Cold-hearted run-killer, this boss gives people the chills. Some runners seem to reset internally when they are just thinking of this fight. No wonder when the old Eyesblock can kill Link wearing the Green Tunic in as little as three hits from full health. But chill out! If you stay cool and don't get cold feet, you'll be icing this boss with cool quick kill snow problem. Oh, and as icing on the cake: The fastest strat doesn't even save more than a second over the easy one!
- Phase 1
- You need to melt the giant ice block, which is invulnerable to all attacks except the Fire Rod (and Bombos Medallion). It takes eight shots, which is your entire magic bar. Make sure to never jump down into the fight with less than full magic and doubly make sure to never miss a shot.
- Phase 2
- Three eyeballs want to move around the room erratically and we're trying to prevent that by pinning them in the corner and having all of our attacks connect with all three of them at the same time.
Kholdstare has only two attacks:
- Falling Ice in Phase 1+2
- Small ice blocks fall from the ceiling every 128 frames, aimed at Link's current position. When they hit the floor they explode into four smaller projectiles, that spread out randomly either in an "X" or "+" shaped pattern. Getting hit will deal two hearts worth of damage.
- By themselves these are pretty easily dodged, because they telegraph their position early and the hurtboxes are fairly small.
The ice can be dodged with surprisingly little diagonal movement. File
- Three Eyeballs Rushing at You in Phase 2
- Once the eyeballs get loose they mostly just zoom around the room randomly at 45° angles, but every now and then one of them will decide to charge right at Link with increased speed. Getting hit deals whopping 4 hearts of damage.
If you use the normal NMG route and standard strats throughout the dungeon, you will never enter the boss-fight with full health. In fact, if you use the IPBJ, boost off a spike in the moving floor room and take the damage boost through the giant spike you will be at 8 hearts even if you got the extra heart container from the Sanctuary. That means you can get hit once by an eyeball and the second hit will always kill you. This is why Kholdstare is one of the biggest reasons for beginners to get a bottled fairy for safety. Sometimes the Pengators earlier will drop a single heart, which might be worth going out of your way for to enter this fight with 9 hearts.
The falling ice is manipulatable in the sense that if you do exactly the same thing, the ice will fall in exactly the same way every time. When watching different runners do this fight, notice how they all move in their own, very particular way after the final Fire Rod shot. Memorizing a precise movement path allows you to routinely avoid every falling ice block during both phases while not wasting any time inbetween attacks. Find visual cues for every step you take and get used to the rhythm that is required to shoot the Fire Rod, perform the pokedashes and/or slash the eyeballs.
Fire Rod in Phase 1
The Fire Rod allows only two shots on the screen at the same time and you fall into the room far enough away from the boss for this to matter. The closer you are to the ice, the faster you can shoot. Start moving towards Kholdstare immediately and fire at the same time, while spacing out your shots enough to never fire any blanks. Find a rhythm that allows you to melt the big ice block before the first falling ice hits the ground. This is important to find a consistent movement path, that helps you keep the whole fight under control. Even a single mistimed shot offsets your position relative to the falling ice for the entire rest of the fight, so do not underestimate the importance of phase one! A few things to note about the big ice block: It cannot damage you even if you touch it and its hitbox is bigger than its collision (you can even walk into it at the edges and shoot it from inside).
Spin Attack to Position the Eyeballs
Use the movement that is necessary to dodge falling ice as a setup to time your spin attack. If you always walk a set distance away from the eyeballs and start charging your sword in the same position, you can develop a timing that allows you to release your spin the moment you arrive at the center and land a hit at the earliest possible moment. This is important, because the earlier you spin, the earlier you can move again. Your exact positioning is crucial when performing the spin attack, because it affects the angle at which you knock back the eyeballs. An angle that is too steep (too far left) will cause the eyeballs to spread out immediately, while a very low angle (too far right) will position them too far away from you to reach them in time before they start moving. Find a precise visual cue and be aware that there are multiple viable positions the eyeballs can land in, which might require you to adjust your following movements slightly.
Tempered Sword Strategies in Phase 2
Every eyeball has 64 HP.
- Spin Attack (16) + Six Slashes (6*8=48)
- Kholdstare can be damaged every 30 frames. Sometimes the eyeballs don't all take damage on the same frame, so there can be a slight variance. Space out your slashes and use the time inbetween to adjust your position if necessary. Use the whole range of your sword and stand as low as possible to keep slashing the eyeballs back up into the corner. Some people find moving back and forth helpful to keep up the rhythm. You should be able to end the fight just before the second ice block in the corner hits the ground, so you have time to dodge it.
- Spin Attack (16) + Pokedash (8) + Double Spin (32) + Slash (8)
- See Pokedash
- For Link to keep his sword held out after a pokedash, you need to hold down the A button for at least 10 frames. Slightly more is better, because the eyeballs don't always all get hit on the same frame (this is also the reason why sometimes an eyeball takes less damage than the others). If you hold it for too long though, you will delay the charge of the spin attack too much.
- A common mistake is to release the spin too early. The spin attack hurtbox lingers for 34 frames, Kholdstare's i-frames for roughly 30. So if you release even just five frames too early, one or more of the eyeballs can still be invulnerable from the last poke and only take one hit from the spin. You can use the start menu and switch to the next item that is required after the dungeon for a small pause to confirm if the double spin hit correctly or to see where the last ice is falling. Be ready to use additional slashes when things go wrong.
- Spin Attack (16) + Pokedash (8) + Pokedash (8) + Double Spin (32)
- Same as above, plus:
- The last ice block will fall in the position where you perform the first pokedash. You need to balance the timing of when you start charging your sword: Too early and you might not make it to the eyeballs in time or get hit by the ice that is currently on screen, too late and you won't have the spin ready when you need it. With two Pokedashes it is very easy to hold the A button for too long overall and just not have the spin attack charged in time. The double spin requires a very precise (both horizontally and vertically) position to connect properly AND avoid getting hit by the falling ice. Stay low and somewhat far away from the corner.
- Example Fights
- wqqqqwrt Using Two Pokedashes and a Double Spin
- BluntBunny Using a Pokedash, a Double Spin and a Slash
- Pinkus Using the same strat as Blunt, but with a completely different Phase 1/Phase 2 movement
- Acmlm Using Six Slashes
- DarkMindDemon's Kholdstare Tutorial
- Andy's NMG Tutorial
- Runnerwatcher's NMG Tutorial