Hydro Thunder FAQ v1.0 by Shadow 460

First and foremost is legalese.  When I started playing Hydro Thunder, I 
referred several times to the official Hydro Thunder website 
(http://www.hydrothunder.com),  Gamesages.com (http://www.gamesages.com) 
and to a FAQ that was linked to Gamesages written by eric42 (see eric's 
FAQ for info on how to get in touch with him).  Everything in this FAQ 
that can be found at these sites will be noted.  Hydro Thunder itself is 
copyrighted by Midway.

Parts of this FAQ are incomplete.  Some of it is because I have not 
gotten around to it, some because I do not have the information.  I hope 
that this FAQ will be good for the home versions as well.  I have the DC 
version on order and will be able to complete some of this in accordance 
with it-thus if you are on N64 or Playstation, please bear in mind that 
the ports to these systems may differ slightly.  It also depends on your 
hardware-analog controller, N64 expansion pak, etc.
This is also why the controls are referred to as they are-you just can't 
hit Y on some systems.
If you have specific questions about this FAQ, info I have not posted, 
or the small, small handful of other games I claim to be able to beat 
level one on, please email me and put "Hydro Thunder" in the subject 
line.  If you want to send spam, please don't email me (and don't put 
"Hydro Thunder" in the subject line, eitherÂ…)  Thanks to my email 
server, it is all too easy to block senders, delete email, etc.  spam 
and unwanted email just is not worth the sender's time.
I realize that this does include copyrighted information and I have made 
my best effort to give the authors their credit.  If you feel like I 
have violated your copyright PLEASE EMAIL ME AND PUT "HYDRO THUNDER" IN 
THE SUBJECT LINE.
Oh, by the way, my email address is:  shadow_460@hotmail.com

1.  BASICS

Controls here are easy--steering wheel and throttle.  The boost button 
gives you a speed burst as long as you have boost fuel in the tank, it 
also allows special moves and effects when you have boost fuel.

Hydro Jump:  With the throttle at full, pull it into reverse and hit the 
boost button for a short hop in the air.   Hold the button down for 
extended jumps.  This requires boost fuel.  (From the game cabinet 
instructions)

Mighty Hull:  This is automatic with your boosters.  When you use your 
boosters for, your boat will begin to flash.  How long this takes 
depends on the boat.

Here's how the boost works.  There are pods along each track with the 
word "boost" on them.  Each one gives you a specific amount of boost 
fuel as follows:  (from eric 42)
RED:  9 seconds
BLUE:  4 seconds
INVISIBLE:  can be either 4 or 9 seconds.
Each boat takes time to activate its boosters whenever you have emptied 
the tank and pick up more fuel.

The only other way to get boost fuel (that I know of) is to at the 
beginning of the race.  (from Gamesages.com)
There is also a "shotgun start" in this game--in fact there are several 
of them. (from eric 42 and gamesages.com)
To get a four second boost at the start, move the throttle to "stop" on 
or before the "Get Ready To Race" screen.  As the 3 begins to disappear, 
move the throttle to "full", then as the 2 begins to disappear, move the 
throttle back to "stop", then as the 1 begins to disappear, move the 
throttle back to "full".  (from Gamesages.com)
To get just a turbo start, move the throttle into the "stop" position at 
the "Get Ready To Race" screen, then move it into the "full" position as 
the 1 begins to disappear. (form eric42 and Gamesages.com)
To jump at the start, move the throttle into the reverse position during 
the countdown, and then into the full position as the 1 begins to 
disappear.  (from eric42)
And finally, to get a jump and a four second boost, simply follow the 
instructions for the four second boost above, but move the throttle all 
the way into reverse when the 2 starts to disappear, then back to full 
as the 1 disappears. 
2.  BOATS:  (parts from the Hydro Thunder website, 
http://www.hydrothunder.com)
"...Torpedoes"  (as I call it):
Access from "Choose Boat" screen.
MIDWAY:
Access from "Choose Boat" screen.
MISS BEHAVE:
Acees from "Choose Boat" screen.
Boosters:  Activation--average, power--low.  
Mighty Hull:  slow
Max speed:  150 without boost, 200 with boost
This boat will make you wonder at first how difficult the harder boats 
really are.  It seems to cruise without booster at 150mph, and with 
boosters, about 180 to 200.   (Hydro Thunder website)  This boat is not 
capable of some of the tricks required to get through shortcuts or to 
get harder to reach boosts.  The advantage here, though, is that it 
corners well--after trying a different boat on a harder track, this one 
will be a breeze--if it can keep up with the competition!  
BANSHEE:
Access from "Choose Boat" screen.
Boosters:  Activation--average, power--low.
Mighty Hull:  slow
Max speed:  230 with boost
A step up in speed from Miss Behave, but the sacrifice is definitely in 
its control.  the control is not bad--just different because Banshee 
will oversteer slightly.  Try not to use the boosters too early when 
cornering with this boat.  Instead, either use them through the entire 
corner and struggle a little with the control, or use them after the 
corner to regain your speed.  Do not try to cut corners too sharp 
without the boosters, though--this will drop your speed to less than 
100.
TIDAL BLADE:
Access from "Choose Boat" screen.
Boosters:  Activation--average.
Mighty Hull:  average.
Officially this is the fastest boat without boost.  It has 
counterwieghts in its hull, also.  the extra wieght helps to stabilize 
Tidal Blade in an impact, and it helps the boat corner, too.  Hitting 
the boosters in a corner here iwll sometimes help to force the boat 
tighter into a corner.  Tidal Blade can get out of control, though.
TINYTANIC: (from eric 42) (from Gamesages.com)
Access by highlighting Tidal Blade at the "Chosse Boat" screen and 
pressing the pilot view button three times rapidly.
Boosters:  Activation--slow, power--low to average.
Mighty Hull:  average.
This one will give you a good chuckle.  I think it should be labeled 
"hard" though, because it tends to oversteer.  I've never actually won a 
free race with this one.  Surprisingly, the boosters don't force it into 
the water on the turns as much as they should to be able to win races.
THRESHER:
Access from "Choose Boat" screen.
ARMED RESPONSE: (from eric 42) (from Gamesages.com)
Access by highlighting Thresher at the "Choose Boat" screen and pressing 
the pilot view button three times rapidly.
Boosters:  Activation--average, power--average.
Mighty Hull:  Average.
Similar to Tidal Blade, but with slightly more emphasis on cornering and 
stability than speed.  Its enormous bulk is difficult to turn at first, 
but once the rudders begin to turn this boat it is easy to oversteer it 
(seems as if a light touch on the wheel isn't quite enough, but turning 
it over halfway is almost too much.)  No, the guns do not affect your 
opponents--they are just kind of "there"  I think this is the boat seen 
in many of the tracks with the lights on it telling you you're in 
violation of something or other law.
CUTTHROAT:
Access (if it is grayed out on the "Choose Boat" screen) by pressing and 
holding the pilot view button and highlighting this boat .  Access from 
the "Choose Boat" screen as normal after you have finished a race.
Mighy Hull: Fast
This boat tends to get out of control too easy in the air.
RAD HAZARD:
Boosters:  Activation--average, power--excellent.
Mighty Hull:  Instant
Max speed:  250 with boost
Access (if it's grayed out on the "Choose Boat" screen) by pressing and 
holding the pilot view button and highlighting this boat.  Access as 
normal from the "Choose Boat" screen after you have finished a race.
Yet another step up from Miss Behave over Banshee.  It seems as if these 
three are meant to be their own group of easy, medium and hard boats.  
Be sure to turn slightly in advance with this boat, and use the boosters 
to tighten up your turns.  Rad Hazard's weight will keep it in a 
straight line even if traffic, so barge right on through your opponents 
and don't forget your Mighty Hull!
BLOWFISH: (from eric 42) (from Gamesages.com)
Highlight Rad Hazard (hold in the pilot view button if necessary) at the 
"Choose Boat" screen, then press the pilot view button three times 
rapidly.
Boosters:  Activation--average, power--excellent.
Mighty Hull:  Instant
Max speed:  200 without boost, 250 with boost.
Compared to Rad Hazard, what this boat ('scuse me--hovercraft) loses in 
control, it makes up for in power.  As a hovercraft, it's control is 
different from the rest--it is more like a car than the other boats.  
Also, as a hovercraft, it tends to fly over other boats instead of 
hitting them.  It's mammoth weight can get out of hand fast, but it is 
invaluable through the thickest traffic where your opponents are out of 
the water.  Watch out how much you turn the wheel and fight Blowfish to 
steer or it will spin around.  The best places to use this boat are the 
circuit tracks.  This is the most powerful and fastest boat, with or 
without boosters.
RAZOR BACK:
Access (if it's grayed out on the "Choose Boat" screen) by pressing and 
holding the pilot view button and highlighting this boat.  Access as 
normal from the "Choose Boat" screen after you've finished a race.
Boosters:  Activation--average, power, good
Mighty Hull:  Instant
Razor Back is probably the hardest boat to control.  It's fast, though.  
It's light weight and the arrangement of it's boosters can have you 
skipping out of the water quite a bit, even over waves and through 
turns.  note that there is no rumble from the arcade version's speakers 
when you activate Razor Back's boosters because they are actually extra 
screws that fold down into the water instead of the jet engine style 
boosters on most of the other boats.
CHUMDINGER: (from eric 42) (from Gamesages.com)
Highlight Razor Back on the "Choose Boat" screen (hold in the pilot view 
button if necessary) and press the pilot view button three times 
rapidly.
Boosters:  Activation--slow, power--too much.
Mighty Hull:  Instant
Max speed:  230 with boost
I recommend that you just try this one before you read this part of the 
FAQ...  just try it once and hope you aren't laughing too hard to race.
OK, if you don't wanna try it first, here it is.  Chumdinger is a 
fishing boat with a little dog at the front that barks at your 
opponents.  It's slightly easier to control than Razor Back, and 
slightly faster, too, I think.  Since the booster is attatched to the 
trolling motor, and the motor turns to steer the boat, Chumdinger's 
boosters will spin the boat if used through a turn.  You can use this to 
tighten up your turns if you are careful.  Chumdinger is so small that 
you won't have to worry too much about being hit by other boats, though, 
especially Blowfish!

TRACKS:

LOST ISLAND:
Access from "Choose Track" Screen
Use the initial boost from your start to get you to the first ramp.  
Grab that boost and wait til you get to where the other boats turn the 
first corner, then hit your boosters to enter the waterfall.  Grab the 9 
second boost and then hit the rock ramp at the end of this tunnel and 
get the four second boost.
Now follow the track for a second or two then look to the left.  There 
is an opening between the last hut and the rock beyond-drive (DO NOT 
JUMP) through it.  Grab the 9 second boost there and then try to be in 
the middle of the track around the left turns that follow because there 
is another boost you could miss.  Watch your speed on the next part.  If 
you lose control you will fall off the cliff and wind up back on the 
main track.  At the end, grab the 9 second boost and drop back into 
traffic.  Use your boosters and follow the track until they run out of 
fuel-remember to get the 4 second boost in this part, too!
Try to jump the waterfall by the bridge near the side to avoid hitting 
the bridge, then grab the next boost and wait a second to use it.  When 
you get close to the ramp, use this boost and your Mighty Hull to ensure 
nobody knocks you off the ramp.  Jump through the volcano flames for a 9 
second boost, grab the next 4 second boost and then use your boosters 
til they are almost out.  Hit the boost once again when you are on the 
last ramp, grab that boost and finish the race.

ARCTIC CIRCLE:
Access from the "Choose Track" screen

GREEK ISLES:
Access from the "Choose Track" screen

CIRCUIT TRACKS:
Access Thunder Park from the "Choose Track" screen.  Access Hydro 
Speedway by highlighting Lake Powell on the "Choose Track" screen and 
pressing the pilot view button three times. (from eric 42) (from 
Gamesages.com)
A couple of things to bear in mind with the next two tracksÂ…
First, you must round the same course three times to win, so if you mess 
the first one up, you can still make some of it up on the next two.
Second, you can only get each boost (including the hidden ones) once 
during the entire race.  It is very important that you leave the boosts 
alone when you don't have enough room in your tank for that amount of 
boost fuel, otherwise you will waste the stuff.
Third, this is where you will notice the most that some of the boosts 
move across the track.  Try to aim for where the boost will be when you 
pass it-not where you see it, and DO NOT try to steer towards it 
constantly-just toward where you think it will be when you get there.  
If you miss it, you still have two laps to get it.  I advise that you 
try to get these boosts as early as you can so that the ones you have 
left will be easy to grab when the race gets closer to the end.
I have found only two secrets in the Hydro Speedway track and none in 
Thunder Park.
They are as follows:
First, you can aim for the grassy spot where the track splits in two.  
When you hit the ramp on your side, steer toward the middle and then use 
your boosters to drive right through the grass.  This does take some 
practice.
Second, on the first or second lap, try to hit the last ramp from the 
left side.  Just before you hit the ramp, steer right and hit your 
booster.  If this is done right you will hit the marquee where it says 
"to go" in the "laps to go" sign.  Yeah, you will flip through the air, 
but you'll also get a 9 second boost!
On the red turns in these tracks, you will lose more speed if you try to 
muscle through them at full throttle than if you let off some and then 
speed up on the exit.

LAKE POWELL:
Access from the "Choose Track" screen.
In this track, most of the good stuff is in the form of 9 second boosts 
that are toward the inside of the sharper turns.  Just remember to turn 
as tight as possible in most cases and use the trick outlined above to 
get the moving boosts.
Keep your eyes open, though because in many cases here it is possible to 
grab BOTH-the 4 second boost that is easier to get and the 9 second 
boost that looks like you have to pass up the 4 second one to get.  
There is a set like this on one of the corners near a checkpoint-steer 
HARD left once you get near the 4 second boost and you will get them 
both!  The other two like this are just after ramps-you will need to 
slow down as you jump for the 9 second boost and then steer hard toward 
the 4 second boost when you land.
The two "shortcuts" I've found are:  One-inside the FIRST waterfall.  
Don't go through the little waterfall just beyond this-you will miss the 
next ramp and 13 seconds of boost fuel.  Second is the bridge near the 
end-go up the middle and you will jump to the 9 second boost above! 
(from Gamesages.com) It may be possible to get one of the 4 second 
boosts right near the end, but who needs it?
Just remember to USE YOUR BOOSTERS on this track-there is a lot of fuel 
and if you don't use it, it will just go to waste.  Don't empty the 
tank, though-you will need to jump to get to some of the boosts.
THE FAR EAST:
Access from the "Choose Track" screen.

NEW YORK DISASTER (BONUS TRACK #1):
Access from the "Choose Track" screen after finishing three races.
Easily my favorite track.