Critical Hits are a recurring feature of the Dragon Quest series.
Every time any character makes an attack, they have a small chance of that attack being a "Critical Hit," which drastically increases the damage dealt on that particular turn. Since critical hits ignore defence, it makes them an instant kill on all metal monsters.
The chance of a critical has several variables. Certain characters have a better chance of getting critical hits than others. A character's class also can determine whether or not that character will get a critical hit. For example, the martial artist has a better chance of getting a critical hit than a mage. Certain weapons and items can increase the chances of a character getting a critical hit, such as the demon spear.
However, many monsters also can get critical hits, usually resulting in a terrific blow or a brutal hit.
In Dragon Quest IX, spells can also become critical hits, where the spell "goes haywire." This not only increases damage output of attack magic, but also boosts healing spells. If a status-changing spell goes haywire, its chance of working increases to 100% (barring the target being immune). Other class skills have a critical chance as well with similar effects.
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