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Planet Hot Wheels

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Title Screen

Planet Hot Wheels

Developer: Mattel
Publisher: Mattel
Platform: Windows
Released internationally: March 21, 2002

DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
MinigameIcon.png This game has unused modes / minigames.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

This article is a work in progress.
...Well, all the articles here are, in a way. But this one moreso, and the article may contain incomplete information and editor's notes.
See, this is why server preservation is important.
This game's online features are no longer supported.
While this game's online features were once accessible, they are (as of 2005) no longer officially supported and online-exclusive features may be documented as now-unseen content.

A web based MMO racing game and probably the first of its kind. Although the servers were discontinued in 2005, an offline version of the service's main "head2head" and "full on rally" modes were available to download with online options.

Unused Tracks

Depending on the game revision (see below), some tracks are missing, even though some appear in the main menu. Choosing and loading a missing track will crash the game!

Both Versions

  • constructor: Probably a track builder. The game's files says "it doesn't work anymore".
  • 4pl_tgrn: Referenced in the game's files as a secret track. According to the developers' comments, it was removed because it was buggy. It was temporarily replaced with Ship, although it appears in the select tracks box.
  • newlevels4b\hw4p02: A combat arena called "Hindu", no data exists.
  • stackoval: Only referenced in the game's files, no data exists.

Carena Version Exclusives

  • hw35_volc: The Ring of Fire track. Strangely, it's included in some versions, whereas it's missing in others.
  • 2pl_tcanynbadreset: An old version of the Canyon track. Folder only.

Highway 35 Version

  • 2pl_tcanyn: The Canyon track.
  • 4pl_tsmall: The Small track.
  • 2pl_tship: The Ship track.
  • 4pl_tfish: The Fish track.

Unused Names

The real names of the Carena version's tracks are unused in both versions. Instead, they are called by their file names.

Filename Real Name
HighTech Man Made Hightech/Technology
Small Test Track
Canyon The Falls
Ship Crash Site

Debug Mode

Elementary, my dear Cactus.
This needs some investigation.
Discuss ideas and findings on the talk page.

In both versions, some debug keys are enabled by default.

Highway35 2016-08-25 14-44-15-45.png

  • Enter: Debug screen. Use numpad 4 and 6 to select an option, numpad 2 and 8 to change the values, and numpad 5 to clear value.
  • C: Turns on free camera movement. Pressing again locks the camera in position.
  • D: Depending of the number of times pressed, shows what file is loading, an unknown value or the player's coordinates.
  • G: Restarts the race.
  • N: Shows the winning animation.
  • U: Maxes out the speed.
  • V: Makes the car invisible.
  • 1ː Returns to online game lobby.
  • 2ː Restarts current track.
  • 3ː Opens the main menu (startstate 3 in config.txt). Will display "Can't open tokfile mainres.txt" if main menu is missing.
  • 4ː Attempts to open a menu for emulator tests or collision tests (startstate 4 in config.txt). Will display "Dirstack Overflow" when attempting to start up.
  • 5ː Generates an exception. Exception is recorded in highway35\sledhw35\logfile.txt.
  • 6ː Opens sound test menu (startstate 6 in config.txt). Will display "Can't open igsounds.tag" if not found.
  • 7ː Unknown; game crashes.
  • 8ː Unknown; game crashes.
  • 9ː Unknown; game crashes.

Sound Test

Present in the original Planet Hot Wheels version (not the newer Highway 35 version) is a sound test menu accessible by altering the config file to boot the game in startstate 6.

This sound menu displays all of the weapon sounds and various other sounds in the game. Clicking on each one will play it.

The menu will also display the various text files inside the main asset directory, along with any capture files taken through the debug frame capture feature.


Revisional Differences

The game was updated in 2003 to add content for the then-upcoming 35th anniversary of Hot Wheels, mostly content from the Highway 35 World Race movie.

Main Menu

The Highway 35 version adds an option to change cars. In the Carena version, you must edit the config file to change the cars.

The font was changed as well. Even the resolution got an upgrade! (800x600 compared to 640x480 on the Carena version).

Carena version Highway 35 version
Carenamenu.png Highway35menu.png


The HUD was redesigned. Also, the loading bar is replaced with a percentage counter.

Carena version Highway 35 version
Carena HUD.png Highway35 HUD.png

Starting Lights

The Carena version uses a 3D rendered starting light, whereas the Highway 35 version uses the movie's starting light. Also, the Carena version includes a panel with the names of the current players.


Each version has their own exclusive tracks. However, it's still possible to load the Carena version tracks into the Highway 35 version by simply copying the files or in case of the drag track, by also adding the main file in "online_seltrack.txt".

Carena Version Tracks Highway 35 Version Tracks
HighTech HighTech
Small Ring of Fire
Canyon The Shorcut
Ship Desert Heat
Fish Ocean Vista
Canyon Urban Sky
Drag Newcheck
LoopCheck LoopCheck


A new music track was added for the HighTech track; previously, it used the default music track. The new track appears to be a digital instrumental version of Ave Maria by Franz Schubert.

Carena version Highway 35 version


Some cars are exclusive to a version. Currently, it's unknown if it's possible to load the Carena version cars in the Highway 35 version. Cars present in both versions got enhanced models on the Highway 35 version.


The executable's name was changed from carena.exe to highway35.exe.