- For other uses, see Cactus (disambiguation).
Cactus is a major recurring character within the Plants vs. Zombies franchise. Cactus defends the player's brains by firing spikes at zombies. In almanac entries and character descriptions she is typically depicted as a cool-headed, gentle and humble figure, which intentionally contrasts with her abrasive spiky exterior.
Cactus is a unique character as she has never had the same ability and attack style in any of her individual appearances, with her appearances in the two Garden Warfare games being the only time in the franchise she plays the exact same way.
As of Plants vs. Zombies 3, Cactus has appeared in seven games, with a scrapped planned appearance in a spin-off Facebook game.
Her ability to stretch herself to pop Balloon Zombies is a reference to how Cacti in real life can grow to be some of the tallest plants on earth.
- Main article: Cactus (PvZ)
Cactus costs 125 sun and attacks by firing spikes at zombies. The spikes she shoots deal the same amount of damage as a standard pea projectile, effectively making her a slightly more expensive Peashooter whose projectiles are unaffected by Torchwood's ignition ability.
Cactus' special ability allows her to stretch up into the air to pop the balloons of airborne Balloon Zombies making her one of the three plants plants able to attack Balloon Zombie while he's still in the air.
- Main article: Cactus (PvZ2)
Cactus would make a long awaited return in Plants vs. Zombies 2, as a premium plant tied to the Neon Mixtape Tour Part 1 teaser Piñata Parties.
She now costs 175 sun and the spikes she fires at zombies are now able to pierce through multiple targets, being able to damage three zombies normally. In addition to firing piercing projectiles at zombies, she now hides underground to deal ground based damage to any nearby zombies that walks on her.
However she no longer serves as the primary counter to Balloon Zombies as other straight-firing plants are now able to target and deal damage to Balloon Zombies, and as such she no longer instantly pops their balloons like she does in the first game.
- Main article: Cactus (PvZ: GW)
In the Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare series of shooter games, Cactus serves as the sniper class of the plant team. Dealing heavy damage to zombies by firing spikes them at long range. The spikes she shoots also deal extra damage to zombies if Cactus lands a critical hit.
Due to her ranged based playstyle, Cactus' unzoomed primary weapon does not fair well in close quarters combat, causing her to rely on her abilities such as her Potato Mines in order to stand a fair chance against close ranged opponents.
Cactus, as with the other playable classes in the Garden Warfare series, also has numerous Character variants based on her, each having their own traits which differentiates them from the standard base character.
- Main article: Cactus line
Cactus also make an appearance in the Chinese exclusive turn-based RPG game Plants vs. Zombies: All Stars as the second tier in the Cactus line, evolving from Ball Cactus and evolving into Tree Cactus.
She fires spikes as zombies as part of her main attack and her Plant Food/Anger effect allows her to target the weakest opponent on the board and fire a barrage of spikes at them.
- Main article: Cactus (PvZH)
Cactus also reappears in the turn-based mobile card game Plants vs. Zombies Heroes as a Uncommon Premium member of the Guardian class. Cactus costs 2, has 1 and 5, the Bullseye trait, and is a member of both the Flower and Cactus tribes.
She is a fairly standard card, with her main draw being her high health and Bulleye trait, which makes her somewhat of an antithesis to the Pool Shark.
- Main article: Cactus (PvZ: BfN)
Cactus' latest appearance is in the third-person shooter game Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville as an Defend class for the plant team. She retains her role as the sniper class for the plants, and can now charge up her scope attack in order to deal more damage to zombies at a time but at the cost of using up more ammo.
Cactus' unzoomed attack has also been given a rework, now acting as rapid-fire, fully automatic machine gun, which gives her a better chance at defending herself at close range.
Cactus also lacks any Character variants based on her in this game, but instead has a large number of character upgrades, some of which grant abilities to Cactus' scoped and nonscoped weapons as well as her abilities.
- As shown in Plants vs. Zombies Adventures concepts, she was planned to be in the game before being scrapped.
- She, Shadow Peashooter, Celery Stalker, Shamrock, Shamrockstar, and Scaredy-shroom are the only plants that hide.
- Excluding Celery Stalker, all remaining plants above hide when there is a zombie nearby.
- Out of four plants said, she is the only plant that only hides when there is a zombie in front of them and still attack zombies while hiding.
- Though her main purpose in Plants vs. Zombies was to counter Balloon Zombies, in Plants vs. Zombies 2, she no longer stretches, but instead buries to the ground dodging damage, no longer having an advantage over those Zombies. This makes her having a somewhat opposite mechanic in the sequel.
- In the original Plants vs. Zombies, she was always above-ground, but in the second game, she is shown to be partially buried underground, given the dirt that surrounds her.
- She, Torchwood, and Explode-o-nut are the only plants that vary wildly in function between the original Plants vs. Zombies and Plants vs. Zombies 2.
- Coincidentally, all three were made into premium plants.
- In french translations of the series, she is referred to as male, with "il" (he) being used instead of "elle" (she).