In RPGs, certain characters and items are programmed during some points in battle to do nothing, effectively wasting a turn.
Specifically, enemies often have "gaps" in their AI script, where they have a chance of taking no action on a given turn(s). On rarer occasions, the enemy may target another enemy and attack them.
In the Mother series, these "gaps" are punctuated by the enemy in question performing a meaningless action.
Enemies such as Mr. Batty and the Crow are the most obvious in wasting turns. Mr Batty is likely to size up the situation, making it feel strange. The Crow can waste a turn laughing. There are likely to be other enemies in the game that can waste turns too.
Enemies such as the Spiteful Crow and Everdred often have a big grin on their face. The New Age Retro Hippie can waste a turn by using a ruler to find the length of things; the ruler, protractor and the Jar of Fly Honey are the only items that allow Ness and the party to do the same.
Turn wasting can be an indication of character; when in Ness's party, Pokey Minch will always waste his turns with cowardly actions, e.g. pushing Ness in front of him.
Other times, turn "wasting" can be a form of balance; Thunder and Storm can attack twice per turn, but take deep breaths every other turn; this is designed to keep the player's party from being overwhelmed.
The Pigmask sometimes apologizes profusely, both in reference to Pokey Minch and as an indicator of their nature. The Artsy Ghost, true to its nature, will often initiate a passionate discussion about art, or else critique itself.
Various NPC allies will also waste turns during their temporary stay; Wess will sometimes sharply scold Duster or worry about Kumatora, while Alec complains about his lower back pain or urges Flint to be careful.
Fassad has the most turn-wasting abilities of Mother 3 NPCs. These include, but are not limited to:
- Hiding in Salsa's shadow
- Talking to a banana
- Pretending to be someone else
- Twirling his mustache
- Switching the Punishizer "on". (Damages Salsa for 1 damage and cures ailments, those of which are most notably inflicted by the Sara-Sara-Sahara among others.)