other then to experiment with it.

Miss Behave
Description  : Able to slice water for better turning, Miss Behave is one
               of the smallest boats in the H.T.R.A. lineup.  The boosters
               are slightly under-powered byt Miss Behaves real strength
               lies in her ability to glide while in the air.  With parts
               salvaged from a World War II aircraft, Miss Behave is the 
               ³flyer² of the beginning boats.

Motor Type   : Customized Goffman 1800 HP motor driving twin counter-
               rotating props.

Booster Type : Binary micro-rockets coupled with a single ultra-blower.

Review       : Again, a ok boat, but the DTT is the best of the EASY boats.

=Medium Boats=

Description  : Once a standard hydroplane, Banshee was altered for H.T.R.A.
               racing.  Banshee is lightweight and easily knocked around by
               other boats, but once you¹ve mastered the unique handling of
               the boat you may never choose another boat again! 

Motor Type   : 900 Hp Patterson Fire-Spitter Twin Turbine driving a single
               hyper-angle prop.

Booster Type : Twin micro-rockets

Review       : Great boat, but it takes forever to get the handling right.
               Sort of like the Speed 12 from GT2.  I recommend that you
               try to learn how to use this bad boy.

Tidal Blade
Description  : Tidal Blades sleek, dragster-like hull design allows it
               to slice through any water condition.  When you have 
               activated your Mighty hull feature, use Tidal Blades
               long bow to knock the competition out of the water.  At
               times, if Tidal Blade gets bumped, it can be hard to
               control and keep stable.

Motor Type   : Modified, dual-exhaust 2000 HP Carbonyl dragster motor
               driving a specialty monster prop.

Booster Type : Twin micro-rockets.

Review       : Good boat, but if you get knocked by something, it can be
               extremely hard to recover and you can lose a lot of time.
               It is still worth a look at though.

Description  : Known as the ³caddy² of the H.T.R.A. lineup, Thresher is 
               the easiest boat to control.  Big and heavy, the boat is
               well balanced and is easy to steer.  Although it has a
               fairly slow Mighty Hull activation time, Threshers secret
               weapon is its ability to knock opponents around by using
               its heavy frame.

Motor Type   : Dual 800 HP Turbo-charged Wilson motors, each driving 
               oversized props.

Booster Type : Swivel-mounted harness with twin mega-rockets.

Review       : Nice turns, but its best use is to nail your opponents.
               Dont expect to be out-running them so thats your best
               way to win.

=Hard Boats=

Description  : Lightweight and as close to a military jet fighter as you
               can get, Cutthroat is one of the best boats in the H.T.R.A
               lineup.  Heavily altered and using ³borrowed² military 
               hardware, Cutthroat ca soar off of H.T.R.A. ramps or other
               objects for great distances.  Use this to your advantage.
               Even though it has an extremely fast Mighty Hull activation
               time, it is vert light and easily tossed around by other boats.

Motor Type   : Single 1200 Ranck 1 racing engline with dual, counter-rotating
               stock props.

Booster Type : Binary mega-rocket thrusters

Review       : Good boat.  Read the description why.

Rad Hazard
Description  : Created with scrap parts found outside the U.S. 
               Government Area 51 property, Rad Hazard is recommended
               for the most experienced racers.  Use the boosters to help
               you take corners better.  The fast Mighty Hull activation
               time helps to keep the competition away.  Fast and powerful,
               Rad Hazard is a boat to be reckoned with.

Motor Type   : Some form of antimatter, subatomic energy, driving a single
               dual-cast prop.

Booster Type : Bursts of nuetralizaed antimatter ventilation

Review       : Great boat, if you can tame it.  Best strategy is in the
               description.  Experiment with it a little.  You may like it.

Description  : The most difficult boat to control in the H.T.R.A lineup!
               Once thought of as a total design failure, Razorback was
               forgotten until an H.T.R.A. member learned the secret to
               mastering this fast and furious boat! With speed and Mighty
               Hull activation time like no other, Razerback is recommended
               for only the most experienced racers.

Motor Type   : Triple 650 HP Starick 5.7 inboards, each with a single
               DuRanc prop.

Booster Type : Triple suercharged outboards, each with dual, counter-
               rotation DuRanc props.

Review       : Hard.  Really hard.  I can not get it to turn without slowing
               down.  Play with it, but I cant imagine you will get it down
               in a couple of times.

=Bonus Boats=


=Comparison Chart=

| BOAT                | STRAT | MOTOR | BOOST | CNTRL. | STAB. | M.H. | IMPACT|
|Damned the Torpedoes |  DEF  | **    | *     |  ****  | ****  | **   | ****  |
| Midway              |  DEF  | ***   | **    |  ***   | ****  | **   | ****  |
| Miss Behave         |  DEF  | ***   | **    |  ***   | ****  | ***  | ****  | |-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Banshee             |  DEF  | ***   | **    |  ****  | ***   | ***  | **    |
| Tidal Blade         |  OFF  | ***** | ****  |  ***   | ***   | **** | ***   |
| Thresher            |  DEF  | **    | *     |  ***** | ***** | **   | ***** | 
| Cut Throat          |  OFF  | ****  | ***   |  ****  | **    | *****| *     |
| Razorback           |  UNK  | ****  | ***** |  *     | *     | *****| *     |       
| Rad Hazard          |  OFF  | ****  | ****  |  **    | **    | *****| ***** |

(Each trait is based on 5 stars, one being the lowest, 5 being the highest)

Strat  = Strategy
Motor  = Motor Speed
Boost  = Boost Speed
CNTRL  = Control
Stab   = Stability
M.H.   = Might Hull Activation Speed
Impact = Impact Resistance

(from gameshark.com)
                Enable Code             f124ffa02400 
                Place 1st               812c4c960001 

                Infinite Turbo          802c4c9d00ff
                Enable All Tracks       812b5c940101 
                Enable All Boats        812b5ca20101 


Heres some small tips on getting that first place position on those 
damned, HARD and BONUS tracks:

MIGHT HULL.  Use it wisely, grasshopper.  Save that boost until you
have someone in your range, and nail him.  Don¹t wait too long 
to catch up to him.  You want to be using your boost 95% of the race.
If you dont, you wont be able to catch up to that pesky first place

TAKE CORNERS SHARP.  Take them too wide, and you are gone.  Below,
is a map to bring out my point.

|          ++++++++++++ 
|         +|---------
|        + |
|       +  |
|      +   |
|          |

The + mark is your best pathway.  Of course, some boats just can¹t take
corners like that, but that should give you a basic idea on how you
should take corners.  Keep in mind that if you have a boat in your
sites, you can use your Mighty Hull instead of trying to out race him.

EXTRA BOOST.  Hit acceleration when the clock turns to 1.  This helps
a lot, and you can usually get into 14th place in 5 or less seconds.
This takes some carefull adjustment because theres only a second or 2
area where it works.  Once you get it down, you will always get it,
and it will help you out on every race.

BOOST ICONS.  Grab everyone.  If theres 2, get the +9 if you can.  
The more you have, the longer you are in boost mode, and you need
to be in boost mode for around 90-95% of the race.

USE THE RIGHT BOAT.  If your doing a sharp-turned course, don¹t use
the fastest boat!  Try the course out first, and decide what boat you
want before you actually race.  Getting first will be a lot easier
once you find the right boat.


CJAYC - For creating the coolest site on the
net and hosting this FAQ.

Midway - Umm...yeah for making this game.

Gameshark.com - For the codes


Thanks to all who contributed so far.  Feel free to submit
you¹re own strategy.  Most likely, it will be added on.  Also,
critique the ones posted, find out if theres a problem,
and the solution.  All compliments, suggestions, tips, and
money donations (just kidding) can be sent to [email protected]


I dont have the game anymore, so for me to finish the FAQ,
I will need  your help!  Write about the bonus cars, and/or
bonus tracks, some info from the game (if there is any), 
and a small review on how good it is.  The contribution
will be much appreciated, and I will be able to finish this


I¹ve gotten some weird emails...so I decided to add this:

Emails I will read:
- Anything to do with Hydro Thunder
- Contributions
- Compliments
- Tips to go in the Basics of Winning section

Emails that I will throw away:
- Threats
- Idiotic Messages
- Mail asking for this Guide to be put on their site

-End of FAQ-

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