Action Commands are the controller inputs that must be used to perform many attacks and maneuvers throughout the Paper Mario series. The ability to perform Action Commands is unlocked after receiving the Lucky Star from Twink at Shooting Star Summit. Their complexity can range from pressing or holding a single button, to mashing a button, to more tricky ones such as quickly inputting a random series of buttons. If the command is successfully performed, the effect of the action be strengthened in some way, either in damage output for attacking moves, in damage reduction for blocking. in turn-rate for self-applied status or effectiveness rate for enemy-applied status.
Types of Action Commands
Timed Button Press - The user is required to press the button at the correct time. The input is usually performed on contact with an enemy. An example is Mario's jump attack, which gains a second hit if the button is correctly timed. A few moves such as Watt's Turbo Charge require the button to be pressed when the light up.
"Mash" Input - Requires the user to repeatedly perform a certain input to fill up a meter of sorts. The input is either mashing the , both the and the simultaneously or . An example would be Parakarry's Air Lift.
Hold and Release - The user must hold the input (either or ) until the lights up indicating to stop. One such example is Mario's Hammer attacks. A variation of this Action Command that requires holding and releasing when the target lines up is exclusive to Parakarry's Shell Shot. Another variation of this Action Command is seen in Sushie's Squirt attack where the player is required to hold to fill a meter, while not going overboard.
Sequence - An Action Command exclusive to Sushie's Tidal Wave. A randomly-generated series of inputs, (, , ) shows up one after another, and the player has to perform the most possible in a time window. Because of the way Nintendo 64 deals with buffered inputs, a mashing technique (see Tidal Wave Glitch for more details) allows to reach a significantly higher number of inputs, (6 to 7 on average with the reactionary method versus 10 to 11 on average with the "mashing" technique). The sequence of inputs caps at 14, and crashes the game if this number is reached on the Nintendo 64 console.