To complete The Nine of Knives hunt and get a ton of Experience in Final Fantasy 16, you’ll need to come prepared to fight a stronger version of a mini-boss enemy. The blade-wielding bandit won’t go down without a fight! Make sure to bring your A-game to defeat this A-rank target.
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Where to Find the Nine of Knives
The hunt for The Nine of Knives becomes available a little while after you gain access to the Dhalmekian Republic. This means you’ll be able to do this hunt around the time you begin the main quest Out of the Shadow.
Your quarry is level 38 and A-rank, so, at this point in the game, they might be a pretty tough customer if you’re under level 38. With that said, finding them is more straightforward than fighting them. The Nine of Knives is smack dab in the middle of The Jaw along the main road leading through this area. Look for them in the area marked with a red circle in the image above.
The fastest way to get there is to use the obelisk in The Jaw. After that, walk, run, or ride Ambrosia (kweh kweh!) northeast and you’re likely to spot the masked bandit as you approach the center of The Jaw.
How to Beat the Nine of Knives
You’ve encountered multiple foes that look like the Nine of Knives in the past. This interaction with the knife-loving human enemy is pretty similar—but they have a few unique attacks of which you should be wary. Prioritize evasion over attacking if you’re a few levels below this bandit.
- Smokescreen: This is less of an attack and more of a distraction. When you see the Nine of Knives use this ability (its name appears on-screen before it happens), simply dodge to the left or right to avoid the pesky dust cloud.
- Poison Mist: The Nine of Knives loves to use this ability (its name appears on-screen before it happens) to attack in a line directly in front of themselves. This attack hits you multiple times if it connects, so dodge to the left or right to get out of its path. Also, it knocks Clive down and stuns him for a few moments—effects best avoided while fighting a fast foe.
- Spinning Lunge: As one of this bandit’s more frequent attacks, the Nine of Knives can leap back and then close the distance between themselves and Clive by jumping forward while spinning their bladed weapons around themselves. The accuracy of this attack is fairly poor, so, if you’re constantly moving, you should be able to get around this maneuver without even trying. Although this attack is fast and does a fair bit of damage—so be careful!
- Melee Combo: The Nine of Knives is a talented acrobat and enjoys showing this off by unleashing a string of melee attacks. The combo begins with an uppercut that briefly stuns you if it hits. This means the following strike is also guaranteed to land. Thankfully, there’s a short gap before the rest of the strikes—which means that you can dodge the rest of the attack string if you’re quick to react.
- Sommersault Slash: Similar to the Spinning Lunge, the Nine of Knives jumps back before leaping through the air at you while slashing with their long knives. Avoid this one in the same way you’d avoid the Spinning Lunge, as they’re basically the same attack—but this one knocks you down instead of to the side.
- Undermine: When the Nine of Knives drops below 50% health, they’ll begin using this ability (its name appears on-screen before it happens). The bandit burrows underground and pops up to attack you like some sort of fiendish molerat. However, as long as you keep moving, the Nine of Knives won’t be able to track you well enough to land a hit with this move. On top of that, as your enemy is digging toward you, they’ll leave a cloudy line in their wake, which is easy to track.
Don’t stand still for too long during this fight, as the Nine of Knives is fast and furious with their attacks. If Clive remains stationary, the mighty bandit will likely land hits on you. As such, use precision dodges to get around attacks and counterattack more easily.
Abilities like Flames of Rebirth (Phoenix), Aerial Blast (Garuda), and Upheaval (Titan) are particularly useful during the Nine of Knives hunt. They briefly stop time while Clive uses them, so you’re almost always going to hit if you’re locked onto your target.
Also, Aerial Blast lingers and homes in on enemies, so it’s a great way to deal passive damage. Unfortunately, it does obscure the battlefield a lot, so you’ll need to be extra careful to avoid incoming attacks.
The Nine of Knives Hunt Rewards
After you defeat the Nine of Knives and complete this hunt, you’ll get some crafting materials along with a ton of Experience (plus a few more spoils).
- 5,750 Experience
- 90 Ability Points
- 10,500 Gil
- 30 Renown
- 25 Wyrrite
- 2 Meteorites
With this hunt under your belt, you’re likely to level up from the massive Experience gain. This strengthens Clive—which brings him closer and closer to the level needed to take on even stronger enemies. On top of that, a few thousand Gil is a nice boon to your in-game wallet. Just don’t spend it all at once—unless you’re buying songs for the Hideaway Orchestrion. Final Fantasy music is always worth the money.