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For a similar character, see Part 7 SpoilersDiego Brando From Another World
I will stand above that flock of pigeons and I will control them.

—Diego about humanity

Diego Brando (ディエゴ・ブランドー Diego Burandō), commonly referred to as Dio (ディオ), is the secondary antagonist featured in Steel Ball Run.

Diego Brando is a genius British jockey, hailed as one of the best contenders to win the Steel Ball Run race. However, he eventually shifts his attention to gathering the Saint's Corpse for President Funny Valentine instead, after becoming aware of the race's true purpose. Diego becomes a long-standing rival of Gyro and Johnny throughout the Steel Ball Run, and although he teams up with many different individuals throughout the part, in the end, Diego is only ever truly loyal to himself.

After obtaining the Left Eye of the Corpse while under the control of Dr. Ferdinand's Stand, Scary Monsters, Diego acquires his own independent version of the same Stand which remained after Dr. Ferdinand's own death.


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 helmetW 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, light, wide-legged breechesW, and tall, dark riding bootsW.

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[5]. His mother raised him with love and taught him to keep his dignity in even the direst of situations. 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 terrible incident to happen, along with an insatiable ambition[6].

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[7]. 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[8].

Using any opportunity, he is said to have married an old woman for her wealth[9], 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[10].

Diego possesses a strong misanthropy, describing humanity as a "flock of pigeons", and resents humans as a whole for the death of his mother[11]. 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[12].


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.[13] While initially benefiting from just enhanced senses and strength, the stand and all of its abilities eventually became his own.[14]

Horse-riding: 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.



Diego was born in England sometime in 1870 to parents that were very poor and not prepared to support their newborn child. Diego's father convinced his wife to quietly dispose of the baby with him by burying it alive near a riverbank, but due to the heavy rainfall at the time, the earth gave way and Diego was washed into the nearby river. Diego's mother was overcome with guilt after hearing her son's cries for help and jumped into the fast flowing currents to save him, whilst Diego's father, Dario, stood by. After escaping from the river much further down, Diego's mother, having been abandoned by her husband for her second thoughts, was forced to fend for herself and her son. She changed the pair's last name to "Brando" and was luckily able to secure a job as a hand on a nearby farm. While growing up on the farm, Diego discovered a rare talent for understanding and handling horses. Even though he was a very young child, large horses that were believed to be untameable would allow themselves to be led by him.

Young Diego

One day, around five years into their stay on the farm, the man that had originally arranged his mother's employment demanded sexual favors from her, but she refused. The man appeared to give up and left her alone, only for it to be revealed later that he had sabotaged the Brandos' ability to eat by smashing holes in the bottom of their food bowls as punishment. When it came to meal time, in the hall where the farm hands would receive their stew ration from a pot, the man happened to be the one serving and coyly refused to serve the pair without intact bowls. Diego suggested that they could use their shoes instead, but his mother refused to discard what little dignity they had left, telling Diego that eating out of shoes due to lack of proper dishes was unacceptable. Diego understood and said that he would go hungry instead, but his mother eventually relented and told the man to pour the boiling hot stew into her hands so that she could feed her son. Diego's mother stood there while Diego ate as quickly as he could, but she suffered severe burns to her hands regardless. Over the course of about a year, his mother's wounds became infected with tetanus, which resulted in her death soon after. Just before she died, she told a then 6-year-old Diego to use his talent with horses to rise from the pit of poverty they had been trapped in.

Diego took his mother's final words to heart, and as a result, he developed a strong sense of pride.[15] He grew up resenting everyone who abandoned him and his mother, swearing to get revenge against all those who turned a blind eye to their plight. Over the following years, Diego worked as a handler at horse races until he was old enough to become an actual jockey himself, after which his natural talents allowed him to quickly rise to the top of the British equestrian world and active the notoriety he had been longing for.

Diego had met Johnny Joestar indirectly during these horse races, prior to their formal meeting during the Steel Ball Run race, even as far back as in their early teens when he was just still just a handler. Diego was present during the day of Johnny's brother's accident, being the one to lead out the very horse that Nicholas rode and later died on. It is mentioned that after Johnny and Diego became jockeys, any race the two happened to be in together would always result in Johnny being second best, a point Johnny's father would often berate his son for. However, despite their history together, it is implied in their conversations during the Steel Ball Run that they had not spoken much face-to-face before, if at all.

About a year before he participated in the Steel Ball Run, Diego married a 83-year-old widow who ended up dying only six months into their marriage. Although it was obvious Diego had married her to eventually inherit her belongings, it was rumoured that he had been poisoning her to speed up the process.

Steel Ball Run

1st Stage: 15,000 Meters

Diego makes his first main appearance during the first stage of the Steel Ball Run race, being the only racer able to catch up to Gyro Zeppeli, who had previously pulled far out in front of the pack of other racers. Diego explains that his unique adeptness with controlling horses allows him to notice certain habits within them and use them to his advantage. Noticing that Gyro's horse sways to the left every eight breaths it takes, slowing down slightly as a result, he charges forward during each sway to gain ground without his own horse losing much stamina. Diego is soon able to slightly overtake Gyro using this technique, however; after the pair reach a bridge spanning a dry riverbed, Gyro makes his move. Using his Steel Balls, Gyro powers his horse's legs to propel him forward, with the resulting burst of speed causing the bridge's planks to break behind him, trapping Diego on the other side. As Gyro speeds out ahead once again, the other racers begin to pass Diego by taking the route through the riverbed under the bridge instead. Diego becomes extremely irritated as he struggles to get his horse under control while seeing the other racers overtake him.

Despite the massive setback he endured, Diego's natural talents allowed him to make an amazing comeback. He is able to claw back to 3rd place by the end of the first stage behind Sandman and Gyro himself, but secures 2nd place after Gyro receives a penalty.

Scary Monsters

At a later point in the race, Diego meets Gyro and Johnny again in a small village in the mountains. He appears to be friendly, but just as the two heroes think he won't harm them, he suddenly transforms into a UtahraptorW and attacks them.

It turns out that the meeting was a trap set up by the bounty hunter Dr. Ferdinand. Ferdinand's Stand power, Scary Monsters, could turn living beings into dinosaurs. He uses this ability to create dinosaur "bodyguards" in his hunt for the Corpse Parts. Even Diego was turned into one of his soldiers when he was attacked by him earlier.

Gyro manages to defeat Dr. Ferdinand by fusing with one of the Turbo eyes that Ferdinand possessed, receiving a scanning ability.

Despite Ferdinand being killed and all his dinosaur minions turning back into humans, Diego escaped with the second Turbo Eye, and retained the ability to turn into a Utahraptor at will, though he initially can't control it very well. This would later allow him to use his own variation of Scary Monsters.

Silent Way

Later in the series, after losing another round to Gyro, he joins Funny Valentine, the president of the United States, who is searching for the body parts of "The Saint", which are said to grant great powers. By doing so, Diego is paired with Sandman and was hoping to find a way of defeating Gyro.


During the 8th round, Diego turned against Valentine, but was quickly defeated by his Stand, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, and had the Corpse's Eye taken from him. He devises a plan with Hot Pants to attack Valentine as he is on the train with Lucy Steel.

Diego's life ends after an attempt to kill Valentine by dragging him under the train, resulting in his own demise in vain as he is torn in half.

High Voltage

Diego is soon succeeded by a Diego Brando from Another Universe, retrieved by Valentine, to track down Johnny.

The Diegos' heads join

The World of Stars and Stripes

Lucy Steel retrieves the original Diego Brando's dismembered head from the tracks where Diego was killed and presents it to Parallel Diego, following his victory at the end of the final stage. Their heads collide, killing Parallel Diego.

Race Stats

Steel Ball Run Race Statistics
Stage Placement Points
First 2nd 50
Second 1st 100
Third 3rd 40
Fourth 54th 0
Fifth Outside point range 0
Sixth 20th 2
Seventh 1st 100
Eighth 2nd 50

Diego Brando is disqualified in the ninth stage, with a total of 342 points and two extra hours of time.


Manga Appearances
Chapters in order of appearance

Video Games

Jump Super Stars (DS)

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 3rd stage).

Eyes of Heaven (PS3/PS4)

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)


He is paired with Narancia Ghirga in the Eyes of Heaven Tournament, defeating Robert E.O. Speedwagon and Ermes Costello in the first round, but eliminated by Mariah and Esidisi in the second.



  • Diego happens to die very close to the exact month and day of the year as his original timeline counterpart, with only a small three day difference. Diego himself dies on January 19th, whilst Dio Brando died on January 16th in the original timeline.
  • Like all Diegos, the true Stand of the original Diego is THE WORLD, though the original Diego had not unlocked his prior to his death; instead gaining a variation of Scary Monsters via the Saint's Corpse in its place.


  1. SBR Chapter 64: Chocolate Disco (1)
  2. SBR Chapter 12: First Stage: Disqualified from Victory
  3. SBR Chapter 1: The Steel Ball Run: Press Conference
  4. SBR Chapter 94: "The World of the Stars and Stripes"
  5. SBR Chapter 30: "Scary Monsters, Part 3", p6
  6. SBR Chapter 30: "Scary Monsters, Part 3", p15-16
  7. SBR Chapter 40: "Silent Way, Part 1", p43
  8. SBR Chapter 73: "D4C, Part 6", p34
  9. SBR Chapter 28: "Scary Monsters, Part 1", p26
  10. SBR Chapter 38: "Catch the Rainbow (On a Stormy Night...), Part 1", p31
  11. SBR Chapter 75: "D4C, Part 8", p6
  12. SBR Chapter 70: "D4C, Part 5", p37
  13. SBR Chapter 31: Scary Monsters (4)
  14. JOJOVELLER: STANDS - Comments by Hirohiko Araki
  15. SBR Chapter 30: Scary Monsters (3)

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