Her name is most likely derived from the Japanese Obaa-san, meaning grandmother.
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.
Amazingly, Obaba continued to live on for another 30 years, appearing again in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn. Her Grandson Briggs and her Great-Grandson Eoleo are also in the game, with Eoleo being promoted to playable character. She serves much the same purpose as before, forging items for the party out of raw materials.
- 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.