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Monday, February 12, 2018

Hydro Thunder

John Marine | 5:55 AM | | |
Hydro Thunder provided aquatic racing fury when it was released in 1998. You're the best on the road. You're the best off road. Maybe you're the best in the air. But what about on water? If you're game, Midway challenges you to conquer the world of Hydro Thunder and its insane racing action. Get ready for some of the most insane racing action only Midway can provide.

NOTE: This post on Hydro Thunder mostly pertains to the Arcade version.

Hydro Thunder

Hydro Thunder. Get to know it.

Hydro Thunder
^ from: (YouTube) - Get ready for high-powered action on the water with Hydro Thunder.

Hydro Thunder brings the insanity of Midway's style of racing to water. There are not many boat racing games out there. Surely Hydro Thunder is a more than admirable attempt at making an incredible boat racing game. This game hits hard. So if you're not ready to take on the thrills of boat racing, you may be excused from this conversation and this blog post.

Your goal is to take on an entire world of race tracks and try to prove your worth as king (or queen) of the water. Doing so requires you to defeat 15 other boats who want victory as badly as you do. If you succeed, you that 1st Place trophy awaits you. If you fail, you'll have to settle with defeat. These are no average boats you will be using. These are high-powered racing boats capable of insane speeds. Gain an edge either through charing your Booster or by finding shortcuts. Whatever it takes to win, do it!

Hydro Thunder would see home ports on PlayStation 1, Nintendo 64, PlayStation 2 (via Midway Arcade Treasures 3), Nintendo Gamecube (via Midway Arcade Treasures 3), XBOX (via Midway Arcade Treasures 3), and Dreamcast, and even PC. The popularity of Hydro Thunder would warrant a sequel in 2010 called Hydro Thunder Hurricane exclusively for XBOX 360.


The tracks feature a mix of closed circuits and open circuits. The easier courses take you around a watery race track and a trip through a jungle. Tougher circuits take you around an icy locale and even a disastrous course around a flooded New York City. There are three Easy courses, three Medium courses, three Hard courses, and four Bonus courses. Here is a little look at each course:

• Thunder Park (Easy) - three laps around a specially-designed water course.
• Lost Island (Easy) - a race around a tropical setting including caves and tropical forests.
• Arctic Circle (Easy) - a track around an icy locale.
• Greek Isles (Medium) - a challenging course around beautiful Greek islands.
• Lake Powell (Medium) - a canyon style stage under a beautiful sunset scene.
• The Far East (Medium) - a course in a Chinese style setting.
• Ship Graveyard (Hard) - a course in a compact industrial sector with boats and factories.
• Venice Canals (Hard) - power your way through the canals of beautiful Venice, Italy.
• N.Y. Disaster (Hard) - a challenging race around a ruined, flooded New York City.

• I'm not sharing the four Bonus courses! You're on your own for that! :P


There are a handful of boats to choose from. Each boat features different performance advantages as well as the level of control each boat has. The easier boats are more nimble and not as fast. The harder boats are faster but tougher to control. You unlock more boats in the home versions of Hydro Thunder. As you start out, you have the following: Damn the Torpedoes, Midway, and Miss Behave. Later boats you unlock include Tidal Blade and Rad Hazard among others. There are also some bonus boats out there, so do what you can to unlock those extra boats.


Races consist of 16 boats to a track (yours included). On the racing front, collect Nitros to gain an edge. These Nitros will fill your Booster so you can gain an extra speed and acceleration advantage during the course of a race. Blue Nitros give you four seconds of boost, and Red Nitros give you nine seconds of boost. Make sure to clear each of the checkpoints to have your time extended. The checkpoint areas are buoys with numbers on them.

--- Hydro Thunder: Final Thoughts ---

Hydro Thunder is one of the most exciting racing games ever created. It takes the insanity of games like the Cruis'n series and the RUSH games and translated them to boat racing. This game stands out in its own way as they are not as many quality boat racing titles. Surely, no boat racing game is THIS exciting. This is a title to enjoy if you find it in an arcade room or if you buy any of the home versions.

Video Preview.

This video is a sample of the game I blogged about all post long. This, however, is the Nintendo Gamecube version of "Hydro Thunder" (via "Midway Arcade Treasures 3") below:

^ Hydro Thunder (Midway Arcade Treasures 3, Gamecube) - Thunder Park (1st place) (10/4/09)

I hope you enjoyed this blog post.

Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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