Great Tree of Sugar Mountain
The Great Tree of Sugar Mountain (シュガーマウンテンの大木, Shugā Maunten no Taiboku) is a giant tree located south of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, featured in the seventh part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Steel Ball Run. It serves as a Devil's Palm, where the Saint's Corpse's ears and left arm can be obtained. It is introduced in the The Promised Land: Sugar Mountain story arc.
The tree is a Stand User, wielding the Stand Sugar Mountain, which is bound to it. This Stand possesses guardians of the same name and uses its ability to carry out supernatural trials, testing the greed of passersby who pursue items possessed by the tree.
Noted to be over a thousand years old, the Great Tree of Sugar Mountain is a massive tree with several babbling springs nestled amidst its sprawling roots. Embedded within its trunk are the unfortunate souls ensnared by its Stand, with their faces usually contorted in anguish. The tree holds chamber adorned with etchings of horses and oxen skulls on the walls. Within this chamber, the current guardian drew a make-shift floor plan to emulate a home for a family.
The Great Tree submits passersby to two trials, overseen by a prior victim. Sugar Mountain is the current host when Johnny Joestar and Gyro Zeppeli come across it. The springs nearby are connected to the tree and are part of the trial.
An object dropped into the spring nearby transforms into a top-quality item. If one lies and claims that the top-quality item is theirs instead of the real item, the tree pulls out their tongue. Honest answers are rewarded with highest grade goods, which must be traded before nightfall, otherwise, the person will become the tree's 'fruit'.
- Main article: Sugar Mountain (Stand)
The Stand attaches itself to the great tree and functions as a trial for those who discover the tree and its current guardian. Although seemingly easy to pass, the test becomes more difficult as it goes on and will push a person's will to its limits.
At an unknown point in time, the Great Tree became the resting place of the Saint's Corpse's ears and left arm, turning it into a Devil's Palm and granting it the Stand, Sugar Mountain.
Over the course of several decades, the Great Tree possessed the likes of hunters and explorers, and those who failed to complete the trials were turned into tree fruits, where they would slumber inside of the tree for years, cycling through different guardians.
Sugar Mountain Tests Johnny & Gyro
While on their search for the ears and right arm of the Saint's Corpse, one of Gyro's Steel Balls is possessed by the Great Tree. Johnny and Gyro enter the Tree and meet its guardian, Sugar Mountain, who tests them on their greed. Gyro and Johnny pass the test and receive the Saint's Corpse's ears, but before they are sent on their way, they are given their second test: they must use up all the items they acquired within the tree by sunset, or else they too will become its fruits.
Their situation becomes dire when their time runs out and Gyro is absorbed into the tree. They end up succeeding anyway after Johnny trades the corpse parts for an open bottle of wine, freeing Gyro and Sugar Mountain, along with her parents, and releasing them from the Tree.
- Sugar Mountain's ability was likely inspired by one of Aesop's Fables, about a woodcutter who accidentally drops his axe into the lake. When Hermes offers him a silver or gold axe, the woodcutter tells him the truth that his axe was simply a normal one, and Hermes rewards him with all three for his honesty. In Japanese variants of this tale, Hermes is usually portrayed as female.
- Sugar Mountain's ability may also be based on the plot of Brewster's Millions (1985 film), where the main character is tasked with spending an enormous sum of money within a certain time frame to inherit an even larger fortune, with the catch that he must have nothing of value to show for it. Similarly, the Stand's trials involve testing the greed of individuals and their capacity to manage and relinquish wealth.