- For the veteran counterpart, see Torchlight Zombie.
- For the Chinese variants, see Torch Kongfu Zombie or Torch Monk Zombie.
- For the versions in Plants vs. Zombies: All Stars, see Explorer Zombie (PvZ: AS) or Torch Kung-Fu Zombie (PvZ: AS).
Explorer Zombie is a zombie in Plants vs. Zombies 2, and Plants vs. Zombies Online. He is the third zombie to be encountered in Ancient Egypt. He holds a torch that burns any plant upon contact, and moves slightly faster than regular zombies. Iceberg Lettuces, Snow Peas, Winter Melons, Hurrikales, Cold Snapdragons, Power Snow, and Cryo-shrooms (Chinese version only) can extinguish his torch, but fire plants can relight it.
If the player extinguishes the torch, they will get the No Smoking achievement.
Explorer Zombie wears a pith helmet and a pair of pince-nez eyeglasses (the left lens is visibly cracked.) He has a red mustache and sideburns that wrap around its head and he holds a torch that eliminates any plant that gets in his way unless it is extinguished. Explorer Zombie wears a camper's attire that is composed of a yellow handkerchief that is tied similarly to how a person is being signified as a Boy Scout. The sleeves are totally torn as the right sleeve appears to have been cut by scissors and the left one appears to have been soaked in sweat as the edge appears to be more brown. The back is also torn, exposing a portion of his skin. He wears a light red colored belt and dark green cargo shorts. Finally, he wears brown colored boots for his footwear.
Carries a torch that can instantly destroy your plants.
Damage: torch destroys a plant on contact
Weakness: cold attacks extinguish torch
His impressive friendly mutton chops has always kept food in them for weeks, making sure his explorations are filled with snacks.
Explorer Zombie absorbs exactly 250 damage per shot. His appearance changes upon absorbing 125 damage per shot, when he loses his arm, before dying after absorbing 250 damage per shot.
In the Chinese version, Explorer Zombie absorbs 350 damage per shot. His appearance changes at 175 damage per shot, before dying at 350 damage per shot.
Dark Ages: Piñata Party
Alone, this zombie does not pose much of a threat, as he does not have much health. However, this zombie is very dangerous in huge waves, especially if they are protected by Buckethead Mummies, Pharaoh Zombies, or Mummified Gargantuars. If you are going to use chilling plants like Iceberg Lettuce, Winter Melon, Snow Pea, or Hurrikale, remember that fire plants like Snapdragons, peas ignited by Torchwood, Pepper-pults and Fire Peashooters can relight their torches. Most defensive and distraction plants are useless against them, as they simply burn them without having to stop moving, even if they have been upgraded by Plant Food. In the worst case scenario, using two Plant Foods on a Cabbage-pult will kill every Explorer Zombie on the screen and deal damage to other zombies. Iceberg Lettuce's Plant Food upgrade is a good method, especially on Ancient Egypt - Day 20, as it extinguishes all torches on the game screen. Explorer Zombies cannot burn underground plants, such as Spikeweeds, Spikerocks, Celery Stalker, etc. Use this to your advantage.
Using Snapdragons in the same lane (or in the upper or lower lane) against Explorer Zombies is a very bad idea, since the Snapdragon's attack is close-ranged, meaning it will not have enough time to damage the zombie before it is burned or out of the range. Additionally, Snapdragons can unfreeze him and relight his torch. In fact, it's best not use any fire plants against this zombie at all. Cold Snapdragon is a better choice, though this will require money, being a premium plant. Do not use Chard Guards, Chompers, Parsnips, or Guacodiles against Explorer Zombies, as they will simply burn them before they can even attack (unless Explorer Zombie is stalled by any means). Also, avoid using Explode-O-Nut, as he can burn it without making it explode.
In Highway to the Danger Room, Explorer Zombie is a very big threat, due to appearing as early as Level 11 in the Endless Zone, and the fact he can spawn from multiple portals early. At this point, it may be difficult to properly deal with these spawning very close and early. This is even worse if an Imp rush occurs. Pairing this with Octo Zombies, Wizard Zombies, and Boombox Zombies, Explorer Zombie can end up tearing down an entire defense in seconds. Pairing all the listed zombies above with All-Star Zombies and Super-Fan Imps, all defenses will be wiped out instantly. Iceberg Lettuce's Plant Food effect can effectively stop huge swarms of Explorer Zombies this early.
Plants vs. Zombies Wiki has a gallery for Explorer Zombie.
- If Explorer Zombie meets an unarmed Potato Mine or Primal Potato Mine with his torch still alight, he will walk past them without burning or eating them. If they are armed, he will trigger their explosive effects, killing him.
- This is not the case in the 7.5.1 update, as it will burn the Potato Mine or Primal Potato Mine, even when unarmed.
- If timed correctly, Explorer Zombie will not burn the plant when relighting its torch but will eat the plant closest to it instead.
- Explorer Zombie cannot burn Infi-nut's force field and will be forced to eat it instead.
- Explorer Zombie can eat hypnotized zombies, and will not burn them with his torch.
- He can burn Torchwood and many other fire plants, despite the fact that they do not burn themselves.
- Besides the Zombot Sphinx-inator, Explorer Zombie and Torchlight Zombie are the only Ancient Egypt zombies who are not mummified.
- After the 2.7 update, it cannot burn instant-kill plants.
- Due to strange hitbox issues, he can eat a Chard Guard (only if his torch is extinguished) without being pushed back even if Chard Guard has leaves.
- He can burn Guacodile in its idle position and Lava Guava before it explodes, even though technically, that would still have killed him since burning the Lava Guava will cause the lava to spill all over the place.
- He and Torchlight Zombie are the only paradoxical zombies so far in the game, since they appeared in the 2500 BC, some years before the first explorer appears.
- They eventually belong to Lost City due to their clothing.