--> "''Get that powerup!''"


''Hydro Thunder'' is an UsefulNotes/ArcadeGame from Creator/MidwayGames that was created in 1999. It's a simple arcade racing game in which you pilot a selection of high-speed racing boats in some 9 (plus 4 bonus) locations, often in a place that isn't suitable for such boats to be racing at, and in some cases, the government of where ever you'd be racing at would chase you down for a bit, and you'll be bound to crash into many a passerby, [[RuleOfCool as well as to perform some insane stunts over buildings, rock formations, and who knows what else]]. The game was controlled by a steering wheel and a cool boat throttle with a boost button to increase the speed.

It has both the standard arcade port and set of console ports for the UsefulNotes/{{Nintendo 64}}, UsefulNotes/PlayStation, UsefulNotes/SegaDreamcast, and in the ''Midway Arcade Treasures 3'' CompilationRerelease, in which the consoles were probably far better a chance to get to race on the bonus tracks, since [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard most races are challenging to complete]]. One of the few games to actually not suffer from PortingDisaster in console format, although the boat throttle obviously didn't make the translation.

A direct sequel called ''VideoGame/HydroThunderHurricane'' was released in July 2010 for the UsefulNotes/XboxLiveArcade. ''Hurricane'' was developed by Creator/VectorUnit, a new dev team formed by two people who worked on the "''VideoGame/TwistedMetal'' [[RecycledInSpace in the water]]" game ''VideoGame/BloodWake''. Meanwhile, the arcades got a SpiritualSuccessor called ''[[VideoGame/H2Overdrive H2Overdrive]]'' courtesy of [[Creator/EugeneJarvis Raw Thrills]] and Specular Interactive, which just happens to largely be the original ''Hydro Thunder'' development team.
!!This game provides examples of:

* AllThereInTheManual: If you had a console port of the game, you could read the story behind the [=HTRA=] (The Hydro Thunder Racing Association) and some kind of ExcusePlot as to why you (the player) would want to participate in such a group.
* AlternateReality
* AncientEgypt: The second bonus track, "Nile Adventure".
* AnnouncerChatter: Usually at the start of the round. Actually, the announcer can be somewhat helpful at times...
--> ''"Hey, you found a secret!"''
** When selecting a Hard Course:
---> ''"EXPERTS ONLY!"''
** Likewise, when selecting a Hard Craft:
---> ''"YOU'RE CRAZY!"''
** If you listen closely whenever police craft or miscellaneous boaters show up to join the race, they'll be barking orders at you, or doing something odd. For example, the cops in Lake Powell:
--> ''"What part of 'pull over' do you not get?!"''
** The [[BigApplesauce New York Rescue Team in NY Disaster]] is ''pissed'' at the boats speeding past him.
** The Lost Island Tour Cruise has the tour guide simply calmly talk about the highly-illegal boat race going on around them.
* {{Area 51}}: Where one race in ''[[VideoGame/HydroThunderHurricane Hurricane]]'' takes place, complete with [[spoiler: a warp to an alien world and back.]]
** Supposedly where Rad Hazard's parts were taken from.
* BigApplesauce: Sort of, considering the place is flooded after a meteorite struck it.
** Oddly, there's one part of the stage where you're clearly racing through a badly beaten [[HarsherInHindsight World Trade Center]].
* CityOfCanals: You get to race in VENICE. The Far East and the Greek Isles also count.
* CoolBoat: Pretty much all of them, but Cutthroat (a boat with a skull on it that has glowing eyes and partially made from Fighter Jet parts), Rad Hazard (a boat built from alien tech from ''Area 51''), and Razorback (a SuperPrototype that's notoriously hard to control) qualify the most.
* DerelictGraveyard: Ship Graveyard.
* ETGaveUsWiFi: The Rad Hazard boat seems to embody this trope, having been made from a crashed UFO.
* GuyInBack: Your boat has an on-board navigator, [[ShownTheirWork much like real-life high speed boat racing]], who occasionally makes comments over the radio as you race.
* MundaneFantastic: Not all that unusual for an Midway sports game but [[spoiler: Nile Adventure is something else]].
** In ''[[VideoGame/HydroThunderHurricane Hurricane]]'' [[spoiler: one level has giant dinosaurs, another warps you to an alien world and back, and another ends with a Norse god pounding the water, making it extremely choppy.]]
* NintendoHard: Trying to get first place (or at least hold a second or third place) position against the computer is pretty dang hard... even on the Easy Levels.
* NitroBoost: Not just any normal old go faster button. When you get boost fuel, your boost modules deploy, and at the press of a button, you rocket forward with extreme awesomeness! For example, Midway drops an extra pair of big block outboard motors ready for you to shoot the juice with, Miss Behave deploys a ''Massive Jet Engine'' for some afterburner delight, and the alien ship hits the micro warp drive!
** You can get four free seconds of boost at the start, [[GuideDangIt if you know how]].
* RecycledINSPACE: The two sequels, ''Off-Road Thunder'' (''Hydro Thunder'' [-WITH TRUCKS!-]) and ''Arctic Thunder'' (''Hydro Thunder'' [-with SNOWMOBILES!-])
* RewardingVandalism: Smashing into some of the objects reveals boost powerups.
* RuleOfCool: Pretty much the whole point of the game, and Lake Powell, Ship Graveyard, and New York City Disaster seem to be pretty big candidates for this.
** Don't forget the boost modes on all the boats. A hydro that boosts by firing up a ''jet engine'' is totally badass!
* SceneryGorn: New York Disaster, a flooded, post-apocalyptic version of the Big Apple.
* SeriousBusiness: If the fact that the [=HTRA=] will go out of their way to ''break the law and race in restricted areas like a ship graveyard'' or race ''during a catastrophic disaster in a major city'' isn't serious business in the boat racing crowd, then what else?
* SpiritualSuccessor: [[http://arcadeheroes.com/2009/06/13/a-long-detailed-look-at-h2overdrive-on-1up-com/ H20verdrive]], from [[Creator/EugeneJarvis Raw Thrills]] and developed by [[http://www.specular.com Specular Interactive]], a new dev studio composed of the members of the orignal ''Hydro Thunder'' devteam.
** About a year or so after ''[=H2Overdrive=]'' hit arcades, Microsoft announced that they leased the ''Hydro Thunder'' IP from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (who purchased the Midway back catalog following Midway's 2009 bankruptcy) and made a true sequel for UsefulNotes/XboxLiveArcade. Everybody, [[http://kotaku.com/5502892/hydro-thunder-returns-with-all+new-xbox-live-arcade-sequel say]] [[http://kotaku.com/5503102/hydro-thunder-hurricane-impressions-bouncy hello]] to ''VideoGame/HydroThunderHurricane''!
* ThisIsGoingToSuck: If you manage to hit the helicopter in Lake Powell, you'll sometimes hear "This is gonna hurt..." right before a speeding hulk of metal slams into the chopper. A similar line is sometimes played during a particularly long drop.
* WackyRacing: Flying into alien worlds and the stomachs of giant mythological snakes, power ups, ramps, and all sorts of weird things exist that almost never are used in real high-speed boat racing.
* WhatTheHellHero: The rescue squad in New York Disaster, to everyone racing: