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Cactuar FF7R artwork.png
Final Fantasy VII Remake artwork of a Cactuar
Sabotendā, lit. Cactender
Main game appearance(s) Many games
Home Deserts
Members and related species
Notable Gigantuar
King Cactuar
Variants Cactite
Not to be confused with Kactuar, which is translated as "Cactuar" in Final Fantasy VII.

Cactuars are a species of cactus that appear in several Final Fantasy games, and they make their debut appearance in Final Fantasy VI. Cactuars are usually depicted with having stiff appendages in the shape of a running pose, three black dots on their faces (representing two eyes and an oblong mouth), and three yellow quills at the top of their heads.

Cactuars often appear as enemies, but have also appeared as a summon or an ally. They have a signature ability, 1000 Needles.


Final Fantasy series[edit]

Final Fantasy VI[edit]

Cactuar FF6 SNES sprite.png
Sprite of a Cactuar from Final Fantasy VI for the Super Nintendo

In Final Fantasy VI, Cactuars are found in a small desert to the west of Maranda in the World of Ruin. They are one of the only two creatures found there, along with the Hoover. In the original Super Nintendo and PlayStation versions, Cactuars are named Cactrots.

Cactuars have only 3 HP, making them one of the weakest enemies, although they have very high Evasion and Defense (each at 255) and can dodge most attacks, making them exceptionally difficult to defeat. One way to hit a Cactuar is by equipping the Sniper Sight relic; which has a 100% hit rate (even if a character does 1 HP of damage). Another way is to equip the Offering relic, which allows one character to attack an enemy four times, which results in Cactuar being instantly defeated. Cactuars can also be defeated instantly from Edgar's Drill, Sabin's Pummel, Air Render, or Bum Rush Blitzes, Shadow's Throw, or Cyan's Dispatch. Defeating a Cactuar earns each party member 10 MP.

Like all monsters in the game, once encountered, Cactuar also randomly appears on the Veldt, allowing playable characters Gau to acquire its Rage, and Strago to learn the Blue Magic ability Blow Fish from it. One can bet a rare Elixir in the Dragon's Neck Coliseum and fight a Cactuar to win a Rename Card.

In remakes starting with Final Fantasy VI Advance, Cactuar appears as an Esper. Its magicite can be obtained by defeating a Gigantuar, which appears after talking to a certain person and then defeating ten Cactuars. As an esper, Cactuar costs 50 MP to summon. In doing so, Cactuar unleashes its 1,000 Needles attack on other enemies, although sometimes Gigantuar appears to use 10,000 Needles? on the enemies. Besides this, Cactuar's magicite grants its user +2 Speed whenever they level up. It also teaches Teleport at a x20 rate, Vanish at a x10 rate, and Hastega at a x5 rate.

Final Fantasy VII[edit]

In Final Fantasy VII, standard Cactuars do not appear, although two of their relatives, Kactuars (named "Cactuar" in-game) and Cactuers, appear as enemies. Both are practically identical in appearance to Cactuars.

Final Fantasy VIII[edit]

In Final Fantasy VIII, the creatures have an island of their own with the Jumbo Cactuar (a Cactuar so big it is visible on the world map). Upon defeating the Jumbo Cactuar, a Cactuar becomes available as a Guardian Force. Once summoned, he performs his 1,000 Needles attack, which does 1,000 damage for every 10 levels Cactuar is.

Final Fantasy IX[edit]

In Final Fantasy IX, Cactuars appear as a random encounter enemy in the Donna Plains on the Forgotten Continent. They often hide under the sand and revealing only the spikes on their heads until they are damaged. They can also cast confuse on player characters. Quina Quen can eat them to learn the 1,000 Needles attack.

Final Fantasy X[edit]

In Final Fantasy X, the Cactuar exist within the desert of Bikanel Island, where they live in their own village, the Cactuar Nation. The place was originally was protected by a sandstorm until the party finishes a red-light, green-light minigame with the 10 Cactuar Gatekeepers. The leader of the cacti and Cactuars is an ancient cactus named Marnela ('Grandmother' in the Cactuar language), who has a special bond with a young Al Bhed boy named Benzo. Benzo is the only person who is able to understand their language. The Cactuars in this area appear as realistic cacti. It is explained that the cactus stage is how Cactuars appear when they are born, then later in their lives, they uproot themselves and become what players know as a Cactuar. When they reach a certain level of maturity, they root themselves again, becoming cacti once more.

If the party catches specified monsters in the Thunder Plains, the Monster Arena owner in the Calm Lands allows them to battle a King Cactuar. This version is the same size as a normal Cactuar, but has considerably greater hit points and will use not only the "10,000" needles but also "99,999 needles". This much more powerful attack exists to counter the extended damage system, where player characters and Aeons could 'break the HP limit' and have up to 99,999 hit points. Cactuar dolls may also serve as Lulu's weapons.

Final Fantasy X-2[edit]

In Final Fantasy X-2, Cactuars have a similar role as in Final Fantasy X.

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Chocobo series[edit]

Chocobo Racing[edit]

In Chocobo Racing, Cactuar appears as an unlockable playable character, unlocked by completing Story Mode 6 times. When Cactuar is unlocked, the player can select Squall and holding the R2 button, you are able to select Cactuar as a playable character. However, Cactuar races on foot, and is very slow.

Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales[edit]

In Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales, there are six Pop-Up Cards of Cactuar. Their body was redesigned into becoming entirely round, and Cactuars have three circular carvings in their face, each around the same size, as its eyes and mouth. A Cactuar is one of the main characters in the Pop-Up Book and minigame, Adamantoise and the Cactuar.

Final Fantasy: Unlimited[edit]

In Final Fantasy: Unlimited, the Cactuars used to live in a peaceful desert until they were attacked by the Wandering Ocean, which destroyed their home and forced them to hide underground. Thanks to the Comodeen and Kaze, the Cactuars gained the courage to use their own lifeforce to create a whirlwind that destroyed the Wandering Ocean. Everyone mourned the deaths of their fallen comrades, until it was revealed the Cactuars could be revived with sunlight. Fungo was only one of the heroes to translate the Cactuar language.

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles[edit]

In Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, Cactuars appear solely in the Lynari Desert, usually near two scorpions and either a Zu or a Lamia.

Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII[edit]

In Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, while Vincent is in a Deepground city, above a flooded path, there are four explosive barrels, if Vincent shoots all four barrels a small Cactaur will emerge from one, when Vincent gets close enough to it, it will run away to an inaccessible area. It is also featured more commonly (and importantly) in the 'Extra Missions' Minigames, especially in 'Boxemon' and 'Gatling in the Wastes'.

Mario Sports games[edit]

This section was taken from Super Mario Wiki. It shares the compatible Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. It has been requested that the section be rewritten to be different from the originating wiki.

Mario Hoops 3-on-3[edit]

In Mario Hoops 3-on-3, Cactuar appears as one of the five playable Final Fantasy characters, all of whom are unlockable. Cactuar is unlocked by first unlocking Glare Desert, the fourth (and final) court in Star Cup. Then the player must play the court in exhibition mode. A green lump in the ground will eventually appear. The player has to dribble the ball over the bump a few times, and Cactuar will pop out of the sand and run away. Afterwards, the player has to win the exhibition match, and when this is done, Cactuar is unlocked as a playable character.

More Cactuars can be seen in Glare Desert as spectators, and in the game's ending credits, there is a brief scene with six Cactuars and a watermelon-patterned basketball on Sunset Beach.

Mario Sports Mix[edit]

In Mario Sports Mix Cactuar, along with the other playable Final Fantasy characters from Mario Hoops 3-on-3, return as playable characters. Here, it is the only character to have a stat amount over the max of 5 (indicated by a red bar instead of a yellow bar). Cactuar is unlocked by winning 60 games or beating it on a secret route of the Star Cup (to reach Cactuar, the player must mostly follow the same route to unlock She-Slime, but in order to unlock Cactuar, the player must be on the left side). It has the highest speed stat (depicted by a red stat bar), but its other stats are at their lowest level. However, Cactuar's high speed comes with a high drawback in that it ends up skidding whenever it has to quickly change direction. When Cactuar makes a special move, it will send spikes all over everybody (sometimes including its own teammates) making them shocked and unable to move.

Profiles and statistics[edit]

Mario Hoops 3-on-3[edit]

  • Baller Name: Stick and Sting
  • Type: Speedy
  • Special Shot: 1000 Needles
  • Letter to Tap: S

Mario Sports Mix[edit]

Character Name Character Type Home Court Power Statistic Speed Statistic Technique Statistic
Cactuar Tricky N/A 1/5 6/5 1/5

Cactuar's special shot is 1000 Needles, in which it will fire needles to briefly stun opponents. In Basketball, it will use the move and then spin into the hoop while holding the basketball; in Volleyball, it attacks and aims the volleyball at the ground; in Dodgeball, it attacks and aims the dodgeball at opponents; in Hockey, it attacks and then aims the puck at the goal. Cactuar has the highest Speed stat of all the playable characters in Mario Sports Mix, and this overwhelming speed sometimes makes the character difficult to control. Additionally, Cactuar's Power and Technique stats are among the lowest in the game, both having a rating of 1/5.


  • In The Bouncer, Volt Krueger has a Cactuar on the back of his jacket with a red line through it. Since Cactuars are notorious for escaping battles, this insignia is assumed to mean "No Escape", rather than "No cactuars", which, in the context of the bouncer, would make considerably less sense.
  • In a pre-release English localization of Final Fantasy VI's PlayStation remake, Cactuars had a poorly translated in-game description of, "It ejaculates needles!", which implies a sexual connotation. The error was caught by Alexander O. Smith, who then proceeded to fix it.[1]

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese サボテンダー
French Pampa


  1. ^ "The Rise of Squaresoft Localization". (Wayback Machine, backup). Published April 28, 2011.
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