7 – HAROLD (Fallout 3)
Much like Resident Evil’s T-Virus, Fallout has a long list of Forced Evolutionary viruses (FEVs) that, you guessed it, make weird shit happen to people. One such weird shit is the tree that grows out of poor Harold’s head. I’m not terribly familiar with the series as a whole, but when it comes to vaguely uncomfortable tree-people, Harold beats out the Living Forest any day.
The short version of Harold’s story is that he was exposed to the FEV, which made the tree, who he calls Bob, sprout from his head. Over the years and after much adventuring, Bob grew so large he eventually rooted Harold into the ground and forced him to sit there for years. Upon encountering Harold in Fallout 3, you can eventually choose to kill or spare him; the latter gives him new reason for living, and this sad story comes to a happy end. Plenty more on the Harold Wiki.
6 – WHISPY WOODS (Kirby’s Dream Land)
On the other end of face-filled tree people lies Whispy Woods, who embodies everything uncool about foliage foes. He just sits there, planted in place and waits for Kirby to float his ass over, at which point Mr (Mrs?) Woods gently blows some wind Kirby’s way, or perhaps shakes a bit and causes an apple to fall. And since this is Kirby, said apples only serve to act as projectiles he can then fire back at Whispy Woods. So his main attack actually supplies Kirby with the means to win. This asshole deserves to lose!
But as a video game tree? Pretty cool. He takes up the whole side of the screen, appears in multiple games and acts as a great easy boss to best early in the adventure. In fact, if a Kirby game doesn’t begin with a battle against Whispy, I daresay that game is bullshit and I hate it (PS that’s not true).
His appearance across the Kirby series is generally the same, though as you can see above, he does occasionally receive a slight visual upgrade. But in the end, his attacks are futile, and I have to wonder if he’s actually a bad guy at all. I mean, he just sits there, rooted into the earth. Kirby would have to go out of his way to cross paths with Whispy, only to bust his nose and move on. Just leave the poor thing alone!
5 – THE GREAT DEKU TREE (Ocarina of Time)
Why would a dreary, sleepy tree make it onto a list of best trees? Because this one happens to kick off one of the most influential and widely loved games in history. While my current opinion of Ocarina of Time is well chronicled, I’ll never forget how wonderful and straight-up magical it was in 1998. From the moment this imposing yet clearly gentle giant set Link upon his quest, I’ve held a strong affinity for the dying Deku Tree.
It helps if you imagine him talking like Unicron
As a tree, he’s a mixed bag. Sure he’s impressively large and undoubtedly important, but he’s all wilty and dies about 45 minutes into this rather long adventure. That said, he’s obviously lived a very important, exciting life up to this point, and knows all kinds of important lore, so let’s just cut the big guy some slack and let him have this number five spot, OK?
4 – THE MANA TREE (Secret of Mana)
The Mana Tree appears throughout the Mana series, but I’m going to go out on a limb (DERP) and assume you’re all more familiar with Secret of Mana than any other. In that, the Mana Tree acts as the heart of the world, and when a power-hungry empire destroys said tree in a display of might, the creatures of the world unite to end everything.
In Soviet Potos, tree nukes you
In our real world terms, it’s basically like if all the world’s oil came from some nice, benevolent pile of dinosaur bones, and instead of living happily with what it provided, we built a giant cannon and blew it to hell. Which triggers every animal in the world to revolt and killify us – unless three underage kids could save the day???
Oh yes, the tree. It’s lovely. It doesn’t necessarily do much, but it’s damn important and it’s among the biggest in all of games, so there.