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I haven't seen a full I, Zombie Endless guide made to help the user with all the basic techniques, so I decided to write one. Enjoy!
I, Zombie Endless guide by bdejean, Version 1.0
Do whatever you want with this.
Table of Contents
P1. The Basics
P2. The Plants
P3. The Zombies
P4. Basic Strategies
P5. The Basic Layouts
P6. The Specialized Layouts
P1. The Basics
Welcome. This guide is intended to supply you with everything I know about I, Zombie Endless. I'll go through each aspect of this puzzle in turn, examining the use of every zombie, the danger of every plant, the strategy for every layout. Of course, the theory here will only get you so far. You need to be able to implement the strategies in practice. So, let's start with some basic theory. Most of the information in this section is relatively basic, so feel free to skip this section and move on if you want.
I will use a lane to refer to a horizontal row of plants, and a column to refer to a vertical row of plants. Lane 1 is the topmost, lane 2 is the one right below it, and so on.
The object of this game is straightforward: to get a forward-eating zombie to the end of each lane for long enough for it to eat the brain there. When you're done, your sun carries over to the next level, where you must do the same again, and again, until you run out of sun. Ideally, you should be as sun-efficient as possible.
P2. The Plants
First of all, the incredibly dangerous plants. Whenever you begin a standard layout, immediately make note of the location of every one of these.
This guy's probably the most dangerous plant you'll encounter. He makes your Diggers surface, decimates your Bucketheads and Football Zombies, and steals your Ladders. Eliminate ASAP.
This plant's also dangerous. In adjacent lanes, it pumps damage and can't be eaten by zombies in that lane. Make sure to eliminate this guy.
Unnecessary for most other levels, this guy's a killer. He may seem pretty harmless, but this cavity-ridden plant can pump damage into any lane. Also a danger to Diggers. Probably higher priority than Threepeater.
This guy stops all your nearby aerial strikes, preventing you from stealing some potentially dangerous plants.
Less dangerous plants
This guy has two equally terrifying impacts. First of all, any peas that pass through it do double damage. Secondly, unless hitting a Ladder Zombie, flaming peas do splash damage. Oddly, they're sometimes put in lanes where they'll have no effect. Factor in the extra damage from this guy when deciding whether a zombie will survive.
These guys can pour a surprising bit of damage into your zombies. An Imp can walk across one with one pea of health left. If there's another plant behind it, the Imp will probably die from stopping to eat the plant. Dancing Zombies can die from walking across just one of these due to their incredibly stupid insistence on staying with all of their potentially slowed-down or eating Backup Dancers. Sure, they can be removed by Bungees, but that's expensive. Just be ready.
This guy was your main troop in Survival Mode, now it's been turned against you. Make note of the additional time required to eat through other plants before reaching it, as Coneheads can be highly threatened by these.
This guy just acts like a normal Peashooter normally, unless you send a Digger or Pole Vaulter over or under it. Just think of it as a normal Peashooter most of the time.
Seemingly weak in Adventure Mode, these guys are surprisingly strong. They effectively double the power of everything else in the row. Just don't be surprised if a Football Zombie falls to one of these.
Repeaters pour damage into your zombies like crazy. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Be very, very afraid.
In Adventure, these corn-firing menaces didn't seem like much, but they really pack a punch. It seems as if they fire butter more commonly in this mode, but that could be just me. They're a mixed bag, but dangerous 90% of the time. It's not uncommon for them to freeze your zombies right on top of a Spikeweed while a peashooting plant's firing at them. These guys call for the big guns.
Use something cheap to trigger these fruits, because you won't be seeing it again. Just don't let your zombies get too close together, otherwise it can kill multiple zombies in one go. A plant for a zombie. Simple.
Pretty much same. Just take note of the fact that Diggers digging underneath these plants get blown to bits. I like planting Bungees on them to see the comical sequence that emerges sometimes.
Same as Squash and Potato Mine, except they can eat multiple zombies if you give it the chance. Don't.
A mushroom with no respect for stopping its projectile at the first zombie. Just treat it like a Peashooter and be a little more careful.
Severely slows down you zombies. Eat through it, steal it, vault over it, or dig under it. Spikeweed are murder with these guys.
Your main source of sun. Eat one and you gain 200 sun, assuming you can grab it.
Note: I did not include Scaredy-shroom here because it only appears in one layout, which is one of the specialty ones. I'll get to those later.
P3. The Zombies
Imp (50 sun)
Wimpier than in other modes. Good for activating Squash, Potato Mines, and Chompers, or getting brains from undefended rows, but almost nothing else. Still really useful.
Conehead (75 sun)
Use this to clear some weak rows. Also used for similar purposes to Imps in weakly defended rows.
Buckethead (125 sun)
Health: 65 (vulnerable to Magnet-shroom)
These are your basic shock troops in rows with some heavy defence not in range of a Magnet-shroom.
Bungee (125 sun)
These guys are almost certain not to die, so don't worry too much about the health. They cost a lot, but are good for eliminating really tricky plants.
Digger (125 sun)
Health: 15 (vulnerable to Magnet-shroom)
Good for clearing out rows for Imps to eat the brains, or for "cutting," which I'll get to later. They can only survive a Split Pea if it's the back plant, and be wary of Starfruit.
Ladder Zombie (150 Sun)
Health: 25 (Ladder), 17 (zombie) (vulnerable to Magnet-shroom)
This isn't for what you think it is most of the time. It's rarely used for getting over Wall-nuts. What it is used for is tanking through rows with Snow Peas. While it still has its ladder, it cannot be frozen, and it moves quickly.
Football Zombie (175 sun)
Health: 80 (vulnerable to Magnet-shroom)
Your heavy-duty tank. Extremely powerful. Take note that, when possible, a Digger + Imp combo can be more efficient, because they can't make it through everything.
Assuming you keep this thing alive, it can knock out three whole rows. Unless its backup dancers get destroyed before they reach a Squash/Potato Mine/Chomper, they won't get blown. If one of the first two plants in the lane is an instant kill, plant it in the very back instead of as close to the plants as possible, otherwise it gets eaten, blown, or flattened before it can summon any dummy Backup Dancers.
P4. Basic Strategies
I will assign these names to make them easier to remember.
Sun-expensive, but useful nonetheless, this refers to a clever way of taking advantage of Magnet-shrooms. Thanks to hitoridakeno for introducing me to this. I haven't mastered this yet, but I plan to. First of all, plant a metallic zombie, preferably a Digger (because the timing's easiest there), in range of a Magnet-shroom. The zombie gets its metal stolen. Wait for the Digger to take a little more than three bites. Plant another Digger in the back of another lane covered by the Magnet-shroom. Then, the Magnet-shroom will steal the pickaxe, and it will surface just before it would normally, next to the brain. It eats the brain. Done.
Not easy, and bypasses a lot of plants that could be dangerous or helpful (Sunflowers), but still useful for grabbing brains quickly.
This refers to putting multiple zombies in a lane in order to increase eating speed and overall health. Please note that Spikeweed and Fume-shrooms have absolutely no respect for this.
Similar to "stacking," but with only one powerful zombie, usually a Buckethead, Ladder Zombie, or Football Zombie.
Sort of like "stacking," this refers to using another zombie, usually a Conehead, Buckethead, or Digger Zombie from "cutting" to shield a Dancing Zombie in a lane with peashooting plants. Just an extra precaution.
This refers to using one metallic zombie to distract a Magnet-shroom for long enough for another strong one to eat it. Very dangerous, as Magnet-shrooms do not have long cooldowns.
This is planting multiple Bungees on one Sunflower. Macros are probably best for this. Planting enough can give you tons of sun, as each one provides sun. I don't know if it's 200 per Bungee, though.
This refers to when there's just one offensive plant other than Spikeweed in a lane, and a Pole Vaulter is put to jump over it, scoring a free brain.
P5. The Basic Layouts
The basic ones usually follow one of these basic patterns. What I told you already should get you through most of these. And for Zeus's sake, be careful. Here's the general course of action. First of all, eliminate the Magnet-shroom. A Conehead should be enough to eliminate it in most cases, but "stacking" is sometimes required.
Keep an eye on that Starfruit. It is a menace to Dancers. Diggers are great unless you've got a Split Pea or Starfruit, and so are Bucketheads. Go crazy and conserve sun.
P6. The Specialized Layouts
Pea 'n' Puff
Bucketheads have a decent chance of not making it. A useful tip is to find a row adjacent to a really powerful one, without Split Peas, and plant a Digger there. Once it's done, use a Dancer, for three strong lanes in one go. Be really careful with Football Players, they may not live.
Insta-kill 'n' Shrooms
Imps are a good idea here. So are Dancers in relatively weak lanes. So are Diggers in lanes without Potato Mines. Imps aren't too shabby, either, and in lanes without instants, so are Bucketheads.
Stars 'n' Spikes
Bucketheads are your friends. Really. Take it one starry lane at a time. Find one with a bunch of Starfruit, preferably the most, and plant a Buckethead. Wait for it to reach the end (almost always.) Rinse. Repeat.
Puff 'n' Scaredy
The rarest layout, but the one that tends to have the most Sunflowers and the cheapest. The trick here is to plant Coneheads where they'll cause Scaredy-shrooms in adjacent lanes to hide, thus marking the way for more Coneheads. Make full use of it when it comes up.
Dancers. Just Dancers. They'll brave almost all the instants here. Just make sure you have some way of getting past any Puff-shrooms they may be vulnerable to.
Fume 'n' Magnet
Alright. I saved the worst for last. Pole Vaulters, Coneheads, and Bungees are your only powerful options due to the Magnets and Fumes. Most players hate this setup. "Stacking's" decent here, due to the extra eating power. Hopefully, once you get this, you'll be experienced enough to know what to do.
For a more in-depth description of the exact steps for all these, see http://www.download-free-games.com/blog/entry/i_zombie_endless_guide/
Special thanks to plantsvszombies.wikia.com/wiki/I,_Zombie_Endless for the images presented here.