The Genji Armor is a top-tier heavy armor in Final Fantasy XII that boosts the wearer's Defense by 63 (Zodiac) or 56 (original), Strength by 9 and—unusually for heavy armor—Magick Power by 3. It additionally improves the wearer's chance to counter enemy attacks, but they need to enable counter first for this to take effect by concurrently equipping the Battle Harness accessory or—exclusive to the Zodiac versions—the Genji Helm.
Genji Armor is a missable piece of equipment, obtained by stealing from Gilgamesh in the right time. The Genji Armor is metallic for the purposes of the magnetize debuff present during the Vinuskar (though Gilgamesh is only available after this boss) and Ultima boss battles.
In all versions, the Genji Armor is stolen from the elite mark Gilgamesh during the second encounter taking place in the deepest part of the Lhusu Mines after he takes enough damage and switches his weapon three times. Whenever he draws out a new blade, there is a cut scene, and afterward, he has a new item to steal; if the player does not steal the equipment off him then, it will be missed in the main game. A good strategy is to activate Foe:Steal gambit on everyone above the attack gambits after every cutscene, and then turn the gambit off once someone succeeds at the steal. Equipping Thief's Cuffs for these portions of the battle may speed the process up.
In the Zodiac versions, the player gets another chance to procure a Genji Armor from the Trial Mode, and in The Zodiac Age Trial Mode spoils can be brought to the main game, so the player can potentially have multiple pieces and equip them simultaneously. Genji Armor can be rarely stolen from Enkidu in Trial Mode Stage 94.
Genji Armor is a top notch armor giving 63 or 56 Defense depending on version, 9 Strength and 3 Magick Power, the latter useful for a katana-user whose weapon counts the user's Magick Power for damage calculation. The strength bonuses make heavy armor ideal for frontline fighters, and the Genji Armor is a good armor piece to equip over any inferior equipment the player may have on anyone who attacks physically, although a gun-wielder does not benefit from the strength-boost. The Counter-boost can be useful, especially in the Zodiac versions where the complementary Genji Helm provides it. In the original, the player may opt for a better accessory than Battle Harness, like Bubble Belt, Ribbon, Cat-ear Hood, or Genji Gloves.
In the Zodiac versions, Knight, Foebreaker and Bushi can use it. Genji Armor is only useful to obtain if the player has chosen these License Boards for the party. In The Zodiac Age versions, after fighting Belias the player can choose two License Boards per party member and so more characters can benefit from heavy armor, as it is usually a good idea to match jobs that use different types of armor to bolster light armor jobs' strength, and to give more durability to spellcasters.
The chance to counter an attack is determined by the character's speed, meaning the Germinas Boots is a great accompanying accessory in the Zodiac versions, although a katana-user will likely benefit even more from the combo-boosting Genji Gloves.
Counter chance with Genji Armor:
Counter only triggers when the character:
- is in the Charge Stage.
- is not running or walking.
- is not being knocked back.
- receives a "regular melee" attack (not ranged, tech or spells).
- Counter is 1-hit only. It does not combo.
- Any weapon can be used to counter.
- Counter may happen each time while being hit. A hit combo may be countered multiple times.
- Counter may happen even if the attack missed / is blocked.
- Counter acts like regular melee attacks. Added effect on the weapon may trigger.
The surname of Genji refers to the onyomi reading of the Minamoto Clan. Minamoto was a surname commonly bestowed on the children of the Emperor who were not eligible for the throne. According to history and legend, they were most active in the days of the late Heian era, and were samurai who became known as the fighters of evil and keepers of peace. The time was said to have been fraught with disorder and anarchy. Many future samurai claim lineage from the clan, including Miyamoto Musashi and Tokugawa Ieyasu who were subject of literary discourse from The Tale of Genji, which follows royal figures, to The Tale of the Heike, focusing on the major figures and the events of the Genpei War.
Genji is also a short period in Japanese history, lasting only a single year from 1864–1865.