Heroes were a game mechanic and variation of plants that were only seen in Plants vs. Zombies: Journey to the West. They acted the same as their normal counterparts (except Iron Man Nut) that could be moved by the player anywhere (except for dips in the earth at Outsmart the Fire Child and Battle of the Ox-Demon levels) at any time. Once the Hero itself was upgraded to a specific level, they would also have different special abilities and a special skill that would activate automatically once charged, similar to the anger and Plant Food system in Plants vs. Zombies: All Stars. However, the player could only use one Hero in each level, and the Hero would appear on the 5*3 square of the player's lawn immediately once the level started. When the Hero was eaten, it is absent for some time on the lawn, after which it reappears at the center of the lawn.
Each Hero could be leveled up by earning experience when being used in levels. By each time it leveled up, the plant would gain skill points (displayed by leaves) that could be used to upgrade the abilities and skill of that plant, which increased the probability and effectiveness and deals 1800 points of damage to every single non-bosses zombie present. Some skills and abilities could only be upgraded once the Hero reached a certain level.
If a Hero is moved on top of another plant, the plant will be deactivated and stop doing its job, excluding:
To upgrade the Heroes, player can either click on the silver statue of Monk Flower in main menu or open the menu before a level when choosing seeds for a level. А menu of heroes opens, in which player can see the level of the hero, their parameters and available improvements. When the Hero is present on the lawn, it increases its experience, gradually earning a new level. When getting a new level, a wave emanates from the hero, dealing 1800 points of damage to all zombies on the screen, and the player receives the skill points necessary to improve one of the skills.
Each hero has five skills. The first 3 can be unlocked at default, the fourth requires the hero to be at level 5 and the fifth requires the hero to be at level 10. The maximum level of the hero is 20, and the maximum number of points is 80, which is exactly enough for a full leveling of all skills. The player can pay for in order to instantly get a level, and for 20 gems he can reset all skills, returning their full cost in skill points.
Iron Man Nut fires energy balls at zombies, while having a high defense, similarly to Pea-nut. It can be upgraded, to shoot penetrating lasers and rockets. Its special skill is to create an invincible force shield around itself. It can be moved anywhere at any time.
Charges for a while, then you select an area for it to smash. One of its special abilities is to release a Garden Rake. Can heal itself and produce coins. Its skill is to create an earthquake that deals heavy damage to nearby enemies. It is based on Zhu Bajie from Journey to the West.
Creates two sun, like Twin Sunflower, but much faster (on max level). The zombie that eats it will be hypnotized. In its presence, sun falls from the sky even at night. Its special skill to stun all zombies on the screen. It cannot heal itself. It is based on Xuanzang from Journey to the West.
Acts like the Threepeater, but with skills can reload 3 times as fast and peas can pass through zombies. Can turn some of its peas into fire peas at random. Has a special attack where it shoots three Universe Rings down the three lanes, damaging all zombies in front of it. It is based on Nezha in Journey to the West.
All Heroes, except for Iron Man Nut, used to have changing visual looks depending on their level. This feature was scrapped.
Longma Snow Pea - a Snow Pea hero based on the White Dragon Horse, Xuanzang's Mount on the trip to the west；
Li Jing Tall-nut - a Tall-nut hero based on Li Jing, a deity known as Nezha's father;
Princess Iron Blover - a Blover hero based on Princess Iron Fan, a demon encountered by the protagonists in the Flaming Mountain, as the Ox-Demon's wife and the Fire Child's mother;
And Guanyin Cattail - a Cattail hero based on Avalokiteśvara/Kuanyin, a Bodhisattva who founded the protagonists in the first place and persuaded them to go to the west, well as helping them several times during the trip.
If any Hero encounters a Ladder Zombie, the Ladder Zombie will put the ladder on the hero and leave the ladder floating in mid-air.
If the Ladder Zombie is being slowed down or the Hero moves fast enough, the Ladder Zombie will play the placing animation but quickly retrieves his ladder before placing it down.