- "Yup, a natural prison in the middle of the desert... surrounded entirely by quicksand. I heard that once you get in, you never get out..."
- —Cait Sith
Corel Prison (コレルプリズン, Koreru Purizun?) is a location in Final Fantasy VII. Previously the town of Corel, destroyed by Shinra Electric Power Company, it has become a prison in Gold Saucer's shadow. The surviving townsfolk have since relocated to North Corel.
The prison is loosely guarded; the harsh desert surrounding it makes escape by land impossible. Corel Prison is largely self-run by Mr. Coates and a mysterious leader. Despite being largely in ruins, the faint outline of a town can still be seen. Convicts in the Corel Prison are used in the Chocobo Races.
- "It's so dusty, but calm and so poor... A real small town, this one."
- —Barret Wallace
Several years before the start of Final Fantasy VII, the prison was a peaceful coal mining town. Corel is the hometown of Barret Wallace and his best friend, Dyne, who both worked in the coal mines to the north. Dyne raised his daughter Marlene there with his wife, Eleanor, and Barret lived with his wife, Myrna.
The Shinra Executive Scarlet came to Corel to propose the building of a Mako Reactor to supply the town's electric needs, as the use of coal as an energy source had been replaced by Mako energy. Dyne opposed the plan, but Barret supported it along with most of the townspeople. The reactor's construction went forward despite Dyne's objections.
The town seemed to be moving towards greater prosperity, until one day disaster struck. Final Fantasy VII states the reactor exploded, but Episode 16 of Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- revises the history: AVALANCHE, an eco-terrorist organization occupied the incomplete reactor to fight Shinra. Rufus Shinra, the company's vice president and AVALANCHE's secret financier, is captured in the fighting and the reactor is destroyed.
According to the Final Fantasy VII Ultimania Omega, Corel was the location where Shinra originally discovered Mako energy. The townspeople were hired to build a reactor, but after Shinra discovered the Mako energy's infinite potential, they decided to destroy the town so the top secret information on Mako Reactors' structure would not be leaked to rival companies.
In Final Fantasy VII, Barret and Dyne go to the site to observe the events, but can do nothing to stop the reactor's destruction. On the way back to Corel, they realize, to their horror, that the town is on fire; following the attack on the reactor, Shinra blamed the town of Corel for the reactor's loss, sending the Shinra army to burn the town to the ground. Dyne and Barret are spotted by Shinra troops under Scarlet's command on the outskirts of town.
Scarlet appropriates one of the soldiers' guns, and joins them in shooting. Dyne is only saved from falling when Barret grabs his arm. While Barret holds Dyne precariously above the abyss, the soldiers' fire makes chips of stone explode off the cliff face, getting nearer and nearer to their linked arms. Barret loses his right forearm, and without a grip to hold him up, Dyne falls into the abyss below, seemingly to his death.
The survivors relocate to the mountains to the north, starting the tent city of North Corel. Barret is blamed for the disaster. His wife is dead. Dyne's wife is dead, and Barret believes Dyne to be dead, as well. Barret adopts Marlene as his own daughter and vows to dedicate his life to destroying Shinra. With nothing left for him, Barret decides to take Marlene and head to Midgar, where he creates his own chapter of AVALANCHE.
What remained of the town of Corel was converted into the Corel Prison. Dyne, who happened to survive the fall, took control of it. Between his fall and the events of Final Fantasy VII, Dyne got the same operation as Barret and his left arm is replaced with a gun-arm. However, the loss of his family and life drives Dyne insane.
In Episode 21 of Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII-, AVALANCHE attacks the former area of Corel, this time to find the Zirconiade Materia. The player Turk fights them along with an AVALANCHE defector named Shalua Rui. Though the player finds the Materia, the Turks' leader Veld is captured by Shinra, whom the Turks have split from. The player barely survives the Shinra attack.
During Final Fantasy VII, when Cloud Strife and his party, which includes Barret, pass through Gold Saucer, Dyne goes on a killing spree. Since the people were killed by a man with a gun-arm, Barret is thought to be the killer and Cloud and his team are dropped down into the prison.
The party tries to escape the prison by speaking with Mr. Coates, but he can do nothing, being only second-in-command to Dyne. Barret tells the others the tale of what happened in the town of Corel and decides to go speak to Dyne alone. Barret confronts Dyne, and tries to reason with him, but Dyne is too deranged to listen to reason, and even plots to kill his daughter so she can reunite with her mother.
Barret has to fight his old friend one-on-one, and wins. Barret pleads with Dyne to come with them, but Dyne insists Marlene might no longer recognize him, and besides, he says, "These hands are a little too stained to carry Marlene anymore". He entrusts Barret with a pendant that had belonged to Eleanor, willing it be given to Marlene, and lets himself fall off the cliff behind the grave markers.
The pendant serves Barret as a badge of authority; he prevails upon Mr. Coates to allow Cloud to win their freedom the only way possible: to win a Chocobo Race up in Gold Saucer. He ascends with the race manager, Ester, to the room where the jockeys wait for their respective races; Ester gives Cloud training and access to successively better chocobos to ensure his eventual victory. Dio sends a letter of congratulation to Cloud, which directs the party towards Gongaga, and as an apology of having sent them to the prison, bestows on them a buggy.
The player will face random encounters anywhere in the town whenever not within a building. The enemies here can steal items from the player's inventory, and thus need to be defeated quickly. There is a weird man who keeps following the player around the place, but there is no special significance to him.
Mr. Coates is found in the trailer south of town and will let the player leave on the elevator after all the storyline has been completed. The bar has an item shop. The house where Barret tells his version of the town's history is actually the same house that is seen in his flashback.
There is a well that can be entered in Corel Prison. The room entitled "Basement" has many interesting qualities, even if it only has an empty treasure chest in most game versions. The player can discover a skeleton resembling a Guard Hound part of the background.
In the game's original Japanese version four Test 0 enemies could be fought here. These are believed to be test enemies left in the game, since the battle takes place in a jungle background, the enemies do not attack, and yield an extremely high HP count, but also EXP, gil, and AP. The Test 0 enemies were removed from any subsequent releases.
What more, the well's prerendered background ripped straight from the game data includes an unused animation of a little man in the corner that is not present in the playable version of the location. The little man is referred to as "doll" and is a state that is initially off and there is no in-game script to make him appear.
After talking to Coates the player can leave the old town via the north gate, but unless they head north along the fence and through the fence gate east to find Dyne, they will enter an infinite desert where the same screen will repeat again and again.
In the endless desert, the player can encounter, at a 7/8 chance, the Land Worm, and at a 1/8 chance, the Cactuar, which drops 10,000 gil when defeated. On the tenth screen the player comes to, a chocobo carriage (of the same design as the one that carried Tifa to Don Corneo's mansion) will approach, and offer to give the player a ride. During the prison event, this returns the player to the Corel Prison.
The endless desert can be accessed after the party obtain the buggy, by driving it into the small buildings at the base of the Gold Saucer model on the world map in the middle of the Gold Saucer Area desert. As before, the party can fight Cactuars and Land Worms, and will be offered a ride after nine screen changes, but the prison carriage will take the party back to the world map. There is no way to access the main prison area and Junkyard after obtaining the buggy, but the Laser and Matra Magic enemy skills can be obtained elsewhere.
East of the prison fence, Bullmotors may attack the party with the Matra Magic enemy skill, and Death Claws with the enemy skill Laser. They may also be encountered in the junkyard, with an assortment of vehicles piled high on either side of the path to the prison graveyard, and Dyne.
- "Ramuh" Materia
|Phoenix Down||300 gil|
- 2-Faced x4
- Dyne (Boss)
|"Desert Wasteland" from Final Fantasy VII|
|Trouble with the audio sample?|
"Desert Wasteland" (砂の流刑地, Suna no Ryūkeichi?) plays as the background theme in Corel Prison.
- Corel Prison has a Shinra Electric Company sign that appears to have the word "fuck" sprayed over it in black paint, and again painted over to censor it, into "pyck". The uncensored version of the sign is still seen in the concept art to the area (see gallery).
- In the scene where Barret and Dyne look down from the mountain trail and see the village in flames, the village is located in a valley, with mountains looming close on all sides. Later in the game, Corel is actually located below Gold Saucer in a vast open desert area, and the mountains have moved to the far horizon. Also, Barret and Dyne are shown to be looking from North Corel to Old Corel, which is roughly one quarter the length of the continent.
- When the party takes the gondola from North Corel to reach Gold Saucer, the gondola seems to lead away from where it is supposedly going.
- It is never explained how Dyne got up to Gold Saucer to perform his massacre, and then down back into Corel, without anyone noticing, leading to the massacre being blamed on Cloud's party.
- Prisoners being able to win their freedom by winning a chocobo race is referenced in a Brain Blast quiz in Final Fantasy XIII-2.