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Critical Point

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A Critical Point is a fanon term used to refer to the short amount of time in which Link has the opportunity to inflict damage on a boss, often with his Sword. It is not to be confused with a weak spot, which is the specific point on a boss that must be attacked during this period. Usually, after the required steps have been completed, the boss will grow tired, faint, or expose its weak spot, giving Link a much needed chance to strike. In Twilight Princess, Critical Points are denoted by a change of music, shifting from the regular boss theme to a more triumphant-sounding one.

It has been a facet of every 3D Zelda game to date, as well as The Minish Cap, to incorporate around three Critical Points in a boss battle before the boss is defeated. However, if Link fails to deal enough damage within the time that he has, then more than three will often be required. Certain bosses may initiate a new phase of the battle or change their form rather than being defeated, often requiring Link to go through another three Critical Points in order to fully defeat them.

List of Critical Points

The following is a list of all Critical Points that appear in The Legend of Zelda series, as well as how Link can initiate them.

Ocarina of Time

Link initiates Volvagia's Critical Point by striking its head with the Megaton Hammer
Boss Method
Gohma If Link stuns her with a Deku Nut, or slings her exposed eye with the Slingshot while she is on the ceiling, she will fall to the ground, stunned, with her vulnerable eye open to attack.
King Dodongo If a Bomb is thrown into his mouth, it will internally explode, leaving him injured on the ground and vulnerable to attack.
Barinade When its main trunk is stunned by the Boomerang, it will stand paralyzed, open for attack.
Phantom Ganon If his magic backfires on him as a product of a Dead Man's Volley, he will fall to the ground, panting and vulnerable.
Volvagia When its head emerges from one of the volcanic holes in the room, Link must attack it with the Megaton Hammer, leaving it open to attack.
Morpha If Link reels its nucleus onto solid land from its amoebic protection using the Hookshot, it will become vulnerable to attack.
Bongo Bongo After both of its hands have been shot by the Fairy Bow, its vulnerable eye will be revealed. Link must then shoot the eye, which will stun it and allow Link to attack it.
Twinrova In her second form, if the Mirror Shield is charged with either three fire spells or three ice spells, the magic will be reflected back at her, stunning her and leaving her vulnerable.
Ganondorf Like Phantom Ganon, Link must hit his spells back at him, and then hit him with a Light Arrow, causing him to fall to the platform, vulnerable to attack.
Notes: Twinrova does not have a critical point during the first phase of the fight because only the Mirror Shield can be used to deflect oncoming blasts of fire and ice back at the witches. Therefore, they cannot be struck by the Sword. Also, Phantom Ganon has no critical point as long as he is riding his horse.

Majora's Mask

Zora Link targets Gyorg for an assault during its Critical Point
Boss Method
Odolwa* If Link stuns him with either an arrow, sword strike, or emerging from a Deku Flower, he will fall to his knees and become vulnerable to attack.
Goht* After rolling into it as Goron Link or shooting it with an Arrow, it will fall to its stomach and become vulnerable.
Gyorg Once Link shoots it with an arrow or the Zora Boomerang, it will sink to the bottom and be susceptible to attack. The only way to cause damage, however, is to transform into Zora Link and perform a water corkscrew into the fish's side.
Majora's Mask After hitting its backside with an arrow, it will fall to the ground, open for attack.
Majora's Incarnation By attacking it while it is dancing, it will fall, susceptible to multiple hits.
Majora's Wrath Once Link finds an opportunity to attack, Majora's Wrath will be paralyzed, allowing Link free reign to attack it.
* These bosses can be hurt outside their critical point.
Notes: Twinmold does not have a critical point, as its weak spot is constantly exposed. Also. all of the bosses' critical points can be reached by shooting the sword beams out of Fierce Deity Link's sword. This method is much quicker and proves to be easier, too.

In Majora's Mask 3D, all bosses were added a Critical Point in the form of an eyeball that can be exposed, resembling the eyes of Majora's Mask. Some bosses have their Critical Point exposed by attacking them in the same manner as in the original game, while others require new, more complex strategies.

The Wind Waker

Link attacks Kalle Demos during its Critical Point inside Ganon's Tower
Boss Method
Gohma Link must use the Grappling Hook to bring her fragile eye down to his level, and then slash it with his Sword.
Kalle Demos After all its vines are cut with the Boomerang, the plant in the center is more than susceptible to attack. It is possible to defeat Kalle Demos after experiencing only one of its Critical Points.
Gohdan After its hands and eyes are disabled with arrows, its mouth remains open. Link must then throw a bomb in its mouth.
Helmaroc King When the bird misses Link with his beak, sticking it into the ground after his face mask has been shed, it is open to attack by a weapon other than the Skull Hammer.
Jalhalla Once Jalhalla is thrown into one of the spiked pillars positioned about the room, Link can attack the numerous Poes that it divides into.
Molgera When its tongue has been reeled in with the Hookshot, Link can attack it with his Sword.
Ganondorf After using a Parry Attack, Ganondorf will show his only Critical Point.
Note: Gohma does not have a critical point during the first phase of her fight as Link first has to disarm her armor, and until then, no attack (not even the rock from the ceiling) will deplete her life meter.

The Minish Cap

Link in the process of initiating Gleerok's Critical Point using the Cane of Pacci
Boss Method
Big Chuchu Once Link withers the stalk of the ChuChu with the Gust Jar, it will fall over and Link can strike it with his Sword.
Gleerok After flipping its spiky midsection with the Cane of Pacci, its central crystal will become vulnerable to sword strikes and reachable by using its neck as a bridge.
Mazaal After defeating its hands and entering its mouth as a Minish, Link must use the Mole Mitts to find its vulnerable, shining pillar to attack.
Gyorg Pair When Link attacks the protruding eyes of the main Gyorg while split into several Links, the eyes will become fragile and open to further attack.
Vaati Reborn After destroying the smaller eyes with help of the Gust Jar, his main eye becomes vulnerable and open to attack.
Vaati Transfigured After revealing four red eyes upon the main form, Link can expose his main eye by striking them all as four split Links.
Vaati's Wrath After reflecting his eye beams while split into four Links, his main eye will be exposed to attack.
Note: Big Octorok does not have a critical point, because in order to damage it, Link must reflect its rocks and burn its tail with the Lantern.

Twilight Princess

Armogohma is slammed during its Critical Point
Boss Method
Diababa When the largest mutated Baba plant falls, it exposes its vulnerable, fragile eye to Link's sword.
Fyrus When he falls after tripping over his chains, his head gem glows, open for attack.
Morpheel In its second form, when Link grapples onto its eye with the Clawshot, the eye will be open for attack.
Stallord In its head form, when Link strikes the skull with the Spinner, after getting close enough on the adjacent wall, he will be able to go in and strike Zant's Sword with his own.
Armogohma After shooting it with the Hero's Bow while it is on the ceiling, it will fall in front of an ancient statue, which, when activated with the Dominion Rod, will crush the spider with a large stone fist. A sword is not used to inflict damage during Armoghoma's Critical Point.
Argorok In its second form, whenever Link is able to grapple to the dragon's back using the Double Clawshot, Link will be able to deal heavy damage to the gem that rests there.
Zant In every phase, Link has to either use an item or perform to weaken Zant. In two of the phases, he can also attack when Zant gets tired.
Ganon Once he falls to the floor, either from being shot by the Hero's Bow, hit by the Ball and Chain, or grappled by Midna's magical arm, Link will be able to strike the scar on his stomach with the Master Sword or bite it as Wolf Link.
Ganondorf In the horseback phase, after Zelda fires a Light Arrow at him, he will be paralyzed and open for sword attack. In the sword duel, Link can reach Ganondorf's Critical Point by either locking swords, performing a Back Slice, or distracting him with the Fishing Rod. After any of these events he will tire, allowing a narrow space of time for damage infliction.
Notes: Blizzeta in the Snowpeak Ruins does not have a Critical Point because Link can only use the Ball and Chain to hurt her. Puppet Zelda does not have one either, as the only way to damage her is for her own energy ball to backfire as a product of Dead Man's Volley.

Phantom Hourglass

Link slashes Cyclok during its Critical Point
Boss Method
Blaaz After he merges its three smaller forms into one with the Boomerang, Link will be able to strike the true form with his sword.
Cyclok After Link uses a Bomb to knock him down, it will be vulnerable to attack.
Crayk After Link attacks its second form in the face, it will pause, allowing Link to run around and strike at the monster's tail.
Dongorongo After feeding it a bomb in its second form, Link will be able to attack its exposed belly.
Gleeok In its second form, after tethering one of its heads, Link will have free reign to strike at it.
Eox After jumping on its head in the final form, it will become fragile and susceptible to attack.
Bellum In its first form, after Link pulls it towards him, removing the goo that encompasses it, he may strike. In its final form, Link must stop time using a Phantom Sphere in order to get a hit in.
Note: The Cubus Sisters have no Critical Point, as they are in a high spot and thus Link can only hurt them by bouncing back their attacks.

Spirit Tracks

Link striking Skeldritch during its Critical Point
Boss Method
Stagnox After Link uses the Whirlwind on its backside, the purple smoke around it is blown away, stunning it and allowing Link to slash its rear end. During the second form, Link must use the Whirlwind to blow one of the spawned enemies at it to knock it onto its back and expose its rear end again.
Fraaz After Link stuns it with fire or ice, it will be stunned and open to attack.
Phytops After Link throws one of its own barbs into its eye, it will become stunned and open for attack.
Cragma After shooting his eye with the Bow, he will fall down and the top of his head will be open to attack.
Skeldritch In its second form, after trapping it, Link must use the Sand Wand to lift himself to the level of the weak spot on the back of its skull and attack it.
Byrne When Zelda pulls him off of one of the pillars around the room by tugging on his gauntlet, he will be open to attack. During his second phase, when he remains on the ground, he is open when Zelda stops his charging attack and holds him in place.
Demon Train After Link disables the laser cannons of the lead wagon, the train will reduce its velocity, remaining vulnerable and allowing Link to take the advantage to hit its head with the projectiles of the Spirit Train.
Malladus After shooting a Light Arrow at the weak point on Malladus' back, Link must attack Malladus' head.

Skyward Sword

Boss Method
Ghirahim* Though optional, Link can use the Shield Bash technique in the first battle as Ghirahim tries to charge at him. A successful block with stun Ghirahim, allowing Link to attack him. In the third fight, Link must knock Ghirahim off the platform in the first phase, then use a Fatal Blow to attack the diamond on his chest; in the second phase, Ghirahim's sword must be knocked out of his hand (or Link can reflect his attacks back at him), after which the diamond must be stabbed at. In the final phase, Link must break Ghirahim's sword before he can stab at the diamond.
Scaldera After Link throws a Bomb into its mouth, the boss will explode internally, removing some of its rocky armor and allowing Link to attack its weak point, the eye. However, Link must be quick, as the eye can shift away from him.
Moldarach* In the first phase of the battle, Link can use the Slingshot to stun the eyes inside its claws when they are open, so Link can slash perpendicular to their orientation several times during the stun; this is optional, since Link can simply slash the claws whenever they are open.
The Imprisoned In the first two battles, Link must cut off all the beast's toes, then drive the Sealing Spike into its head after it falls onto its back. This is optional, however, as it is also possible to attack the Sealing Spike by leaping from a higher ledge to land on the head of the Imprisoned. This can also be done at the start of the final battle, but the Groosenator (which can also be used in the second battle) must be used to access the spike for the remainder of the battle, with Link himself being launched for the third attack.
Koloktos In the first phase, Link must use the Whip to rip off the boss' arms in order to access its weak spot, the red core. In the second phase of the battle, Link must do the same thing, but attack the boss' weak spot with one of its own swords.
Tentalus In both phases, after cutting off its tentacles, Link must shoot its eye with the Bow, then run up to the boss and attack the eye with the Goddess Longsword.
Bilocyte After directing the green projectiles at its eye (which can also be shot with the Bow), Link must attack the eye with the Master Sword.
Demise In the first phase of the battle, Link has to use a shield bash to break Demise' guard, after which he must attack quickly. In the second phase of the battle, after attacking the Demon King with lightning (but only if Demise does not attack with or does not possess lightning; if he does attack, the attacks will cancel), Link may freely slash away at the boss, but, as mentioned, he must be quick. Link may also use a shield bash in this phase, but this is more difficult to pull off.
* These bosses can be hurt outside their critical point.
Notes: Ghirahim has no Critical Point in his second battle, and in the first he can be hit outside of the completely optional one. Likewise, Moldarach's Critical Point is optional during the first phase, and there is none in the second. Levias has no critical point whatsoever.

Tri Force Heroes



Boss Method
Margoma After Margoma rams into a wall, the door on top of its base will open, leaving a hole. The Links must throw a Bomb inside this hole, which will stun Margoma and reveal its eye. The Links must throw each other on top of Margoma and slice its exposed eye.
Arrghus In Arrghus's third form, it will travel around the room with its eye open, but out of reach. The Links must form a three-Link Totem and strike Arrghus's exposed eye with the Gripshot. It will then collapse to the floor, stunned. The Links must strike then Arrghus with their swords as it lies on the floor.
The Lady's Pets As the pets are based off of old bosses, they also share their Critical Points. The Margoma-based pet's crystal must be struck after a Bomb is thrown into the hole on its base. The Arrghus-based pet must be struck by the Links when it lies on the ground after being shot in the eye with the Gripshot.
Stalchampion When Stalchampion is stunned and struck again by the Sword or Boomerang, it will fall to pieces, exposing the core in its rib cage. One Link must attack the core with his Hammer while the others distract Stalchampion's rolling mace. In the beast's final form, its skull must again be stunned with the Boomerang. The Links can then strike Stalchampion's skull with their Swords.
Prismantus During each of Prismantus's forms, the Links must turn off all three of its light bulbs by striking them. Once this is done, Prismantus will be stunned and fall over, and its exposed eye must be sliced with the Sword. As the eye is too high for one Link to reach, the Links must throw each other on top of Prismantus or form a two-person Totem.
Moldorm and its Lady's Pet version both lack a Critical Point, as the Links must simply strike their tails whenever they are exposed. Blizzagia also lacks one, as after its mask is destroyed, the Links must strike its head at any opportunity.

Other Game Appearances

Hyrule Warriors



A Weak Point Gauge exposed over a Lizalfos
HW Weak Point Gauge.png

In Hyrule Warriors, a number of enemies and Giant Bosses can expose Weak Point Gauges after performing an attack that leaves them vulnerable.[1] Weak Point Gauges will appear for a short time, and deplete as the enemy is attacked. When fully depleted, the attacking Warrior will perform a Weak Point Smash and inflict massive damage onto the enemy. When the Gauge is depleted, an orange ring will surround the enemy. Even if the enemy is tossed away by an attack just as the Gauge is depleted, the Warrior merely has to run into this ring to finish the Weak Point Smash. Warriors can also immediately expose the Weak Point Gauge from any enemy after unleashing a Focus Spirit Attack on them.

In Hyrule Warriors Legends, the animation of the Weak Point Smash against Giant Bosses was reduced to just a burst of Elemental energy.

Weak Point Gauges do not appear for Dark Giant Bosses. Defeating them only requires a barrage of attacks.[2]

References

  1. "Enemies sometimes expose weak points during specific attacks. A Weak Point gauge will appear above an enemy's head when it's vulnerable to a counterattack." — N/A (Hyrule Warriors)
  2. "Dark Giant Bosses, such as Dark King Dodongo or Dark Gohma, cannot be put into a downed state with items or attacks. To defeat these fearsome foes, you must evade their attacks and attack without using items whenever the opportunity presents itself!" — Dark Giant Bosses Tutorial (Hyrule Warriors)
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