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Strategy Guide by Thundercleese
Version: 1.35 | Updated: 06/07/2000
.:: .:: . .::::: .: .,:::::: .,:::::: ::: ,;';; ';;, ;; ;;;',;; ;;,;;;;'''' ;;;;'''' ;;; ,[' [[ '[[, [[, [[',[[[,,,[[[ [[cccc [[cccc [[[ $P__$$c Y$c$$$c$P "$$$"""$$$ $$"""" $$"""" $$' `"""88" "88"888 888 "88o888oo,__ 888oo,__ o88oo,.__ MM "M "M" MMM YMM""""YUMMM""""YUMMM""""YUMMM :::::::::::: :: .: ... ::::::. :::.:::::::-. .,:::::: :::::::.. ;;;;;;;;'''',;; ;;, ;; ;;;`;;;;, `;;; ;;, `';,;;;;'''' ;;;;``;;;; [[ ,[[[,,,[[[ [[' [[[ [[[[[. '[[ `[[ [[ [[cccc [[[,/[[[' $$ "$$$"""$$$ $$ $$$ $$$ "Y$c$$ $$, $$ $$"""" $$$$$$c 88, 888 "88o88 .d888 888 Y88 888_,o8P' 888oo,__ 888b "88bo, MMM MMM YMM "YmmMMMM"" MMM YM MMMMP"` """"YUMMMMMMM "W" 4 WHEEL THUNDER FAQ & Strategy Guide Version 1.35 by Incossee ___________________ -= TABLE OF CONTENTS =- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Section A. INTRODUCTION A.1: Update History A.2: Abstract of 4 Wheel Thunder Section B. IMPORTANT GAMEPLAY TIPS B.1: Tapping Boost B.2: Quick Start Trick B.3: Shortcuts B.4: Power-Ups B.5: Grip B.6: Terrain B.7: Getting Air B.8: Clean Pause and Soft Reset B.9: Game Shark Codes Section C. VEHICLE STATISTICS C.1: Monster Truck [Type 1] C.2: Monster Truck [Type 2] C.3: Buggy [Type 1] C.4: Buggy [Type 2] C.5: Jeep [Type 1] C.6: Jeep [Type 2] C.7: Quad [Type 1] C.8: Quad [Type 2] C.9: *BONUS* Vehicles Section D. PRACTICE MODE Section E. ARCADE MODE E.1: Arcade Outdoor E.2: Arcade Indoor Section F. CHAMPIONSHIP MODE F.1: Points F.2: Money F.3: Series 1 F.4: Series 2 F.5: Series 3 F.6: Series 4 F.7: The Ending Section G. INDOOR TRACK GUIDE G.1: Indoor Corsica G.2: Indoor Canada G.3: Indoor Scandinavia G.4: Indoor Far West G.5: Indoor Iceland G.6: Indoor Atlas Section H. OUTDOOR TRACK GUIDE H.1: Far West [Daylight & Night] H.2: Canada [Daylight & Rain] H.3: Corsica [Daylight & Rain] H.4: Scandinavia [Daylight & Storm] H.5: Jordan Daylight H.6: Greece [Daylight & Sunset] H.7: Norway [Daylight & Night] H.8: Iceland [Daylight & Snow] H.9: Atlas [Daylight & Sandstorm] H.10: The Alps Cloudy Section I. FINAL NOTES ________________ -=A. INTRODUCTION =- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is intended as a comprehensive guide to 4 Wheel Thunder, an offroad racing game for the Sega Dreamcast game console. Most every important piece of information about the game can be found here. If you're having problems winning races, are curious about certain elements of the game, or just want to learn some good tips or tricks that are useful in being successful at 4 Wheel Thunder, this guide should be beneficial. For optimal viewing, you should read and/or print this in a fixed-width font (such as "Courier.") ==================== A.1 Update History ==================== Version 1.35- Revised on 6/07/00: A very minor update with a few more edits, but no major additions. In the Jordan track guide, I described a section of the track incorrectly, so that was fixed. A few other parts were reworded for the sake of clarity. The new ASCII logo has now been added. Version 1.3- Revised on 6/02/00: A few more minor edits. Added Indoor and Outdoor Track Guide sections. Though some more minor revisions or additions may follow, and an update will be added if any new codes are revealed, this should be the last significant update. The guide is now essentially complete. Version 1.2- Revised on 6/02/00: More minor corrections, editing, format alterations, and typo fixes. Added Table of Contents and numbered each section for convenience of use. Changed the Power-Ups section to part of the Tips section. Added the all-important quick start trick and Game Shark codes to the Tips section (thanks Dave.) Version 1.1- Revised on 6/01/00: Minor corrections and clarifications made throughout. Game abstract added. Clean pause and soft reset were added to tips section. Visual descriptions of the bonus vehicles added. Version 1.0- Finished on 5/31/00: First released version. ================================= A.2 Abstract of 4 Wheel Thunder ================================= "4 Wheel Thunder is the next generation offroad racer, featuring graphics that push the limit of the Dreamcast and the ability to upgrade your car in a myriad of ways allowing the player to create the ultimate offroad vehicle. Be one with your vehicle as you race from the searing heat of the desert to the slippery ice of the mountains. Taste the dust, smell the tires burning, experience all the slides and bumps, and exhilarate in the feeling of victory as you speed by your opponents for the win!" This is from the text file found on the GD-ROM and is a reasonable, if not rather cheesy self-promotional description of the game. Though some of the early tracks (particularly the indoor ones) may seem a bit boring, the later tracks get pretty wild and intense. Give the game some time and it will grow on you and become very addictive. It may seem tough at first, but don't let the reviews fool you, this game is not excessively challenging, and nowhere near as hard to beat as its predecessor, Hydro Thunder, particularly if you use the tips and tricks noted in this guide. Combining great "boost" gameplay, lots of intelligent complex and widely varied track design, smooth easy-to-learn controls, plenty of different game modes, and incredible 60 fps, no pop-up, no-draw-in, high-res, high detail graphics, this is a superb game worth playing, and in my opinion, the best DC racer around. And make sure you give 2-player mode a shot, because it's top-notch. With a friend, it looks and plays just as well as in 1-player and is a great deal of fun. ___________________________ -=B. IMPORTANT GAMEPLAY TIPS =- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ =================== B.1 Tapping Boost =================== This is the most important key to winning in 4WT. To boost, TAP the boost button, rather than hold it. You don't need to tap it frantically, just about 2 times a second, and you will be able to maintain top speed. This will conserve boost, allowing you to miss boosts and avoid inconveniently placed ones, yet still have enough boost to maintain top speed throughout the race. Certain turbo controllers can simulate this, but if you don't have such a controller, tapping the button is just as, if not more, effective. ======================= B.2 Quick Start Trick ======================= The good ol' staple of arcade racers, the quick start trick is indeed present in 4WT and here's how you do it: During the countdown before the race, press nothing during "3,2,1" and wait until the screen says "GO!" Right as that happens press the Accelerate and Boost buttons at the same time (R+A on the default control setup) to get a quick start. If done properly, you will shoot out boosting extremely fast (faster speeds than usually possible on the ground for a brief moment) and have 4 seconds worth of boost fuel with which to start the race. The timing isn't too tough, so you should be able to get it right away. Try it out in Practice mode a few times, doing quick race restarts from the pause screen until you've got it down cold. =============== B.3 Shortcuts =============== Another important key to winning is taking the right routes. Some levels are so labyrinthine that you can get lost, like Jordan, Greece, and Atlas. Practice taking different routes and pay close attention to whether you lose time on your opponent, gain time, or pass opponents. Almost every outdoor level has one or two significant shortcuts that if you take each lap, will practically guarantee victory. Conversely, if you end up taking longcuts, losing is inevitable unless you race perfectly. If you find yourself having a really great race, but come in 3rd or worse, chances are that you are probably taking the wrong path. Also keep an eye out for hedges and brush that partially obscure hidden pathways. These are often (but not always) the best paths to take. If you watch the CPU players, you can often see them taking shortcuts you didn't know were there, so pay attention. Also, most of the lowly CPU opponents take the worst routes, while the higher ranking ones take the best routes, so use that information for your benefit as well. In Championship mode, keep an eye out for hidden "$" icons... there's a lot of money to be found out there. Just be careful that money collection doesn't cost you a win, because many times it's located in very out-of-the-way places. NEVER jeopardize a victory by going for bonus cash. It's just not worth it, and some "$"s are best ignored. =============== B.4 Power-Ups =============== There are a few different items/power-ups you can collect in 4WT and they are important to pick up if you want to win. Here's what each icon does for you: "BOOST" (blue): Adds 4 seconds* of boost fuel to your vehicle "BOOST" (red): Adds 9 seconds* of boost fuel to your vehicle * Each vehicle can only hold up to a maximum of 20 seconds worth of boost fuel at any given time. "$" (green): Worth $50 (only available in Championship mode) "$" (gold): Worth $300 (only available in Championship mode) ========== B.5 Grip ========== Having low "grip" in 4WT isn't the same as in most racing games. Low grip for a vehicle doesn't mean loss of control and spinning out. Spinning out happens when you hit a wall at high speed with highly uneven wheels, and is independent of your vehicle's grip. What a lack of grip does is allow for your vehicle to resist terrain rutting your wheels, and turn sharply with ease. An extreme lack of grip (i.e. buggies) will cause some sliding, but in general, low grip is a means of compensating for low handling. Do not look at low grip as a bad thing, because if anything, high grip is something to avoid. ============= B.6 Terrain ============= There are myriad terrain types in 4WT, from dirt to grass, mud, rocks, water, sand, snow, ice, and even lava. Pay attention to what types your vehicle handles well and which types it does not. Keep in mind that this is an OFFROAD game, so embrace cutting through rugged terrain, rather than avoid it like you might in some sissy sim racer. The road is often the last place you want to find yourself. But more important that the different terrain conditions, you need to pay attention to bumps and ridges in the ground. There are bumps all over the place (most prominently in Scandinavia outdoors) that can throw you off if you're not careful, so it is important to angle your vehicle properly when you hit them. On large jumps a small difference in take-off angle can mean the difference between being ahead by a few seconds or behind by a few seconds. ================= B.7 Getting Air ================= Hitting bumps and jumps can be dangerous, but when hit correctly, they can be a very good thing. Because of the use of "boost," your vehicle can get serious speed when airborne, much more speed than possible when grounded. The bigger the jump, the riskier, as mistakes get amplified, so make it a priority to align yourself right for jumps and the payoff will be big. When you've learned tracks well enough to find the right angles, you'll be hitting jumps at full speed all the time, and breaking records like crazy. ================================ B.8 Clean Pause and Soft Reset ================================ Like most Dreamcast games, you can make a clean pause screen by pressing X+Y while paused. Also, like most DC games, you can reset the game by pressing A+B+X+Y+Start. ====================== B.9 Game Shark Codes ====================== Since the Dreamcast Game Shark has just been released and I do not own one, I have no idea if these are accurate. If you've got a Game Shark and find that these are incorrect, please let me know. One editorial remark, however, and that is that using either of these codes will pretty much ruin all the fun of Championship mode for you. I'd say don't use them if you want to really enjoy the game, but of course whether you use them or not is entirely up to you. If you decide to use them, here they are: Infinite Money: 821B8F2A00000010 999 Points: 1FB414BB000003E7 ______________________ -=C. VEHICLE STATISTICS =- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Listed are the stats for all 60 vehicles in 4WT. Stats are to within 0.25 points (sometimes it's a little hard to tell the difference between a "6.5" and a 6.75.") Be careful though, as the stats for vehicles don't paint the whole picture, not by a longshot. The Type 1 Jeep for instance has poor looking stats but is a great vehicle, while the Quads have great stats but are pretty lousy vehicles. Higher level customizations are newly modeled and textured versions of the originals. Vehicles get new wheels, paint jobs, spoilers, bumpers, blowers, support cages, and other goodies as they get upgraded more and more. Also, at level 5, a second boost exhaust pipe is added to each vehicle, which will be noticeable when you engage your boosters. To unlock upgrades, you must buy them in Championship mode. Bonus vehicles can be earned by winning in the Arcade modes, winning in the Championship mode, and playing the jackpot in Championship mode. Once bought or won, upgrades and bonus vehicles become selectable in Arcade and Practice modes. ============================ C.1 Monster Truck [Type 1] ============================ Also Known As: #64, "Crazy Cruncher" ------------------------------------------------------ Customization- 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 ------------------------------------------------------ Weight- 5800 | 5900 | 6000 | 6100 | 6200 | 6300 Grip- 6.5 | 7.0 | 7.0 | 7.5 | 7.5 | 8.0 Handling- 5.0 | 5.5 | 5.5 | 6.0 | 6.0 | 6.0 Thrust- 7.5 | 8.0 | 8.5 | 8.5 | 9.0 | 9.5 Speed- 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 ------------------------------------------------------ Comments: This is a good all-around vehicle that's easy to use and a good choice for beginners. It handles all terrain conditions well, allows generous range for power-up collection, and can out-muscle opponents in contact situations. ============================ C.2 Monster Truck [Type 2] ============================ AKA: #16, "Shaker" ------------------------------------------------------ Customization- 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 ------------------------------------------------------ Weight- 6000 | 6100 | 6200 | 6300 | 6400 | 6500 Grip- 6.5 | 6.5 | 7.0 | 7.0 | 7.5 | 8.0 Handling- 5.0 | 5.0 | 5.5 | 5.5 | 5.5 | 6.0 Thrust- 7.0 | 7.5 | 8.0 | 7.75 | 8.5 | 9.0 Speed- 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 ------------------------------------------------------ Comments: Basically a slightly bigger, marginally slower version of Type 1. The differences are pretty insignificant beyond cosmetics, so this is another good choice for beginners. ==================== C.3 Buggy [Type 1] ==================== AKA: #8, "Annihilator" ------------------------------------------------------ Customization- 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 ------------------------------------------------------ Weight- 1200 | 1250 | 1300 | 1325 | 1350 | 1375 Grip- 0.5 | 0.75 | 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.5 | 2.0 Handling- 5.0 | 5.5 | 6.0 | 6.0 | 6.5 | 7.0 Thrust- 6.0 | 6.25 | 6.5 | 7.0 | 7.75 | 8.0 Speed- 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 10 ------------------------------------------------------ Comments: Tricky to use, as it slides around a lot and is the lightest vehicle, but it's also the fastest, and when mastered it's arguably the best vehicle in the game. The trick is to anticipate turns, oversteering early, and straightening out partway through the turn. It gets major air (and speed) off of jumps as well--good when you know what you're doing, bad when you don't. You'll be amazed at what this one can do with some practice. ==================== C.4 Buggy [Type 2] ==================== AKA: #2, "Wild Brat" ------------------------------------------------------ Customization- 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 ------------------------------------------------------ Weight- 1350 | 1375 | 1400 | 1425 | 1450 | 1475 Grip- 1.0 | 1.0 | 1.5 | 1.5 | 2.0 | 2.5 Handling- 5.5 | 6.0 | 6.5 | 6.5 | 7.0 | 7.5 Thrust- 5.5 | 6.0 | 6.5 | 6.75 | 7.0 | 7.5 Speed- 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 ------------------------------------------------------ Comments: Slides less than the Type 1, making it a friendlier option, but not quite as fast or light. Good introduction to the buggy, but Type 1 is ultimately better when mastered. =================== C.5 Jeep [Type 1] =================== AKA: #84, "Crusader" ------------------------------------------------------ Customization- 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 ------------------------------------------------------ Weight- 2050 | 2075 | 2100 | 2150 | 2250 | 2300 Grip- 1.5 | 2.0 | 2.5 | 3.0 | 3.5 | 4.0 Handling- 3.5 | 4.0 | 4.5 | 5.0 | 5.5 | 6.0 Thrust- 5.25 | 5.75 | 6.25 | 6.75 | 7.25 | 7.75 Speed- 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 9 ------------------------------------------------------ Comments: Looking at those stats you'd probably think this is the worst vehicle in the game. You'd be sorely mistaken. This jeep handles like a dream. Its particular combination of grip, handling, and weight allow for extreme ease in taking turns and all kinds of terrain. This is a great choice to start with, and works well even at advanced levels. Taking 1st place and shattering records are commonplace with this other candidate for best vehicle in the game. Don't be fooled! Try it, and trust me, you'll see what I mean. =================== C.6 Jeep [Type 2] =================== AKA: #36, "Bullet" ------------------------------------------------------ Customization- 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 ------------------------------------------------------ Weight- 1900 | 1950 | 1975 | 2000 | 2075 | 2100 Grip- 4.0 | 4.5 | 5.0 | 5.0 | 5.5 | 6.0 Handling- 7.0 | 7.5 | 8.0 | 8.5 | 9.0 | 9.5 Thrust- 5.0 | 5.5 | 5.5 | 6.0 | 6.5 | 7.0 Speed- 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 ------------------------------------------------------ Comments: Another great vehicle, plays similarly to its type 1 counterpart, despite the noticeable gap in stats. Being lighter, with more grip and handling, translates into it handling a little differently but also quite effectively. Another great choice for beginners and experts alike, that will place 1st and break records with ease. =================== C.7 Quad [Type 1] =================== AKA: #25, "Nitrate" ------------------------------------------------------ Customization- 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 ------------------------------------------------------ Weight- 3100 | 3150 | 3200 | 3275 | 3300 | 3375 Grip- 5.5 | 6.5 | 6.5 | 7.0 | 7.5 | 8.0 Handling- 5.0 | 5.5 | 6.0 | 6.5 | 6.25 | 7.0 Thrust- 6.5 | 7.0 | 7.5 | 7.75 | 8.0 | 8.75 Speed- 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 ------------------------------------------------------ Comments: BLECH! This vehicle looks sooooo good on paper, but it plays like crap. It has too much grip for its weight, shape, and handling, and takes bumps poorly. Steering gets rutted easily, acceleration isn't as good as its thrust would appear (important when you hit as many walls as you inevitably will using it), suspension is unforgiving, and the result is a car that looks stylish and nice sitting on the menu screen, that handles poorly in the actual game. Beginners be warned... as tempting as it appears, this is probably the worst choice you can make. =================== C.8 Quad [Type 2] =================== AKA: #43, "X-Terminator" ------------------------------------------------------ Customization- 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 ------------------------------------------------------ Weight- 2500 | 2600 | 2650 | 2700 | 2750 | 2875 Grip- 6.5 | 7.0 | 7.5 | 8.0 | 8.5 | 9.0 Handling- 4.5 | 5.0 | 5.5 | 5.5 | 6.0 | 6.0 Thrust- 6.0 | 6.5 | 7.0 | 7.0 | 7.5 | 8.0 Speed- 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 ------------------------------------------------------ Comments: Pretty much a ditto of Type 1, though this one isn't quite so bad. Still bad, but not quite as awful. Stay away from this one too. ====================== C.9 *BONUS* Vehicles ====================== Monster Truck Bonus AKA: #50, "Destroyer" ? (This logo is hard to read) This one looks like a modified Quad Type 2 mounted on monster truck wheels and suspension. Monster Truck Bonus 2 AKA: #01, "Midway" This one looks like a Studebaker mounted on monster truck wheels and suspension. It's decked out with a Midway logo. Monster Truck Bonus 3 AKA: #5, "Kalisto" This one looks like an old '50s pickup truck mounted on monster truck wheels and suspension. It's got a Kalisto logo. Buggy Bonus AKA: #75, "Maverick" Funky sporty looking buggy. Pretty slick design overall. Jeep Bonus AKA: #48, "Savage" If Mario Andretti and Charles Manson got together to augment a Desert Storm Humvee... Quad Bonus AKA: #74, "Slasher" Cool looking Quad, fashioned similarly to the Type 1, but highly modified. Toy Car (Milky) AKA: #1, The Cow, "Daisy" Toy Car (Pinky) AKA: #2, The Pink Elephant, "Star" Toy Car (Pouchy) AKA: #3, The Camel, "Cactus" Toy Car (Squizzy) AKA: #4, The Squirrel, "Nut" Toy Car (Willy) AKA: #5, The Orca, "Beachball" Toy Car (Pinguy) AKA: #6, The Penguin, "Fishbone" ----------------------------------------------------------- Description- M.Trucks | Buggy | Jeep | Quad |Toy Cars ----------------------------------------------------------- Weight- 6500 | 1375 | 1800 | 3375 | 6000 Grip- 8.0 | 2.0 | 4.0 | 8.0 | 8.0 Handling- 6.0 | 7.0 | 6.0 | 7.0 | 6.0 Thrust- 9.5 | 8.0 | 7.75 | 8.75 | 9.5 Speed- 8 | 10 | 9 | 9 | 8 ----------------------------------------------------------- Comments: The Bonus vehicles are cool new models with identical stats to the Customization 6 of the Type 1 vehicles (except the Monster Truck Bonuses which weigh a little more.) The Toy Cars are silly creatures in happy looking monster trucks (same stats, slightly lighter.) Note that none of these can be used in Championship mode. See notes on Arcade and Championship modes to learn how they are unlocked. _________________ -=D. PRACTICE MODE =- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is a versatile mode to play any individual races that you've unlocked by winning races in Arcade and Championship modes, using any vehicles you've unlocked in Arcade and Championship modes. You can adjust a couple of options here to suit the race to your liking. There are no special bonuses to unlock by racing here. _______________ -=E. ARCADE MODE =- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here you can race in sets of back-to-back races either indoors or out. You must place 1st in each race to advance to the next, and if you win each race, you will unlock the next series. If you beat the 3rd series, you unlock a new track in practice mode and a new vehicle. Since the competition is pretty fierce, and you can use any vehicle, it is a good idea to unlock some better vehicles in Championship mode to beat the tougher Arcade series. Any bonus vehicle or customization unlocked in any mode can be used in the Arcade modes. Any series of tracks of tracks you beat will unlock the corresponding tracks in Practice mode. ==================== E.1 Arcade Outdoor ==================== Finish Arcade Outdoor Series 3 in 1-player, and you will unlock the Greece Daylight track and Monster Truck Bonus 2. Series 1 Race 1: Far West Daylight Series 1 Race 2: Canada Daylight Series 1 Race 3: Corsica Daylight Series 2 Race 1: Scandinavia Daylight Series 2 Race 2: Jordan Daylight Series 2 Race 3: Greece Sunset Series 3 Race 1: Norway Daylight Series 3 Race 2: Iceland Daylight Series 3 Race 3: Atlas Daylight Series 3 Race 4: The Alps Cloudy =================== E.2 Arcade Indoor =================== Finish Arcade Indoor Series 3 in 1-player, and you will unlock the Canada Rain track and Monster Truck Bonus 3. Series 1 Race 1: Indoor Corsica Series 1 Race 2: Indoor Canada Series 2 Race 1: Indoor Scandinavia Series 2 Race 2: Indoor Far West Series 3 Race 1: Indoor Iceland Series 3 Race 2: Indoor Atlas ***HINT*** You can unlock new arcade series by playing them in 2-player mode. Regardless of who wins each race, if you proceed through each track, you can unlock each new series. Note, however, that to earn the bonus tracks and vehicles, you must beat Series 3 in 1-player mode. _____________________ -=F. CHAMPIONSHIP MODE =- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In Championship mode, you will play through 22 tracks, accumulating money for upgrades, and earning points based on performance. Once you begin, you will keep whichever vehicle you first choose until you win/lose the championship or start a new game, so choose carefully. When you win, you will view a very humorous ending, and earn a bonus vehicle. This mode will earn you 22 of the game's 24 tracks for Practice mode and 10 of the 12 different Bonus vehicles for both Practice and Arcade modes. It is important to note that the race restart function is disabled here (though you can still quit, then restart), so it may be a good idea to race a bit in Practice mode first. ============ F.1 Points ============ Each race you complete in 4th place or higher will allow you to advance to the next race. Points are earned according to how highly you placed within the top 4. At the end of each series, your point total must leave you at a certain place in the standings to earn advancement to the next series of races. A tie earns you the higher position. Points carry over from one series to another, so building up a solid lead early can allow you to place lower later on. Finish in 1st place at the end of 22 races and you win the game. =========== F.2 Money =========== Money, only found in Championship mode, earns you improved customizations to your vehicle, starting at level 1 and reaching a maximum of level 6. Each upgrade MUST be bought, so you can forget about skipping an upgrade to earn the next one faster. To upgrade, it costs the same amount for each vehicle type: Customization 2: $5,500 Customization 3: $8,000 Customization 4: $13,000 Customization 5: $19,000 Customization 6: $25,000 To gain cash, you need to win races (duh), and the prize money is based on how highly you place in each race. Each new series awards higher amounts of cash per race than the previous one. You can also earn money by picking up "$" icons found on every track. Greens are worth $50, while golds are worth $300. Finally, money can be won in the "jackpot" slot machine. After each race, the jackpot may appear (it pops up in-between the race info/point standings and car select/upgrade screens.) You get 10 pulls, costing $100 per pull (but you may quit at any time if you wish.) There are 6 symbols, match any three in a row, and you win $3000. Odds are 1 in 36 of winning, but these odds seem to go up or down, depending on how well you're doing in the championship, and if you won or lost the last time the jackpot appeared. If you play all 10 pulls and lose, you will instead win a "Toy Car." There are 6 of these silly guys who are selectable in the Arcade and Practice modes. Once you've unlocked all 6, if you lose on all 10 pulls, you get nothing. Whenever you win, the jackpot ends (you don't get any remaining pulls.) How often the jackpot appears is highly variable. I've played games where I got jackpots after approximately every other race, and other games where the jackpot only appeared twice throughout the entire 22 track championship. It may be somewhat (but not entirely) dependent on how well you're doing in the point standings. ***HINT*** After each race, make sure you save your game (even if you forget during the replay, you can exit to the save/load screen from the points standings menu and save then.) Then if the jackpot appears, you can reload until you win (or reload if you don't win in say 3 or 5 pulls, if you're really greedy.) This is a good way to help earn upgrades more quickly. ============== F.3 Series 1 ============== Finish in 1st or 2nd in the total point standings to advance. All tracks in this series are already unlocked in Practice mode. 1st Place: 20 points & $2000 2nd Place: 15 points & $1500 3rd Place: 10 points & $1000 4th Place: 5 points & $500 Race 1: Indoor Corsica** Race 2: Far West Daylight Race 3: Indoor Canada Race 4: Canada Daylight** Race 5: Corsica Daylight ============== F.4 Series 2 ============== Finish in 1st or 2nd in the total point standings to advance. Each race you advance past will unlock the same course in Practice mode. 1st place: 28 points & $2800 2nd place: 21 points & $2100 3rd place: 14 points & $1400 4th place: 7 points & $700 Race 1: Scandinavia Daylight Race 2: Indoor Scandinavia Race 3: Jordan Daylight** Race 4: Indoor Far West Race 5: Greece Sunset** ============== F.5 Series 3 ============== Finish in 1st in the total point standings to advance. Each race you advance past will unlock the same course in Practice mode. 1st place: 36 points & $3600 2nd place: 27 points & $2700 3rd place: 18 points & $1800 4th place: 9 points & $900 Race 1: Norway Daylight Race 2: Indoor Iceland Race 3: Corsica Rain** Race 4: Far West Night Race 5: Iceland Daylight ============== F.6 Series 4 ============== Finish in 1st in the total point standings to win the championship, a bonus vehicle, and view the ending. Again, each race you advance past will unlock the same course in Practice mode. Bonus vehicles are unlocked in Practice and Arcade modes. Winning with either Monster Truck earns the Monster Truck Bonus, winning with either Buggy earns the Buggy Bonus, etc. If you win the championship using the second type of the same vehicle you've already won with, you will earn no additional bonus vehicles (there are only 4 total bonus vehicles unlocked by winning, one Monster Truck, Buggy, Jeep, and Quad.) 1st place: 44 points & $4400 2nd place: 33 points & $3300 3rd place: 22 points & $2200 4th place: 11 points & $1100 Race 1: Indoor Atlas Race 2: Atlas Daylight** Race 3: Norway Night Race 4: Scandinavia Storm** Race 5: The Alps Cloudy Race 6: Iceland Snow Race 7: Atlas Sandstorm** ** Indicates the courses that typically present the most difficulty taking 1st place. Since you can still win the championship without taking 1st in each race, remember that some 2nd and 3rd place finishes are acceptable. Plan on allowing yourself lower place finishes on these courses to cut down on frustration. Eventually you'll be able to take 1st on every track, but until then, if you are having trouble with a particular track, just take a loss and move on. ================ F.7 The Ending ================ After you win the championship, you're treated to a great FMV sequence. It starts off showing a montage of races, etc. with credits rolling which is pretty standard fare. But after that, it turns supremely goofy... a bizarre 3D cartoon show ensues, taking place in an auditorium, with each of the developers (highly altered) stepping out for a curtain call while engaging in all kinds of crazy antics. All the while, some hilarious music plays that must be heard to be believed, because it simply defies description. I've deciphered the chorus lyrics (I think...) after hearing them several times. In case you're curious here they are: "4 Wheel Thunder! It can go faster than light. 4 Wheel Thunder! So fast you can travel in time. 4 Wheel Thunder! To drive it, you need a special suit. 4 Wheel Thunder! I'll see you yesterday, dude!" I haven't been able to make out the rest of the song. If anyone can understand any of the other verses, please let me know, I'm very curious. Anyway, after the song ends, three developers dressed as the "Men in Black" open a door and zap you with the little memory eraser device from the MIB movie. Finally the credits start flying through space, and ends with a cool "4 Wheel Thunder" logo display with lightning rippling through it. All in all, a very cool ending, particularly for a racing game, a genre not known for such frivolities... make sure you beat Championship mode, because it's well worth the spectacle. ______________________ -=G. INDOOR TRACK GUIDE =- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The indoor tracks in 4WT are not exactly the highlight of this game, but they do add another dimension, as they play very differently from the outdoor tracks. Indoor tracks are much shorter, less interesting, and generally more technical than the outdoor variety and lack multiple paths and shortcuts. There are also only 3 opponents (when playing versus the CPU), as opposed to 11 outdoor, and races consist of more laps (4-7.) ==================== G.1 Indoor Corsica ==================== Laps: 7 Though this is the first track you must race in Arcade and Championship modes this also happens to be one of the most difficult. The track is short, but the last stretch is quite tough to take properly. There is a set of large bumps that send you airborne just in front of a very sharp U-turn before the finish line. You do not want to boost through this section as you'll go crashing into the wall and be way out of position. As difficult as restraint may be, force yourself to go slowly, so you can avoid slamming into a wall and instead take the turn tightly (or at least not too badly.) The handbrake (Default B-Button) can help out a lot in turning sharply. =================== G.2 Indoor Canada =================== Laps: 4 This is the longest indoor track and it has the most interesting design. It's another pretty challenging course (seems as though the indoor tracks go from hardest to easiest), so you need to be careful again. The toughest parts are two sections in tunnels with two tight sharp 90 degree turns one right after the other. Go slowly, turn sharply, and treat them like U-turns. Fortunately bumps aren't too problematic here. In Championship mode, look for a gold $ icon hidden behind a billboard located along the right-hand wall of the first large loop in the track. It's a bit out of the way, but not too bad for a $300 pickup. Get it if you feel confident enough to still win with the minor detour involved. ======================== G.3 Indoor Scandinavia ======================== Laps: 5 This track is pretty dark for an indoor track, with a number of unlit caves/tunnels. Turn up the brightness on your screen for this one if you can. It's the second longest indoor track but not too hard. Bumps aren't bad, so mostly you just have to worry about taking turns properly. Watch out in Championship mode for inconveniently placed green $ icons. Some can be really hard to get, and for the money, it's really not worth it, unless you have a victory securely in hand. ===================== G.4 Indoor Far West ===================== Laps: 7 This is a very short track with lots of nasty bumps. Maintaining proper angle and speed is the key to winning here. Use boost sparingly or you'll get thrown way off track. ==================== G.5 Indoor Iceland ==================== Laps: 6 This is a medium length indoor track that's got a pretty interesting design. There are a few problematic bumps to watch your speed and angle on. The one really tricky area to be careful of is on the jumps following the first wide loop in the course (just past a green $ laying out wide in the turn.) Here you should NOT hit the jump with the red boost, but instead hit the jump with the blue. The blue jump is earlier, which will allow you to boost top speed through the jump and still recover quickly enough to take the following sharp right turn at full speed and control (and safely hit the following jump with a red boost.) Hitting the red jump instead will make the following turn much more difficult, and will also send you directly into some nasty barricades that are placed just before the turn if you don't angle yourself toward the dead center of the track. Just past the barricades is a gold $ icon (in Championship mode) which is VERY inconveniently placed, and may involve going in reverse or doing a circle to get. Only go for this if you have totally mastered the course and can afford losing a few seconds. ================== G.6 Indoor Atlas ================== Laps: 5 This is a short, virtually bump free course. There are a few somewhat technical turns, but the track is wide, and the race is smooth and easy. You should have no trouble with this course, particularly if you've passed all of the previous ones. Easiest indoor course, bar none. _______________________ -=H. OUTDOOR TRACK GUIDE =- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The outdoor tracks are the meat of 4WT gameplay. These are large wide-open tracks that are much much longer than the indoor ones, much more interesting, and are jam-packed with multiple paths, insane terrain, and shortcuts. Here you'll race only 2-4 laps, but still have much longer races because of their sheer size. You'll also race against a full field of 11 opponents when facing the CPU, instead of just 3. Winning these tracks is often heavily dependent on taking the right paths and shortcuts, so here I'll be giving as good a textual description of what to do in each race to be victorious as I can. 8 of the 10 outdoor tracks have alternate versions with special weather/lighting conditions (with some other visual modifications and interesting new scenery as well.) For races in the dark, it is highly advised that you play with the lights off and/or the brightness turned up on your screen to help compensate for the lower visibility. ================================= H.1 Far West [Daylight & Night] ================================= Laps: 2 This is the least difficult outdoor track design by a large margin. The course is extremely wide, straight-forward, and lacks any difficult turns, or sinister terrain. But as easy as it is to race nearly flawlessly here, there is one important shortcut you MUST take to avoid taking a likely loss. Approximately 1/3 of the way through, a bit before the little "Alamo" wall/barricade there's a turn where you see a stone wall with a flashing arrow pointing you to the right. But what you need to do is go left here instead through some brush. In Championship mode there are 2 green $ icons here as a bonus. Taking this shortcut will shave several seconds off your time and usually result in instantly passing one or more opponents. This can be tough to see/remember in the night race, but you still need to take it if you want to win. Some other useful shortcuts are as follows: Just through the ghost-town, cut in-between a building and the road (there's a green $ icon here as well.) At the "Alamo" hug the left wall instead of aiming for the center. This is shorter, gives you a ramp jump over the wall, and two green $ icons to boot. It's also much easier than steering through the narrow center archway. Finally, just before the mining area, there's a hill along the right edge which is a handy shortcut where you'll get another couple of green $ icons for your trouble. ============================== H.2 Canada [Daylight & Rain] ============================== Laps: 2 This track has lots of caves and some tricky shortcuts. There's quite a bit of money lying around that actually guides you through minor shortcuts early. The one really important shortcut to take here is inside the cave that has an underground bridge. Here you want to cross the bridge, but at the end of the bridge, before exiting the large open chamber, immediately swerve hard to your left. There's a tunnel here that's a major shortcut and is pretty crucial to winning. Racing this one in the rain is much more difficult, but fortunately, the only time you'll ever be racing in the rain is in Practice mode, as it is not part of the Championship or Arcade circuits. =============================== H.3 Corsica [Daylight & Rain] =============================== Laps: 2 This is another track that has one critical shortcut that helps you win. Maybe about 1/2 way through the course, there's a flashing arrow pointing you to the left sitting along the edge of a cliff. Instead of following the arrow, go over some brush just to the right of the arrow for a substantial shortcut. The shortcut is pretty vicious, and you may hit some walls, but even so, you'll save a lot of time. There's another substantial hidden path early in the race, but it doesn't really save you much, if any, time (though there is a green $ icon along it.) Look along the left wall of the mountain for a small cave entrance obscured by weeds if you want to explore it. There's a cool waterfall back there, but again this path is not very useful. Note that the rain track in Championship mode is extremely difficult to place 1st in, so if there's a track in which to accept a loss, it's that one. ==================================== H.4 Scandinavia [Daylight & Storm] ==================================== Laps: 2 Scandinavia is a major pain in the rear end. It's not too tough to win either race due to the weak CPU here, but this is still a frustrating track, made exponentially more annoying during a thunderstorm at night. The key here is not shortcuts or taking the right path, but handling the perpetually rocky terrain. This is a bumpy ride that punishes you if you lift off at the wrong angle or speed. In the storm, seeing the rocks is almost impossible, so try to stay as straight as you can, and don't go too fast in the tougher areas. There's a nice little shortcut at the very start, where the track turns left, but you can drive right off a cliff blocked by some small brush. You'll briefly drive through some water then back up a hill to your left onto the normal track again. There's a gold $ icon down here, but be careful if you decide to get it, because it's at a dead end. If you swing out wide to the right and do almost a U-turn you can safely get it (and still win, because the CPU is pretty weak here), but it might be better to ignore it if you're a beginner. When you see a branch where you can into a cave or left to stay outside, the cave is marginally shorter, but both paths are pretty close, and if you stay outside, if you angle yourself properly, you can get the green $ icon just in front of the road split. About 2/3 of the way through the course, just before the cabin, there's a very wide open expanse, with lots of mud. If you swing out very wide to the left, you can pick up another gold $ icon pretty easily. When you pass the cabin, stay left to go across a bridge for the slightly shorter path. ===================== H.5 Jordan Daylight ===================== Laps: 4 This track is a real maze, with paths splitting off everywhere you look. It's also one of only 2 outdoor tracks without an alternate version and the only 4-lap outdoor track. The most difficult aspect of this race is confusion, as losing your sense of direction and getting lost can be real problems. Fortunately, pretty much any route you decide to take will allow you to win, just so long as you handle it well. The best advice to give is to race this one several times, trying out different routes, then pick the path that agrees with you most. Then take that path every time until you've learned it well enough to avoid making major mistakes. Once you do that, you should be able to win. There's a lot of money here in Championship mode, even one or two gold $ icons, but it's best to ignore money collection until you've gotten pretty familiar with the track. One particularly tricky area to watch out for is a place where you may have to make a sharp right turn toward a large adobe house. If you don't slow down ahead of time, then take the turn very tightly, you'll find yourself ramming straight into the house, and have a very difficult recovery involving reversing and realigning yourself. If you take this route, memorize where the turn is and slow down EARLY to avoid catastrophe. ================================ H.6 Greece [Daylight & Sunset] ================================ Laps: 3 One of the more challenging courses in the game, this one gives most people a lot of trouble, with its wicked branching turns and bumps placed at the most inconvenient places. It also doesn't help that you first race this one at sunset which may look pretty cool but reduces visibility at the same time. There's a branch at the VERY beginning if you turn to go onto the beach, but unfortunately this isn't really a shortcut. The only significant shortcut here is pretty early in the race, where there's a left turn signaled by flashing arrows on the face of a cliff. Look at the cliff closely and you'll see some weeds covering the mouth of a cave. Go in here for a nice shortcut that has a green $ icon to reward you in Championship mode. A little bit further on, when the road splits sharp to the left, straight into a cave, or toward the right onto a hill over the cave, take the sharp left. This is another painful and difficult shortcut, but it's the shortest path. The cave is easy and has a nice red boost inside which you can take and still win, but if you get used to taking the left here instead, winning will be an easier task. Near the end is a branch that goes left or right. Left again is tougher but shorter. Either way you can win, but if you get accustomed to going left you'll be better off in the long run. =============================== H.7 Norway [Daylight & Night] =============================== Laps: 3 This track is sooooo very easy to win on, because there is just a ridiculous amount of major shortcuts you can take, and the CPU is usually too dumb to take advantage of them. First off, there's a wide circular turn at the start, where if you turn sharply right, you can cut across a frozen lake. Then as you come around the next turn, there's an arrow pointing you left. If you veer off to the right instead, just past the arrow, you can cut across some more ice under an archway that is not only another major shortcut, but has a gold $ icon in Championship mode sitting there for your troubles. A little further on, there's a partially hidden path through some brush which you should NOT take, but instead, cut between a gap in some ice formations toward the right where a green $ icon sits in Championship mode (this route is much faster.) Once you take this route, you'll go down a bumpy stretch just before a U-turn. But instead of following the ice road all the way around, slow down early, slam the handbrake and U-turn long before then, to drive off the cliff into the cave for more substantial time trimmings. After this watch out for a ramp over a frozen river near the cabin. If you instead drive over the river to the right of the ramp, you can pick up another green $ icon in Championship mode, and make sure you're able to make a sharp right turn immediately past the river. Finally, near the end there's a large U-turn you can bypass altogether by jumping through a giant "O" formation in the ice for yet another major shortcut. If you take all of these shortcuts, you can be in first place by the end of the second lap. I pity anyone who is unable to win this race. On a side note, isn't Norway part of Scandinavia? Oh well, never mind that... =============================== H.8 Iceland [Daylight & Snow] =============================== Laps: 3 This is the coolest track in the game (no pun intended.) Did the game designers forget that Iceland is in actuality a very green and pleasant country, named "Iceland" by the Vikings simply to throw off early settlers?
Oh well, I guess they get their share of snow there too, so never mind that as well... I love this track regardless. This course has huge changes in elevation as you go up, down, through mountains, take large jumps, and is overall a very fun design. It is, however, a fairly tough course until you know your way around. Similarly to Jordan, winning here is more about learning any path well than taking the right shortcuts. When going inside mountains, be careful of lava, which amazingly doesn't harm your vehicle, but does have a tendency to slow you down a little. After going through the first cave, when you come to the second one, you have the option of going under or over it. If you veer off to the left, you can go over, and hit a HUGE jump, that if taken properly with the right vehicle will bounce you over an icy ridge. You have to be careful here to either go just low enough to clear it cleanly underneath, or hit the top high enough. If you hit the top high, you'll bounce over, and catch so much air that while boosting you'll hit speeds well over 200 MPH. But if you hit the ice formation head-on, you will lose a lot of time, so try to avoid that. In general it is probably safer to instead go under the mountain, through the lava cave, but this jump is a lot of fun to try to master. The only other important route note is to go right at the intersection just before the airplane parked on the ice. Going left is a bit of a longcut so avoid going that way. Other than that, most of the routes are pretty even, so it really doesn't matter which way you go as long as you race a good race. ================================== H.9 Atlas [Daylight & Sandstorm] ================================== Laps: 3 This desert track is extremely challenging in the same way as Jordan but more so. Definitely a race you should allow yourself a loss in during Championship mode, this will take a good deal of practice to master. Racing in the sandstorm doesn't make things any easier, but fortunately you don't have to do that until the very end of Championship mode. There are paths branching everywhere again here and the course is pretty long, particularly for a 3-lap track, but most of the time one path isn't substantially shorter than another. Again, racing a good race is simply the key to success here, not finding huge shortcuts. In general, however, going left is shorter than going right, but often more tricky. There is one nice shortcut though midway through the course where there's a split to the left or right. This split is where the left path goes into a stream that flows through an archway in the cliff. Go through that archway to the left to shave a good bit of time off each lap. Other than that, remember left is usually shorter, and just practice until you're good enough to win, or accept a loss. ====================== H.10 The Alps Cloudy ====================== Laps: 2 The Alps Cloudy, interestingly is the other race without an alternate version, and has no basic daylight version like all the others. The cloudy setting for this race is very appropriate, as the foreboding clouds signify a dark and vicious change in the weather, the way this track begins pleasant and fun but turns absolutely brutal toward the end. Fortunately, the CPU doesn't have an easy time with this track at all, so even if you have major problems getting through the latter portions, you should still be able to pull off a win. There are lots of hills and jumps early on, which allow for some of the biggest air in the game. This is both fun and rewarding, as you'll be able to pass CPU opponents with ease as you sail through the sky at high speed. But about 2/3 of the way through, the track starts winding through tight mountain passes with sharp turn, after sharp turn, after sharp turn. There are some shortcuts scattered about, but they usually aren't big time savers or any less difficult than the main road. During the tight mountain pass turns you need to SLOW DOWN, going at slower speeds and using less boost than ever before. Even though it may seem like you're letting the competition get away by not using boost and applying the brakes liberally, trust me, the CPU has to go extremely slow too. Accept the slower pace and you'll experience much less frustration here. At the very end of the race where you can see some cable cars overhead, there's a nice little shortcut to the right through a field that leads to the finish line and saves a bit of time. Despite the difficult layout of this course, beating the weak CPU here shouldn't be too challenging. _______________ -=I. FINAL NOTES =- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now that I've added detailed track descriptions, I'm pretty much done with the FAQ/Strategy Guide, and intend no more major additions at this point. If you know any new previously unpublished codes or have figured out more of the lyrics to the 4 Wheel Thunder ending theme song, please let me know. Information on 2-player modes is not included, as that is all detailed well enough in the manual. If you find this guide useful, I'm glad, if you don't I'm sorry, but you get what you pay for. ;) Regardless, please only send e-mail if you've got new information for the guide. E-mail can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks to Kalisto for making a superb game, and for my money, the best racer on Dreamcast to date. Thanks to Midway for the great DC support publishing some of the best Dreamcast games around. I'm glad to see them once again making something other than rehashed Mortal Kombat games. Thanks to Dave at cheatcc.com for access to the quick start trick and Game Shark codes. This guide is for private use only. Any commercial use of any kind, unauthorized distribution or reprint anywhere in any form, without consent of the original author is prohibited. This guide is copyrighted by its author 2000. This guide is in no way affiliated with Midway, Kalisto, or SEGA. 4 WHEEL THUNDER is copyrighted 2000 by Kalisto Entertainment. 4 WHEEL THUNDER is a trademark of Midway Home Entertainment. Sega Dreamcast is a trademark of SEGA. Fin.