Her name is most likely derived from the Japanese Obaa-san, meaning grandmother.
Golden Sun: The Lost Age Edit
Obaba dotes on Eoleo, a fact which Briggs knows and exploits in order to win her favour. By claiming that his absence would make Eoleo sad, Briggs is thus able to persuade Obaba to use her powers to summon the Avimander against Felix and company, when they come to Champa following Briggs' brazen escape from Alhafra. When the Avimander proves to be no match for Felix's party, who, upon victory, clarify that they are in fact not there to take Briggs away, Obaba becomes willing to re-forge the Trident (provided the player has collected all the necessary pieces).
While she displays considerable power when manipulating the forge, (specifically, the summoning of the Avimander), it does not appear that Obaba is an Adept, as she does not react when the player uses Psynergy. It is possible that her abilities simply enable her use of the forge and nothing more (presumably in a similar way to how Babi could use a Lemurian Ship without being an Adept). In-game, no specific information is given either way though.
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn Edit
Obaba makes a reappearance 30 years later, still alive at her old age. She is first met in Champa during the Grave Eclipse. Unlike the rest of the townspeople, who fled to a settlement closer to the sea because the town is within the radius of the Grave Eclipse, she stayed in Champa urging some people to burn the houses and other wooden objects to keep the monsters away from the village, possibly to protect her forge.
Matthew's party and Eoleo meets her after the passing of her grandson in Belinsk. Saddened to hear her grandson passing away before her, she asks Eoleo if Briggs put up a good fight, which he affirms. Then she proposes her forging services like Sunshine from the Lost Age, where the player gives base materials to Obaba and she forges equipment from in the forge at the top of the Champa fortress (where she forged the Trident of Ankohl).
Obaba's journal notes she may be able to teach Eoleo the Ankohl forging techniques, unlike her lack of success with Briggs, but does not make it clear if this is because Briggs is regularly noted as stubborn and less than bright, or because Eoleo is an Adept.
- In Champa, after Briggs' escape from Alhafra:
- Briggs: Hold it right there! So, Felix, you've come. Don't assume I'll go so easy on you this time!
- Obaba: Is that boy him? The "mighty warrior" you told me about?
- Briggs: I told you he didn't look like much, Grandma... Weren't you even listening to me?
- Obaba: All you told me is that his name is Felix and that he is a "might warrior." Hmph. He doesn't look like the sort of person who's interested in stealing our jewels, though.
- Briggs: But that's not the point, Grandma! If you don't destroy him now, he's going to take me far away, and you won't ever see me again!
- Obaba: Oh, now he doesn't look like the kind of boy who would do that...
- Briggs: If he takes me away, poor Eoleo will be so sad! What do you say about that, huh?
- Obaba: Oh, that's just not fair. You know I can't deny my great-grandson! I don't see why I should be the one to get you out of this mess, but I can't bear to see Eoleo sad.
- Briggs: Grandma, please!
- Obaba: Oh, all right.
- In Champa, prior to the forging of the Trident of Ankohl:
- Champa: Our matriarch is the last successor of the Ankohl. She's a master of the forge. It was the ancient gift of the Ankohl... There's nothing broken that they couldn't fix.