Babi is a major NPC in Golden Sun, appearing as the ruler of the city of Tolbi. He is an imposing figure who is often contrasted with the more kindred rulership of Master Hammet of the city of Kalay that Tolbi is connected with in trade terms, and commits actions and carries secrets that prompt people to label him as amoral and "a tyrant".
Nothing is known about Babi's history earlier than that he had already been the ruler of the city of Tolbi since at least over a hundred years ago. He was friends with a man known as Lunpa the Righteous Thief, who had founded his own village named after him. But then, a calamitous storm known as the Great Flood transpired across the Great Eastern Sea, and among the many people who were forced to leave their homes by boat in the midst of the storm, Babi and Lunpa shared one boat. It got caught up in the roiling waves and was driven across the Eastern Sea all the way into the heart of the Sea of Time by chance.
The Sea of Time is a small area in the center of the Eastern Sea clouded in perpetual mist and whose perimeter is entirely comprised of stone crags and powerful whirlpools, and it is essentially impossible to sail in there from the outside by normal means. Isolated from the outside world within this oceanic labyrinth is an island home to a culturally advanced society of people named Lemuria, and Babi and Lunpa ended up on the island alive. They were introduced to the society of Mercury Adepts, and the two men ended up staying at Lemuria for some days.
During this period of time, Babi learned to use Psynergy to a small degree, and apparently it was here that he obtained the Cloak Ball, an object laced with Mercury Psynergy that allows an Adept channeling it to appear nearly invisible in places of shadow. He learned about how the comparatively advanced civilization and culture of Lemuria stems from its connection to Alchemy; somehow, Lemuria remains one of the last areas where the influence of the otherwise sealed force of Alchemy is still felt, for the spring waters at the fountain in the center of the city carry the property of extending the lifespan of those who regularly drink it. (Babi was also particularly enthralled by a game built into the fountain that causes the fountain to reward players with items when they throw in Lucky Medals, and he stated that when he returned to Tolbi he'd have a similar fountain built.) The people of Lemuria, up until this point, bottled the spring water to produce draughts that Lemurians would use to keep on extending their lifespans with were they ever to leave Lemuria and travel abroad. And Lemuria has its own fleet of distinctive sailing ships that are propelled forward not by any oar-rowing or wind-catching sails, but through channeling Psynergy into the ship through an object called a Black Orb; each Black Orb corresponds to its respective vessel.
Babi soon carried out a plan. He first wrote a letter to Lunpa reading:
- "To my dear friend Lunpa. Forgive me, Lunpa, but I must leave the island without you."
Babi then stole the entire stockpile of Lemurian Draught, and fled the isle by using the Psynergy he learned to take control of and steal one of the Lemurian Ships for himself; Lunpa, having been left behind, has since resided in Lemuria to the present day and age. Babi sailed back to Tolbi, his place of rulership, and immediately stored his Draught stockpile in the deepest part of a nearby cave called Altmiller Cave. (The reason this dark, monster-infested place was chosen was because it was just that; the monsters would keep trespassers out, but he could safely pass them by using his Cloak Ball to turn invisible in the shadows. Additionally, there happens to be some sort of man-made vault at the bottom of the cave constructed by "an ancient civilization, long since vanished", which Babi made use of to store his Draught.) By making routine trips to Altmiller in the years to come, Babi's life had its aging process slowed, and thus he was able to rule his city for many, many years.
Babi consistently sought to establish his city as a great power and himself as a leader in world affairs. He conceived an event that would greatly benefit Tolbi both economically and militarily: An annual tournament of warriors he called Colosso. Attracting would-be gladiators from all across the world, Babi would reward the strongest victors positions as Babi's elite guards. This event was the primary driving force of Tolbi's tourism scene, which was only augmented by the replica of Lemuria's spring he had constructed in the center of the city and its "Lucky Medal game mechanics", as well as further venues of competition and gambling that were established as part of the Colosso festival over time - Lucky Dice and a slot machine system called Lucky Wheels were two of these. Lucky Wheels, in particular, was promoted by being a game that made use of collectible Game Tickets that were distributed to vendors and shops all across the world of Weyard, which were handed out for free whenever customers bought large amounts of wares; this could be an indication that Tolbi had indeed become the focal point of global economics.
In addition to economic and military power, Babi also apparently sought to make his empire a center of research and knowledge. He eventually acquired a team of scholars to conduct research on matters of all sorts within a basement level of Babi's capitol palace. At some point, he caught wind of a brilliant 4-year-old boy named Kraden living in some unnamed poor village, and saw in him the potential to be his greatest scholar many years down the road. Therefore, Babi had Kraden taken away from his parents and hometown at such a young age, and Kraden was made to live in Tolbi for the majority of his life, where he received his education as a scholar. (As Kraden himself would later say, he was separated from his parents so early in life, and had "never known the comforts of a true home".)
Of course, Babi would have known that while his Lemurian Draught would allow him to live and rule far beyond his normal years, the fluid would run out, and his life would come to its end once it does. He therefore came to the conclusion that Lemuria must be rediscovered and re-reached so that he can retrieve more Draught for himself. When he sends out his soldiers to sea to try to enter the Sea of Time, they fail of course because of the labyrinth of whirlpools and stone crags, compounded by the fact that the ship designs of then-modern-day Weyard are nowhere near as sturdy and maneuverable as a Lemurian Ship like the one Babi has. Since the Lemurian Ship can only be controlled by Adepts, and Babi can't sail there on his own because the obstacles would most likely lead him to his doom, Babi hopes to find other Adepts similar to the ones he saw at Lemuria so that he can hire them to find and reach Lemuria for him. (As the Lemurians are the only Adepts Babi ever came across in his life, he assumes only Lemurians are Adepts.) Babi starts to hold a sort of false hope that his Colosso competition will attract some Adepts of some sort.
Babi attempts to find a way to compensate for the likely case he will not find any Adepts that may use his ship to retrieve more Draught for him; it is common knowledge that Mt. Aleph, situated in the northwestern portion of Angara, holds great secrets that Babi knows from his trip to Lemuria concern Alchemy the same way that Lemuria's spring did. So, years before the present, Babi sends out his favorite and most trusted scholar, Kraden - himself now an elderly man - on a journey to Mt. Aleph to study its secrets up close, in hopes he may discover something Babi can use. Kraden ends up moving into the town at the foot of Mt. Aleph, Vale, where he would live up to the present day.
In Golden Sun
By the start of Golden Sun, Babi is now over 150 years old, and his stockpile of Lemurian Draught is nearly depleted. He has arrived at the conclusion that what he needs is for a great lighthouse to be built at the point of Gondowan closest to the Sea of Time (in relative terms), so that his soldiers will be able to sail through the Sea of Time while keeping a straight course thanks to the bright light the structure would emit upon its top. This location turns out to be occupied by a set of ruins near the modern-day town of Lalivero; these ruins, which is connected to a long-lost Venus-aligned culture, are viewed as consecrated ground by Laliverans. Babi has the working men of Lalivero begin constructing the tower, dubbed "Babi Lighthouse", acting under the pretense that he is establishing a symbol of his everlasting political power while keeping the true reasons for its construction secret. (By this point, Tolbi has acquired the wealth to fund the project because it had become part of the Silk Road merchant caravan route that is connected with the Angaran towns of Kalay and Xian to the east.) Incidentally, Babi Lighthouse is being constructed relatively near the long-dormant Venus Lighthouse, an ancient structure which Babi's scholars have long studied but yielded few results upon; if that were lit up through whatever arcane, mystic mechanisms it may contain, it would solve Babi's problem much more easily, but of course figuring out how to do so is out of the question, hence necessitating Babi Lighthouse's construction.
Lalivero is now under Tolbi's imperial control; it has apparently been so for quite some time, since an enclosed port was constructed here for Babi to hide his Lemurian Ship in, and the city has been under surveillance by Tolbi's military. The populace has already been disgruntled by the construction of his tower on their historically venerated ruins, of course, but Babi employs blackmail to get them to assist in its construction; he has his soldiers take custody of a young Laliveran girl named Sheba and place her in a special suite in Babi Palace, and Babi drives the point across to Lalivero that she will only be released to them as they finish construction on Babi Lighthouse. The working-class Laliverans have no choice but to comply, for everyone adores Sheba and gives her a nearly divine reverence. Sheba is quite saddened to be held prisoner by Babi as well.
As this year's Colosso competition begins, Babi has been attempting to ration the Lemurian Draught to extend his limited lifespan, but finds that he has waited too long between drinks; on one of his secretive trips into Altmiller Cave, Cloak Ball in hand, he collapses and lays unable to move, even as he is wrapped in Psynergetic light. It is then that an incredible coincidence transpires: A group of four traveling Adepts and adventurers, led by the young Venus Adept Isaac, enter the cave after following the lead that Tolbi's mayor has gone missing, and they are able to perceive Babi's presence. Babi is very surprised, and believes that he has suddenly found Lemurians at last, but even after he is told otherwise by the group that they do not know about any "Lemuria", he has them fetch the remaining Draught from the bottom of the cave before he runs out of life. They do so, and Babi drinks the last of his draught and turns off his cloaking effect to introduce himself to Isaac's group formally.
Babi, knowing that these Adepts are just what he needed to go through with his plan to have a Lemurian Ship commandeered into the Sea of Time by Adepts, tells them to come speak with him after the Colosso Finals have ended, but suddenly gets an idea; to perceive in full the capacity of Isaac as a warrior and Adept, Babi enters Isaac into Colosso as a dark horse contender, despite Isaac not having cleared the Colosso Preliminaries like all the other gladiators. Isaac has no choice but to temporarily put his party's own quest on hold and compete in the Colosso tournament. Whether he wins or loses at the end of the long and grueling competition against powerful human opponents, Isaac proves himself brilliantly in Babi's eyes. Following the conclusion of Colosso, Babi orders his soldiers to escort Sheba back to the Laliverans, having now found the perfect group to go on an additional quest for him.
After Colosso, Babi summons Isaac's party and explains to them all about his situation; he reveals his extreme age and how the Lemurian Draught figures in as the cause of that, and reveals that he got that fluid from Lemuria a long time ago and has since been trying to get back into Lemuria within the misty Sea of Time. He reveals that he has been constructing Babi Lighthouse so that sailing into the Sea of Time would be backed by a light source to keep sailors oriented, and that only a Lemurian Ship helmed by Adepts like Isaac can complete the journey. Babi and Isaac thus make a deal; Babi will have his Lemurian Ship loaned to Isaac for him to sail the seas with for the purposes of his own quest, and Isaac in return will attempt to sail into Lemuria and reach it to retrieve more Lemurian Draught in time to prevent Babi from dying. Babi tasks his trusted second-in-command and chief minister, a man named Iodem, to accompany Isaac on his journey to Lalivero and Venus Lighthouse.
The rest of the events of Golden Sun, though majorly important to the characters and story elements Babi played quite a hand in setting up, are not important from Babi's perspective specifically. What eventually transpires is that the Venus Lighthouse is lit; as the Venus Beacon forms, an earthquake the lighthouse itself generates causes the half-constructed Babi Lighthouse to collapse, and that project is called off. With the bright light Venus Lighthouse now shines on its top being more than adequate to serve the need Babi had in mind, Iodem shows Isaac and his Adepts to Babi's Lemurian Ship in the secret harbor in Lalivero, and bestows upon them the ship's respective Black Orb. Isaac's party takes control of Babi's ship and sails out into the Great Eastern Sea, pursuing their multiple objectives.
In Golden Sun: The Lost Age
Babi is never seen in person in The Lost Age, but he is referenced several times and continues to be a factor in how and why the general plot progresses the way it does. Kraden is now a part of a traveling party led by Felix and also comprised of Jenna and Sheba, and early in their quest to light the remaining Elemental Lighthouses to restore the force of Alchemy to the world, they meet a real Lemurian, Piers, who has his own Lemurian Ship and intends to reenter the Sea of Time to get back to his homeland. They initially hope to join with him so as to use his ship to sail the seas of Weyard for the purposes of their own quest, but Piers notifies that he cannot allow them to go to Lemuria and study its connections to Alchemy if it is something they would do for Lord Babi, who is understandably a not-so-well-loved thief from the Lemurian perspective. Kraden assures that it's more than that reason alone that he is accompanying Felix on his quest; he wants to see the mythical society on the isle of Lemuria for himself. Eventually, after helping him retrieve his own ship's stolen Black Orb, Piers accepts that Felix's group are good, trustworthy people, and begin sailing together from then on.
Eventually, despite whatever effort Isaac's party makes to enter the Sea of Time themselves, they are unable to do so despite their ship and the light of the Venus Beacon because of both the whirlpool-infested obstacle course and a monster that just recently surfaced within the sea's perimeter, Poseidon. Thus, without any more Lemurian Draught, Babi's time is up, and he inevitably passes away. It would only be natural to assume this would have quite an influence on Isaac's party and their perspectives on their own quest.
Alex, a Mercury Adept who Felix is nominally allied with on the overall effort to break Alchemy's seal, somehow gets a hold of this news, and when he and Felix's group have an encounter with each other in Champa at a later date, Alex breaks this news to Kraden, apparently believing that Babi having ordered Kraden to study Alchemy is the main and only reason Kraden continues to put himself in danger accompanying Felix on his quest. Alex advises the party to hold off on going to northern Gondowan at any point in their quest, because he believes it to be likely that the people of Tolbi may suspect Felix and Alex's groups for being somehow involved in Babi's death; Back when Felix and Alex were traveling along with the Mars Adepts Saturos and Menardi earlier in their quest to release Alchemy, with Jenna and Kraden as their traveling captives, they had passed through Tolbi some time before Isaac's party came to save Babi from Altmiller Cave, possibly allowing the people to link their presence to Babi's subsequent death. As Alex leaves, Kraden, of course, is in shock that the one closest thing he had to a "father figure" is finally gone, but quickly regains his composure and says to Felix's party that he will still accompany Felix's journey because over the course of his journey with Felix thus far, Kraden has formulated a hypothesis about Alchemy with enormous implications, a theory he hopes to have proven once they reach Lemuria.
Felix's group eventually makes it into Lemuria at last, and among the people they meet there are Lunpa the Righteous Thief; apparently he's not very resentful of Babi at all despite Babi having left Lunpa behind at Lemuria for a century, but he only seems slightly affected when he gets the news that Babi has passed away very recently. Lunpa joins Felix's party in a conference with the Lemurian King Hydros, discussing the evidence that points to the theory Kraden postulated and more; It is concluded that Alchemy's absence over the many ages has caused both civilization and culture to decay and decline, and the world of Weyard itself has been waning and its continents have been breaking up and shrinking as well. Thus, Felix's party sets out to resume and finish their quest to restore Alchemy to the world to avert global collapse, with Kraden accompanying them as always.
In Dark Dawn
The library in Kaocho has a book that mentions that Babi "knew the secret of eternal life but took it to his grave."
- Colosso featuring log-rolling puzzles just like in Kolima Forest is no coincidence; Babi is said to have gotten that idea on a trip to Kolima a long time back.
- In Kalay:
- Townsperson: (Thinking) "The difference between Kalay and Tolbi is their leaders. Lord Hammet rules with trust, while Lord Babi rules with force."
- In Altmiller Cave:
- Babi: "My sudden appearance seems to have startled you." (If Isaac says no) "You must be well traveled indeed if that didn't shock you."
- Babi: "Even the ruler of Tolbi has his limitations... Every year, I grow older and more frail... This body's had it."
- Ivan: "And you regret growing older?"
- Mia: "I understand your desire to remain young, but there's nothing anyone can do about it."
- Soldier: "Only warriors who clear the trials can appear in the finals."
- Babi: (Visibly angry) "And you don't think saving my life qualifies as a suitable trial?"
- In Babi Palace:
- Garet: "Enough with the flattery. Let's get to the point: why were we summoned?"
- Iodem: "Such insolence! Who do you think you are, to speak to Babi so?"
- Babi: "Let it be, Iodem. There are other ways to judge a man."
- Ivan: "You have that draught, Babi... That's why you've lived so long. And become wealthy enough to rule Tolbi."
- Babi: "What are you getting at?"
- Ivan: "What is your purpose in making everyone study Alchemy?"
- Iodem: "I'm starting to wonder myself. What do you hope to gain, Babi?"
- Babi: "Ah. If I had attained true immortality... There would be no need for all this research."
- Babi: (Thinking) "I wish I had met you and your companions sooner, Isaac. But I suppose it was not fated to be..."