Catapult Zombie is a zombie in Plants vs. Zombies that rides a vehicle that rolls onto the player's lawn (or roof), crushing plants and occupying the first two columns from the right. It then stops its vehicle and starts lobbing basketballs at the last plants (closest to the house, or the chimney on the roof) in its lane. Once this zombie kills a plant, it moves forward slightly and continues attacking the next plant. When it runs out of basketballs or if it kills all the plants in the lane, Catapult Zombie drives towards the player's house in a fashion similar to that of a Zomboni. In the process, its vehicle will squash any plants it comes into contact with, except for Spikeweed, Spikerock and any instant-kill plant other than Chomper in its chewing stage which destroys it instantly. It is the 22nd zombie encountered in Adventure Mode.
Catapult Zombie launching a basketball.
|Catapult Zombie Dies (same sound as when a Zomboni explodes)|
Suburban Almanac entry
In English: Catapult Zombie
Catapult Zombie operates heavy machinery.
Catapult Zombie absorbs 700 damage per shot and its appearance changes upon absorbing 290 and 580 damage per shot, where it begins to vibrate and smoke. After 700 damage per shot, the front bumper of the catapult shows damage before exploding.
- Adventure Mode: 5-6, 5-7,5-9, 5-10
- Mini-games: Dr. Zomboss's Revenge
- Puzzle Mode: Last Stand: Roof, Last Stand Endless
- Survival Mode: Survival: Fog, Survival: Roof, all Survival (Hard), and Survival (Endless) levels
- Co-op Mode: all Co-op Hard levels, Co-op Zomboss, Co-op Endless
- Others: Versus Mode
Use a Spikeweed or Spikerock to pop the tires. If you do not have one available, use Umbrella Leaves to knock the basketballs out of the way while your offensive plants take care of it. Using Umbrella Leaves to protect your plants from the basketballs is key when you encounter Catapult Zombies on roof levels, as you cannot use Spikeweed and Spikerocks in any roof level. This is also a good idea if you have any expensive plants like Twin Sunflowers or Cob Cannons in the back. Keep in mind that if you plant a Spikeweed or Spikerock beneath the back tire of the Catapult Zombie's vehicle, it will not kill it. You also should not plant any non-instant kill plant other than the Spikeweed or Spikerock in the first two columns to the right if there are Catapult Zombies in the level because it will kill them when it's approaching. In Survival: Endless, the Umbrella Leaf is a must because any Spikeweeds or Spikerocks you have previously planted will quickly be destroyed by the hordes of stacked Catapult Zombies, Zombonis, and Gargantuars. Magnet-shrooms are useless against it, even though the machine is made out of metal, but you can use chilling plants such as the Snow Pea, Ice-shroom, and Winter Melon to slow down the Catapult Zombie. This wouldn't work against Zombonis. Also, if you don't have an Umbrella Leaf you could also use a Wall-nut or a Tall-nut behind your Sunflowers, so the other plants can focus on killing the Catapult Zombie.
Note: Pumpkins are useless for directly defending plants against it because Catapult Zombies aim for the plant inside the Pumpkin first before they go for the Pumpkin.
Catapult Zombie is one of your best bets for taking out opposing Sunflowers. He is one of the few zombies who specialize in attacking the leftmost columns, which most zombies will have a hard time doing - and since two Sunflowers are pre-planted on the first column in this mode, most players will instinctively place the rest there as well.
It is advised to defend your Catapult Zombies for as long as possible so they can clear out your opponent's rear defenses. Keeping your catapult functional until the zombie runs out of basketballs is especially desirable, as the zombie will then proceed to mow down the plants in front of it. For this reason, Catapult Zombie is one of the best units to pair Trash Can Zombies with, though other durable zombies like Buckethead Zombie and Football Zombie are also good choices.
Avoid pairing him with Bungee Zombie as that is a major incentive for your opponent to pick Umbrella Leaves.
Umbrella Leaves and the Wall-nut/Tall-nut strategy listed above are key for guarding your defenses against Catapult Zombie in this mode. If you do not have any of these plants in your arsenal, you will have to avoid placing Sunflowers and any plant with a high sun cost and/or slow recharge in the rear. In this case, putting such plants in the middle is optimal.
As Catapult Zombies remain in the zombie player's zone while launching basketballs, Spikeweeds and several instant kills like Potato Mine and Cherry Bomb are poor options as the zombie will be beyond their reach. Instead, Jalapeno is your best bet for taking them down quickly.
It is also advised to end the match as soon as possible - Catapult Zombies are especially deadly in Sudden Death because at that point you cannot replace the Sunflowers they destroy.
In other languages
- It takes Catapult Zombie six basketballs to destroy a plant.
- Spikeweeds and Spikerocks are ignored. Wall plants can take significantly more basketballs.
- Catapult Zombie's health is on the high end of the zombies with "medium" toughness, with the Digger Zombie's being at the low end.
- Although it has higher health than most plants, Garlic only takes six basketballs before dying, the same as any other plant being eaten (other than defensive plants).
- Apart from Digger Zombie, Catapult Zombie is the only zombie in the original game to attack the plants in reverse order (until it runs out of basketballs).
- If there are no plants in Catapult Zombie's row, it will drive towards the house or the chimney while crushing any newly planted plants.
- The same happens if Catapult Zombie runs out of basketballs.
- On the homepage of the official Plants vs. Zombies website, the Catapult Zombie is seen holding a sign saying "Try the Zombatar!", not riding its catapult vehicle, and wearing glasses.
- If a plant is planted on a tile of a roof or lawn where the Catapult Zombie is (regardless if it is moving or in idle animation to throw basketballs), the plant will be immediately be crushed.
- This does not include Spikeweed, Spikerock, or any instant-kill plants other than Chomper when they are planted on the zombie, in which the first two plants will pop the tires of the Catapult Zombie instead and in case of any instant-kill plants, even if they are planted at the zombie except for Chomper, they will still kill the zombie without killing the plant. The vehicle also does not crush plants if buttered or frozen with an ice-shroom.
- In Dr. Zomboss' Revenge and Level 5-10, if Dr. Zomboss sends a Catapult Zombie and there are plants on these tiles (assuming that the number of them is the same as the number of tiles that this zombie occupies), it will crush a total of two plants (if there are only Flower Pots or one Flower Pot and the plant on it), four if there is a plant above those two said plant, and three if one of the Flower Pot is empty and the another one have a plant above it. This is also the same for Zomboni.
- When Catapult Zombie is frozen or paralyzed, the vehicle can't crush plants. This is probably a glitch.
- Unlike Zombonis that use the front of the vehicle to crush plants, Catapult Zombies' front wheels do not crush the plants when they stop their vehicles.
- There is quite a resemblance between Catapult Zombie's head and Digger Zombie's.
- Catapult Zombie's speed is the same as a flying Balloon Zombie's.
- Catapult Zombie is the zombie counterpart of Carrot Rocket, as both shoot the last plant or zombie in the row.
- It is similar to the Archer Zombie from Plants vs. Zombies Online.
- It has less basketballs in the DS version (about 5-6).
- Catapult Zombie is similar to Cardio Zombie where he can crush any plants when approaching the lawn and before throwing basketballs, and even while in idle animation to throw basketballs, the vehicle has still the ability to crush plants.
- The difference is that Cardio Zombie do not eat the player's brains in which he will leave the lawn after throwing brains at fellow zombies, while Catapult Zombie is able to reach the player's house. When he reached the player's house, the game still displays "THE ZOMBIES ATE YOUR BRAINS!" despite that Catapult Zombie does not eat plants (although it is possible that he gets off of his vehicle out of the screen to eat the brains).
- The same goes for other, non-eating zombies such as Dr. Zomboss (who will never even reach the player's house), Zomboni (which is also possible to get off his vehicle out of the screen to eat the brains like Catapult Zombie), and Gargantuar (if the Gargantuar with the Imp reaches the player's house, it is possible for a Gargantuar to let its Imp eat the player's brains off-screen, while if it reaches the player's house without its Imp, the Gargantuar will drop a telephone pole/wildlife crossing sign/zombie to eat the brains).
- Catapult Zombie has a limited ammo of 20 basketballs.
- Dispite his legs not showing in-game, he has sprites of his legs in the game's files.