Elder Scrolls IV: Knights of the Nine

Reviewed by Shawn Kennedy, Posted on 2007-02-09


Developer: Bethesda Publisher: Bethesda
Release Date: November 22, 2006 Also On: PC & Xbox 360

The Knights of the Nine is the first full expansion pack for the masterful RPG experience, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. While you can download pieces of additional content from Xbox Live, PC owners get all the current content in a $20 package in stores now. In the end, Xbox Live gamers pay a few dollars more, but have had the ability to get the content faster and sooner than PC gamers. Yet how does all of this content fare? (Note: Knights of the Nine expansion accounts for 50% of the score due to its size.)

Spell Tomes - 80 MS Points/$1.00

The Spell Tomes package adds new books to the game in random chest pickups. In these books are new spells gamers can enjoy. These spells include:

• Blink - A low level invisibility spell for quick escapes
• Balthan’s Insight - A long range life detection spell with a short duration
• Shield Wall - Fortify Heavy Armor & Shield
• Night Form - Strong Invisibility, Fortify Sneak, and take sun damage to reduce casting cost
• Pride of Hirstaang - Fortify Strength, Resist Frost, Summon Bear
• Orum’s Aquatic Escapse- Invisibility, Night-Eye, Water Breathing
• Elemental Blast - A high level spell that deals Fire, Frost, and Shock damage
• Magicka Vortex - Absorb Magicka, Weakness to Magic 25%, Stunted Magicka.

In the end, these books are worth the price. Score: 8

Orrery - 150 MS Points/$1.88

The Orrery is located in the middle door of the arch mage’s tower at the Arcaine University. To gain access, you need to find the bandits that stole the parts that allow the observatory to function. You gain a spell for the completion of the mission that changes its effectiveness by the phases of the moon, but looting the bandits is more valuable. Score: 6

The Wizard’s Tower - 150 MS Points/$1.88

The Wizard’s Tower is a grand edition to Oblivion’s map. Located high in the Northern Mountains, the Frostcraig Spire is a hollowed tower that has been abandoned for years. After purchases all the necessary pieces from a vendor, which is around 20,000 gold, you will have access to many essentials for a mage. You will have a library fully of books that provide information and even bonuses to certain attributes. There is an enchantment and spell creation alter to fuel the creative spark players have, which also include a summoning shrine. The alchemy station briefly increases your alchemy skill 10 points to help create the best potion possible. To aide your alchemy, a garden is in the tower that has every plant in Cyrodill, growing back twice as fast. The storage area is large enough to organize all your items into different chests if you chose to do so. Finally, you have a direct warp to any Mages Guild in Cyrodill. This will be your favorite addition to Oblivion by far. Score: 10

The Thieves Den - 150 MS Points/$1.88

The Thieves Den is a great package to develop your character, yet it is also costly to upgrade. Hidden below Castle Anvil, the Pircate’s Cove is hidden with a sunken ship that is haunted by its former crew. Kill all the skeletons and you will be able to hire a crew and use the ship as a base for your own band of pirates. You can choose to send part of your crew on a one week expedition to plunder for gold. After a week, 2,000 gold will be delivered to your chest in the captain’s quarters. There is a training chest that is set to hard and will reset each time it is picked to help raise one’s security level. The pirate fence can buy your items for up to 1500 gold, pending your mercantile level. Overall, the pirate band is a fun and cheap addition to your game. Score: 10

The Vile Lair - 150 MS Points/$1.88

The Vile Lair is intended for evil characters and those inflicted with vampirism. Here, you have a poisonous garden, dinning room, feeding cells (fresh blood), and a shrine of Sythis to heal you or cure disease. This too is costly to fully upgrade, but worth the price of admission. The lair is located in the southern most region of Cyrodill near an Oblivion gate. It is the largest hideout and will serve great use if you are playing the evil role. It’s nowhere near as useful as the Thieves Den & Wizard’s Tower however, but for only 150 points, you will enjoy it. Score: 8

Horse Armor - 200 MS Points/$2.50

The Horse Armor package is the 3rd most expensive add on, so you would expect there to be a bit of content here. Well, your assumption would be incorrect. The Horse Armor pack gives you a choice of 2 armor sets; Steel and Elven. They offer a bit more protection for your horse, but nothing substantial; just makes your horse not look so plain. Once a horse is fitted with one of these armor sets, it cannot be changed. The first set of armor is free, then you need to pay a fee to outfit a legally owned horse each time. If you have Shadowmere, there is no point to even get this at all as he does not die. Score: 2

Mehrune’s Razor - 250 MS Points/$3.13

In Mehrune’s Razor quest, a lost Ayleid City Varsa Baalim has been uncovered. The fearsome deadric artifact, Mehrune’s Razor is hidden within the city which kills foes instantly. This is the deepest dungeon in the game and offers 17 new magical items, 12 new books, and journals to help you through the ruins. Don’t pass this one up. Score: 10

The Knights of the Nine - 800 MS Points/$10.00

The Knights of the Nine is fully integrated into the game as a new faction. To activate the new storyline, you need to follow rumors in Anvil to learn of the Knights of the Nine. You must restore this band of Knights, which has been disbanded for some time, in order to defeat a great threat to Cyrodill. There are new dungeons, characters, quests, and mysteries to uncover in this expansion. A new armor set and new enchanted weapons are at your disposal in the addition as well. This new questline will keep your attention for a good 10-20 more hours. You must lead the Nine to victory with all your skills to defeat the Ayleid Sorcerer King Umaril. If you need a jump shot of Oblivion before the Shivering Isles is released, this package is for you. Score: 10

Overall Rating: 8.5
Written by Shawn

Reviewed by Shawn Kennedy