Critical Hit

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(Redirected from Desperate attack)

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," (会心の一撃, Kaishin no ichigeki, lit. "satisfying blow/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, provided the monster does not dodge the critical hit. Weapons that strike multiple times, such as the Falcon knife earrings, can strike critically, but weapons that strike multiple targets cannot (Flails, Whips, Boomerangs).

However, many monsters also can get critical hits, usually termed a terrific blow, brutal hit, or desperate attack (痛恨の一撃, tsūkon no ichigeki). For monsters, there are different variations of critical hits: the first of which simply ignores the target's defence, much like the critical hits landed by playable characters. The second variation lands an attack that simply deals 250% the amount of their normal attack. Some monsters and bosses also have a variation which deals a fixed amount of damage, as well.


Dragon Quest & Dragon Quest II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line[edit]

The critical hit rate is fixed at 164. Monsters gained the ability to land critical hits starting in the second game.

Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation & Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen[edit]

Martial Artists and Tsarevna Alena have rate depends on their level, being calculated as Level/256. The cap is level 64, with a rate of 25%.

In the Nintendo DS and Cell phone versions of IV, Alena's critical hit rate was tweaked to (Level x 0.75)/256. In the Nintendo DS version, the effect stops at level 64 still, making her critical rate cap at 18.75%; however, the Cell phone version raises the cap to level 89, granting her a rate of 26.07% - provided, of course, the player is willing to raise her that high.

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride[edit]

The critical hit rate returns to 164 and cannot be improved. Certain monsters and bosses will land desperate attacks that deal a fixed amount of damage, such as Hammerhoods, Urnexpecteds, King Korol and Nimzo in his second form.

Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation & Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past[edit]

Characters have the standard 164 rate unless they become martial artists at Alltrades Abbey. After taking up the art of the fist, the character's rank in the vocation will improve their chance to land a critical until they hit the cap of 18 at rank 8. This gives a party of Martial Artists a 50% chance to score a critical when using normal attacks and single-target skills that utilizes their strength stat.

  • Paladins have a similar vocation trait, in that they have a chance to instantly slay a target based on rank. Though this will not work on boss monsters, it will still slay Metal slimes at a 18 rate when mastered.

Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King[edit]

A character will double their critical hit rate to 132 after investing enough skill points in the appropriate section. Yangus can raise his rate to 18 by equipping the Megaton hammer.

Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies[edit]

Beginning in Dragon Quest IX and carrying forwards to X and Heroes, the frequency of critical hits became dependent on a character's deftness.

For IX, the algorithm is Deftness/100 + 3% (with weapon skill trait boost). Wearing the Critical Acclaim will add another 4%, and thus the maximum rate is (999/100) + 3% + 4% = 16.99% at 999 deftness, the critical hit up skill trait and the Critical Acclaim revocation medal.

As an example, if you have a character with 211 deftness and 22 skill points invested in their Sword Skill (and they don't have the Critical Claim revocation medal), when they attack with a sword they'll have a (211/100) + 3% = 5.11% chance to crit.

The natural, unbolstered rates for each vocation are:

Class Base Deftness at Level 1 Chance to Crit Base Deftness at Level 99 Chance to Crit
Ranger 30 0.3% 500 5%
Thief 18 0.18% 402 4%
Mage 14 0.14% 304 3%
Minstrel 12 0.12% 304 3%
Luminary 16 0.16% 259 2.6%
Gladiator 15 0.15% 256 2.6%
Martial Artist 11 0.11% 255 2.6%
Priest 9 0.09% 206 2.1%
Warrior 5 0.05% 111 1.1%
Armamentalist 7 0.07% 110 1.1%
Sage 3 0.03% 57 0.57%
Paladin 1 0.01% 9 0.09%

Dragon Quest X[edit]

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age[edit]

Every 200 points of Deftness increases the critical hit chance by 1%, leading to a natural cap of 5%. Skill panel, pep boosts and equipment bonuses can raise this chance even further. Also, for the first time in the series, Boomerangs are able to land critical hits.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

Critical Hits are a unique trait to Hero's moveset in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. His Smash Attacks have a 1/8 chance to result in a Critical Hit, which doubles both the damage and knockback. The Critical Hit sound effect from the Dragon Quest series plays when it occurs. His Hatchet Man command in his Down Special: Command Selection will always result in a Critical Hit should it connect.


Certain weapons can guarantee the chances of a character getting a critical hit in exchange for low accuracy. The Hela hammer has an accuracy of 3/8ths, the Headsman's axe has a 3/4ths accuracy, a 1/8th chance to critical, and a 1/8th chance to miss outright. The Megaton hammer has a 1/8th critical chance and no reduction to accuracy at all.

These weapons would lose these traits as the series adopted deftness-based calculations with the ninth entry, and would often simply be powerful members of their respective weapon families in subsequent games.


With the implementation of skills in V, certain abilities were designed with instant critical hit rates in mind. These skills would often have a paltry MP cost, but suffer the same low accuracy as the above mentioned weapons in older titles.


Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies[edit]

Beginning with IX spells can also land 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). Investing 54 skill points into the Mage's Spellcraft skill will increase the chance of a spell going haywire.

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age[edit]

The Zam line of spells have a four-times higher chance to critical than other spells. The chance of a critical spell can also be boosted with certain pieces of equipment, most of which are restricted to Veronica and Rab. Additionally, all three of the main spellcasters in the party (Veronica, Serena, and Rab) will receive boosts to their critical spell chance when they are pepped up.