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Cactuar is an enemy in Final Fantasy VIII.

It is possible to reach Cactuar Island with Balamb Garden because a small portion of the Kashkabald Desert is part of Cactuar Island, which itself is currently inaccessible (one cannot fight Jumbo Cactuar like this). To reach this area of the world map one must pilot Balamb Garden to a small gap in the mountain range surrounding the south of the desert and proceed on foot.



1000 Needles.

Cactuar is a fast enemy, and is likely to escape before anyone can attack if the party has low speed stats. The 1000 Needles attack ignores evade and deals fixed damage, ignoring status effects such as Protect and Defend, inflicting 1,000 HP every time. Cactuars grant 20 AP when killed, making them good prey for learning new GF abilities.

Cactuar is one of the few non-boss monsters that is unaffected by Quistis's Degenerator Limit Break, Selphie's Rapture and Odin never appears against it. The others are Grat, Vysage, Lefty, Righty, Tonberry, Esthar Soldier (Terminator), UFO? and PuPu.


Cactuars are weak against Water, so Water spells or summoning Leviathan work well. Although Cactuars have massive evasion, Squall's 255% accuracy guarantees him a hit. Selphie is the only other character who can attain a natural 255% accuracy with her Strange Vision ultimate weapon. The other characters can boost their accuracy with junctions. Junctioning Water spells to attack makes them deal double damage, but Cactuars already have low HP.

The Initiative ability lets the user start the battle with a full ATB gauge. One strategic setup is junctioning Initiative to Squall, Irvine, or Quistis and have them use Limit Breaks that damage all enemies, i.e. Fated Circle, Scatter Shot, or Ultra Waves. Limit Breaks never miss.

Triple Triad[]


Cactuar is a Level 3 Monster Card in Triple Triad used for playing the minigame and for turning into Cactus Thorn with Quezacotl's Card Mod.

Other appearances[]

Final Fantasy Record Keeper[]

FFRK Cactuar FFVIII.png
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Chocobo World[]


Cactuar is one of Boko's friends and assists him on his quest to find MiniMog, and later on in his quest to save Koko. He helps by finding items for them to use throughout the game.

Final Fantasy Trading Card Game[]

Cactuar2 TCG.png

Cactuar appears as an Earth-elemental card.

Triple Triad[]

172a Cactuar.png

Cactuar from Final Fantasy VIII appears on a Triple Triad card in the version available via Final Fantasy Portal App.



Sabotender (サボテンダー, Sabotendā?) is derived from mixing the Japanese word for cactus (サボテン, saboten?) and the English word "pretender" (プリテンダー, puritendā?).

Related enemies[]