- For a similar character, see Diego Brando (Parallel World)
Diego Brando is a genius British jockey hailed as one of the best contenders in the Steel Ball Run race, but he soon shifts his attention to the Saint's Corpse. Diego becomes a powerful intermittent rival to both Gyro and Johnny. Although he works with different factions during the course of the race, Diego is only loyal to himself.
Diego is a young man of below-average height and slim to medium build. He has golden blond hair, dark eyebrows, and light, sharp eyes.
He commonly wears an equestrian helmet with the letters "DIO" loosely mounted on bending pins emerging from a small ribbon tied at its front, a turtleneck jumper patterned with a diagonal grid, light, mid-forearm-length gloves, Jodhpurs with flared hips, and tall, dark riding boots.
After obtaining the Corpse's left eye and fusing it with his own, his left eye's iris has the word "TURBO" engraved on it, and he temporarily gains a mark under said eye reading "DIO", contrasting to the cross Gyro gains from the right eye.
During his childhood, Diego was a good-natured and resourceful kid. His mother raised him with love and taught him to keep his dignity in even the direst situation. At age five, witnessing his mother sacrificing her hands so that he could be fed, Diego developed a resentment of everyone around him for allowing that to happen, and an insatiable ambition.
Since then Diego has been driven to climb the social ladder in order to get back at everyone who wronged him in the past. Upon hearing about the Corpses, he first sought them for himself and as soon as he found himself in a disadvantageous position with a crippled horse, didn't waste time in proposing his services to Funny Valentine, demanding mayorship of Manhattan in exchange for his participation. He harbours a grudge against his biological father Dario, and was ready to cooperate with Hot Pants when she proposed to tell him about his whereabouts.
Using any opportunity, he is said to have married an old woman for her wealth, and in the same vein, participated in the Steel Ball Run for prestige. Diego is particularly vindictive against anyone who gets in his way, and doesn't hesitate to injure or kill them, although he doesn't manifest murderous intents automatically. For instance, at one point during the race he warns Gyro to stay away from him as the latter tried to attack him.
Diego possesses a strong misanthropy, describing humanity as a "flock of pigeons", and resents humans as a whole for the death of his mother. Thus Diego is naturally solitary, never looking to bond with anyone, and in case he has to cooperate with someone, he will keep a certain amount of separation between them. Diego sees human life as worthless and will sacrifice anyone to further his goals without hesitation. For instance, he allowed Wekapipo to be killed by D4C's ability in order to escape from a flag.
- Main article: Scary Monsters
Diego first turned into a dinosaur after he, along with a number of villagers, were controlled by Dr. Ferdinand in order to steal the left eye of the Saint's Corpse from Johnny and Gyro.
After Ferdinand was defeated, Diego stole the corpse part and fused it with his left eye, allowing him to retain the ability to turn himself into a dinosaur. While initially benefiting from just enhanced senses and strength, the stand and all of its abilities eventually became his own.
Diego is one the most talented jockeys of his generation, and is considered one of the favorites of the Steel Ball Run. Diego's skill allows him to ride across many types of terrain and he is able to use advanced techniques such as riding close to others as to use their horse as air pressure shields to get ahead in a race. Moreover Diego possesses an uncanny talent for analyzing horses, notably having discovered Gyro's horse Valkyrie's ticks and weakness to exploit them, and being able to not only assert his horse's capabilities, but also that of other horses. His enhanced senses as a dinosaur allow him to analyze horses but also the terrain in order to secure the victory. His original, beloved horse is named Silver Bullet.
Since he was a child, Diego had a talent for relating to horses - even seemingly untameable ones would allow themselves to be handled by him.
Diego's parents were financially weak and attempted to dispose of him as a baby. However, his mother felt guilty and risked her own life to save him from drowning, upon which his alcoholic father left them both. His mother changed her surname to "Brando" and became employed by a farm, but she and Diego lived in poverty in the stables.
Five years later, the man that had arranged her employment demanded sexual favors from her, and upon her refusal, sabotaged their means to get food. No matter how hard the times he and his mother fell on, she refused to discard of what little dignity they had left – she taught Diego that eating out of shoes due to lack of proper dishes was unacceptable.
Partly from her example, Diego developed a strong sense of pride. Another year later, his young mother died of the tetanus infection, which Diego (at the time 6 years old) believes to be a result of the humiliation they had to suffer. The boy grew up resenting everyone who abandoned them and swore to himself to get revenge against the man who had harassed his mother.
Diego started a career as a stable boy and jockey. At one point in his childhood, he worked in the Joestar Family's British ranch, being scouted as a potential talent and being allowed to work there. Diego witnessed the death of Nicholas Joestar, whose horse fell after being startled by a mouse. Diego then properly started a career as a jockey and was extremely successful in the world of British horse racing. During one of such races, Diego managed to beat Johnny and achieve 1st place. He also married an old 83 years old widow, who died six months later. It is rumored that he wanted to inherit her fortune and killed her.
Diego is eventually allured by and registers for the Steel Ball Run race, becoming one of its more popular contestants due to his celebrity status.
Steel Ball Run
The First Stage
Within the first stage, Gyro takes the lead during the first moments of the race. Diego decides to challenge Gyro after observing his horse and noting Valkyrie's habit of swaying left every eighth breath. He uses the horse's habit to his advantage, matching his speed with Gyro and only briefly accelerating with Gyro's horse sways to eventually take the lead. As the two arrive at a wooden bridge, Diego is a horse's length ahead. However, Gyro then applies the Spin to Valkyrie's hind legs, empowering the steps into a sudden leap forward. Gyro gets ahead of Diego but also destroys the bridge with Valkyrie's violent jump. To everyone's shock, the jockey loses to Gyro for now.
Diego steadily gains back his place at the front of the racers, using other riders as a windshield to ease the pressure on his horse, Silver Bullet. When he meets Johnny, Johnny purposefully breaks the windshield attack by making Slow Dancer sink, kick pebbles at Diego, and then accelerates to get away from him. The move surprises Diego who wasn't aware of a competitor of his skill in this race. Diego remains among the top competitors in the final stretch and crosses the finish line first. Gyro is demoted for interfering with Sandman's run and thus Diego ends up in second place.
Diego doesn't approach Gyro or Johnny again during the second stage but ends up in the first place.
The third stage begins with a run across the Rocky Mountains. Diego is assailed by an unknown person and is incapacitated. Gyro tries to check up on him, but both Johnny and even Diego himself advocate to leave him alone. Soon enough, Diego catches up to them, strangely lively for someone who was wounded moments ago. Diego jokes around and performs acrobatics on Silver Bullet. The three of them decide to spend the night in a village to avoid the cougars. Come evening, Diego is seen eating small rocks and justifies it as using a special technique to facilitate digestion. He smells coffee and asks for a cup, which Johnny reluctantly offers. Diego has difficulty finding the cup but when Johnny asks him about it, Diego smugly catches a fly. Johnny and Gyro find a dead bear's corpse and realize that Diego is turning into a giant lizard: a dinosaur.
A fight ensues and Diego whips Gyro out of the house with his tail. Gyro comes back and throws a Steel Ball but the dinosaur has an advantage in his kinetic vision allowing it to discern and avoid fast projectiles. Diego leaps at Gyro and pins him. To counter this kinetic vision, Gyro hides his second Steel Ball in a can, making it fly at Diego from point-blank range. Diego is stunned by the ball, allowing the duo to escape. Still pursued by Diego, they notice on the horizon the "movere crus" mountain and realize where the next corpse part is. To hide from Diego, Gyro and Johnny lay on the bear corpse to mask their scent and stay immobile as dinosaurs cannot discern immobile objects. Diego follows one of Gyro's loose Balls, but thanks to the Spin, it flattens Gyro's leg and rolls away, leading Diego away as well.
The duo hide in a sewer. Diego sends some small dinosaurs to mark the heroes, enabling the raptors in the village to trail them. Seeing the next Devil's Palm on a nearby peak, Johnny and Gyro jump across a ravine. However, Diego commands some raptors to jump and jumps on them to cross the ravine too. Diego seizes the Eyes and Gyro, who has converted enough into a raptor to become Diego's ally, protects the former from Johnny.
The true enemy, Valentine's Subordinate, Dr. Ferdinand, appears riding a raptor. In a position of strength, Ferdinand calls Johnny out on his petty goals with the Saint's Corpse, not realizing who he is dealing with. To turn the situation around, Johnny leaves his Corpse Part behind to turn into a dinosaur and knock the Eyes near Gyro, turning him back into a human. Gyro throws a Steel Ball at Dr. Ferdinand, who is protected by Diego. However, Gyro has acquired a new ability with the Corpse Part. Gyro pilots his Steel Ball remotely and sends it at Ferdinand's face, wounding him despite Diego's protection. Gyro eventually defeats Ferdinand, who is mauled to death by mountain cougars. Diego obtains the Left Eye, along with the ability to turn into a dinosaur at will, and disappears into the night.
End of the Third Stage
Diego reaches the end of the third stage. As every competitor races to finish first, Gyro and Diego try to take a shortcut through the lake instead of going around it. However, Diego's dinosaur senses allow him to better analyze the situation and he notably sees that Gyro's horse will not be able to gallop to the end in the current conditions. Out of the water, Valkyrie shows he is exhausted but is still running behind. To help his horse, Gyro throws away everything he carries and even uses the Spin to wring the water out of his body. Still, Diego sneakily spits a gastrolith and makes it rebound into Valkyrie's leg. Wounded, the horse slows down and Diego stays ahead of Gyro. Johnny nonetheless finishes before Diego.
Race in the Storm
Diego doesn't meet Johnny Joestar or Gyro Zeppeli until the near end of the fourth stage. Thanks to his Eye, Diego is able to guess the location of the next Corpse Part and races there as a storm rages over Kansas City and its surroundings.
In the storm, the duo finally catches up to Diego. Diego lets them approach once but suddenly turns into a dinosaur and leap above them. He warns the two to stay behind or be killed before he leaves. Johnny sees that Diego is systemically using the optimal route and proposes to wait for a mistake, but Gyro takes the initiative and challenges Diego. Still, Diego's optimal route choice only widens the gap between them. Then, Gyro somehow manages to close the gap and trails Diego. Diego tries to whip Valkyrie, but the horse takes the whip from him. Gyro is now seriously challenging Diego. Diego decides to sneakily turn the fleas on his horse into dinosaurs and sics them at Valkyrie's eye, disturbing the horse. Johnny guesses that Diego is attacking somehow and intervenes, aiming at Diego with his nails. Diego attacks Johnny and almost slashes him but Gyro intervenes too. He throws a Steel Ball at Diego, who's fooled into not seeing the Ball is going slowly because of its speed relative to his horse. The Ball hits Diego in the face. Not only is he unhorsed, but his horse Silver Bullet is injured, putting him temporarily out of the race. Nonetheless, Diego finishes the stage at the 54th place and intends on getting his revenge.
Teaming with Valentine
In Kansas City, Diego calls for a meeting with Funny Valentine in an alley, and Valentine sends one of his men to meet the jockey, observing from a nearby roof. Diego reveals that he knows about the Saint's Corpse but is ready to sell the Right Eye for mayorship of Manhattan Island; he then reveals that he also knows about the existence of the traitor that has hindered Valentine's plan. Valentine is forced to accept the deal and reveals Sandman to Diego, as he made a similar deal with the Indian to retrieve the Corpse Parts from Johnny and Gyro. In a demonstration of power, Diego is almost wounded by Sandman's ability, but it is his wristwatch that is damaged instead.
During the Fifth Stage near the Mississippi, Sandman and Diego attack Johnny from within stalks of corn, combining their abilities to create dinosaurs that carry sound-effects. Sandman traps a barn with a cutting sound and does the same with another racer, Dot Han. Gyro loses his Steel Balls trying to attack Dot Han and in saving Johnny. Diego and Sandman send in a horde of dinosaurs with flaming and cutting sounds to harass them, forcing them to fall into the river banks. Gyro repels the dinosaurs with the Spin and the duo takes refuge in the water. At this point, Diego leaves the scene, remaining unseen, and leaves Sandman to be killed by Johnny.
Diego Subsequently lays low and rides slowly to allow his horse to rest and heal. On the outskirts of Chicago, a subordinate of Valentine named Mike O. confronts Diego. He informs Diego that they acquired more Corpse Parts from Johnny and Gyro; Diego asks if they were killed but Mike O. denies it. Mike O. asks Diego to uphold his end of the bargain and tell them what he knows about the traitor. Resigned, Diego reveals that the traitor is likely a woman weighing 51 kg. Mike O. is skeptical that such a person would be able to ride in the storm in Kansas City but Diego insists on the weight before he leaves. Near Mackinaw City, Diego finds a dying Magent Magent and brings him back to civilization. They cooperate loosely. Diego's horse fully recovers and he's able to finish the seventh stage in 1st place.
From one of his dinosaurs, Diego manages to listen to Wekapipo during the Neapolitan's battle with Magent Magent. From it, Diego learns about Lucy Steel's involvement in the search for the Corpse Parts.
At 16:05, Diego arrives at the Independence Hall, looking for Lucy. He approaches the building and when a guard surprises him, he turns into a dinosaur, disposes of him, and takes his uniform to infiltrate the Hall. He also camouflages the guard as a tree's roots. Diego then sees Valentine going out alone and is intrigued. However, Diego then sees Lucy being transported somewhere and figures that the President has uncovered her. Two guards surprise Diego again and Diego turns them into lamps with his power. Diego decides that his best chance to stay ahead is to confront the President and assassinate him, thus he follows him into the streets.
In an alley, Diego sniffs the President in front of him and Wekapipo behind him. Turning into a dinosaur, Diego and his horse leaps to the roof of the building and Diego observes from above. Wekapipo appears and Diego expects that he and Valentine will fight, allowing Diego to observe the President's power. However, Diego looks on the other side of the building and sees Wekapipo again who aims at him. Wekapipo shoots and Diego avoids the attack. He leaps to attack Wekapipo but the left side ataxia sets in. Diego must grab Wekapipo's gun and shoot him but Diego sees Wekapipo in the other corner of the building and realizes that he's shot Johnny Joestar. Confused, Diego smells the President and realizes that what has happened is because of Valentine's ability. He jumps out and tosses the gun and decides to openly meet Wekapipo.
Diego asks Wekapipo if he's seen him shoot Johnny but this Wekapipo hasn't. Sensing Valentine approaching, Diego deploys his dinosaurs to seek him and tells Wekapipo that they must ally themselves now. However, Wekapipo hesitates because it seems Diego lured him into a trap. Somehow, Valentine decimates the dinosaurs and Diego, to gain Wekapipo's trust before it is too late, tells him that he too shot Johnny. The two understand that they both shot a Johnny Joestar and that the President's ability is involved. Sensing bits of dinosaurs falling near him, Diego looks up and sees Valentine and his Stand Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap attacking him. Wekapipo intervenes and hits Valentine with a Steel Ball but the President's face is preserved, the zone of the impact replaced by a hole. Valentine attacks but Diego turns into a dinosaur, evading D4C's strikes easily. Diego slams Valentine against the wall but the President suddenly disappears. Valentine somehow reemerges from Diego's back and attacks. With his Wrecking Ball, Wekapipo induces a left side ataxia in Valentine. Tossing a pebble at Valentine, Diego confirms Valentine is vulnerable and leaps to attack but Valentine then takes a flag and covers himself with it, disappearing again. Sensing Valentine, Diego tries to lift the flag to see what's under it and finds Valentine. Valentine grabs him and forces him into the flag.
Diego finds himself stuck in the flag and sees another street, with two Valentines, another Wekapipo, and another Diego. Valentine is able to take the Left Eye from him and lets the two Diego approach each other, making them decompose into cubes. Valentine reveals the nature of his power and how two of the same person cannot exist in the same universe, lest they disappear. Valentine lets Diego be blown apart slowly but Diego then sends his dinosaurs to look for Johnny. This universe's Johnny reappears and shoots Valentine. Valentine is forced to flee to a door and is seemingly killed, but Diego realizes that the Eye is missing and thus Valentine has returned to the base world, where the Saint's Corpse is. To escape, Diego writes on the base world's ground with his spur, telling Wekapipo to approach. At the same time, Diego tells the other Wekapipo to approach. Both Wekapipo approach the flag and Diego drags them both into it. The portal between worlds reopens, allowing Diego to slip back into the base world, although it kills Wekapipo. Although Valentine has all the pieces, Diego is still alive and plans on killing Valentine for good.
Diego follows Valentine's scent to the port but then loses his trace. Instead, he smells and encounters Hot Pants. A short fight ensues during which Hot Pants tries to ambush Diego, only for Diego to sniff her out and leap to attack. Cream Starter covers Diego's mouth and nose and disables the small dinosaurs he sends. Hot Pants pins Diego and intends on incapacitating him with another flesh spray but Diego grabs her and merges her face with the flesh she's just sprayed. Seeing that the fight is going towards a dangerous mutual kill, Hot Pants sprays her mouth on the ground and calls for a truce. She explains that they use Lucy Steel's scent to trail the President and offers Diego everything that Valentine has while she takes the Saint's Corpse. Finally, she persuades Diego by mentioning that with the resources at her disposal, she can find Diego's father for him. Diego reluctantly accepts and they begin to follow Lucy's trail.
They arrive in a trainyard and see a train depart with Valentine in it and thus continue their pursuit. However, an alternate Hot Pants and Diego fall from the train. The two Diego's leave to pursue the train. Hot Pants manages to board the train but the alternates approach the duo. Exploiting his knowledge of Valentine's ability, Diego closes the door on their alternate selves, rejecting them out of this universe. They approach the President's car and formulate a plan. On his end, Diego ambitions to use the Corpse to control and get revenge on mankind. Diego directly confronts Valentine in a close-quarters fight and declares that he won't be making the same mistakes as before and instead cuts Valentine open. Diego uses his superior speed to prevail while Hot Pants detaches her hand and controls it to ensure Valentine can't put himself between objects. Despite being heavily wounded, Valentine manages to splash water on himself and disappears. Valentine comes back, hitting Hot Pants from a drawer and knocks her onto the ground, allowing two other Valentines to appear. However, Diego and Hot Pants enact their plan. Cream Starter disguises Diego as Valentine, confusing the Presidents and allowing Diego to instantly kill two of them. The remaining Valentine tries to jump through a window and Diego goes in for the kill.
Pushing the glass aside, Diego declares his victory and splits open Valentine. However, a strand of Valentine's hair gets under the wheels. Valentine is able to go to another world and drags Diego partway, letting him under the wheels. Diego is split in two and clings to life for a couple of moments before expiring for good.
|Steel Ball Run Race Statistics|
|Fifth||Outside point range||0|
Diego Brando is disqualified in the ninth stage, with a total of 342 points and two extra hours of time.
Diego appears in the Steel Ball Run themed stage, along with Johnny Joestar and Gyro Zeppeli, where Diego can be seen ahead racing ahead of the both of them (reminiscent of the climax of the Steel Ball Run's third stage).
Diego was one of the first characters confirmed to be playable in the game (alongside Jotaro Kujo, Joseph Joestar, Noriaki Kakyoin, Josuke Higashikata, and Rudol von Stroheim). He appears as the solo final boss for the game's first demo. As a Mounted Fighter, Diego is able to switch between riding atop Silver Bullet or moving on-foot. Also, as a Stand User, Diego is one of many characters with wildly varied abilities that grant him uniqueness in battle.
- Style Action - Scary Monsters: Diego switches between Human Mode and Dinosaur Mode, granting him different abilities and skills. While in Human Mode, Diego possesses the majority of his abilities, and acts like most characters. While in Dinosaur Mode, however, Diego takes his usual form of a Utahraptor, making all of his attacks unblockable (with the exception of "Dinosaurs!") and passively gaining super armor. This greatly enhances Diego's offensive capabilities, as his Normal and Powerful Attacks become exceptionally strong in addition to unblockable, while he himself will not flinch to most sources of damage. He receives a unique and powerful skill, "USHAAAAAAAA!". However, he is unable to guard, leaving him especially vulnerable to attacks like DHAs, and cannot lock-on, activate Dual Combos or DHAs, grab ledges, or interact with stage objects. Diego's stamina gauge will slowly drain, automatically reverting him when it empties, and he cannot manually revert from Dinosaur Mode himself. He is also only able to mount Silver Bullet while in Human Mode. Certain skills by opponents that would grab/throw Diego, activate a special animation between the attacker and target, or are simply powerful enough to send him flying will automatically force him out of Dinosaur Mode. While in Dinosaur Mode, the color of the player's screen converts to a deep, blurry blue, with the other combatants colored in pink unless they stop moving. This style of view is similar to N'Doul's visualized sonar ability seen in the TV anime, and is meant to emulate the motion-based sight that Diego would have as a dinosaur.
- Dinosaurs!: This is the only skill available in both Human Mode and Dinosaur Mode. Diego creates a small dinosaur that hunts down the nearest opponent or Diego's lock-on target and biting them 3 times before disappearing. As the dinosaur has the properties of a projectile, it can be deflected by any number of abilities that could do so to projectiles.
- MUDA MUDAAAAAA!: Diego quickly leaps forward and performs a somersault, growing a dinosaur tail and whipping it downward. Opponents hit by the tail are slammed into the ground. Diego is invincible until the start of the attack. If used in Mounted Mode, this instantly transitions Diego into Ground Mode.
- Gouge: Diego lunges forward into the air and unleashes a barrage of 8 claw strikes before landing. If used in Mounted Mode, this instantly transitions Diego into Ground Mode.
- Are you ready?!: This skill is only available in succession after "Gouge" is used. Diego lands and follows up the attack by performing a powerful 3-hit combo that sends opponent caught flying with a final, two-handed strike.
- Silver Bullet: Diego switches between Mounted Mode and Ground Mode. While in Mounted Mode, Silver Bullet has above-average mobility and jump height and can unleash devastating Normal and Powerful Attacks. However, his stamina gauge will slowly drain, automatically dismounting him when it empties. Diego's skills, with the exception of "Dinosaurs!", will transition him into Ground Mode. While in Ground Mode, Diego can interact with stage objects and grab ledges, as well as utilize his Style Action.
- EX - MUDA MUDAAAAAA!: Opponents hit by the attack will now bounce into the air, and Diego can freely cancel the skill before he lands with Normal Attacks. This allows him to immediately combo his targets while in mid-air.
- EX - Gouge: Diego is invincible upon activation, and the skill deals more damage.
- EX - Are you ready?!: The skill deals more damage.
- USHAAAAAAAA!: The only skill aside from "Dinosaurs!" available to Diego in Dinosaur Mode. Dinosaur Diego leaps forward, and if he connects with an opponent, he will stomp and pin them to the ground with his feet, before proceeding to rapidly chomp them while they're down. He completes the attack by performing a backflip, whipping his tail to send the target flying. This deals a high amount of damage and can even hit downed opponents, in addition to the other benefits of Dinosaur Mode.
- Dual Heat Attack - This is the "line" to the world I'm going to inherit!!: In Human Mode, Diego delivers a series of relentless claw-handed blows to his opponent's body. After partially transforming into Dinosaur Mode, Diego swears to kill his target and finishes his assault with an extremely powerful downward chop that cleaves them down the middle using his enhanced strength (a reenactment of his lethal assault on Valentine).
- I hope you're ready, because I'm coming to kill you!: Diego must connect "Are you ready?!" 3 times. (200 Points)
- Dinosaurs never let a scent slip past them!: Diego must connect "Dinosaurs!" 3 times. (200 Points)
- Dio is HUNGRY!: Diego must connect "USHAAAAAAAA!" 2 times. (300 Points)
- "You're all guilty!": Diego must achieve a total hit count of 200. (500 Points)
- That's the wretched thread that leads back to the world I once inhabited...: Diego must Retire an opponent with a Dual Heat Attack. (800 Points)
- SBR Chapter 64: Chocolate Disco (1)
- SBR Chapter 12: First Stage: Disqualified from Victory
- SBR Chapter 1: The Steel Ball Run: Press Conference
- SBR Chapter 94: The World of Stars and Stripes
- SBR Chapter 30: Scary Monsters, Part 3, p6
- SBR Chapter 30: Scary Monsters, Part 3, p15-16
- SBR Chapter 40: Silent Way, Part 1, p43
- SBR Chapter 73: D4C, Part 6, p34
- SBR Chapter 28: Scary Monsters, Part 1, p26
- SBR Chapter 38: Catch the Rainbow (On a Stormy Night...), Part 1, p31
- SBR Chapter 75: D4C, Part 8, p6
- SBR Chapter 70: D4C, Part 5, p37
- SBR Chapter 31: Scary Monsters (4)
- JOJOVELLER: STANDS - Comments by Hirohiko Araki
- SBR Chapter 30: Scary Monsters (3)
- SBR Chapter 58: Civil War, Part 3, p17-18