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Tree Trunk Tour

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Kiddy and Dixie in the Wood.

It's so spacious in here! I can't believe we're inside a tree right now.
Goombario, Paper Mario 64

Simply said, this is when a video game leads your character to adventure through a gigantic tree. For whatever reason, the insides of the tree in question are hollow and carved just right enough for you to advance through, frequently by climbing up the whole thing. A common variant includes paths carved or built on the outer trunk itself, allowing the tree to be climbed from the outside, but not in the way most would expect.

This setting might be its own level or part of a greater Lost Woods or Jungle Japes level. It might even lead to a Tree Top Town and is sometimes found in the Macro Zone. Common obstacles include tree-living creatures such as giant bugs (like spiders or bees), angry monkeys or territorial birds.

Compare Arboreal Abode, which is when an entire residence is found within a tree. It's possible for these tropes to overlap, in case your game features tree-living people whose homes can be entered.



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    Action-Adventure Games 
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In Ocarina of Time, Link starts the game inside an Arboreal Abode, since the Kokiri live in them (although Link isn't one) and you can enter some of them. The very first dungeon is located inside the Great Deku Tree, where Link has to find and slay the parasitic Giant Spider Gohma.
    • In Majora's Mask, Link ends up in Termina after entering a tree (which functions as a portal between that world and Hyrule).
    • Happens a lot in The Minish Cap due to Link's ability to shrink himself and the fact that the game's featured race, the Minish, mostly live inside Arboreal Abodes.
    • Skyward Sword also has a large tree, with a hollow section that must be entered in order to reach the top. Besides more common overworld foes, Link will have to fight his way through giant hornets, bat-like Keese and wall-creeping spiders.
    • One section of Hyrule Field in Breath of the Wild is dominated by gigantic hollow tree trunks, many of which lay on their sides.
  • Four screens of An Untitled Story's world take place inside its gigantic tree.

    Adventure Games 

    Platform Games 
  • Much of Click Clock Wood in Banjo-Kazooie takes place in a giant tree, with such inhabitants as Gnawty the Beaver, Nabnut the Squirrel, Eyrie the Eagle, and The Zubbas.
  • Donkey Kong Country:
  • The The Jungle Book Licensed Game has The Great Tree. In most versions of the game, it serves as the second levelnote . Certain versions of the game have entrance holes that serve as elevators when Mowgli goes into them. The boss of the level is Kaa. There is also a later level called The Tree Village that acts similarly.
  • Kirby:
    • The first level of Kirby's Dream Land ends with you entering a tree from below, going up the insides of the tree (which contains enemies) and then going out from above to encounter Whispy Woods.
    • The latter half of the second level in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards has Kirby climbing up and down the insides of two trees.
    • Kirby Super Star: The third section of Revenge of Meta Knight also has a part where you have to enter a tree and then climb it up from the inside.
  • In Maldita Castilla, the second part of stage 5 takes place inside a tree where the witch practices the dark arts.
  • Mega Man:
    • In Mega Man X2, Wire Sponge's stage contains small sections where you have to get inside (metal) trees in order to destroy the mechanisms that control the stage's weather system. Some of the trees also have additional rooms in their upper parts.
    • Mega Man Zero 4: In a variant, Noble Mandrago's level starts with you entering a tree... and then fall down to see multiple underground artificial vine growths that cover the whole stage. Zero has to clear his way through thick vines, spikes, multiple enemies and one miniboss to get to the boss.
  • In McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure, in the Magical Forest, Ronald comes across a giant tree, which he must climb to the top of.
  • Prehistorik: Prehistorik Man has three such levels: first a Rise to the Challenge in the aftermath of the volcano eruption, then an Air-Aided Acrobatics level, and finally a Blackout Basement ending with the second boss (the last level in Easy mode).
  • The Tree Tops level of the original Spyro the Dragon game was mostly a Tree Top Town, but there were a few sections where Spyro had to go through paths carved inside the level's trees.
  • Both Angel Island Zone and Mushroom Hill Zone in Sonic 3 & Knuckles have Sonic running up large trees from the inside.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Bros. 2: The last level of World 5 eventually takes Mario and his friends into an underground area that provides access to the interior of a large tree, which is explored similarly to a Tower or Castle. It's overrun by Sparks, Bob-Ombs and Pansers.
    • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins: One of the levels of Tree Zone takes place inside an enormous tree. The other levels are set in the top or bottom areas of it.
    • Super Mario Galaxy 2: There's an unusual example in Tall Trunk Galaxy. Mario never gets inside the level's resident big tree, but he climbs it throught its branches. He also does get to traverse a giant log and slide down a long, hollow tree in the same level.
  • Cuphead has Treetop Trouble, one of the few platforming levels of the game, featuring a variety of ramps, platforms and mosquito-carried leaves as supports and an enemy population of giant beetles and living logs, alongside giant woodpeckers as obstacles and a dragonfly boss.
  • In the first area of Seiklus is a tree you can enter and from there drop down into the caverns or climb on top where you can get kidnapped by an eagle that drops you off at a volcano.
  • The Ginso Tree in Ori and the Blind Forest is a massive tree full of portals containing the Element of Water, which needs to be fixed in order to purify the waters of Nibel, about two thirds of the way up. The game being what it is, this summons a massive torrent of water that chases you the rest of the way to the top. Expect to die a lot during this part, especially if you don't quite have the game's Jump Physics down yet. The tree is a One-Time Dungeon in the original version while the Definitive Edition allows you to revisit it.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Paper Mario:
    • Paper Mario 64: The area before you meet Raphael the Raven in Chapter 5 takes place inside a rather spacious tree.
    • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door: The final area of Chapter 2 (appropriately called "The Great Tree") takes place in an enemy base built within said tree by the game's main antagonists, the X-Nauts. It's home to two tribes of insects, the Punis and the mosquito-like Jabbis, the latter of which allied with the X-Nauts against the former, as well as to spider-like enemies Mario will have to fight.
    • Super Paper Mario: Chapter 3-3 takes place entirely within the Dotwood Tree within the pixelated Bitlands.
    • Paper Mario: Sticker Star also has a few areas found within trees during World 3. Paper Mario really likes this setting.
    • Paper Mario: The Origami King: The second part of the path to the Spring of Jungle Mist climbs up and around the trunk of an immense tree, over which Mario, Olivia and Kamek must pick their way through a chain of narrow platforms and rope ladders. They're intermittently chased by a gigantic Chain Chomp during this trip, and eventually lose it by swinging across to another tree and letting the beast plummet to its doom.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon: The Battle Tree, the game's version of the usual post-game battle areas, is a giant tree building where you can fight other trainers.
    • In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, you are able to create a hidden base, which you can then send to another player. One of the location types available for this are large trees.
    • Pokémon Black and White 2: White Treehollow, an area exclusive to White 2, is a postgame level-grinding facility located in White Forest. It is located in a giant tree, and the player can battle other strong trainers and progress up the tree. Its counterpart in the slightly more technologically forward Black 2 universe is Black Tower.
    • The Tree of Life from Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon. The player and partner in their evolved forms using the power of their Harmony Scarves go up the tree first at the roots and then inside the tree trunk in order to reach the final boss, Dark Matter.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The Guardian Tree from Final Fantasy V, which contains the four crystals of Galuf's World.
    • Final Fantasy IX features Cleyra, a settlement located inside a humongous tree. You have to travel through the tree's trunk first in order to reach it. And the whole thing is also filled with sand, making it part Shifting Sand Land too.
    • Final Fantasy Mystic Quest has a giant tree in Alive Forest which blocks the path to Windia, and will only move if you slay the monsters that live inside it.
  • Golden Sun: The climax of the Kolima arc features climbing up the giant tree Tret (both inside and outside), then dropping down to the roots in order to vanquish him. Notable for being one of the main possible instances of Sequence Breaking: The player is supposed to get healing water from Imil to revive Tret, but it's possible to go to Imil and finish the entire arc before even finding out about Tret.
  • The Frontier Village from Xenoblade is a 9-level village found within a massive hollow tree. The game's resident Ridiculously Cute Critters Nopons live there.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles X, a large hollow tree can be found and entered in Noctilum, and it's connected to a network of trunk bridges that lead to other areas of the continent. Notably, a sidequest involving Mia starts here.
  • Dark Souls has a hidden Brutal Bonus Level named "The Great Hollow", which is set inside a colossal Archtree and populated by basilisks and other nasty monsters.
  • The majority of Faxanadu takes place in a giant tree. The tree is so massive, the protagonist's home town is housed within.
  • The Heart Pumps Clay: The whole story involves climbing the Tree of Life.


Video Example(s):


Spring of Jungle Mist

Mario climbs up the tree of the Spring of Jungle Mist area.

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