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The Stone Mask (in Japanese: 石仮面) is an ancient ritual mask with the power to transform humans into vampires.
The mask is activated by blood, which makes the mask extend multiple spikes from its back and carve them on the wearer's head, activating specific points on the brain like acupunture, which release the hidden potential from the body of the wearer, turning him into a vampire with superhuman abilities.
The mask, once thought to be crafted by a certain Vampiric cult within Aztec society, was used by ancient Aztec civilizations, but they vanished mysteriously (or not-so mysteriously).
One of these masks was kept by a noblesman called George Joestar. When his son Jonathan and his adopted son Dio Brando were fighting each other, Jonathan punched Dio so hard that his blood splattered over the mask, activating it. Both teens then discovered that it was no ordinary mask. Wishing to learn more about the mask, Jonathan became a archaeologist, and started to research the mask. Dio also secretly made his own researches on the mask, thinking it was a torture instrument. However he discovered the true nature of the mask the worst way possible, using it on a street thug at night, who turned into a vampire and almost killed Dio: only when sun rose was Dio's life spared.
Dio returned to Joestar mansion, only to have Jonathan and Robert E.O. Speedwagon (a thug-turned ally of Jonathan) had arranged a team of policemen to arrest Dio upon his return over the exposed conspiracy on Dio's plot to murder George Joestar. To make matters worse for Dio, Wang Chen, an apothecary who produced the poison Dio ordered, was arrested and brought to the manion to confess his involvement with Dio. Seeing that he is about to get arrested with no way out, Dio used the mask on himself, turning into a vampire. After slaughtering everyone in the mansion other than Speedwagon and Jonathan Dio had a mortal combat against Jonathan in which he was defeated by his former adopted brother and was presumed dead.
But Dio survived and fled to Windknight's Lot, a sleepy village hidden in the mountains to recuperate and create his unholy minions of Undead People, a race of undead zombies produced through being bitten by Stone Mask vampires. But Jonathan, now mastered the art of Ripple, pursued Dio to Windknight's Lot and defeated his former adopted brother the second time.
The mask was destroyed by Speedwagon, who later founded the Speedwagon Foundation to find more about the Stone Masks and other artifacts. He found a ton of them within a primitive Mexican temple, along with a man bound to a large pillar, thus discovering the true origin of the masks.
The Stone Masks were created by the Pillar Men, especially Kars, who was the vampire cult's leader, in order to become the ultimate life form. However, the masks did not worked on superior beings like them, only working on humans. It needed a perfect jewel (such as the Red Stone of Aja) to catalyze the sunlight in order to work properly on them.
- As one of the most famous items in the series, the Stone Mask has appeared in several JoJo's Bizarre Adventure games:
- In Heritage for the Future, as part of the "Stand Crush", when one of the players has their Guard Gauge broken by the opponent, the Stone Mask briefly appears on the screen.
- In Phantom Blood (PS2), before every match begins, the Mask gains life for a short time and its tentacles comes out, announcing the episode start.
- It appears in All-Star Battle as the representing item for PART I arc in several trailers and Story Mode.
- Various games in the Castlevania franchise have an item called Stone Mask (sometimes called "Jade Mask"), which, according to in-game descriptions, were used in ancient rituals; a seemingly clear reference to JoJo. Appropriately, vampires are a central element of the Castlevania universe.