With their distinctive cactus appearance and signature pose, Cactuars are one of Final Fantasy’s most iconic creatures. The top-heavy Gigantender, introduced in Final Fantasy XIV’s latest expansion, is doing the best it can to live up to that legacy, bless its giant plant heart.
Cactuar are called Sabotenders in Final Fantasy XIV, using the Japanese name to differentiate them from the endless parade of cactus-shaped creatures and summons that have appeared since the creatures debuted in Final Fantasy VI. Garden (rock garden, I suppose) variety Sabotenders are a common sight on the MMO’s continent of Eorzea. Gigantenders are native to the Shadowbringers’ expansion’s land of The First and are adorable enough that I just want to sit in The Fields of Amber and watch them nearly topple all day long.
I spent an hour grabbing the perfect animated GIF of the large, awkward creatures in their natural habitat. I initially misjudged the distance between the Gigantender and my character due to unfamiliarity with the first-person camera. I was too close, and a battle commenced.
Battle did afford me a close-up look at the creatures.
But I could have done without the heartbreakingly-cute squeaks and squeals the Gigantenders make when they die.
These big cactus boys don’t deserve to be on the receiving end of my Xena-style Dancer weapons. We should preserve them and their kind, so they may flourish and perhaps, one day, perfect that Cactuar pose.
Except for this giant red one. It’s a Maliktender, which only spawns every four to six hours and rewards players with a bunch of goodies. That one has to die. The rest get very careful hugs.
Correction July 3, 10 A.M.: This article originally spelled cactuar “cactaur”. Now it spells cactuar “cactuar”.