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I'm in CD2, fighting Tantarian. My characters are fairly high leveled for the place and can withstand the boss reasonably well, so survival tips are not needed. But stealing the Demon's Mail is difficult, of course (it's one of the 3 Really Really Difficult steals in the game). I'm using ePSXe emulator instead of playing on a console, so save states are available. Nonetheless, I've spent several hours already without luck.

I've scoured teh interwebs and the only strategy I found is to attempt stealing at different points in game-time, since it appears that the random number generator that determines the steal's success is based on game time and people suggest that it changes once per second. It also seems that the success/fail is determined at the moment Zidane executes the action. Finally, I know with certainty that the chance to get the item is 1/256.

However I've just tried stealing at 256 consecutive seconds in game-time, and still no luck.

The way did it was to select "Steal" on Zidane and then select Tantarian (which freezes everyone's ATB), but then wait until a specific second rolls around using the countdown timer present at that point in game.

Is there anything I've missed? Are there other options?

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    A 1/256 chance does not guarantee a success once every 256 times. An explanation of statistics isn't directly helpful to your question, since you're looking for ways to get the item, not for explanations as to why you don't have it yet, but until a real answer comes in I'd suggest continuing to spam Steal. – gatherer818 Feb 7 '16 at 17:55
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    @gatherer818 - Yes, I know statistics well enough to know that. But things get a bit different when on a computer that doesn't have true random numbers. Instead you have to make do with something else that seems random enough. But what it is in this case - I don't know. There is some evidence that suggests that this something is the clock - which is what I was betting on. Also, if you're doing a PRNG and you have very limited CPU resources, then a simple enough way is to just take the current seconds as the random value (which, again, has some tentative evidence supporting this). – Vilx- Feb 7 '16 at 18:14
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    Given that many computer languages use the system clock as a seed for random number generation, I'm fairly sure you're right that it uses the clock. I'm talking about the fact that that the clock is probably just a seed, such that the chance to steal isn't divided up into 255 seconds fail, 1 second succeed, 255 seconds fail, 1 second succeed.... – gatherer818 Feb 7 '16 at 18:17
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    If you try it 765 times you'll have a 95% chance of success overall: wolframalpha.com/input/?i=1+-+(255%2F256)%5Ex+%3D+0.95 That will likely involve less work than diving into assembly code to determine the intricacies of the system clock and PRNG. – BlackVegetable Feb 9 '16 at 1:10
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    Isn't it easier at this point just to use some code to give yourself one :p – l I Feb 10 '16 at 0:15
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+50

As for "Other options" The Demon's Mail can be purchased in Daguerreo from the Weaponsmith's Shop on Disc 3.

If you're still wanting to go down the steal route, you could go with Zidane's 'Bandit' support ability which raises his steal success rate.

  • I know. And I have Bandit equipped already. I just wanted to... you know... play a "perfect game"? :) To be honest, I already gave up, defeated the boss for the big pile of exp/ap, and continued with the game, before it stopped being fun. :) I kept the save states though. – Vilx- Feb 10 '16 at 16:02
  • I think this answer is as close as we're going to get. I don't want to forget to award the bounty later, so I'm doing it now. – BlackVegetable Feb 12 '16 at 16:40

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