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    FAQ/Strategy Guide by Zeikier

    Version: 1.7 | Updated: 08/06/08 | Printable Version | Search This Guide

    Hydro Thunder
    
    By: Zeikier
    
    ___________________
    Table of Contents
    
    I.........................Introduction
    II........................Legal Stuff
    III.......................Controls
    IV.......................Special Moves and Items
    V........................The Tracks
    	a..............Easy Tracks
    	b..............Medium Tracks
    	c..............Hard Tracks
    	d..............Bonus Tracks
    VI.......................The Boats
    VII......................General Secrets
    VIII.....................Tips and Helpful Hints
    IX.......................In Closing
    X........................Credits
    
    _____________________________________________
    I. Introduction
    ___________________________________
    
    This is the first FAQ I've written. I've played Hydro Thunder for a long time,
    and it is one of the few racing games I enjoy playing. I've decided to put 
    my extensive knowledge of the game's secrets to good use.
    Enjoy the read, and may you learn a thing or two about the game!
    
    NOTE: This FAQ is for the Nintendo 64 version of Hydro Thunder.
    ___________________________________
    II. Legal Stuff
    ___________________________________
    
    The game is copyright by Midway and 
    Eurocom Entertainment Software,
    all rights reserved and the like.
    
    This guide is copyright 2007 by Zeikier, myself,
    and cannot be used for any public gain.
    Feel free to print it out, but only for yourself,
    and not to make a profit.
    
    This guide is only to be used on GameFAQs.com.
    ________________________________________
    III. Controls (provided by the game's Controls option)
    ________________________________________
    
    There are two configurations for the controls in this game.
    There isn't any customization, but then again there is no need for that,
    as the controls are easy to remember and very basic.
    
    Config. 1 (default):
    
    D-Pad/Analog Stick: Steer/Move cursor
    Start Button: Pause game
    A Button: Accelerate/Select
    B Button: Brake/Back
    C Button Up: First-person camera
    C Button Down: Distant camera (the camera will be further behind your boat)
    C Button Right: Default camera
    L Button/R Button/Z Trigger: Boost
    
    Config. 2:
    
    D-Pad/Analog Stick: Steer/Move cursor
    Start Button: Pause game
    A Button: Boost/Select
    B Button: Brake/Back
    C Button Up: First-person camera
    C Button Down: Distant camera (the camera will be further behind your boat)
    C Button Right: Default camera
    L Button/Z Trigger: Accelerate
    R Button: Brake
    ___________________________________
    IV. Special Moves and the Items
    ___________________________________
    
    During the races, you can collect two different types
    of items that can increase your boosting fuel.
    
    +4 Boosts: These boosts are blue, and fairly common
    in the Hydro Thunder tracks.
    Each one adds four seconds to your boosting fuel.
    
    +9 Boosts: These boosts are red, and are
    a little rarer than the +4 boosts.
    Each one adds nine seconds to your boosting fuel.
    Make an effort to collect a lot of each during the courses.
    
    Throughout the courses, there are also some hidden boosts.
    They have the same values as +4 and +9 boosts,
    but are invisible. Try being adventurous to
    find some of them (of course, I'll note where most of them are). 
    
    There is also a special maneuver known as the Hydro Jump.
    In order to perform a Hydro Jump, you need to have
    some fuel in your boost meter. While holding the Accelerate button,
    hold down the brakes and press the boost button to vault
    your boat into the air. Mastering the Hydro Jump is important
    for accessing both airborne boosts, and many of the games shortcuts.
    ___________________________________
    V. The Tracks
    ___________________________________
    
    Hydro Thunder contains a total of 13 tracks;
    three Easy, three Medium, three Hard, and four Bonus.
    In order to unlock the Medium tracks, you have to
    finish in at least 3rd place for each of the Easy tracks.
    For the Hard tracks, you must finish in at least
    2nd place for the Medium tracks, and finally, to unlock
    the first of the Bonus Tracks, Catacomb, you must finish
    in 1st place for each Hard Track. Each Bonus Track after that
    is unlocked from left to right after finishing in 1st on
    each of them. I won’t give a full run-down of each course.
    However, I will provide for each track every secret I've uncovered.
    If there are any secrets in the tracks I missed, let me know.
    
    -------------------
    a. Easy Tracks
    -------------------
    
    As the title implies, these first three tracks are easy.
    But that doesn't mean they're without secrets. Get
    comfortable with the controls, and begin on your quest
    for fame and thrills!
    
    ____________
    Thunder Park
    
    The most basic track in Hydro Thunder. Thunder Park serves
    as a means for the player to learn the basic controls for the game.
    There are no real secrets besides the occasional boosts hidden
    behind sharp turns, and the airborne boosts. Make sure to
    use your boosts sparingly.
    
    ____________
    Lost Island
    
    Unlike Thunder Park, Lost Island presents the player with
    the first non-circuit course. There are a decent handful
    of secrets and shortcuts that will help you best the competition.
    Personally, although it consumes a lot of boost, pursuing and
    flinging the tour boat is very entertaining.
    
    Secrets/Shortcuts:
    
    +Before the first checkpoint is a waterfall.
    You'll soon discover that the majority of the tracks in
    Hydro Thunder hold their shortcuts in waterfalls such as this one.
    This shortcut holds a +9 boost, and a +4 boost held over
    a ramp high above the normal track.
    
    +Very shortly after landing from the first shortcut,
    you'll find a large, very distinguishable orange-ish rock against
    an archway in the cliffs. If you veer to the left of that rock
    into the grass, you'll find yet another shortcut which takes you
    through a cave and into the high mountains across a few waterfalls.
    You'll find two +4 and two +9 boosts.
    
    +At the fourth checkpoint, there is a volcano in the
    center of the track. If you hit the ramp directly into the lava,
    you'll get a hidden +9 boost.
    
    ____________
    Arctic Circle
    
    The Arctic Circle is a little trickier than the last two Easy Tracks.
    However, its bountiful secrets can help you leave
    your opponents eating your waves.
    
    Secrets/Shortcuts:
    
    +During the first turn, there is a series of sheds.
    One of the sheds is lowered to the ground, serving
    as a convenient ramp over the first checkpoint.
    
    +When you leave the cave after the second checkpoint,
    you'll see a hole in the ice wall. If you Hydro Jump into it,
    you'll be sent careening down a narrow ice cave,
    sending you far ahead of your opponents.
    
    +Right after leaving the previous shortcut, there will be
    a glacier with another hole in it. Due to the speed
    at which you exit the first ice cave, it may be tricky
    lining up to Hydro Jump through this one. If you can't
    line up in time, hang a left, lest you lose
    precious seconds from failing to jump.
    
    +After the glacier, there is an area with polar bears.
    Behind their glacier is a +9 boost.
    However, it takes a long time to reach it,
    so it's better to ignore it and get the one
    on the upcoming ramp instead.
    
    +After hitting the ramp over the orcas and reaching
    the next checkpoint, you'll see an oil tanker to your left
    behind some penguins. Steer towards the tanker (you do not
    have to Hydro Jump to get here), and collect the bounty:
    a hidden +4 boost, a ramp with a +9 boost, and a
    final +4 boost before hitting a ramp that launches you
    into the finish line (there are many ramps similar to this one
    that increase your speed and fix your trajectory,
    which I will refer to as projection ramps). 
    
    -----------------------
    b. Medium Tracks
    -----------------------
    
    You've proven your worth to the HTRA
    (Hydro Thunder Racing Association), and now
    they have upped the ante, with more secrets
    beneath the waves. Learn your environment,
    and steel yourself for the long road ahead!
    
    ____________
    Greek Isles
    
    This track, in my opinion, is rather bland. However,
    the blandness is overshadowed by a number of useful secrets
    that hold multiple +9 boosts, which you’ll need
    if you hope to snag victory from your rivals.
    
    Secrets/Shortcuts:
    
    +After the second checkpoint, there is a thin waterfall 
    to your left. Behind it is the first shortcut. You'll net
    two +9 boosts, and hopefully a +4 one if you
    land from the drop correctly.
    
    +After the fourth checkpoint, once you enter the treasure room,
    there is a fork in the path. To the right is a small waterfall
    holding a +9 boost. Use a Hydro Jump to get there and
    you'll hit a ramp onto a +4 boost near the large statue
    (be careful with the flight, as you occasionally miss this boost).
    
    +After leaving the treasure room, be sure to Hydro Jump
    to get the airborne +9 boost hiding behind the stone block.
    
    ____________
    Lake Powell
    
    While not the hardest course in Hydro Thunder, Lake Powell
    is definitely the most exciting. You're taken through a series
    of turns and jumps, with Utah's police force at your heels.
    You eventually reach a final confrontation with them
    at the base of a dam, and then you take off on
    one of the game’s most intense ramps.
    
    Secrets/Shortcuts:
    
    +Right at the start you're given a +9 boost opportunity.
    Take the first turn very tightly, and you'll see a ramp
    that will take you over the stone arch and obtain the boost.
    It's recommended to try getting the Super Boost Start
    to make this jump easier (see General Secrets section).
    
    +Once you enter the first cave, make another tight turn
    to get the +9 boost behind the rock.
    
    +At the third checkpoint, there are a +4 boost and a +9 one.
    In order to get both, turn widely before the two boosts,
    and then quickly turn so that you can grab both the +4
    and +9 one in that order.
    
    +After the third checkpoint is a waterfall. This leads to
    the first shortcut in the course. You can get a +4 boost,
    a +9 boost, and another +4 if you land correctly
    from the ramp at the end.
    
    +Soon after leaving the first shortcut, you'll see
    a ramp leading to a +9 boost. Instead of that, Hydro jump
    to your left to find another shortcut containing a hidden +4 boost.
    
    +After the shortcut and the fifth checkpoint, you'll confront
    Utah's police force, ready to take you all down at the dam.
    In the center of the dam is a large ramp. Make sure to take
    this ramp to soar over the train tracks ahead to snatch the
    +9 boost, and to get you ahead of the competition to the finish line.
    
    ____________
    The Far East
    
    So far in Hydro Thunder, this is the only track I know of
    that has a secret before you normally get boosters.
    However, this is where the Super Boost Start can really help.
    Other than that, this track also houses a few more
    hard to reach secrets that require patience and timing to get to.
    
    Secrets/Shortcuts:
    
    +You NEED to use the Super Boost Start to get this first shortcut.
    Right at the beginning you'll see a black tunnel in the mountains.
    To reach it, you need to Hydro Jump into it. For your troubles,
    you'll get a +4 boost, and you'll shoot ahead of the ranks very
    quickly. Afterwards, you're deposited near the ramp with
    2 +4 boosts above it.
    
    +After the second checkpoint, there are a few drops.
    Before the first drop, perform a Hydro Jump, then another
    as soon as you land to get high enough to reach the second shortcut
    above the beaten path. This narrow secret gets you a +4 boost,
    and the satisfaction that you got to one of the hardest-to-get-to
    shortcuts in the game (due to the unpredictable behavior of most
    Hydro Jumps, it's also better to just jump after the second drop)!
    
    +After the fourth checkpoint, while in the festive part of the track,
    jump through the fork in the track after making the turn.
    You'll get a hidden +4 boost.
    
    +In the last stretch of the course, depending on how much boost
    you have left, you can either take the ramp and get no boost,
    or just take the +9 boost and gun it to the finish line.
    
    
    -------------------
    c. Hard Tracks
    -------------------
    
    You're playing with the big boys now!
    The Hard Tracks live up to their namesake;
    your rivals are more anxious to nab
    the gold, so you'll need to fight back
    and show no mercy. Secrets are plentiful,
    and the waters are treacherous, so
    let them know you've earned your place here!
    
    ______________
    Ship Graveyard
    
    The Ship Graveyard can be an exercise in frustration,
    as its numerous obstacles and choppy water really take
    their toll on your boat. You'll need to fully utilize
    each boost power-up in order to make it to victory.
    
    Secrets/Shortcuts:
    
    +After the first turn, you'll see two large ships.
    Veer to the left of them to find a handy +9 boost.
    
    +After the first checkpoint, you'll see a waterfall
    behind a pier. Enter it for the first shortcut.
    Be careful, as your rivals tend to knock you
    off course if you're careless.
    
    +Once you reach the end of the first shortcut, there
    will be a shed above you on an arch.
    Hydro Jump to the right of it to get a hidden +9 boost.
    
    +When you enter the aircraft storage area after the shed,
    make a short Hydro Jump over the drop off.
    If you time it right, you can safely grab
    the +9 boost hiding on the railing.
    
    +After the long drop and the checkpoint,
    enter the nearby waterfall to find the next shortcut.
    You'll find a +4 and a +9 boost there. At the end is
    a projection ramp in disguise (this ramp works in
    the same way the one in Arctic Circle did; launching you
    at increased speed in the direction you hit it).
    Try hitting the ramp facing diagonally left, so
    you can get close to the +9 boost in the stormy waters.
    
    ______________
    Venice Canals
    
    The Venice Canals are notorious for their myriad tight turns
    and inconveniently-placed shortcuts (not as evil as The Far East's
    shortcuts, mind you). You'll need a boat that can both
    handle turns well, and can go fast enough to ensure victory.
    
    Secrets/Shortcuts:
    
    +During the first turn, make sure to take it extremely tightly to
    find a small fence guarding a small shortcut.
    Crash through the fences to buy a little time.
    
    +Before the first checkpoint, you can see a +9 boost inside an arch.
    This requires a boat that has a high Hydro Jump, but you don't need
    the boost that badly, as more will come soon. Grab it at your own risk.
    
    +Right after the first checkpoint, there is a well-hidden shortcut
    under the yellow turning lights. It contains a single +4 boost.
    At the end of the shortcut it forks, and I recommend taking
    the left path, and then taking the right path at the subsequent fork.
    
    +Soon after that second fork, take the right path on the next one.
    
    +After the checkpoint after the forks, save some time by
    Hydro Jumping over the long area of land.
    You'll be lined up with a ramp with a +4 boost.
    
    +While taking the ramp, be sure to aim for the grass
    in between the turns to accelerate past the other boats
    (You can still Hydro Jump there if you miss the ramp).
    
    +After the tight turn, look for the opening in between
    two buildings. Drive through to find a +9 boost
    (another thing to look for while turning).
    
    +Once you leave the area with the low ceiling,
    turn tightly to line up with the ramp before entering the chapel.
    
    +Perform a Hydro Jump before the second chandelier
    to get a hidden +9 boost.
    
    +Hang a tight right before leaving the chapel to find
    another shortcut in a very small opening.
    
    +It's your choice whether to take the ramp and get the
    +4 boost, or just veer right and get the +9 one.
    It depends on your remaining boost once again.
    
    _________________
    New York Disaster
    
    It's a bumpy ride through the ruins of NYC. You're given
    limited shortcuts, and must rely on your tact to
    make it through this post-apocalyptic nightmare safely.
    
    Secrets/Shortcuts:
    
    +After passing the first checkpoint, look for the
    checkerboard pattern on the left wall. Enter the opening
    between the two panels to find the first and only shortcut.
    Perform a short Hydro Jump to get the +9 boost.
    Be careful, you may hit the ceiling if you're overzealous.
    
    +There's an alternate entrance to this shortcut if you
    miss the checkerboard pattern. By making a tight left turn,
    you can enter from the large revolving door to
    nab an extra +4 boost.
    
    +For the sake of getting as much boost as possible,
    take the left path at the fork to get a +9 boost
    before the long drop.
    
    +When you enter the subway system, stay to the left and
    Hydro Jump onto the platform in between the two tracks to
    get a +9 boost (you can go from the right, but
    the first method is easier to set up).
    
    ---------------------
    d. Bonus Tracks
    ---------------------
    
    After your victories in the Hard Tracks,
    things quiet down. The majority of these tracks
    are circuit tracks, which means you'll be
    experiencing deja vu more than usual. These tracks
    aren't as difficult as the Hard Tracks (besides
    Nile Adventure), but there are still a bounty of
    secrets for you to uncover.
    
    ____________
    Catacomb
    
    Due to the low and narrow paths of the Catacombs,
    it's a good idea to pick a boat that is small and quick.
    
    Secrets/Shortcuts:
    
    +This is a circuit track, so remember to use moderation
    when collecting boosters.
    
    +At the first turn you'll see two large pillars of stone.
    If you drive between them you'll get a hidden +9 boost.
    
    +Soon after the ramp by the water, you'll see a thin alcove
    that forces other boats to turn. If you Hydro Jump in there,
    you'll cut ahead, and possibly score a +4 boost if
    your placement is right.
    
    +Right after that minor shortcut, you'll see a wide waterfall
    in a secluded area. Perform a Hydro Jump towards it, and you'll
    find a +9 boost and be catapulted ahead of your rivals.
    Be sure to get the +9 boost on the normal path as well so
    you can fully utilize each boost.
    
    _______________
    Hydro Speedway
    
    The Hydro Speedway is the second Bonus Track, unlocked by
    finishing 1st in Catacomb. Similar to Catacomb, this is a
    circuit track, but is in a style more like Thunder Park,
    with its more basic design. However, unlike Thunder Park,
    the Hydro Speedway contains multiple figure-8s and
    tight turns for you to contend with.
    
    Secrets/Shortcuts:
    
    +Be sure to save a few boosts for each lap. It kills in
    the long run if you expend your boosts too early,
    as your rivals will catch up.
    
    +If you Hydro Jump into the hanging model of Banshee,
    you'll get a hidden +9 boost.
    
    +At the first fork in the track with the ramps, try to
    hit the ramp so that you land in the grass for some extra speed.
    
    +That fast-moving +4 boost will just be a hassle to
    deal with later, so be sure to pick it up on your first lap.
    
    ________________
    Castle Von Dandy
    
    The last of the circuit Bonus Tracks, Castle Von Dandy holds
    the most secrets out of any of the other two. This course is
    unlocked by finishing in 1st on Hydro Speedway.
    
    Secrets/Shortcuts:
    
    +When you reach the three way fork with the large silver bell
    above it, perform a Hydro Jump to get a hidden +9 boost.
    This is a tight squeeze, so use with caution.
    
    +After the silver bell and the subsequent ramp, Hydro Jump
    over the cemetery to get a hidden +9 boost. If you make contact
    with the cemetery, your boat will most likely tumble.
    
    +Once you enter the castle itself, Hydro Jump through the
    second window on your right. You'll receive a hidden +4 boost.
    You can also acquire a +4 and +9 boost here. There will be
    a projection ramp at the end of this path, so be sure to
    stay to the right as you go along.
    
    +As with the other circuit tracks, save some boosts for
    each lap for a steady wave of replenishment.
    
    _____________
    Nile Adventure
    
    Without a doubt, Nile Adventure is the longest course
    in Hydro Thunder, so be prepared for a trip! You'll be taken
    down the large river, through an ancient pyramid, across the
    celestial plane, and into the maws of serpentine apparitions.
    
    Secrets/Shortcuts:
    
    +Although it's tricky, turn sharply to the left at the second turn
    to get the ramp to the +9 boost. You'll need it for the road ahead.
    
    +Make it an effort to collect as many boosts as possible.
    
    +You’ve come this far, make use of the experience you’ve gained from
    your previous races!
    
    +After the second checkpoint, perform a Hydro Jump in the
    central square above the track. You'll find a hidden +9 boost
    and a shot across a cryptic projection ramp.
    
    +When you reach the area with the falling caskets, there will be
    one suspended from the wall soon after you are advised of a
    tight turn. This is the only shortcut in the game that
    is accessed only through a triggering action. You must Hydro Jump
    over the fallen casket before that wall in order to access
    the shortcut. You'll nab a hidden +9 boost, and a visible one.
    
    +After the celestial plane, there will be a series of twisting forks.
    Hydro Jump across the middle of each to save time. Each platform
    between the forks contains a hidden +4 boost (although on
    the last one it may be better trying to get the +9 boost instead).
    
    _____________________
    VI. The Boats
    _____________________
    
    There are 13 total boats to choose from in the Hydro Thunder
    lineup. However, until you unlock the Medium, Hard, and
    Bonus Tracks, you only have access to three of them.
    Each boat has their strengths and weaknesses, such as speed,
    Mighty Hull activation time, turning effectiveness, and
    speed while airborne. The information about each boat
    will be provided in the following way:
    
    Name: The boat's name....
    First Available: The requirements for getting the boat
    Appearance: A description of the boat's frame.
    Basic Description: A brief description of the boat's abilities.
    Statistics: Various stats will be rated from 1 to 5, 5 being the best.
    	Speed- The boat's potential speed.
    	Boost Deployment Time- How fast the boat's boosters deploy
    	(this is crucial if you run out mid-race). The higher the score,
    	the faster the deployment.
    	Boost Stability- How stable the boat is while boosting
    	(how smooth the ride is as well as how much it
    	adds to the boat's speed).
    	Turning Effectiveness- How tightly the boat takes turns.
    	Mighty Hull Activation Time- The time gap between
    	pressing the Boost button, and the activation
    	of the Mighty Hull.
    	Airborne Speed- How fast the boat will travel
    	while in the air.
    
    
    The Lineup:
    
    Name: Damn the Torpedoes
    First Available: From the beginning
    Appearance: A rectangular boat with a purple frame.
    Basic Description: Damn the Torpedoes is a
    solid beginning boat. It handles its abilities well,
    and has little weaknesses. However, be sure to
    maintain a steady amount of boost, as its normal
    speed is unremarkable.
    Statistics: 
    	Speed- **
    	Boost Deployment Time- ***
    	Boost Stability- ***
    	Turning Effectiveness- ***
    	Mighty Hull Activation Time- ***
    	Airborne Speed- *** 
    
    Name: Midway
    First Available: From the beginning
    Appearance: A standard speedboat with a white,
    orange, and yellow frame.
    Basic Description: Midway is the most average of
    the Easy boats. It has reasonable stats, but does
    not excel at anything in particular and
    takes turns very sluggishly.
    Statistics: 
    	Speed- **
    	Boost Deployment Time- **
    	Boost Stability- ***
    	Turning Effectiveness- *
    	Mighty Hull Activation Time- ***
    	Airborne Speed- ***
    
    Name: Miss Behave
    First Available: From the beginning
    Appearance: A triangular boat with white colors
    on the sides, and a wide, dark green stripe
    down its center.
    Basic Description: In terms of speed, Miss Behave
    beats the other two Easy boats. While its small frame
    is more vulnerable than the others, it has a
    powerful boost, and can easily take flight on the ramps.
    Use this one when you're confident for first place....at
    least until you unlock the better boats later on.
    Statistics: 
    	Speed- ****
    	Boost Deployment Time- ***
    	Boost Stability- ****
    	Turning Effectiveness- ***
    	Mighty Hull Activation Time- ***
    	Airborne Speed- ***
    
    Name: Banshee
    First Available: Unlock the Medium Courses
    Appearance: A primarily green boat with two
    wing-like projections in the front, and two rudders
    in the back.
    Basic Description: At first I never really liked Banshee,
    mainly because of the really annoying noise it makes
    while using it. However, when I started using it again,
    I realized it is one of the best boats in the game, even
    more so than some of the Hard boats. It handles amazingly,
    its boost has a solid kick to it, and it has nearly
    unparalleled airborne time and velocity. The only match
    to this air time is Cutthroat. For the most part, Banshee's
    high stability mixed with its spectacular stats make it
    the best choice for finishing 1st in both the Medium
    and Hard tracks. The only downside to it is that noise,
    so make sure to set the SFX volume at least halfway down
    to make it bearable.
    Statistics: 
    	Speed- ****
    	Boost Deployment Time- ****
    	Boost Stability- *****
    	Turning Effectiveness- ****
    	Mighty Hull Activation Time- ***
    	Airborne Speed- ****
    
    Name: Tidal Blade
    First Available: Unlock the Medium Courses
    Appearance: A very thin and pointy boat with a
    fiery pattern on its hull.
    Basic Description: Tidal Blade has high potential
    speed, and can rip through the waves with or without
    boost (though either way it is safer just to boost...eheh).
    However, it is also very thin, so expect to take a few hits.
    Statistics: 
    	Speed- ****
    	Boost Deployment Time- **
    	Boost Stability- ****
    	Turning Effectiveness- ***
    	Mighty Hull Activation Time- *** 
    	Airborne Speed- ***
    
    Name: Thresher
    First Available: Unlock the Medium Courses
    Appearance: A sleek boat with a dark blue paint job
    and two pointed areas in front.
    Basic Description: Thresher is a solid boat for those
    still getting the hang of controls. It has decent stats,
    and its large frame can take some punishment. However,
    it has a rather slow Mighty Hull activation time.
    Statistics: 
    	Speed- ***
    	Boost Deployment Time- ***
    	Boost Stability- ***
    	Turning Effectiveness- ***
    	Mighty Hull Activation Time- **
    	Airborne Speed- ***
    
    Name: Cutthroat
    First Available: Unlock the Hard Courses
    Appearance: A boat with a jet-like design, a primarily
    yellow and crimson frame, and a skull on
    the front of its hull.
    Basic Description: If Banshee isn't your kind of boat,
    try piloting Cutthroat for airborne supremacy. Due to
    its jet design, it can handle the air very well,
    and it surpasses Banshee in that regard (it has one of
    the highest Hydro Jumps in the lineup). It also has
    a faster Mighty Hull activation time than most other
    boats (a signature trait of the Hard boats). One
    thing to note, though, is that Cutthroat doesn't have
    as good speed without boost (it doesn't handle water
    as well as it does air), and it occasionally takes
    turns badly. Other than that, it is another great
    boat for those gunning for the gold.
    Statistics: 
    	Speed- ***
    	Boost Deployment Time- *****
    	Boost Stability- ****
    	Turning Effectiveness- ****
    	Mighty Hull Activation Time- *****
    	Airborne Speed- *****
    
    Name: Rad Hazard
    First Available: Unlock the Hard Courses
    Appearance: A light blue saucer-shaped boat
    with biohazard symbols on the back.
    Basic Description: Rad Hazard is a very unique boat,
    mainly due to its extraterrestrial shape. It has
    great initial speed, and has phenomenal boosting power.
    However (I know I've said this a lot), it takes turns
    widely, so you can get hung up a lot in the tighter turns.
    While it may not handle the sky as well as Cutthroat can,
    Rad Hazard is much more effective when it tackles
    courses with straightaways thanks to its
    great boosting speed. 
    Statistics: 
    	Speed- ****
    	Boost Deployment Time- ****
    	Boost Stability- *****
    	Turning Effectiveness- ***
    	Mighty Hull Activation Time- *****
    	Airborne Speed- ***
    
    Name: Razorback
    First Available: Unlock the Hard Courses
    Appearance: Basically a powered up version of Midway,
    with a yellow and orange-red frame.
    Basic Description: Razorback is quite possibly the
    fastest of the boats in Hydro Thunder. However, because
    of its speed, it has extremely unstable handling, and
    tight turns usually spell doom for the player.
    Another setback is its small frame, which is prone to
    being knocked around. It also has the slowest booster
    deployment of any of the boats, so one has to be
    extra careful with conserving their boosts, lest they
    suffer from the horrendously slow delay. If one wishes
    to play as Razorback, it is recommended that they have
    a good understanding of each track; anticipation is
    the most crucial part of Razorback's game. Due to
    its raw power in speed, Razorback is best used in
    courses with straightaways and a wide track to move in.
    Prepare for a challenge if you plan to use this beast.
    Statistics: 
    	Speed- *****
    	Boost Deployment Time- *
    	Boost Stability- ****
    	Turning Effectiveness- ***
    	Mighty Hull Activation Time- *****
    	Airborne Speed- ****
    
    Name: Tinytanic
    First Available: Finish Catacomb in 1st place.
    Appearance: A smaller version of the Titanic. Its
    rear smokestack has a hidden booster in it.
    Basic Description: Tinytanic is the longest boat
    in the Hydro Thunder lineup, so maneuvering it is
    rather tricky. Its length makes it hard to use
    its high boost and turning power effectively,
    but on a wide track it can handle itself
    somewhat better. It has near-instantaneous
    Mighty Hull activation time, so use that to your advantage.
    Statistics: 
    	Speed- ***
    	Boost Deployment Time- ***
    	Boost Stability- ****
    	Turning Effectiveness- ****
    	Mighty Hull Activation Time- *****
    	Airborne Speed- ***
    
    Name: Armed Response
    First Available: Finish Hydro Speedway in 1st place.
    Appearance: A black and grey colored police boat, with
    a gunner that shoots at passing boats.
    Basic Description: As you would expect from police boats,
    Armed Response has a high initial speed. While its boost
    doesn't make it that much faster, it is still effective.
    Unlike Tinytanic, Armed Response has a much slower
    Mighty Hull activation time, and it takes turns and
    the air less effectively. Its fast booster deployment
    makes it useful just in case you accidentally
    tap out your boost.
    Statistics: 
    	Speed- ****
    	Boost Deployment Time- ****
    	Boost Stability- ***
    	Turning Effectiveness- ***
    	Mighty Hull Activation Time- ***
    	Airborne Speed- **
    
    Name: Blowfish
    First Available: Finish Castle Von Dandy in 1st place.
    Appearance: A raft-like boat with two large air jets on
    the back, and a black and purple frame.
    Basic Description: Blowfish may seem like a normal
    boat at first, but you soon realize that it is massive,
    and it carries a few quirks. For example, it performs
    differently with its turns depending on if its boosts
    are being used or not. If they aren't, its turning is
    rather slow, but it becomes a very tight turner once
    you hold down the boost button. Blowfish has a
    pretty high initial speed, and it has the fastest
    boost power of all the boats. The drawbacks to
    Blowfish's power are its low Hydro Jump and poor air time.
    Statistics: 
    	Speed- ****
    	Boost Deployment Time- ***
    	Boost Stability- *****
    	Turning Effectiveness- ***
    	Mighty Hull Activation Time- ****
    	Airborne Speed- ***
    
    Name: Chumdinger
    First Available: Finish Nile Adventure in 1st place.
    Appearance: A fishing boat piloted by a man and his dog.
    The dog barks at any passing boats.
    Basic Description: More of a novelty boat than
    anything else, Chumdinger is great for the casual player
    who wants to go fishing.....at excess of 200 miles per hour!
    While Chumdinger has less-than-stellar speed and
    boosting power, its great turning maneuverability makes it
    a good choice for a turn-heavy course. Not only that, but
    it has the most amusing booster in the game (one wonders
    where you can go to install a rocket engine in
    your fishing boat)!
    Statistics: 
    	Speed- ***
    	Boost Deployment Time- ***
    	Boost Stability- ***
    	Turning Effectiveness- *****
    	Mighty Hull Activation Time- ****
    	Airborne Speed- ***
    
    _____________________
    VII. General Secrets
    _____________________
    
    There are not many codes or cheats for Hydro Thunder,
    but the secrets it does have mostly concern how you
    start the race. Since the normal start is very painful
    towards your final rank, here are some ways
    to improve upon that:
    
    Super Start:
    
    Holding down the A button as the "1" begins to fade
    will give your boat a large burst of speed at the
    race's start. Very useful if you want a quick burst,
    and don't want or need any boosting power.
    
    Jump Start:
    
    If you hold down the B button as the countdown begins,
    and then switch to holding A as the "1" disappears,
    you'll perform a Hydro Jump at the race's start.
    This is a lot slower than the Super Start, so it
    isn't recommended to do this unless you have
    decent airborne speed.
    
    Super Boost Start:
    
    The most useful, though hardest-to-pull-off start
    in the game. Hold down the B button when the
    race screen loads (you know, when the white text
    mentioning the bit about the Rumble Pack appears).
    When the countdown begins, switch to holding
    the A button when the "3" fades, switch back to
    the B button when the "2" fades, and finally back
    to A when the "1" fades. If done correctly, you'll
    perform a Hydro Jump similar to the Jump Start,
    but you will also receive a +4 boost! This is
    very useful for getting an early jump on your
    rivals, and is the only way to access
    The Far East's obscure first shortcut.
    
    _______________________
    VIII. Tips and Helpful Hints
    _______________________
    
    +Each boat has its own unique abilities, even if
    my descriptions say otherwise. Experiment with
    each boat to find which one suits you best
    (If nothing else, you can use certain boats for
    looks or as your signature choice).
    
    +Although boosts come in large supply, conserve
    as much as you can. You'll need to keep a steady
    tank of fuel to stay ahead of your rivals, and if
    you run out, you have to wait for the boosters to
    close then reopen if you run out of boost in
    the middle of a race. This lapse in time can
    hurt both your final time, and your rank,
    so use moderation!
    
    +Each Shortcut, no matter its length, helps with
    both your time and rank. However, you don't have
    to hit every one, especially if one gives you trouble 
    (for example, The Far East has a few that are
    quite tedious). If you wish to just explore
    the course normally, feel free to do so; there's
    no loss if you take the long route!
    
    ____________
    IX. In Closing
    ____________
    
    I hope this guide has improved your knowledge
    on Hydro Thunder, and the secrets below its surface.
    Although I've given you as much help as I could,
    the real test lies within your own ability to race
    the courses yourself. My advice only goes so far,
    so good luck and happy racing! Make the HTRA proud!
    
    I have given every bit of secrets that I know
    in this game, but it may not be complete. If
    there is anything you think I might have missed,
    contact me at 
    
    videowhiz2@aol.com.
    
    _____________
    X. Credits
    _____________
    
    Credits go to Midway for giving us this great
    racing experience, GameFAQs for holding this guide,
    the various guides already on the site that
    helped me out with some of the secrets, my
    own experience for the majority of the secrets,
    my friend for helping me find some new facts
    about the boats, and finally to the Hydro Thunder
    Racing Association for providing the game's locales
    and inviting the skilled players out there to join them!