A Critical Point is a fan 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.[name reference needed] Critical Points go unnamed in The Minish Cap. 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.
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.
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.
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 given 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As the pets are based on 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.
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.
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.