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Wave Race 64
FAQ/Walkthrough

Version 1.00
Disco1960
yum_mango@yahoo.com
2/21/2005

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     Contents
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I. Introduction
II. Characters
     A. R.Hayami
     B. A.Stewart
     C. M.Jeter
     D. D.Mariner
III. Courses
     A. Sunny Beach
     B. Sunset Bay
     C. Drake Lake
     D. Marine Fortress
     E. Port Blue
     F. Twilight City
     G. Glacier Coast
     H. Southern Island
IV. Credits

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I. Introduction
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This guide mainly details how to achieve a decent time for each of the courses
in Wave Race 64.  Playing through Championship Mode is required to gain access
to all of the courses and their variations, and succeeding in Championship Mode
involves some winning, so here we are!

In all likelihood, there's a better way to go about the levels, but this has
worked out alright for me.  With any luck, it should help you out.  And if you
know all the better ways, feel free to inform me of them.

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II. Characters
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NOTE: Results will vary will a Custom configuration.

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A.  R.Hayami
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Hayami is a fairly easy-to-use character.  He gets a good top speed during the
straightaways, but loses much of his speed during the turns.  His handling of
the jetski is pretty average.

In the early levels with many straightaways, Hayami will have an advantage.
Later levels will be slightly more troublesome.

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B.  A.Stewart
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The only woman of the bunch, Stewart is a good candidate for most players'
favorite character.  Her top speed is much lower than that of the other three
contenders, but she makes up for it with agility.

She's a good overall choice for playing through the Championship, but it will 
be much more of a challenge for her to be breaking any records.

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C.  M.Jeter
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Uh, well, I don't really know too much about this guy, having only used him
once or twice.  He has a good top speed, but he handles his watercraft
strangely.

(I'll try to figure him out later.)

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D.  D.Mariner
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You could probably tell just be looking at him, but yeah, Mariner handles his
jetski like some sort of tank.  His top speed is great and all, but he couldn't
make a sharp turn to save his life.

Inexplicably, Mariner often proves to be your greatest obstacle in the quest
for the Championship.  From observing his CPU, the strategy for using him
effectively seems to involve wide angle curves around the buoys and corners.
I imagine he could also ram his opponents to death rather easily.

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III. Courses
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A.  Sunny Beach
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Sunny Beach is as straightforward a course as they come.  It's nothing more
than two long straightaways connected by two sharp curves.  You'll want to
maintain a path that's straight as possible, while looking ahead to make sure
you aren't missing any buoys.

The Hard and Expert versions of this course have minor differences in the
quantity and placement of the buoys, as well as a set of mines placed in a line
located about halfway through the second straightaway.  Other than that, there
isn't anything too complicated here.

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B.  Sunset Bay
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Sunset Bay begins with a short straightaway, followed by a longer one with a
large ramp getting in the way.  There's a small opening to the right of the
ramp available for you to bypass the thing, but you're almost certainly going
straight through even if your character isn't much of a ramp jumper.  Either
way, be sure to recover quickly, as there are a few more buoys to work through
before the next curve begins.

In the third straightaway, there's a slalom of buoys to work through that
increases in difficulty with each class.  It should be fairly easy to maintain
a straight path here, but you'll still have to be quick about it since the CPU
controlled Mariner can somehow fly through it all.  Afterward, it's the final
stretch to the finish line.

If you're playing on Normal Mode, you could shave an easy second off your third
lap if you bypass the last buoy.  There's an array of mines placed to prevent
you from doing this on the Hard and Expert classes, but they're arranged in a
such a pattern that makes it possible for you to find a quick line through
them if you approach it from a good angle.  If you don't feel like risking it,
you could still plow through the small space between the buoy and the mines to
save a split second.

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C.  Drake Lake
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Drake Lake is a bit easier to navigate through than the other courses, due to
its notable lack of waves.  After the first curve, you'll hit a junction with
two left-point buoys.  Go onto the left, but take care to avoid the weeds
on that path; they'll briefly slow your craft about 20 km/h, which can hurt
quite a bit on the long run.

Following the straight with the junction comes another slalom of buoys.  It's
not too big a deal, but this one's slightly more difficult than the one found
at Sunset Bay.  The Hard and Expert classes have several patches of seaweed
surrounding this slalom, which doesn't help either.

The final stretch of this course features a large array of wooden pillars that
often cause trouble even for more experienced waveracers.  It should still be
possible to find a fairly easy line through these after you pass the buoy among
them, however.  If you're controlling one of the more maneuverable characters,
you can forget about finding the line and simply dodge whatever gets in front
of you.  Although, such a tactic is rather difficult to utilize for three
consecutive laps.

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D.  Marine Fortress
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Marine Fortress makes up for the previous course's lack of waves with ones
twice the size of your average bear.  To make matters worse, the residents of
the fortress also left a lot of garbage lying around.

The first thing you'll notice going in to this course will be the large rock
face obstructing passage shortly after the starting line.  It's a little
strange, but odds are, you could fly right over the thing if you catch the wave
that always hits right before you get there.  There's actually some timing
involved in this;  you'll have to accelerate up to the 80 km/h to 100 km/h
right before you hit in order to clear it.  Too slow, and you'll bite it; and
you can't perform a maximum power start with any of the faster characters or
else you'll just run into it.  Usually, the large waves that occur in this area
will come in pairs; if you've sailed over the first wave with some distance
left over before the rock, you can pretty much bet on the next one coming in
time to get you up and over.  Of course, you can always go around the left of
the rock and not have to worry about it at all.

After the corner following the large rock, you'll come between two buoys.  And
after those, there's a small area that's littered with crates.  Running into
them is almost guaranteed to send you flying in a bad way.  Look closely to
avoid crashing; a couple of them don't actually break the surface of the water,
yet remain shallow enough to get in the way.  The number of crates here
increase with higher difficulty classes.

Past the area with the crates, you've got a pair of red buoys keeping you on a 
straight path until you reach the wall.  The turn you make there leads you to a
wide curve which then leads to a straightaway back to the finish line.  On the 
Hard and Expert classes, a shortcut opens up during the second lap right after
the pair of red buoys.  It doesn't open up until right when you get there, so
don't forget to take it.  The shortcut is fairly easy to navigate through,
although in Expert Mode a couple of crates show up in there to
complicate things.

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E.  Port Blue
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Ah, Port Blue.  It's a slightly friendlier place, compared to the roughness of
the Marine Fortress.

The first right turn after the starting line, you'll come across a junction.
The path on the left will lead to a small area where you can easily turn into
the next straightaway.  The right path is a much shorter path, but it contains
many difficult curves and exits into the next straightaway at a much sharper
angle.

(You actually only really have a choice in Hard class; in Normal, the right
path is automatically shut, and in Expert, the left is closed.)

There are a series of ramps that show up shortly after.  It's quicker to avoid
them altogether, but in the higher difficultly classes you don't always have
that option with the ramps being much wider and all.  If you're forced to go
through the ramps, try to approach them at an angle that allows you to easily
continue into the straightaway right before the finish.

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F.  Twilight City
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The beginning of this level immediately begins with a ramp jump.  On Hard, you
should just ride it through without any change in course.  On Expert, however,
you'll have to use the diving technique right when you land, seeing as they'll
got an extra wall in the way.  Return to the surface as quickly as possible,
though;  travelling underwater is much slower than over, no matter how cool it
looks.

Make a left at the end of the long tunnel, and if possible try to quickly surf
over the large mass of land.  With enough velocity, it shouldn't slow you down
too much and can shave off a little time.

When you get to the next ramp, skip it by going around either side.  The path
will then lead into a long straightaway.  There's a short slalom at the end of
the straightaway, and the waves are pretty strong here, so it might get a bit
challenging.  The final stretch of the course contains two large ramps; bypass
the first ramp (don't forget about the mines, though) and ride through the
second, while trying to land at an angle that allows an easy approach to the
finish line on your left.

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G.  Glacier Coast
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Brr, cold!  Glacier Coast is one of the more unique levels in the game, being
the only course with any amount of ice.

The course begins with a long straightaway containing three short ice ramps.
Ride straight through them, even though they might disrupt your rhythm a bit.
At the end of the straight is a sharp turn leading to another straightaway.
Any of the more maneuverable racers should be able to clear the turn without
problem.  If you're using one of thicker racers, you could ride the curvy
ice block to clear the turn.

At the end of the second straightaway, there's a large ice floe that tends to
be a problem.  You can't really steer while you're on top of it, as that will
almost certainly result in your character falling off the watercraft upon the
exit.  The best bet for clearing this ice floe is to enter from the left, and
take a straight and as short a path as possible to the exit further on the
right.  The narrow straightaway before the ice floe opens up significantly
toward the end, allowing you to shift your craft to the left and get a better
angle to make the exit possible.

The next area is fairly simple; dodge the large snowballs littered throughout
the area.  They crumble right when you hit them, so they won't knock you off
your boat; of course, they still slow you down quite a bit. 

After the large ice ramp, you'll turn a corner into the final stretch of the
course.  This area has many small ice floes that you'll want to avoid.  The
placement of the buoys can make this difficult, but if you try to plow straight
through you'll likely find yourself flying.

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H.  Southern Island
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Southern Island is a seemingly harmless upon first glance.  What makes this
area different from all the others is how the level changes.  With each passing
lap, the tide lowers significantly, altering many of the conditions present in
the level.

The first lap occurs during high tide, which makes things simple enough.  The
course begins with two long straightaways.  The waves may be a bit heavy, but
there aren't any big obstacles to worry about.  When you reach the third
straightaway, you'll find a ramp you can use to dive and cut through the long
bridge.

On the second and third laps, all sorts of obstacles start to show up as a
result of the decreased water level.  The second straightaway has a small ramp
you'll need to clear the sunken ship with.  You'll need to floor it to clear
the ship effectively, or hold down to get a higher jump arc.

(You could totally punk an opponent approaching this ramp if you're behind and
playing with the handicap on.)

A set of wooden barriers appear on the third straight after the first lap, and
the ramp is now completely inaccessible.  You can now head under the leftmost
portion of the bridge, which should be a lot quicker.  If you feel like trying
something crazy, I think there's a possibility of riding a larger wave onto
the supposedly inaccessible ramp and clearing the jump.  It probably won't help
you that much, but it would certainly look cool.

The only difference in the higher difficulty classes are in the buoy placement
and wave strength.  Strangely enough, the course changes more with each lap
than with each class.

Huh.

That's all for now.

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IV. Credits
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Nintendo
For making Wave Race 64.

Kawasaki
For making jetskis.

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Copyright 2005 M. Lee

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