An extremely powerful time-controlling Stand wielded by an equally powerful user, The World is an esoteric Stand, both revered and feared by almost every character in Stardust Crusaders.
The World bears the appearance of a tall, heavily muscular humanoid - bearing a strong resemblance to DIO himself in terms of build and clothing. It wears a headpiece covering its face to below the place of its nose, slanting at a steep angle from the base of its forehead to a peak situated above the rear of its head by about half its height, leaving the face of an inverted triangle visible to the front; somewhat similar to the Red Crown of Lower Egypt.
It wears small twin diving cylinders on its back, connecting via short, twin-ridged cables to the rear of its mask; perhaps secured by thick, ridged or puffed straps running from the rear of its waist over both its shoulders to its front. The back of both its hands bears the shape of a simple clock face. Its chin, the base of its abdomen, its crotch and its knees are topped by heart shapes. It has armor plates on its shins, and its clogs bears curved, sharply-pointed toes, similar to those of DIO's.
In the colored manga, The World is completely yellow. In the anime, it is grey-skinned, has green heart motifs and has golden clothing. In the OVA, The World is grey-skinned, has bronze heart motifs and ivory clothing.
It is named for the Tarot card The World, the last card in the Major Arcana and symbolic of achievement and a pause in life before the beginning of the next cycle.
The World shows no particular personality, although it occasionally smiles as it pummels others, hinting that it may be a rather cruel entity that takes pleasure in causing pain. In the anime, it frequently shows expressions of formidability and fury in its attacks. Its Stand cry is Muda Muda Muda! (無駄 無駄 無駄!, lit. "Useless, useless, useless!"), however, the cry itself seems to be communicated by DIO.
The World itself doesn't make much attempts at speech. In the anime, The World makes grunting noises while fighting Star Platinum, and in the English dub, the grunting sounds are replaced with growling noises.
The World is an exceptionally powerful Close-range Stand much like Star Platinum as noted by Noriaki Kakyoin and Jotaro Kujo, but boasting an effective manifestation range of approximately 10 meters. Despite requiring a close distance to inflict damage, its overwhelming physical might and near unstoppable control over time undeniably make it one of the most dangerous Stands in the entire series.
Extreme Physical Power: The World possesses phenomenal strength, senses, precision, and incredible speed, being able to easily punch Kakyoin right through his abdomen. DIO claims that The World is even stronger and faster than Star Platinum since it bested the latter in a clash of rapid punches between the two. However, it is unclear if this is an aspect of DIO's vampiric nature or simply having greater experience with his Stand. Its main offense is generally characterized by a flurry of speedy punches and the occasional kick.
The World's signature power is its ability to stop time, allowing only itself, DIO and anyone with the same power, to act within the duration of stopped time.
In the stopped time, DIO can move his own body freely along with any object he touches that he wishes to move, allowing him to strike his defenseless enemies, move to a superior position, and toy with his victims. All force applied by DIO during the time stop continues to exist after the time stop. This is seen when the objects that DIO throws can momentarily move during the stopped time before grinding to a halt. A flurry of thrown knives could fly for several meters before stopping near Jotaro.
Another unique feature of the time stop is how DIO can seemingly levitate in stopped time. Since no forces other than the time stopper's exist during a time stop, there is no force of gravity, allowing DIO to move freely in space as he wishes, with the assistance of his stand.
It is notable that DIO needs to consciously activate Time Stop, which means that surprise attacks can prevent him from stopping time.
Despite time not actively progressing, DIO quantifies the duration of The World's time stop using seconds.
Because of DIO's weakened state in Stardust Crusaders, this ability initially only works for up to 5 seconds in DIO's frame of reference before time flows again. However, thanks to DIO's immortality, the duration of stopped time increases as DIO becomes more accustomed to The World and the scar around his neck heals, reaching a maximum of nine seconds towards the end of Stardust Crusaders.
However, had he not died, the period during for which DIO could have stopped time would have continued to grow, seemingly indefinitely.
Chapters / Episodes
The World appears in the light novel JORGE JOESTAR. In the novel, Dio already has his Stand after he takes over Jonathan Joestar's body in the ship. He uses it to gather food and torture Erina while traveling in his coffin with her in the middle of the ocean.
When Dio wakes up from his sleep after one hundred years, he temporarily gives the Stand to Giorno Giovanna by inserting half of his soul into the boy's body. As a result, Giorno becomes a clone named DIO and acts out the events of Stardust Crusaders. After DIO's death, Dio uses the effects of Cube House to travel through time and retrieve his Stand again.
Once Dio becomes an ultimate being like Kars, The World is capable of stopping time for nearly one hour.
While battling Dio, Kars develops his own enhanced copy of the Stand, known as The World Ultimate. Dio also awakens this version of the Stand after seeing Kars use it.
An evolved form of the Stand named The World Over Heaven appears in Eyes of Heaven. It is wielded by a parallel universe DIO who ascended to Heaven after defeating the Joestar family and achieving his plan. The Stand keeps its ability to stop time and gains a new ability to overwrite reality.
- The World's original name, WORLD21 (世界21), is mentioned by Anubis at the end of its fight with Jotaro Kujo and can be seen on the Stand's corresponding tarot card. The JoJo's Bizarre Adventure arcade game uses this name to refer to the incomplete version of The World operated by the "Evil Incarnate / Shadow DIO" character.
- The World was initially designed by Araki as a "boss" to contrast with Jotaro's Star Platinum. It's notably the only Stand in Part 3 that lacked any design input from Araki's editor at the time, Ryosuke Kabashima, as he unexpectedly ended up in the hospital during the final battle.
- The World's tarot card is the only card not to have "Lucky Land" written on it.
- Coincidentally, the tarot card of The World was at one point referred to as "Time" in the Court de Gébelin deck.