Today is a lovely day, so I might spend some time in the garden. Before I do that I’ve decided to be useful to you folk. I recently managed to get all the achievements for one of my favourite games of all time, Plants Vs Zombies. It’s taken me an age to do it, but I finally cracked the one that stubbornly eluded me; by surviving 40 waves of pure zombie ferocity I unlocked the Alive And Planting achievement. If you’re interested, here’s how you do it.
Right, first off, don’t attempt this mode unless you’ve unlocked every single plant in the game. You won’t need them all, but it pays to have options.
Second, leaving aside the obvious like Grave-busters and Planterns, you can forget Pea-shooters, Torch-woods, Cacti – in fact nearly every single plant that fires a projectile in one direction. They’re all lovely little plants, yes, but they only fire down or affect one lane in your garden in PVZ, and in Survival: Endless mode you want to cause as much damage across as many lanes at the same time as possible. To that end, allow me to introduce the most underrated plant in the whole game: the Gloom-shroom. Gloom-shrooms may look like sad-sacks and they may cost more incrementally each time you plant one in Survival: Endless mode, but you can cover up to three rows at the same time depending on where you plant them.
The second thing to remember in Survival: Endless is that you want to protect as many plants as possible, so this means doubling up on Pumpkins with the Imitater in a lot of the rounds, and also laying down Spikeweeds and Spikerocks. You will also need to slow down as many enemies as possible and this means getting quite a few Winter Melons in the garden as soon as possible. It might be worth keeping some Ice-shrooms handy too.
Finally, you will need some luck, and you will need to stay on your toes. Yes, the set-up I’m about to describe gives you a very good chance of beating 40 waves of zombies, but don’t think you’ll be able to lay out your plants and sit back and relax. I don’t know if PVZ learns as you play and whether it deploys zombie-types based on what you’re doing, but I do know that if you get complacent with this game, the zombie will eat you brains in short order. So here goes:
In the opening rounds, PVZ is going to go easy on you, so your job is to get as much sunshine in the bank as quickly as possible. To that end, double up on Sunflowers with the Imitater. You’ll also need to build up as much defence as you can, so load up the Gloom-shroom, Coffee bean and Fume-shroom. Take Lily Pads and Cattails too – don’t worry you’ll only need two Cattails for the entire mode. And then load up on Pumpkins, Squashes and Potato Mines. Then get planting.
Over the first round you need as many Sunflowers down as possible. Protect them with Mines and Squashes. While you collect the sunshine, put down two Lily pads at the back of the pond for Cattails – between them and the Spuds and Squashes you should have a enough to fend off the zombies from the Sunflowers and you should have a large amount of sunshine coming in. When you have enough, count three places back from the front end of the pond and whack a Lily Pad down and then build a Gloom-shroom on it. As you rake in more sunshine, repeat this action until you have Gloom-shrooms – with Pumpkins around them if you can manage it – in the first three slots in both lanes of the pond (6 in total).
If all goes according to plan, your garden should look like this by the end of the first round:
Lane 1: 6 Sunflowers
Lane 2: 6 Sunflowers
Lane 3: 1 Cattail, 3 Sunflowers and 3 Gloom-Shrooms (with Pumpkins)
Lane 4: 1 Cattail, 3 Sunflowers and 3 Gloom-Shrooms (with Pumpkins)
Lane 5: 6 Sunflowers
Lane 6: 6 Sunflowers
Over the next few rounds, you want to start laying down Winter Melons, Spikerocks, and putting as many Pumpkins around your plants as possible. Check very carefully what sort of zombies you’re up against – sneaky sods like Digger Zombies sometimes hide just behind larger zombies in the load-out screen, and you don’t want to be caught flat footed by them. Depending on what the game throws at you – Diggers and Football Zombies together can be a pain in the first few rounds – I find it’s worth replacing the front Sunflower in each lane with a Magnet Shroom. These can be ditched at a later date when you’ve replaced the second-to-last Sunflowers in Lanes 1, 2, 5 and 6 with Gloom Shrooms. Also, replace a couple of Sunflowers with Twin Sunflowers, because soon, they’ll be bringing in most of the sunshine you earn. Ultimately rows 2, 3, 4 and 5 will need a little creativity, because you’ll also need to build some Cob Cannons to deal with Gargantuars and Giga-Gargantuars, which, if you are lucky enough to avoid them in the first five rounds, believe me, are on their way eventually.
Your garden is about to become an arsenal. By the end of round 6 it should look like this:
Lane 1: 1 Winter Melon, 1 Gloom-shroom, 4 Winter-Melons and 2 Spikerocks
Lane 2: 1 Winter Meolon, 1 Gloom-shroom, 2 Twin Sunflowers, 1 Cob Cannon and 2 Spikerocks
Lane 3: 1 Cattail, 2 Cob Cannons, 1 Twin Sunflower and 3 Gloom-shrooms
LAne4: 1 Cattail, 2 Cob Cannons, 1 Twin Sunflower and 3 Gloom-shrooms
Lane 5: 1 Winter Meolon, 1 Gloom-shroom, 2 Twin Sunflowers, 1 Cob Cannon and 2 Spikerocks
Lane 6: 1 Winter Melon, 1 Gloom-shroom, 4 Winter-Melons and 2 Spikerocks
And that is your basic set up. Now, like I said earlier, this isn’t a fail-safe set-up and you will have to keep an eye on things – you may have to yank out the odd Winter Melon or Twin Sunflower temporarily to replace it with an Umbrella Leaf to fight off Bungie Zombies and you will also have to replace any plant that gets eaten – and a lot of them will be. You also have to encase every plant in a Pumpkin and make sure they’re kept in good shape, because if one part of the machinery breaks down, you can go from being in complete control to Zombie nosh in one wave.
Still, with a little luck and lot of resource management, your garden should see you over 40 waves of zombies. I lasted 41 rounds with that set-up, so it does work. My gardening skills are the stuff of legend, apparently. Eat that, Alan Titchmarsh!