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Proto:Hot Wheels: Velocity X (PlayStation 2, GameCube, Windows)

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This page details one or more prototype versions of Hot Wheels: Velocity X (PlayStation 2, GameCube, Windows).

HWVXproto-titlescreen.png

Hiddenpalace.org logo.png  This prototype is documented on Hidden Palace.

So very stubbly.
This page is rather stubbly and could use some expansion.
Are you a bad enough dude to rescue this article?
This cactus is UNDER CONSTRUCTION
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.

On December 27, 2023, dedicated fans of Velocity X discovered that in mid-November, a CD-R containing an "Early Code" version of the game had been auctioned away on eBay. Two days later, archivist MOVGAMES released over an hour of footage of the ROM, releasing the build and his personal findings to the Internet Archive on December 30.

This version of the game is a PS2 build compiled July 16, 2002, about four months before the final PS2 build. Prominently in its treasure trove of differences are a much earlier version of Burnout Glacier, a fully playable version of the previously known Sweet 16 II, and two never-before-seen cars: Fandango and Jester.

Hmmm...
To do:
Poke through MOVGAMES' PDF of findings...upload and document unused voicelines from Nitro, Belcher, Fast Lane, Slick, Otto...so many Compare templates it isn't funny...also, screenshots!

General Differences

  • The subtitle Maximum Justice had not yet been given to the PS2 version.
  • The startup movie is HWTRAIL; a longer, uncompressed PSS version of the HW_MARK bink video from the PC disk.
  • In Singleplayer, three additional camera angles are cycled through when switching: A third zoom away from the car, the orbiting view seen at the end of missions and challenges, and the "cinematic" camera used in promotional screenshots and Mission 14.
  • In Multiplayer, the planned Stunt Mode is listed; it is not a selectable option, however, and no .XPS maps exist for the mode in the files.
  • The save data icon in the Playstation 2's browser is reused another Beyond Games title, Motor Mayhem.
  • When the player changes weapon on the Gadget Select screen, the previous gadget flies off the car roof; this is also reused from Motor Mayhem, when the player drops a weapon.
  • Some car names, such Overbored 454, Jet Threat 3.0, Sol-Aire CX4, and Shadow Jet, have typos and errors - in the case of Shadow Jet, it's simply named "Locked"
  • An option titled "Debug Unlock All" exists in the Options menu, which activates all cheats (and thus unlocks everything) when toggled.
HWVXproto-Debugunlock.png

Exclusive Cars

  • Three cars feature in this prototype which did not make it to the final version of Velocity X.
Fandango - Starter Car
Sweet 16 II - Mission #3 Reward
Jester - Mission #4 Reward

Gameplay Differences

  • Car physics are faster and lighter, matching prerelease footage more closely; the handling model allows for tighter turns and faster braking.
  • Stunt points are gained much easier; even slight adjustments while maneuvering in the air adds score.
  • Many more destructible physics objects slow the player down when crashed into, compared to the final build. Many of these objects use full 3D models instead of particle effects when destroyed; particularly crates.
  • Firing Gadgets does not produce recoil, nor does boosting push the player's rear wheels down.
  • Mission items (the Money, Time Bomb, Uranium, Volcanic Gas, and Temporal Transmission) can be thrown with the "Fire Weapon" button. When the player picks up a mission item, all of their gadgets are taken away.

UI Differences

Hmmm...
To do:
Images of more than the main menu here!
  • The main menu and car/gadget selection screens are very different from the final build.
  • The in-game UI is close the final; in Maximum Justice's Silver rather than the PC and Gamecube version's Gold.
  • In-game, an XYZ coordinate guide is listed at all times.
  • A number matching the Turbo and Health bars is listed above your gadget's ammo meter.
  • Some menus of the game use the font Freya Neu, which in the final build is only seen on the "VELOCITY" text in the logo.
  • The "Unlimited Health" cheat is named "God Mode" and appears to be broken.
HWVXProto-MainMenu.png
HWVXproto-carselect.png
HWVXProto-OrbitCam.png

Texture Differences

  • Four billboards featured in Monument City display at double the resolution of the final game; with less compression. One had a generic phone number partially covered.
Prototype Final
HWVX-PlanetCycle-Proto.png HWVX-PlanetCycle-Final.png
Prototype Final
HWVX-BOB-Proto.png HWVX-BOB-Final.png
Prototype Final
HWVX-MonsterTrucks-Proto.png HWVX-MonsterTrucks-Final.png
Prototype Final
HWVX-Berts-Proto.png HWVX-Berts-Final.png
  • MS-T Suzuka's texture has an additional dot where the Mattel logo goes on the simplified Hot Wheels logo in the plate holder.
  • The textures of the cars Super Tuned, At-A-Tude, and Vulture more closely resemble the toy versions; some of these textures exist unused in the final build.

Audio Differences

  • Max Justice narrates the main menu, including the title of the game on the "Press Start Button" screen.
  • The game utilizes digital sound processing, such as reverb in tunnels.
  • The main menu's music is entirely different; a more upbeat, bombastic song featuring the 'leitmotif' featured throughout the final game's soundtrack.
  • MIDI instrumentation is incomplete; featuring almost none of the sounds which would make it into the final game except for some percussion and Groovemaker samples.
  • None of the songs from the final game exist yet, except for the Challenge theme; which plays in most (but not all) maps.
  • The Turbo sound on most cars uses the Jet Boosters SFX instead; exceptions include MS-T Suzuka and Greased Lightnin'.

World Differences

Hmmm...
To do:
Add additional differences to all of these; which there absolutely are. Screenshots and Compare templates. Complete Burnout Glacier's section!!

Monument City

  • The versions of Monument City used for Adventure and Challenge come from earlier prerelease versions; featuring the older version of Nitro's hideout, as well as earlier lighting and fog.

Turbine Sands

  • In Missions 4 and 6, the locomotive of the Train from the final game's Mission 5 can be seen doing laps of it's track at an exceptionally high speed.

Crankshaft Bay

  • The player's spawn point is broken in Joyride, ejecting the player at high speed above the Warehouse District, causing very bad frame drops and controller vibration. Some cars, such as Fandango, Sweet 16 II, or Sho-Stopper, will more often than not get hopelessly stuck in level geometry on impact with the ground due to the angle they are ejected.
  • A ramp which appears out-of-bounds on Warehouse District in the final game still exists here. The nearby palms are breakable objects instead of being protected by barriers.
HWVXproto-bayramp.png
  • Poorly-done polygons representing schools of fish being swirled around by the underwater tunnels' propellers did not make it to the final game.
  • The drawbridge driven over at the beginning of Bay Street Race is a fully animated. The glass awnings on either side, removed in all versions except for the PC build, are still there.
HWVX-baydrawbridge.png
  • The underwater tunnels use animated lighting which was partially removed from the final build.

Underworld

  • Three gate obstacles which bob up and down work in Adventure, Challenge, and Joyride; in the final game, only the one which appears in the Battle map Sewer Pipe Arena still animates. Said gate specifically moves much faster.
Prototype Final
HWVX-Sewergate-proto.png HWVX-Sewergate-final.png
  • In Otto's hideout, the computer does not have a platform around it containing bonus points / a gear; bringing it slightly closer to the opening FMV's version. The shield also animates slower.
Prototype Final
HWVX-Computer-Proto.png HWVX-Computer-Final.png
  • In Otto's hideout, a box on a rail properly animates; in the final game, it does not animate except for in the Challenge maps, where the animation is broken and the box does not make it all the way down the rail.
  • The fluid moving through the pipes in Otto's hideout are a brighter green which matches the boxes on the rails, insinuating they contain Super Fuel rather than sewage.
  • Sewer Pipe Arena uses animated lighting which was completely removed from the final build.

Burnout Glacier

HWVXproto-burnout.png
  • The Joyride version of Burnout Glacier is much earlier and unfinished. Snow unused in the Final build is prevalent, the entire north side of the downtown area is fully accessible, the road leading up to the Castle and Volcano is unfinished bare snow; and the cave track near the Volcano is fully accessible.
    • This version of the map appears to have been used for Missions 10 and 12's preview screenshots in the final build.
  • The Adventure version, meanwhile, is closer to the Final in lighting; some areas are still accessible, but the collision mesh blocks pathways off.
  • Glacier Race is broken and cannot be loaded, defaulting to Downtown Race instead.

Adventure Differences

Hmmm...
To do:
This is incomplete! There are far more differences than listed here; this simply gets the list started.
  • Many enemies in Adventure drive Evil Twin and Vulture, which are the signature cars of bosses in the final game.
  • Mission 1: There is no objective to fight two enemies in the Tire Factory; instead, this version of the mission is a non-stop driving battle all the way to the Engineering Plant.
  • Mission 2: the pickup area for the Time Bomb is Yellow instead of Green. The NPCs which spawn after you pick up the Bomb have broken AI.
  • Mission 3: the player is placed immediately in front of the money instead of having to drive to Downtown and retrieve it, and a broken text box appears before the race. Nitro is driving Vulture instead of Jaded.
  • Mission 5: The player must retrieve the Uranium personally, instead of stealing it from a convoy.
  • Mission 6: Belcher is fought immediately in the Ghost Town, instead of having to race him through the desert to Turbine City first.
  • Mission 12: The "Destroy 4 Power Boxes" objective is not present.
  • Mission 13: The "Find 5 Keys" objective is not present. No bombs are present. All four Bosses are fought at once, instead of two at a time; Nitro is driving Hammered Coupe instead of Jaded.
  • Mission 14: Enemies are fought on the way to Otto's hideout instead of navigating a maze of bombs. The Quantum Annihilator does not exist in this version of the game; a Super Zapper is used to destroy the computer instead, and Otto's Prototype 12 has much less HP.