The Balloon spell
in the SquareSoft
game Secret of Mana
is one of the cleverer ways I've seen the "hold monster
implemented. Rather than holding a being by a mysterious unseen force
, the spell conjures up a huge helium
balloon and ties it to the subject's wrist
. With that much tension
on the rope
, it's all the victim can do to stay on the ground, much less attack you.
Slightly unrealistic, however, is the fact that a "ballooned" monster stays rooted to the spot even if whacked with a battle axe. If the tension on the rope is keeping the monster just barely above the ground and thus unable to effectively escape, then a hard blow with a weapon (any weapon) ought to send them sailing away like those big balls in PilotWings 64.
Incidentally, the balloon gets bigger and more stylized as your Sylphid magic skills progress in level. At levels 1 and 2, it's an ordinary red balloon, but becomes a larger red balloon, and finally a blue Mickey Mouse-like (with whiskers) balloon at the highest levels of experience. The game effect is a longer duration of paralysis.
Attempting to pop the balloon and free the victim (for example, by shooting arrows at the balloon) does not seem to work. Nor does casting spells like Gem Missile (which should pop the balloon with the barrage of crystal shards) or Fire Bouquet (which should either catch the rope on fire or heat the air in the balloon so that it expands and bursts it). I believe it is safe to conclude that the bytes used for those flashy SNES graphics edged out the ones needed for complexity and delightful DevTeam-style game behavior.