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The true ruler of Wall Market. A lecherous scumbag who hosts nightly auditions for the "next Mrs. Corneo." Though his mouth is as foul as his face, he has an uncanny way with people—even the dregs of society are securely under his thumb.

Loading screen description from Final Fantasy VII Remake

Don Corneo is an antagonist in Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII Remake. He is a mafioso-style leader who resides in Sector 6 slums' Wall Market in Midgar, an area filled with shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. In Final Fantasy VII Remake, he is the proprietor of the Corneo Colosseum battle arena. He is known for keeping monsters as his "pets," feeding his enemies to them, and for being on the hunt for beautiful women to become his "bride" for the night. In Final Fantasy VII Remake Corneo has secret stashes scattered around Sectors 5 and 6 the player can unlock to find treasures.

ProfileEdit

AppearanceEdit

Don Corneo is a short, portly man sporting a thin mustache and blond hair shaved at the sides. The word "Love" above a heart pierced by an arrow is tattooed on the left side of his head. In the original version he is never without a cigar. His outfit consists of a red three-quarter length coat with fur trim on the collar and cuffs over a white shirt, opened partway to reveal a hairy chest, blue jeans (with a golden belt buckle in his field model) and white shoes. Corneo wears stud earrings, a medallion round his neck, and several rings on his fingers.

PersonalityEdit

Don't be shy, little kitten. Shimmy on over and give daddy some sugar!

Don Corneo

Don Corneo fits the mafia leader stereotype, using lackeys to do his dirty work, having a reputation both feared and revered, and always getting his way. He is perverted and enjoys the company of beautiful women to use as he wishes. He is cold and ruthless, discarding others to the mercy of his lackeys and doing anything he can to win a confrontation. Despite being feared and wealthy, he is cowardly.

StoryEdit

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)
Corneos mansion

Don Corneo's mansion.

Don Corneo is the current ruler and overseer of criminal activity of Wall Market. He has hidden cameras installed in his mansion so he can take compromising photos of individuals he would then exploit. About a decade ago, as told in Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, Ruluf was a high ranking enforcer of his organization and top bodyguard before leaving the criminal underworld behind for a career in the Turks. Not taking his desertion well, Ruluf escaped before Corneo could locate him and bring him back to punish his actions.

During the events of Final Fantasy VII and its remake, Corneo is hired by Heidegger of the Shinra Electric Power Company to collect intel about Avalanche, an eco-terrorist group that opposes Shinra's use of mako energy, in turn for overlooking his racketeering and other "legitimate" services while offering him a place in their Neo Midgar project. Catching one of his spies at her Seventh Heaven bar, Tifa sets out to infiltrate Corneo's mansion under the guise of a candidate for a "bridal audition" to gather intel on Shinra's next move.

When Cloud and Aerith witness Tifa being escorted into the estate through a chocobo carriage, they assume the worst and strive to rescue her. In the Final Fantasy VII Remake, with Corneo’s top lackeys Kotch and Scotch overseeing the Corneo Cup tournament at the Corneo Colosseum, Cloud and Aerith meet the audition's organizer Leslie Kyle who tries to talk them out of procuring endorsements from "The Trio," influential slum dwellers who run Wall Market. They first earn Madam M’s endorsement by winning the Corneo Cup and its "bonus round."

Corneos bridal audition from FFVII Remake

Corneo's "bridal audition."

Cloud then disguises himself as a woman to also enter the audition, putting him through a set of misadventures while regrouping with Aerith and Tifa. When Cloud is picked by Corneo due to his convincing disguise, the mafia boss takes pictures of the "big-boned woman" while trying to woo "her." Learning that Cloud is a man as Tifa and Aerith rush in, the three threaten Corneo with castration to force him into revealing his connections to Shinra. Corneo divulges the company's plan to destroy Sector 7, but distracts the group long enough with a multiple-choice question to send them down a trap door into the sewers where he ushers his "pet," Abzu, unto them.

Leslie threatens Corneo from FFVII Remake

Leslie threatens to shoot Corneo.

Following the group's escape and the destruction of Sector 7, Corneo is forced to hide away in the sewers when Shinra sends their forces to raid Corneo's manor upon learning that he leaked information on their plans. When Cloud, Tifa and Barret come to Wall Market to find Corneo on their search for a way to get topside, they only find Leslie at the mansion who offers to helps them if they assist him in tracking down Corneo. During the journey, the group learns that Leslie seeks revenge as his fiancee mysteriously disappeared after being selected as a bride for Corneo. When they find Corneo's hideout, Leslie goes alone at first to catch the don off guard. Corneo quickly disarms Leslie and expresses disappointment, claiming he had intended to leave the Wall Market operations to Leslie. When Cloud, Tifa and Barret come to Leslie's rescue, Corneo sends Abzu at the party again to cover his escape.

Elena Yuffie captured by Don Corneo

Elena and Yuffie being captured by Don Corneo.

In Final Fantasy VII, with the Turks in pursuit of him, Corneo flees Midgar and goes into hiding within the city of Wutai. His lust drives him to kidnap the Turks member Elena and a girl named Yuffie who was traveling with Avalanche. The Don takes them to the statue of Da-chao, where he ponders whom he desires the most as his bride. After his pet Rapps is killed by Cloud's party when they confront him, Corneo threatens to kill his hostages in a last-ditch escape attempt. Reno appears as Rude shoots Corneo with a silencer, causing the Don to lose his balance and hang on the precipice's edge for dear life. Reno asks him a multiple-choice question he cannot answer before stepping on his fingers so Corneo loses his grip and plummets off Da-chao.

The novel Final Fantasy VII The Kids Are Alright: A Turks Side Story reveals that Corneo survived the fall, although confined to a wheelchair. Now married, Corneo acts as a third party supplier of fuel between the remnants of Shinra and the World Regenesis Organization and agrees to supply the fuel to Evan Townshend. He reveals that among his collection of compromising photos are those of Cloud Strife in a dress. Kyrie Canaan later sets Corneo’s mansion on fire in disgust after finding pictures of Tifa and Aerith among his photo collection, ransacking the don's weapons stash for herself and Evan as they track down Evan's missing mother.

Spoilers end here.

Musical themesEdit

"Don of the Slums"
Music
FFVII - Don of the Slums

"Don of the Slums" plays in Corneo's mansion in the Wall Market, and when he first appears in Wutai.

In the remake, "Don of the Slums" music disc for jukeboxes can be bought from a vending machine in the basement of Corneo's mansion for 50 gil.

Other appearancesEdit

Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-Edit

Don Corneo is referenced by a young girl in the slums of Midgar. She claims her uncle dresses nicely, is kind to women, and his profession is a "Don". Later, a series of missions can be unlocked that pit Zack Fair against Corneo's forces in the slums.

Final Fantasy TacticsEdit

The name Corneo makes a brief appearance in the Tale of Nanai, one of the three stories in the Zodiac Brave Story Sound Novels.

Final Fantasy Trading Card GameEdit

DonCorneo TCG

Don Corneo appears with an ice-elemental card with his Tetsuya Nomura artwork.

Behind the scenesEdit

An unused dialogue path is found in the game's data for the scene where Cloud is chosen as Don Corneo's "bride." Corneo says Cloud is his number one choice, but the other girls weren't bad either, and asks Cloud who he thinks was prettier, "from a woman's perspective". The player could then have chosen to reply either Aeris or Tifa, or claim that Cloud was the prettiest. There is also an unused end to the scene, where Tifa and Aeris don't run in and bust the two if Cloud goes along with Don's advances, and is about to kiss him; instead, Cloud would jump off the bed and reveal his identity as a man, saying that he needs Don's mouth for something else than kissing, namely, for giving him the info he needs.[2]

Corneos bedroom

Bedroom.

Don's mansion interior has a Chinese-inspired design and there are many mysterious kanji phrases scattered around, such as: 古留根尾 ('old remaining root tail' [koruneo = Corneo]) and 業座 ('work seat' [gyouza = Chinese dumplings]). The concept behind the phrases being read one way, yet meaning another, is 'ateji', which means using kanji/Chinese characters based on how they are read, and not what they mean, which means one can't tell the meaning at all by looking at how the characters are written.[3] In Don Corneo's bedroom, his bedspread bears a large 天, which means "heaven" or "sky".

For Final Fantasy VII Remake, the developers wished to portray Don Corneo in the style of a real-life mafia boss who holds power in the underworld. They introduced the characters of Madam M, Sam, and Andrea Rhodea to make this feel believable, giving him henchmen who do his dirty work.[4] In the game, his room has gold stacked on the floor, a karaoke machine Don Corneo's karaoke machine, and his habit of photographing his "guests" is made explicit.

GalleryEdit

EtymologyEdit

Don Corneo is likely named after, and partially inspired by The Godfather character Don Corleone. It may also be a wordplay on poet Lord Byron's Don Juan, a story about a ladies' man with a dark past.

The name "Corneo" could also be derived from the Spanish word córneo, a slang word that means "horny".

ReferencesEdit

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