- “Few know that this reclusive desert-dwelling creature lashes together individual needles for its 1000 Needle attack, a fact which suggests that Cactuars are in fact intelligent enough for tool use.”
- —Theatrhythm Final Fantasy CollectaCard description.
The Cactuar (サボテンダー, Sabotendā?) is a recurring enemy from the Final Fantasy series as well as appearing as a summon. Cactuars are little cacti, typically depicted having stiff arms and legs, three black holes for their faces, representing two eyes and an oblong mouth, and three reddish quills at the top of their heads. They have their own language, mostly consisting of variations of the word "Ge-ka", which resemble squeaks and warbles to the ear.
They were originally known as Cactrots, and later renamed to cactuar. Other variations of cactuar include Qactuar, Kactuar, Cactuer and Cactoid. Other languages refer to them as "Pampa", "Kyactus" and "Cactilio".
- See also: Gigantuar
According to an article in the 15 February 1997 issue of V-Jump, the cactuar was designed by Tetsuya Nomura based on a doodle he drew on a notebook when he was a high school student. They bear a resemblance to Japanese "Haniwa", a type of clay figure made for ritual and funerary uses.
As an EnemyEdit
Cactuars are usually very fast, and are tough to hit. Their HP is also usually low, but their defenses are high and they often yield large amounts of Gil and EXP. Often, they Counter most attacks with the ability 1000 Needles (Blow Fish in some versions of Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI), which always deals 1000 HP of unblockable damage that ignores Defense. Usually, this ability can be learned as Blue Magic.
In some games, such as Final Fantasy IX, cactuars may be underground and will only counter-attack if they are hiding. Some games have stronger versions of this attack, such as the 10,000 Needles. A cactuar also cannot stand when wet, as it weakens them.
The Gigantuar, also known as the Jumbo Cactuar, is a recurring boss type of cactuar. They are bigger versions of the cactuar and sometimes sport a mustache. In some occurrences, Gigantuar has the attack "10000 Needles", with an additional "99999 Needles" in games where the max HP limit is more than 9999.
As a SummonEdit
- See Cactuar's summon sequences here.
The cactuar has also appeared as a summon from time to time. Usually becoming available after defeating the Jumbo Cactuar, the cactuar uses 1000 Needles as its main attack, though this does not necessarily inflict 1,000 points of damage.
- Main article: Cactuar (Final Fantasy VI)
Cactuars, titled Cactrots in the original SNES English translation, have their first appearance in Final Fantasy VI. They can only be found in a small desert near Maranda in the World of Ruin. Cactuars leave behind 10,000 Gil and 10 Magic Points, the largest of any common enemy.
A Gigantuar can be fought only in the Advance version after the player defeats ten cactuars. If it is defeated, the Cactuar magicite is available. When summoned for 50 MP, Cactuar randomly uses "1000 Needles" on all enemies, or an attack called "10,000 Needles?" that does 9,999 damage.
It teaches the following spells:
- Main article: Cactuar (Final Fantasy VII)
There are two type of cactuars in Final Fantasy VII; one is the regular cactuar found in the Corel Desert, the other is called a Cactuer found at Cactus Island (south of Cosmo Canyon). Cactus Island is only accessible through the use of the Highwind or gold chocobo.
- Main article: Cactuar (Dirge of Cerberus)
Cactuars appear during Chapters 6 and 10 in Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-. They will not attack the player during these chapters, but will when encountered in extra missions.
Large numbers of Kactuars can be fought in three special missions. A Kactuer also appears in the final mission, dropping Cactus Thorn. Cactuar appears as a summon on the DMW after obtaining the Cactus Thorn. 1000 Needles hits enemies a total of 18 times dealing damage based on the level of the DMW. A cactuar also appears from the safe later occupied by Lost Number if the player inputs the correct code.
- For the battle information, see: Cactuar (Final Fantasy VIII)
While a recurring enemy common in Kashkabald Desert, they are far more prevalent on Cactuar Island southeast of the location. After defeating the Jumbo Cactuar, the Cactuar can be obtained as a Guardian Force. Obtaining Cactuar in the Steam version earns the player the achievement Cactuar.
Normal Cactuars yield very little (around 2 to 3) EXP, but do yield 20 AP, the most of any regular enemy and even some bosses.
The Cactuar Guardian Force uses its signature 1,000 Needles move like the other Cactuars, however, the damage is calculated by the first digit in Cactuar's level times 100. At level 100 it will always do 10,000 damage to all enemies, one of the few attacks that breaks the damage limit. Because the damage is fixed, Cactuar cannot be boosted. Cactuar is a notable Guardian Force in that it has all the Bonus abilities learned, letting the player easily give permanent boosts to any character's stats all at once.
Cactuar's compatibility is boosted by 20 when summoned, and its compatibility with the user decreases by 1.6 if the player summons another GF. Unlike most other Guardian Forces, Cactuar doesn't have an "opposing" GF whose summoning would greatly decrease compatibility, nor does casting magic have any effect on its compatibility. The compatibility item Cactus Thorn increases compatibility by 3.2, and the LuvLuvG by 20.2, as with every other GF.
Abilities learned naturally by Cactuar are listed below:
|Luck-J||200||None||HP Bonus||(Already learned)|
|Magic||(Already learned)||Str Bonus||(Already learned)|
|GF||(Already learned)||Vit Bonus||(Already learned)|
|Draw||(Already learned)||Mag Bonus||(Already learned)|
|Item||(Already learned)||Spr Bonus||(Already learned)|
- Main article: Cactuar (Final Fantasy IX)
Cactuars appear in the desert areas on the Outer Continent and Forgotten Continent. They hide in the ground and cast Confuse. They can also use a turn to come above ground. When they are above ground, they hide underground when attacked. When underground, they counter all attacks with 1000 Needles. Quina is able to eat them and learn their signature 1000 Needles move.
- Main article: Cactuar (Final Fantasy X)
In Final Fantasy X, the cactuars are native to the deserts of Bikanel Island. A sidequest in Final Fantasy X involves Ten Cactuar Gatekeepers guarding the entrance to the Cactuar Nation in the Sanubia Sands. The player can obtain special spheres for locating each cactuar, which leads the player to the Mercury Sigil.
Another variation is the Qactuar, who migrated from Bikanel to the Thunder Plains where Gandof sealed them within statues. Praying at any three Qactuar stones will cause a spirit to appear. Following the spirits of the Qactuar will lead to a broken tower which will reveal a chest containing the Spirit Lance, Kimahri's Celestial Weapon, if the is pressed.
The Cactuar King is another, tougher version of the Cactuar. It is bred and fought at the Area Conquest section of the Monster Arena. The monster becomes available after collecting at least one of each fiend found at the Thunder Plains, and the prize for unlocking it is 99 Chocobo Wings. Defeating it will net some Blessed Gems.
- Main article: Cactuar (Final Fantasy X-2)
In Final Fantasy X-2, the cactuars of the Cactuar Nation return under the guidance of their leader, Marnela. Their life-cycle involves them starting off as cacti before becoming mobile and later returning to a cacti state, though there are Rogue Cactuar who refused to abide by it are thus sealed off. These cactuar in turn have the power to enlarge monsters with their needles.
The Ten Cactuar Gatekeepers are again gathered up from across Spira to save the nation from the danger from their mortal enemy, Angra Mainyu while Marnela sacrificed her life to protect the Nation in until they are all gathered. During the quest, the player also has the opportunity to fight the Jumbo Cactuar the rogue cactuar create. Rikku's initial reaction to the Mascot Dressphere is that she wanted to be a cactuar, which is actually Paine's weapon for this dressphere.
If a cactuar is the last enemy and it runs away while one of the girls is trying to attack, the girl will run off screen in pursuit. She will be visible again when everyone does their victory pose.
|Coin No.||31||Coin Value||2|
|Location||Found in the Eastern or Northern Expanses of the Bikanel Desert.|
- Main article: Sabotender (Final Fantasy XI)
In Final Fantasy XI Cactuars are a monster of the Sabotender family (the name commonly used for Cactuar in the Japanese games). The game marks the first time in the series that the monsters have deviated from their established design.
Members of the Sabotender family reside in the Kuzotz region - mainly in the Altepa Desert, Quicksand Caves and Kuftal Tunnel. They are aggressive to players by sound, and their 1000 Needles ability deals a total of one thousand points of damage to all targets within the area of effect. 10,000 Needles follows similar suit, and is used by Notorious Monsters in the Sabotender family.
The Sabotender family has two peculiar notorious monsters in the Altepa Desert, including the well known Cactrot Rapido. Unlike their weaker cousins, these notorious monsters are not aggressive whatsoever, and run at high speed throughout the desert, ignoring all forms of provocation other than defending their fellow Sabotenders. As such, these monsters are unable to be grabbed for battle via normal means (i.e an attack spell), instead parties that hunt these NMs do not sit in one spot waiting for them to appear; rather, a normal Sabotender attacked and held until the notorious monster stops running to join in the defense of its cousin.
Cactuar is also the name of a cross-shaped constellation in the middle of the stellar map. At one time, a group of meteors observed falling from the location of the central star and was dubbed the "Thousand Needles Shooting Star".
Cactoids and Cactites are docile creatures found in the Dalmasca Estersand and Dalmasca Westersand. They will usually not attack unless provoked and are often found sleeping peacefully. Cactoids are not cactuars in the traditional sense, but share many traits, mainly being mobile cactus-esque beings. As they are only encountered early, they are not seen using a '1000 Needles' attack or any variation as most cactuars do. They can drop Bundles of Needles when defeated while holding the Dragoon's Monograph.
One of the hunts in the clan primer is the Flowering Cactoid, which looks similar to an ordinary Cactoid but with a flower on its head. It will attack unprovoked and can be found with the ordinary Cactoids in the Dalmasca Estersand. It is the only enemy in the game that can use the 1,000 Needles attack.
- Main article: Cactoid (Revenant Wings)
- “Distant, ambulatory relative of the common cactus.”
- —In-Game Description
- Main article: Cactuar (Final Fantasy XIII)
Cactuars are rare enemies in Gran Pulse's Archylte Steppe. They have 777,777 HP and use Kick as their attack. If not attacked in the beginning of a battle, the Cactuar will transform into a stronger version. There is a rare variant called the Flowering Cactuar that usually attempts to flee the battle, but may use powerful magic attacks as well.
The game also includes the Gigantuar, which can be fought in Cie'th Mission 54 on the Archylte Steppe. Its main attack is 10,000 Needles, which deals exactly 10,000 damage and sometimes deals Pain and Fog.
Additionally, there exists an uncolored version with a mustache in the game's data.
The Cactuar appears in the Archylte Steppe, as does its larger brother, the Gigantuar. Defeating three Gigantuars will unlock a sealed Time Gate. Other types include the Metallicactuar, Cactuaroni, Flowering Cactuar and Metal Gigantuar.
In Academia in the year 500 AF, green Cactuar-shaped statues are used as checkpoints within the maze of floating blocks. In a Brain Blast quiz in Academia, it is also revealed that Cactuar signs are used for symbols for emergency exits in amusement parks.
Cactuars appear as an enemy in the Dead Dunes. A cactuar statue is also placed prominently in the town of Yusnaan. Lightning can also obtain cactuar-related adornments: Cactuar Figurine and Cute Cactuar Figurine.
Cactuars appear in Final Fantasy XIV. Some weaker ones use a variation of their infamous technique "1000 Needles" called "100 needles", but stronger cactuars such as the Sabotender Del Sol still use their signature move.
A cactuar figure has been spotted in trailers, positioned atop a cactus plant. Whether cactuars will appear as enemies is unknown.
- Main article: Cactuar (Type-0)
In the story, the traitor amongst the "Four Heavenly Kings" of Suzaku, which included Class Zero's instructor Kurasame Susaya, was said to have owned a pet Cactuar just like how Kurasame has a pet Tonberry. Though the traitor perished in his attempt to kill all his comrades, his Cactuar is said to still lurk in the Peristylium Suzaku. The player can randomly encounter the pet Cactuar while exploring certain areas of the Peristylium.
- Main article: Cactuar (Crystal Chronicles)
Cactuars appear in Lynari Desert in all three cycles. They are fairly scarce regardless of Cycle.
- Main article: Cactuar (My Life as a King)
Cactuar appears as a summon in My Life as a Darklord. However, this time, cactuar cannot attack; instead, it cures its allies. Its speed is Sprightly, and it takes one slot to summon. It is obtained in Chapter 3, in Quartint Hills 3.
Cactuar makes a cameo appearance in Echoes of Time. In the desert on the overworld, casting magic on the cactuar shaped cactus will make two to four scratch cards pop out.
Cactuars appear in The Crystal Bearers. When a water attack is used on one, it grows to immense proportions. The player can pick up cactuars and use their special attack 1000 Needles against other enemies. It is also possible to acquire a cactuar emblem.
- “Anthropomorphic cactus monsters. Usually they seem to be running towards something.”
- —Dissidia Final Fantasy Summon Compendium
Cactuar appears as a summon in Dissidia Final Fantasy. It uses 1,000 Needles on the opponent's Bravery points, reducing them by 1,000. If the opponent's bravery is less than 1,000, their bravery is reduced to zero, without inflicting break. Cactuar can be obtained as a Stage Bonus on the Destiny Odyssey IX storyline.
Cactuars appear as enemies in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy.
- “This sadist revels in making others pluck its thousand needles from their flesh.”
- —In-game Description
The Cactuar also appears in Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon and Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon 2 as an enemy class and a specific enemy. Oddly, they attack primarily with Gil Toss, though some types can use Poison Needle. They can also drop a large amount of gil upon defeat.
In Chocobo Racing, the Cactuar is a secret character. In order to unlock it, the Story Mode must be beaten six times. Afterwards, the cactuar can be selected by holding R2 while the cursor is over Squall. It is unique in that the cactuar does not use a vehicle to race, and rather runs around the track.
Cactuars are fairly enigmatic enemies in this game, as their movement speed doesn't work like that of most enemies. They technically have the same movement speed as chocobo, but they are allowed to move two grids or attack once each turn, making them hard to fight. They have long-range skills such as Gil Toss and 1000 Needles. They also appear as a Dry Cactuar variant in the Guardian of the Light dungeon.
Cactuar is an earth element, and has six cards under his name.
|Deal 3 damage and casts Haste.|
|Deal 3 damage.
Destroy 2 of opponent's * crystals.
|Deal 3 damage and cause Poison.|
|Crystal Ability (***)
Restore 2 HP for each * in opponent's CP gauge.
|Crystal Ability (**)
Deal 5 damage.
|1000 Needles plus|
|Crystal Ability (***)
Deal 6 damage and causes Poison.
The cactuar 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 & Kaze, the cactuar 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 cactuar could be revived with sunlight. Fungo was the only one of the heroes to translate the cactuar language.
The cactuar were all voiced by Etsuko Kozakura in the Japanese version. Herba uses a similar group of cactus creatures as servants, referred by her as her "Cactibabies", last seen in "Fungus: Eternal Life" obtaining an Omega crystal and almost all of them were destroyed by Omega's aura in the process.
Non-Final Fantasy AppearancesEdit
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The Cactuar appears in this game.
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Dragon Quest XEdit
Characters dressed in a Cactuar can be seen in the world of Dragon Quest X, they also pose with the iconic Cactuar pose.
The Cactuar appears as a secret character in the Mario sports game, Mario Hoops 3-on-3 along with a Ninja, a White Mage and a Black Mage. This is mainly because Square Enix developed the game. Cactuar's special shot is 1000 Needles.
Unique to its design in this game and the Nintendo Wii spiritual sequel, Mario Sports Mix, in which it was also an unlockable character, the cactuar's design incorporates segmented limbs, giving the arms and legs a jointed appearance, which may have been intended to make it look flexible enough to play basketball. He is the fastest player in the game.
Cactuar reappeared in Mario Sports Mix for the Nintendo Wii alongside the same four unlockable Final Fantasy characters with which it debuted. It can be unlocked by playing 60 Matches or by completing the Cactuar Mission at Star Cup.
There is a Cactuar Gummi ship that is available in a number of Kingdom Hearts games. In the original Kingdom Hearts the player can unlock the ship by obtaining the necessary amount of Gummi Blocks, and in Kingdom Hearts II by obtaining a high rank in Gummi Ship mode.
Cactuars make an appearance in the ending cutscene of Hanjuku Hero 4 as drawings.
In The Bouncer, another game made by Squaresoft, one of the main protagonists, Volt Krueger, has three pictures of a Cactuar on his jacket.
A Cactuar appears as a card in the card game Lord of Vermilion III.
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In the online game Roblox, the player can purchase a hat called "Cactrot". The hat's description, "Desert, South of Miranda. World of Ruin. Watch out for Blow Fish", is a direct reference to Final Fantasy VI (the original term for 1000 Needles was "Blowfish"). The player can purchase it for 1000 Tix, or ROBUX, another reference to the 1000 Needles ability. It is even in the form of a cactus wearing a small hat.
Its Japanese name is derived from mixing the Japanese word for cactus (サボテン, saboten?) and the English word "pretender".
- In the description of the Cactuar in one of the Final Fantasy games on PlayStation, the Cactuar was going to be described with the sentence "It ejaculates needles!". This was because the game was being translated by a Japanese speaker. His reviser, Alexander O. Smith, managed to change the description before the game's release, as while it is technically accurate, it carries the unfortunate connotation of one particular meaning of the word "ejaculate". 
- The zone Thousand Needles in the game World of Warcraft is a reference to the signature move of the Cactuar.