Salsa (サルサ Sarusa) is a main character in Mother 3, out of seven total. He is a monkey who is separated from his girlfriend Samba by Fassad, and coerced into obeying the Pigmask commander. In order to prevent him from escaping, he was given a special collar that can electrocute him.
Salsa first appears during Chapter 3, when he and Fassad arrive at a Pigmask site in Death Desert on the mothership. Fassad explains the terms of his servitude (i.e. obey him or be punished) as they depart the ship, and the Pigmasks board to leave, taking a hostage - Salsa's girlfriend, Samba - with them to further ensure his obedience.
They make their way through the treacherous desert, and on Fassad's orders, Salsa fights the Cactus Wolf blocking the path to Candrum Underpass. From there, they take a Pork Bean through the underpass tunnel to Tazmily Village, taking out a trio of Gooey Goo that block the exit. Finally, the duo emerge in Sunset Cemetery.
Once within the village, Fassad decides to stay at Yado Inn for the night.
Fassad then uses Salsa during his appearances promoting Happy Boxes to the residents of Tazmily Village.
He is encountered again in the Chimera Laboratory, where the Ultimate Chimera has been set loose, and attacks Lucas. During the terrifying confrontation, the Chimera corners Lucas and his dog, Boney, where Dr. Andonuts, hidden in a garbage can, tells Lucas to offer Boney as bait in order to get at the Chimera's on/off switch and press it. Instead, remembering how Lucas saved him from Fassad three years ago, Salsa returns the favor by sneaking behind the Chimera and pressing this button himself, deactivating the Chimera.
Once they escape from the Chimera Laboratory, Salsa then uses the Osohe Dance to open up a barrier blocking the party from entering a Magypsy house. He and Samba can be seen there until Chapter 8 begins.
Salsa's special abilities are known as Monkey Tricks. They include:
- Apologize -- This ability lowers the defenses of enemies, or stops them from attacking Salsa for a few turns. Its quote references one of Pokey Minch's turn-wasting actions.
- Make Laugh -- This ability makes an enemy cheer for Salsa, essentially having the same effect as solidifying that enemy's body.
- Dance -- During battle, this ability will increase a random stat of an ally, decrease a random stat of an enemy, or occasionally make an enemy turn around. Outside of battle, it is used to open certain doors. These doors appear in Osohe Castle and east of the Chimera Lab.
- Monkey Mimic -- This ability copies an enemy's attack and deals exactly the same amount of damage to the enemy which attacked. This is useful because Salsa has low Offense. It is similar to Poo's Mirror ability.
- Salsa is the first and only playable character in the entire Mother series who cannot equip any weapons.
- Salsa (Sarusa)'s name likely makes use of wordplay, Saru (猿) being Japanese for monkey.
- In Earthbound 64, Salsa's fur was pink, oddly.
- Salsa also refers to the dance style, similar to samba.
- Oddly, When the "Monkey Mimic" ability is used, It may result in actions Salsa normally wouldn't be able to perform, Such as "Firing a beam."
- If Salsa uses Monkey Mimic when the broken Pork Tank throws a cannonball, the game will wrongly print that the Pigmask did it instead of Salsa.