Don't be shy, little kitten. Shimmy over here and give Daddy some suggah!Don Corneo, to Aerith
Don Corneo is a character in Final Fantasy VII. He is a mafioso-style leader who resides in Sector 6's Wall Market in Midgar, an area filled with shops, restaurants and a brothel known as the Honey Bee Inn, which Don frequents.
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, and 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.
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.
Don Corneo was hired by Shinra to collect intel about AVALANCHE, an eco terrorist group that opposes Shinra's use of Mako energy. When AVALANCHE learned of this and his perversions, Tifa infiltrates his mansion under the guise of a call girl for intel on Shinra's next move. The manor itself has a Wutai-themed aesthetic and is composed of five rooms: three being the reception area, a dungeon with a torture rack, and Corneo's "throne room" where he lines up prospective girls for interview. The women who meet his standards are taken to his bedchamber while the others are given to his underlings to do as they please in their living quarters.
When Cloud and Aeris see Tifa entering the estate, they assumed the worst and strive to rescue her. Cloud disguises himself as a woman due to Corneo only allowing men under his employ to enter, putting him through a set of misadventures before regrouping with Aeris and Tifa. The three threaten Corneo with castration to force him into revealing his connections to Shinra and the company's plan to destroy Sector 7. Corneo distracts the group long enough to send them down a trap door into the sewers to usher his "pet" Aps unto them.
Don was hired by Shinra to reside in the Midgar Slums and collect information about AVALANCHE. After he reveals Shinra's plan to destroy Sector 7, Don flees Midgar to Wutai with the Turks in hot pursuit with intentions to silence him for spilling the beans to Shinra's Sector 7 plot. He hides until his lust drives him to kidnap Elena (of the Turks) and Yuffie (a girl traveling with AVALANCHE). Don takes them to the statue of Da Chao, where he ponders whom he desires the most. After his pet Rapps is killed by Cloud's party when they confront him, Corneo threatens to kill the hostages as 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 he 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. He is 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.
"Don of the Slums" plays in Corneo's mansion in the Wall Market, and when he first appears in Wutai.
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.
The name Corneo makes a brief appearance in the Tale of Nanai, one of the three stories in the Zodiac Brave Story Sound Novels.
Don Corneo appears with an ice-elemental card with his Tetsuya Nomura artwork.
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".
- 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.
- Don's mansion interior has a Chinese-inspired design—possibly consisting of souvenirs from Wutai—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. In Don Corneo's bedroom, his bedspread bears a large 天, which means "heaven" or "sky"; this fits into the general vain horniness of his personality.