Better Off Dead achievement in Plants vs. Zombies

Better Off Dead

Get to a streak of 10 in I, Zombie Endless.

Better Off Dead0
3 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle Player

How to unlock the Better Off Dead achievement

  • xgameheroxgamehero186,280
    01 Oct 2012 28 Jun 2011 28 Jun 2011
    41 2 13
    Difficulty: 7/10
    Mode: Single-Player
    Time Invested: 1 Hour+
    Information: This achievement is heavily based on luck, but requires some level of skill.


    The goal is to COMPLETE the 10th level of I, Zombie Endless, thus obtaining a 'streak of 10'. To unlock the "I, Zombie" gametype, I believe you must first complete Adventure Mode and then finish the first 9 levels of I, Zombie.

    The general idea is to eat each brain using as few sun points as possible. Reaching level 10 (and completing it) will require a well thought out plan on every level, and quite a bit of luck from the randomly generated levels.

    The best approach is to restart the beginning over and over until you feel that the first level's plant placement will leave you entering level 2 with at least 750 sun. I've managed to finish level 1 with 1,150 sun left over, but even then I was only able to make it to level 9.

    Since each level is randomly generated, and every level will be different, I'll lay down some cold hard tips.

    General Tips:
    1. Find a good first level (as mentioned above).

    2. Take your time! Planning is very important.

    3. Always consider using every zombie in each situation. Sometimes the Disco Zombie (even though he costs 350 sun) will be the most cost effective in any given situation.

    4. Practice. Learn the amount of damage each zombie can sustain. This will help you save sun. Where a conehead zombie will reach the brain, why waste a buckethead?

    Level Types:
    1. Standard Random 1 - This level contains one magnet, one threepeater, one starfruit, one bungeeplant, and several peashooters (frost, repeaters, and split peashooters).

    2. Standard Random 2 - This level replaces most of the peashooters with chompers, and adds a walnut, but keeps the rest the same mostly.

    3. Scaredy Shroom - Lots of scaredy shrooms, puff shrooms and sunflowers. Take advantage of the fact that the shrooms hide even when a zombie is nearby in another lane. You should be able to complete this level using 5 conehead zombies (one for each lane). This is the best level to get, and unless you're a master strategist, you probably won't beat level 10 without encountering this level along the way.

    4. Magnet Flower - Not sure if it's fume shrooms or chompers, eitherway this is another decently easy level. Mostly littered with magnets, there are some sunflowers and like I said either some shroom type or chomper. Another great level.

    5. Instant Death - This level is one of the worst to encounter. There are many chompers, potato mines, and squashes. On average I lose about 500 sun completing this level. Two approaches I use are to either sacrefice lots of imps to the mines, chompers, etc, and clean up with coneheads, -OR-, if the situation permits, use a Disco Zombie. His summons can help clear two lanes which may be cheaper than wasting lots of imps.

    There are other level types, but these are the main ones that I can remember. The Magnet Flower and Scaredy Shroom levels are quite rare. Playing through roughly 70 levels, I've encountered the Scaredy Shrooms three times and Magnet Flower once.

    Specific Tips:
    1. Imps can withstand 2 hits from Peas, Spikes, and Fumes. The third hit will behead them. Not sure about kernels, butter, or flaming peas. If a lane has only one spike, an Imp should do the job, unless the spike is in front of the brain.

    2. Keep an eye on starfruit, they can ruin your sprinting imp.

    3. If a lane looks tough, know that a miner zombie first to clear and then an imp to get the brain costs the same as a football zombie, but is garaunteed to work. (Example: The lane is, from left to right, Kernal Pult, Fume Shroom, Frostpea, Puff Shroom, Sunflower.) This assumes there are no threepeaters or magnets nearby, and no potato mines or split peas on the specific lane.

    4. Potato Mines blowup miner zombies. I know this is easy to figure out but I didn't know this until it was too late. Keep it in mind!

    5. Two coneheads are nearly as powerful as a football zombie, if they are launched at the same time. This is especially good vs. kernal pult because it only takes a few butters to ruin your football zombie if the lane is packed with shooters. Whereas, if there are two zombies, the likelyhood of them being buttered at the same time are low, even with two kernal pults.

    ---------------------------------------
    Hopefully some (or all) of these tips will help you to beat level 10! Remember, it's highly luck based and if you run into a great level, don't get cocky. When I earned the achievement, on level 7 I had 2,500 Sun. By the end of level 10, I had 150 sun leftover (due to Instant Death level). Good luck!

    Guide not helping? View 2 more guides for this achievement.

    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    rocking23nfI played this around 50 times, today for the first time I got to level 9 and had 100 sunshine left, so I was about to quit out, and I got a scaredy shroom level and beat it.
    Posted by rocking23nf on 20 May 14 at 20:38
    Anubseth1) Miner zombies won't survive a lane if there's a split peas peashooter in any position that isn't the last one. He can *barely* survive in a lane which have one split peas in last and a spike.

    2) Not all first stages contain the same amount of sunflowers. I got stages with 7, 8 and 9 (1 time only) sunflowers. So try to restart the game until you get 8 at least. (I don't know if I wrongly summed the sunflowers, so I can't tell 100% that this is true).

    3) An imp can use both a chomper and a squasher: The squasher must be the first in the lane and chomper the second. The imp move so fast that the time squasher needs to prepare and jump into the imp the chomper eats it, wasting the squasher. (Beware for the remain of the lane, for any 2 pea shooters will ruin this).

    4) always consider the worst cenario with a kernal pult: I got 7 butters in a row and I got 20 kernels in other. They can easily turn your game into a nightmare.

    5) Squashers stomp both ways, so they will smash a miner coming from behind.

    6) Fire trunks melts frost peas and makes them a regular one. This is useful in cases where frost and fire trunks are in the last positions of a lane, allowing your zombies to walk it down without being slowed.

    7)Frost peashooters in the first place in a lane can be easily avoided by using the athlete zombie, as he can jump over it and avoid being slowed.

    8) I don't find useful, almost 99% of the time, the ladder zombie. Whenever he is useful 2 athlete zombies can do better.

    9) The skyjump zombie is a bit more useful, but in very specific (hard situations). And the skyjump should always be used in a threepeater, a star fruit, a magnet or a frost pea, as these are the worst enemies that it can remove.

    10) Athlete zombies can jump over chompers. So you can turn useless chompers at the beggining of a lane.

    11) When a level start I look for:
    1- threepeater
    2 - star fruit
    3 - magnet
    The first 2 can easily ruin any run, so I try to get them out of the way. Magnets allow the use of the most expensive zombies. When it appear in the last place in a lane with a bungeeplant nearby be prepared to suffer.

    12) Speaking of magnets, their attraction range is 2 lane both up and down. So if it's in the middle lane it will get all the metals in the map.

    13) To take most advantage of disco zombie be sure of some things:
    1 - Always remove chompers and squashers at the beginning of a lane (with an imp) so that it won't be useless before even starting!
    2 - Be sure that threepeaters or star fruits won't ruin your run. If you forget about their presence they can kill the disco zombie and ruin your run.
    3 - Always use it in a lane with few peashooters. The more peashooters in a lane, the easier it will be for the zombie dancer in front of the disco to die and for the disco to die too.
    4 - Remember, sunflowers gives 7 suns (175 solar power). So always count the amount of suns you get with each sunflower. If the zombie dancer in the adjacent lanes get 5 or 6 suns before being killed, there is no use in sending an imp to get the remaining suns (as you will get, at maximum, even).

    14) In a death stage (as OP called them) jumping over the first obstacle with the athlete to be killed 4 times in the next plants (by chompers, squashers and mines) is not worth it. You will spend 300 (4x75) in dead athletes and more 75 to get to the brain, which means wasting 375 (you waste more than a disco zombie for a single lane!).
    If you take the first obstacle (the only exception is a wallnut, but it depends on the following plants: play smart) with a cone zombie, and kill it at the 2nd plant, then you will waste 75 for the first 2 plants, plus 150 (3x50) from imps for the next 3 plants and a last one for the brain (50). This will net 275 sunpower.
    2 of these lanes (4 killing plants in the last positions) side by side are best cleared with a disco zombie (the exception is 4 chompers).
    (I don't know why but in my first games I did this often, probably because I'm jumping one the enemies. So here's a mathematical evidence that it won't work)

    15) Take your time: sometimes you have to wait for a zombie to clear one lane so that you can advance another one.

    16) But be prepare for quick uses: sometimes the right timing of usage is what makes all the difference.

    17) This isn't a game based solely on strategy, luck is quite strong in here, so don't push yourself too hard. OP said that in 70 levels he got 4 special levels; in around 180 I got 2 (and in different runs). So take your time!
    Posted by Anubseth on 19 Mar 15 at 22:59
    I am L0cutusI'm starting to think these Scaredy Shroom levels are an urban legend. I mean seriously I've gotten to level 10 once, level 9 twice, level 8 twice and somewhere between 4-7 about 15 times and I have not even seen one...
    Posted by I am L0cutus on 13 Apr 15 at 04:45
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  • Hexa FoxHexa Fox1,002,246
    23 Apr 2012 23 Apr 2012 07 Mar 2017
    37 2 24
    Okay just got this and to add some tips and clear up the exploit from FreedMania I am going to write a new guide.

    1) Make sure you have enabled the game to "Run When Locked" under Help & Options. You will also be asked this when you load up the game for the first time.

    2) Then start up I, Zombie Endless and at the start of the stage just tap the lock button on your phone, thus simply locking your phone but not turning it off. Then unlock your phone, this should take you right back to where you were with a "Resume Game" button.

    3) This has just created a save point you can revert back to ONE TIME if you screw up. If you do screw up make sure you just fail the level and when the prompt appears to "Try Again" do NOT hit it but click "Menu" in the top right corner.

    4) Go back to I,Zombie Endless and make sure you do not click Adventure Mode by accident as this will erase the save. Then right when it loads up make sure you press "Continue" then your save is reloaded.

    5) IMMEDIATELY after you press "Continue" repeat step #2 because the save only works ONE TIME, all you have to do though, is create a new save every time you screw up and reload. Just make sure whenever you get to a new level or reload the save you repeat step #2.

    Also keep this method in mind when you are close to completing a level as well. Because it is completely random on which level you receive. Therefore, making a save before you complete a level will make sure you do not get screwed over. So if you get a tough level that you can not complete or are going to lose a lot of sun on just reload the checkpoint at the end of the previous level. So that you can hope to get an easier one this time.

    Now to get the achievement all you have to do is beat Streak Nine, thus having obtained a Streak of Ten. Now there are certain levels that people are calling "Scaredy-Shroom" levels and has nothing but Puff-Shrooms, Scaredy-Shrooms and Sunflower's. You will need to get at least one of these levels (depending on the random layout of each map) to be able to get to Streak Ten. I only got one of these levels and barley passed Streak Nine with only a little Sun to spare.

    You need to take your time and be smart to be able to get through this. For example you need to time the "Scaredy-Shroom Level" just right to get maximum Sun. I sent a Bucket Head Zombie down the middle lane and as he progressed the Scaredy-Shrooms in adjacent lanes would hide letting me send a Imp or Cone Head Zombie down the row to easily deal with it and gain some massive sun.

    You also need to watch out for the Magnet-Shrooms and Kernal Pults as they are both extremely annoying. I tried to use a Miner Zombie when ever possible but you have to watch out for the Starfruit, Split Peas and Magnet-Shrooms. Just try to be as strategic as possible. As said before two Cone Head Zombies are extremely effective especially for lanes that have Magnet-Shrooms. Although someone said the two Cone Head Zombies are or are close to being as strong as the Football Player Zombie and this is not true. He can take an extreme beating compared to that of the two Cone Head Zombies being released at the same time just a Ice Pea or Kernal Pult could be his death.

    Anyway I hope this makes it more clear and helps you guys out. If you have any questions or want to know anything just let me know and I will do whatever I can to help you out.

    ***Please take note that there are some Windows Phones that are not capable of using this exploit. I'm sorry if this has happened to you, but you need to do the research before you buy the game. There are many other WP7 games that use the same exploit of locking your phone to create a check point. Anyway if you are one that was screwed over for this method, and feeling generous you can save someone else the trouble. Post the phone you have that it did not work with and I will add a list below this to help out other people debating on getting the game or not.

    So far it is also looking like some people are having luck on certain phones where others are not. This list is a great place to look if you have not started the game yet. However, there is some argument where people are saying they did get certain phones to work where others said they could not get that same model to work. You will have to make the final decision on whether you start the game or not. As this is a very fun game as it was on the Xbox Live Arcade but this achievement will prove to be very challenging with out this exploit but is not impossible.

    I am also going to start a list for phones that people said this did work on. I will also add the users as a thanks for them stopping by to let us know if they did or did not get it to work. If you are reading this and this did or did not work for you please comment and I will add your Gamer Tag and phone to this list.

    List of Windows Phones that do not work with this exploit:
    User and Model of Windows Phone,
    Epsilon Theta (Lumia 800)
    Gacys Clown (Lumia 920)

    List of Windows Phones that did work with this exploit:
    User and Model of Windows Phone,
    LinkHyrule123 (Omnia 7)
    Jerith Geros (Nokia Lumia 1020)
    Bears Scare Me (Nokia Lumia 920)
    FlukyGorgon6351 (Nokia Lumia 620)
    DcupsOfJustice (Nokia Lumia 520)
    x PeteyPablo v (Nokia Lumia 635)
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    xox POLAK xoxIt works randomly on Nokia 520, some time the trick is OK, sometimes it fails, no clue about why ! And ues I am sure that I perform the process the right way.
    Posted by xox POLAK xox on 15 Jan 16 at 10:55
    Punisher PabloConfirmed working on Nokia Lumia 635 smile
    Posted by Punisher Pablo on 07 Mar 17 at 18:50
    Hexa FoxOkay I just added, thanks for letting us know.
    Posted by Hexa Fox on 07 Mar 17 at 19:33
  • Subliminal CutsSubliminal Cuts218,972
    03 Jun 2012 04 Jun 2012 20 Nov 2012
    19 3 19
    This is an alteration of another solution and is very effective as it allows you to change/re-randomise the next level all of the way through the mode. So you can avoid expensive levels that are full of Munchers, potato bombs and squashes, or just generally hard levels

    Creating checkpoints brief guide;;
    Allow game to 'run under lock' can be changed in the options menu
    1) At the start of the stage, hit the power button on your phone, this will lock it and turn it off.
    2) Now turn it back on and unlock the phone. It will ask you to hit resume (this has just created a save point).
    3) If you mess up, waste the rest of your sunlight in a lane thats empty. DO NOT hit retry, but the main menu button that's in the top right.
    4) Navigate back to I, Zombie endless and it will ask you if you want to continue, select yes.
    5) VERY IMPORTANT: as soon as you continue the game you will need to repeat step 1 to create another save. If you don't and then fail you will go back to level one.
    -Selecting and playing other modes will wipe the checkpoint.

    For a more detailed, easy to understand guide on these steps see Haxa Fox's solution; Solution for Better Off Dead in Plants vs. Zombies (WP)

    A checkpoint can be made at any point in a level and as many times as needed, doing it at the end of a level means that if the next level is hard you simply go back to the checkpoint and repeat the process until you're happy with the level given

    Note: I recommend you have your phone on charge or have high battery as if this runs out it will create a checkpoint wherever it runs out at (I got messed up this way)

    This is worth a second mention as it's so easy to forget in the monotony of it all, every time you reload a game you have to go through the process again to create another checkpoint

    I usually made the end of level checkpoint when my final zombie was about midway down the path to give me plenty of time to do this multiple times if needed, also the money bags that you collect at the end of a level can be left to create more time to repeat the process (I got 5 repeats from the money bags but I'm not sure how long it actually lasts)

    When you are happy with a level a checkpoint can be used to keep it for multiple retries

    Feel free to comment any suggestions
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    PHT999nevermind, just checked and indeed it does work for the china shop achievement! smile
    Posted by PHT999 on 26 Jul 13 at 23:20
    xox POLAK xoxI have try the 'glitch' on lumia 520 : It works only once even if I create a 'new save' after using it ==> You can load only one save, on snd attempt ==> restart :(
    Posted by xox POLAK xox on 06 Jun 14 at 16:07
    Manb3arSquirrelFinally returned for this last achievement years later for my completion percentage and found it is really a rather high chance to get the scaredy shroom levels. I got one on level 2 and 3 after many restarts, and entered level 4 with about 4000 sun. I really hope I don't mess up this save :'(
    Posted by Manb3arSquirrel on 16 Dec 17 at 01:11
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