Boombox Zombie is a zombie encountered in Neon Mixtape Tour in Plants vs. Zombies 2. Upon reaching the sixth column, he will raise his boombox to play the power ballad jam for a few seconds, immobilizing all plants on the lawn except Phat Beet, underground plants, instant-use plants and Electric Blueberry. This also overrides any other jam currently playing and significantly slows all zombies on the field in Neon Mixtape Tour only. In Modern Day, all zombies retain their speed. Because Boombox Zombie stops any current Jams from playing, he is considered an environment modifier.
Boombox Zombie's jam only lasts for eight seconds, but it can be extended by other Boombox Zombies (as seen on Day 28), as long as they play their jam after the original Boombox Zombie does.
He was first revealed in the Neon Mixtape Tour Side B developer diary, released on September 15, 2015.
He is named after a boombox, a common term for a portable transistorized cassette tape recorder/player and AM/FM radio (and, beginning in the 1980s, a CD player) with an amplifier, two or more loudspeakers and a carrying handle.
He is possibly based on the character Lloyd Dobler from the 1980s movie Say Anything.... His Almanac entry references a line from the film, and he also holds a boombox that plays love songs.
Holds aloft a boom box that tranquilizes all plants with its heartfelt tunes.
Special: Boom box has no effect on ground plants and Phat Beets
Boombox Zombie doesn't want to buy, sell or process anything; he just really wants to consume your brains.
When you see this zombie, defeat him as soon as possible or he will use his boombox to prevent plants from using their abilities. In Neon Mixtape Tour, he rarely gets far enough into the lawn in order to play his jam, making him not a significant threat. However, if he is left alive for long enough, then he can potentially be very hazardous as plants that are immobilized cannot do anything, leaving other zombies to take down your plants with little to no harm. Also take caution when Breakdancer Zombies or Glitter Zombies are reacting to their jams.
Highway to the Danger Room
In Highway to the Danger Room, Boombox Zombies are far more dangerous as they can spawn through a portal past the third column to the right, allowing them to utilize their ability at the very instant. However, unlike in Neon Mixtape Tour, Boombox Zombie does not make the zombies slower due to lack of jam speeds in Modern Day.
In lower levels of Highway to the Danger Room, Neon Mixtape Tour portals will generally not spawn enough Boombox Zombies to be too dangerous. The real threat begins in higher levels (Level 30 and above) portals can spawn multiple Boombox Zombies in succession, causing the jam (and stunning effect) to last longer than normal as well as disabling any non-instant plants planted after the first Boombox Zombie plays the jam. If such an event occurs, it is usually better to spend an extra Plant Food per level (if the player does not have Power Lily) in order to prevent stronger zombies such as All-Star Zombie and Robo-Cone Zombie from plowing through the player's defenses while they are stunned. You can also bring Phat Beet, though it may not deal with tougher zombies like Robo-Cone Zombies or Gargantuars.
A safer and economically conservative strategy to use is to feed the Iceberg Lettuce with a Plant Food. However, timing is necessary here because another Boombox Zombie might emerge from the portal or another set of Neon Mixtape Tour portals would appear on the lawn which allows further reinforcements of the same type would extend the jam's duration, allowing Modern Day or other zombies from distant worlds to assimilate and press forward to the player's defenses. A Power Lily is also essential for this technique to give the player a spare Plant Food for last resort option. Assuming that the horde has been frozen by the Iceberg Lettuce, either of the two will happen;
- Another batch of portals will appear accompanied by another batch of Modern Day zombies, whom are leading the assault. If, by chance, no All-Star Zombies or Neon Mixtape Tour portals would appear, conserve the Plant Food that is supposed to be used to the Iceberg Lettuce so that it will neutralize the entire horde (with frozen hordes extending their frozen status). Otherwise, use Plant Food for Iceberg Lettuce.
- Another batch of Neon Mixtape Tour portals appear, accompanied by other portals from each world, and reinforced by the Modern Day zombies. Wait for the Boombox Zombie to arrive via the portal. If it is 8-bit Zombies, spare Plant Food. Otherwise, use Iceberg Lettuce to freeze the horde. Pattern can be very difficult to study but if the player gets the hang of it, they will have no problem in executing the strategy. Should another Boombox Zombie arrive via the portal and all hordes are frozen, refrain from consuming remaining Plant Foods. Save the rest and wait for the next batch of portals and zombies to appear.
- Area-of-effect plants like Laser Bean or Fume-shroom will defeat Boombox Zombies at ease because of their piercing capability that prevents the boombox from activating too early. The latter must be close enough for the Boombox Zombies to be hit though.
- Use Plant Food on any attacking plant to get rid of the Boombox Zombie to remove immobilization from the plants.
- Thyme Warp can disable his jam and teleport all zombies back to their starting positions, allowing other plants to break free from the jam.
- Spikeweeds and Spikerocks are immune to immobilization and are a good idea, as these plants can damage the Boombox Zombie even after he used his boombox.
- Primal Peashooters and Chard Guards are useful as they can knock him back, preventing him from reaching the sixth column.
- Use an Iceberg Lettuce or Stunion if it is recharged, as it cancels out his ability instantly. Use Plant Food if necessary to freeze more.
- Phat Beet is completely immune to immobilization. Therefore, the player should use these plants to defeat the zombies that have been slowed down by the ballad jam.
- Boombox Zombie shares his animation with Ra Zombie and Turquoise Skull Zombie. In general, they all share the same walking animation with each other and share the eating and standing animation of Cowboy Zombies.
- The heart effect when Boombox Zombie stuns plants is the same effect used during Valenbrainz when Valenbrainz Zombies are defeated and when Plant Food is fed on Sweet Potato.
- Boombox Zombie does not appear to hold his boombox in the Neon Mixtape Tour Side B trailer.
- One of them even sports a blue sleeveless shirt and blueish eyes instead of a yellow shirt and normal zombie eyes.
- Boombox Zombie is the fourth zombie to play music while using its special ability. The first is Jack-in-the-Box Zombie, the second is Pianist Zombie, and the third is Disco-tron 3000.
- Electric Blueberry does not react to Boombox Zombie's music, as it still creates storm clouds.
- Magnifying Grass was also not affected by the music, as it was still able to be tapped, making it fire its projectile. However, this is no longer true after the 6.6.1 update.
- Boombox Zombie is the only zombie that can interrupt other jams.
- Due to a glitch, Boombox Zombie did not play any music in the 4.4.1 update. Instead, he stops the jam currently playing, but he still stuns the plants when he raises his boombox. The current jam plays again when he lowers his boombox. However, this glitch only happens when he is in Neon Mixtape Tour. If he is in a Piñata Party, his boombox will play the music like normal.
- Also, by saving and quitting, and going to another level, the music on that level will not play. Pausing and resuming will play the ballad jam on the level. Pausing and resuming the level again will return the music to normal.
- Defeating a Boombox Zombie before he can play the power ballad jam will reward the player with Breaking It Off achievement.
- If a Boombox Zombie is shrunk by a Shrinking Violet at the same time he plays the power ballad jam, it will sound sped-up and high-pitched.
- Boombox Zombie, Dancing Zombie, Disco Zombie, Electric Boogaloo, Party Imp and Tennis Star are the only zombies with afros.
- If he is defeated when he is about to turn on his music, the music will still be playing, but he won't affect the plants negatively.
- The music he plays is the "Party Time!" music for the Party Rose.
- Electric Currant reacts to the Power Ballad jam created by this zombie. Its electric current is still present when it happens, but it does not damage the zombies on it.
- If a Boombox Zombie plays his jam while Ghost Pepper is attacking at the same time, it will still use its "haunting" animation, but will not deal any damage. This can happen to Celery Stalker as well.
- In the Chinese version, plants stunned by Boombox Zombie do not produce hearts.
- In the 5.7 update, his health was increased from 350 to 720. It didn't change in the Chinese version though.