- "It's easy to be brave when things are going okay, but the test of a man is how he handles himself when he's in a tight spot."
- — Eduardo Santiago reacting to finding out that his teenage son is going to be a father.
Corporal Dominic "Dom" Santiago ES was a Gear soldier in the Coalition of Ordered Governments army. Dom was the younger brother of Carlos Santiago and son of Eduardo Santiago and Eva Santiago. Born in a Pre E-Day Sera, he grew up listening to his father's war stories and going to school with Carlos and best friend Marcus Fenix. Dom later joined the army as a commando and took part in Operation Leveler. On Emergence Day, Dom lost both his children, and his wife Maria went into a deep depression and she later disappeared. Years later Dom freed his friend Marcus from Jacinto Maximum Security Prison and recruited him into Delta Squad. His battlefield intensity is rivaled only by his loyalty to Marcus. Dom's friendly and outgoing nature lets him form relationships with factions throughout Sera, including the Stranded. He's always quick with a joke, but Dom's amiability masks an inner conflict that makes the war against the Locust far more personal. After being forced to euthanize his wife during Operation: Hollow Storm, Dom became more withdrawn from his squadmates, but continued to fight hard alongside them during the Stranded Insurgency and Lambent Pandemic. When the COG collapsed, Dom joined the rest of Delta aboard the CNV Sovereign, serving as a member of a rapid response force that defended former COG communities. Dom was killed during the Mission to Mercy, sacrificing his life to destroy a fuel tank that wiped out a large Locust and Lambent force that had trapped Delta-One.
Friends with Marcus Fenix
- "They're nice. But I don't think they know much about Marcus."
- — Dom, talking with his mom about Marcus' relationship with his parents
Dom was born to Eduardo and Eva Santiago in Tyrus during the 60th year of the Pendulum Wars, and lived in the city of Ephyra with them and his elder brother Carlos, and attended Olafson Intermediate School. When Dom was eight years old, Carlos met and became friends with Marcus Fenix, and Dom became friends with him as well. When Dom was eleven, Marcus came over one day to spend the day with the Santiago's, and he helped his mom set the table while Carlos, Marcus, and his dad worked on a car engine. Eva asked him what Marcus' parents were like, and Dom told her that they were nice, but seemed to treat him more distantly than she and Eduardo did. She told Dom that he was very observant about people, and that she was proud of him and Carlos for being there as friends for Marcus. When they finished setting the table, Dom went out to help work on the engine, but also kept looking over the fence into a tree in their neighbors’ backyard, where a girl named Maria had just moved in with her family and often climbed the tree. Dom was interested in her, and had been trying to gather the courage to speak with her. After working on the car engine with the others for a while, the Santiago’s and Marcus began eating, and Dom listened as his dad talked about being in the army with Carlos and Marcus, and Dom was alarmed and worried about them possibly joining the army in several years. The dinner was interrupted when the phone rang, and Eva told Marcus that his father had called. Dom learned that Marcus' mom had gone missing, and Marcus' father came to pick him up. Dom and Carlos were worried about him, and he didn't show up to school for a day. When he did show up, the three of them talked after school, and Marcus told them that he didn't think his mom was coming back, and that his father was not telling him everything about her disappearance. This led a rift between Marcus and his dad, and he began spending more time with Dom and his family, and Dom and Carlos considered Marcus to be another brother.
Marriage to Maria
- "It's the pay. It's good money. I've got a family to feed now."
- — Dom, explaining to Carlos about his reasoning to join the army
Five years later, Dom had begun dating Maria, but accidently got her pregnant. They decided to tell their parents and get married, even though they were young and still in school. Dom told his father, who was understanding of his decision and proud of him for accepting responsibility. Dom was glad for his father's support, and after he told his mom, the two of them went to the Flores' house, where Dom and Maria told her parents while Ed stood back to offer them support. Mrs. Flores began crying, but Mr. Flores told Dom that he had guts for coming and telling them, and that they better get married. As they left, Dom swore to himself that this was the last stupid thing he would ever do, and would finish his schooling and get himself a good job to support his family. He also decided that Carlos, who had recently joined the army, would be his best man, and decided to learn from his example on how to do things. Several months later, Dom and Maria got married, and Marcus had joined the army as well. Dom and Maria talked about their options, and he decided to drop out of school and join the army as well in order to support Maria and the baby. After the wedding ceremony, Dom told Carlos about his decision, which worried Carlos, but he acknowledged that it had only been a matter of time before Dom did join up. At the beginning of Frost, Maria gave birth to a boy, and they named him Benedicto Santiago. By Thaw, Dom dropped out of school and joined the army.
Joining the Army
- "Why was that so hard? Killing it, I mean."
- — Dom, asking fellow commando Georg Timiou why it was so difficult to kill a chicken when compared to a human being
A year later, Dom had fought in several battles, becoming an experienced Gear, and Maria became pregnant again. Dom volunteered for commando training, and was assigned to the 26th Royal Tyran Infantry Special Tactics Group, and he realized how much he loved being a Gear and a family man. He was put into a commando training group with his friend Pvt. Georg Timiou, and they and several other commando trainees were taught survival techniques by Sgt. Bernadette Mataki at the Pomeroy Barracks. During one class, she showed them how to snap the neck a chicken and cook it. Dom and the others were disturbed by this, feeling uneasy about having to kill an animal that was not doing them any harm. She told them that they could do this, and that the chicken didn't feel any pain when they snapped its neck. After watching Bernie help Timiou kill his chicken, Dom got the courage to break his chicken's neck. As he got ready to prepare it, he kept checking to make sure it was really dead, but Bernie told him get to work on plucking and gutting it, since it would be the only lunch he would be receiving that day. He gutted and cooked it, and then sat with Timiou around a campfire and talked with him about why killing it had been so hard. Timiou reasoned that it wasn't an enemy that was trying to kill them, and it was difficult to kill anything innocent, even if it was only an animal. Dom then began reading a joint letter from Marcus and Carlos, who were stationed in Sarfuth with C Company, and Marcus having been recently promoted to Corporal. Carlos complained about how none of the brass listened to Gears on the ground, and were preventing the war from ending quicker, and Dom thought that he would be happier as a commando, since the rules were looser. Dom also noticed that Marcus had begun developing a sense of humor in his writing, and he began to write a letter back to them that would detail what he had learned so far in commando training.
- "Yeah, I passed. I don't know how I kept my mouth shut this long."
- — Dom, after showing Maria his commando knife
Not long after, Dom finished his commando training and received fifteen days leave, and he caught the first train he could back to Jacinto. He arrived at the apartment in the middle of the night, and was careful not to make too much noise and wake Maria or Benedicto up. As he moved down the hall, Maria came out of their room and held a finger up to her lips, and she whispered to him that she did not think that Benedicto would ever go to sleep, and asked him why he had not called to say he was coming. Dom explained he had just jumped on the first train he could, and told her about his leave, and showed her his commando knife. Maria told him how proud she was of him, and asked if this meant he would not be serving with Carlos and Marcus anymore. He told her he still would be, but that he now had special skills the unit could call on if they needed them. They headed to the bedroom, and Dom asked her if she was getting any sleep, and that he thought her mom was helping her take care of Benedicto. She told him that she was happier doing it herself, and Dom knew that Maria was too independent to accept help, but decided to try and convince her that someone taking care of a baby did need help. Over the next several days, Dom took care of fixing stuff around the apartment and shopping for the next baby, and with four days left in his leave, they went over to his parents' house to spend the day with them. He and Maria talked about Marcus and his dad, and Maria felt that it was sad that they weren't closer, since they were the only family they each had. Dom told her that Marcus would be fine, and that he had them and Carlos as family. Dom later dozed off while holding Benedicto, but his father woke him up later and told him that the adjutant had called for him. Dom realized that his leave was getting cut short, and he answered the phone, and the adjutant told him that all commando-qualified personnel were being called back to base. Dom hung up, and wondered what kind of mission he was being sent on. He said goodbye to his family, and before he headed home to start packing, Eduardo stopped him and said he had spoken to Carlos, and that the whole of the 26th RTI seemed to be deploying. Dom got the feeling that something that would change the war was being planned, but he just knew at that moment that he had to pack, which he hated.
- "We take down those towers, cripple their communications, then raid the lab. Command wants the Hammer of Dawn, Command gets the Hammer of Dawn!"
- — Dom, briefing his fellow Gears on the raid
Dom took part in Operation Leveler, fighting with the commandos and Hoffman and helping to take over Aspho Point. During the extraction, the Marlins Dom and the others were on came under attack by two Khimeras and Dom helped shoot down one and worked to get as many survivors from the sinking Marlin into the other one as possible until Bai Tak shoved Dom in saying Dom had kids to think about. This action ultimately cost Bai Tak his life. The second Khimera attacked the Marlin, but Marcus, having hijacked an Asp, destroyed it with a missile from shore, saving Dom and the others. With the second Marlin sinking and their coxswain dead, Dom piloted the boat into the cargo bay of a Sea Raven, an idea that had only been mentioned theoretically before. Afterwards, Dom reunited with Marcus who survived, but learned that Carlos had been killed in the battle. For his actions, Dom was awarded the Embry Star and encouraged the budding relationship between Marcus and Anya Stroud. After Aspho Fields, he stayed home to be with Maria and his kids. They stayed in their Lower Jacinto apartment for a couple more years until they got enough money to rent a house back in Ephrya City.
End of the Pendulum Wars
Skirmish in Ghato City
- "When we raided Aspho Point, I thought it'd all be over in months. That was two goddamn years ago. Sometimes I think Carlos died for nothing..."
- — Dom to Marcus, shortly after the skirmish in Ghato City
Two years after Operation Leveler, Dom had become part of C Company and was part of a squad that consisted of Marcus, Pvt.Padrick Salton, and Pvt.Tai Kaliso. He and the rest of C Company were sent to the Independent Republic of Furlin, and dispatched by their commander to Ghato City. They encountered a small Indie force in the ruined city, and became pinned down by them in a collapsed building. Marcus ordered Pad to get on a roof and snipe the Indie heavy weapons users, while Dom, Marcus, and Tai provided covering fire. As Pad ran for a roof and they fired, Dom asked Marcus to remind him how much ground the COG had gained that week, and Marcus guessed that it was zero again, which is what Dom had thought. Pad sniped the Indie heavy machine gunner, and Dom and Tai followed Marcus as he led a charge on the Indie position, with Pad sniping two more Indies, leaving only three left. They overwhelmed the Indies with fire and cut them down, and Marcus reported to control that Ghato was secured and they would meet up with the rest of the unit in Tenla. As they walked along the side of the road out of Ghato City, Dom remarked that he had thought that the war would have been over in months after the raid on Aspho Point, and that he sometimes thought Carlos had died for nothing. Marcus told him not to think that way, and that his father said that the data they had retrieved had cut years off of his work. Dom asked him if Adam had ever discussed it with him, and Marcus told him that for his dad, top secret meant top secret.
Ceasefire and Ambush
- "Goddamn it- it's over! Nobody should be dying now!"
- — Dom, as Indie forces not beliving the news of the ceasefire attacked C Company and killed several Gears
Two weeks later, C Company was travelling along a cliff road that overlooked a small Furlin town. Dom was glad to see someplace that hadn't been bombed, but Marcus told him not to tempt fate. The convoy then stopped, and Dom and the rest of the squad were called over by some other Gears. They listened with the rest of C Company as it was announced by Chairman Tomas Dalyell that the war was ending with the UIR's surrender after the deployment of the Hammer of Dawn orbital weapons platforms, which had been designed by Adam. Dom and the other Gears began celebrating, but were stopped and shocked when they were shelled by an Indie unit in the mountains. Several vehicles were hit and some shots hit the town below, and Dom remarked that this was insane and that someone needed to tell the Indies they had surrendered. Marcus reminded him that they technically hadn't yet, and they joined in with the rest of C Company in opening fire on the Indies while their commander tried to get the Indies to surrender. Several mortar shells hit near Dom and the others, and he saw Novak go down. Dom began cursing in frustration, saying that no one should be dying now since the war was over. A few moments later, the Indies did stop firing, having received word from their superiors that the surrender was real and not a COG trick. Dom was relieved, but disappointed looked down at the town below them, which had been heavily damaged during the shelling. Three hours later, Marcus showed Dom the Indies coming down from the mountains and surrendering, and told him that it hadn't all been in vain. The next day, C Company had moved into the town, and Dom waited silently with Marcus and the rest of the squad as noon approached, at which time the surrender would go into full effect and end the Pendulum Wars.
After the end of the Pendulum Wars, Dom and Maria rented their first house. One day, Maria sent the kids to her mother's so they can have a day to themselves (this day was in Dom's dream in his flashback dream after being swallowed from the Riftworm). Unfortunately, this day was Emergence Day. On that day, Maria's parents were killed along with Benedicto and Sylvia. Both Dom and Maria where able to evacuate back to their house in Jacinto while the Locust attacked the city. However, Maria was pushed over the edge of major depression with the loss of her children, her new life destroyed, and Dom's constant presence on the front line.
One year after E-Day, Dom and Maria continued to live their lives; Dom spent much of his time fighting the Locust, while Maria was prescribed with anti-depressants and stayed at home. She sobbed about her children and would still clean their rooms and go out for walks believing the kids are still alive. Even during the Hammer Strike she wanted to go out. She blocked out the truth about her children, and Dom became upset with her denial. One day, he didn't find her at the house: Adam Fenix had her escorted to the Fenix Estate for her own safety a couple of days before the planned Hammer Strike on Sera.
Four years after E-Day, after the years of grief and depression, Maria left Jacinto and vanished, devastating Dom. This, along with the loss of his parents and children on E-Day, makes the war with Locust deeply personal.
About ten years after E-Day, Dom testified in Marcus's favor during his trial, when Marcus was charged for Dereliction of Duty in the face of danger, and was sentenced to death. Dom saved his friend from execution by testifying that day, but Marcus still went to the Jacinto Maximum Security Prison (the Slab). As a result of his testimony, Dom lost the trust of many people, and cost him the chance of being promoted by his superiors because they believed he had more loyalty to Marcus than to the COG, even though many respected him for not abandoning his friend.
After Col.Hoffman pardoned all the inmates from the Slab except for Marcus Fenix, Dom rescued him when the Locust took over Jacinto Maximum Security Prison, and he helps him escape the jail. Afterwards, Marcus and Dom joined Delta Squad. They are ordered to retrieve the Sonic Resonator to deploy in the Locust tunnels. They fight through several parts of Ephyra, rescuing the remnants of Alpha Squad (who originally possessed the Resonator) and narrowly survive a brutal Berserker ambush. Marcus is promoted to sergeant when Lieutenant Kim dies at RAAM's hand, and Dom then offers his assistance in leading the team to Franklin's Outpost.
Upon arriving at the Stranded outpost, Dom calls in a favor he is owed in order to borrow a Junker called Laverne from Franklin. The Laverne would be used to safely transport Delta Squad to the Lethia Imulsion Facility, where they would deploy the Resonator. Marcus and Dom must leave Cole and Baird behind as added defense for the local Stranded while Dom and Marcus secure the Junker from Chap's Gas Station. They form Delta One, and fight through several waves of attacking Locust, all the while sustaining attacks from the vicious Kryll. They eventually reach the station, and begin to fuel the Junker. When Locust forces attack the Gas Station, they narrowly escape back to outpost to pick up Delta Two. After one last massive firefight at the HQ, the combined team finally heads for Lethia Imulsion Facility.
The entrance to the factory is blocked, and the team must once again split into their two teams. Upon discovering an entrance, Marcus and Dom travel through the Lambent Wretch infested facility, and head into the underground caverns. After facing many Locust, including a Corpser and several elite Locust known as Theron Guards, they successfully deploy the Resonator, and escape The Hollow in the nick of time. With the Resonator activated, their mission was complete.
However, soon after the team makes it outside, they learn that the Resonator has failed. Upon discovering a geobot with massive tunnel data, however, they find that the focal point of the data is Marcus's old house. Dom and the rest of Delta Squad are picked up by King Ravens and transported to East Barricade Academy, the site of Marcus's old home. The team splits up once more, as Cole and Baird stay behind at the Contemporary Fighting Center in order to tend to wounded Gears, so Marcus and Dom go on ahead. After fighting through the defensive posts of many Locust that infested the campus, Dom and Marcus finally reach the house. Delta Two is able to link up, but quickly departs to repair an APC in the back of the house. Once inside, they gather all the information needed and barely escape a massive Brumak on board the APC.
Delta Squad hurries to Timgad Station where the train which carries the Lightmass Bomb will soon pass through. Dom and Marcus board the train, but Baird and Cole reach the train too late. Separated, Delta Two radios that they will wait for King Ravens to pick them up. Delta One receives intel saying that the bomb is at the front of the train and that they must start heading there now. As the lone pair heads to the front of the train in order to activate the bomb, they are confronted with yet another Berserker, Locust Reavers, and Lambent Wretches. At the front of the train, they encounter General RAAM guarding the Lightmass Bomb. Dom lays down suppressing fire, while a King Raven provides air support and Marcus takes pot shots at the general. Marcus loads the targeting data and deploys the Lightmass Bomb into the tunnels, narrowly escaping as the bomb detonates. The bomb annihilates multitudes of Locust, scoring a much-needed victory for the humans. Dom jumps onto the King Raven and is just barely able to pull Marcus on board, with the help of Colonel Hoffman.
Evacuation of North Gate
Dom, along with Delta-One, took part in the Evacuation of North Gate. Dom met Bernadette Mataki during the Ambush at Sovereigns Boulevard. She joined Delta and took part in the evac of North Gate Agricultural Depot, getting all the supplies out of the deport. She later told him about the death of Carlos and he showed her the pictures of his children.
Mission to the Pirnah Badlands
Searching For Missing Gears
- "Guess what me and Gil found today?"
- — Dom to Marcus and Jace, after he and Gil found Michael Barrick
A month after the Evacuation of North Gate, Bernie, Baird, and Cole had all been transferred out of Delta, and rookie Gears Pvt. Jace Stratton and Pvt. Gil Gonzalez were assigned to the squad. Delta was then sent on a mission to the Pirnah Badlands to try and locate missing squads and recover supplies. Three weeks into the mission, they hadn't found a single survivor, but had found a lot of COG tags and supplies. Dom split off with Gil to explore one section of a ruined town while Marcus and Jace searched another section. They found Cpl. Michael Barrick from Echo-Six inside a building, and also encountered Locust resistance. They killed the Locust, shooting the last one out a window, and they spotted Marcus and Jace approaching the building. Dom called out to them to see what they had found, and the three Gears climbed down the building to rejoin the others. Barrick reported that the rest of his squad had been killed, much to their disappointment, and Marcus told Dom to sweep the area and grab whatever he could find, and that he would get the APC ready to go in five minutes. Before he began looking, Dom, introduced Barrick to Jace and Gil. Dom found some supplies, and loaded them onto the APC when Marcus returned, and the five Gears began driving back to Jacinto. They stopped for the night in the ruins of a building, and Dom and Barrick checked the west perimeter of the area while the others checked the others to make sure they were secure. After they finished scouting, the Gears built a fire and settled in for the night, and Dom told stories of the Lethia Imulsion Facility to Jace, Barrick, and Gil. Jace said it sounded like it was crazy, and Barrick said that he never wanted to go underground with them. Dom said he didn't have to worry about that, and that he didn't want to go back underground anytime soon himself. They then went to sleep to get ready to finish the drive back to Jacinto the next day.
- "Their cover's blown, shit!"
- — Dom, after a Boomer destroyed Jace, Barrick, and Gil's cover
As they began driving again the next morning, they picked up a signal coming from a beacon, and headed to investigate. They found an abandoned camp and began searching around, until Jace found a transmitter in a tent. Marcus wondered where it had come from and why it had full power, and realized that it must be a Locust ambush and yelled for the others to take cover. Snipers opened up on them, and Gil was shot in the shoulder by the Locust fire. Jace began treating his wound while Dom, Marcus, and Barrick returned fire to the Locust. Marcus ordered him to focus on the left while Barrick took the right, and to try and stop anything from getting behind them or they were fucked. Another Emergence Hole opened up on their flank, and Dom told him he thought they might already be screwed. However, they cut down many of the Drones, and Jace managed to eliminate the sniper. Dom used his chainsaw to cut though another Drone, but three Boomers then arrived and blew away the cover that Jace, Barrick, and Gil had been using. Dom regrouped with Marcus, and he provided covering fire for him as he charged the Boomers. Marcus used a grenade to wound two of the Boomers, and Barrick took out the third. Dom and Marcus killed the two wounded ones, finishing the battle, but when they returned to Jace and Gil, they discovered Gil had died from his wounds. They drove back to Jacinto with Gil's body, and before doing anything else, they joined dozens of other Gears in holding a funeral for Gil and other fallen soldiers.
Week of Rest
- "Good to be back, Anya, thanks."
- — Dom, after Anya told him she was glad he was back
Delta was given a week off to recover from the mission, and two days after getting back, Dom went to visit Anya. He found her talking with Dr.Polanski, thanking him for upgrading the JACK bots with a screen to allow easier communication, and that she was sure the Gears would appreciate it. Dom said they would, especially since it meant they would be able to see Anya more often. She laughed and welcomed him back, and after thanking Polanski again, the two of them began walking around the base. Dom asked her how things were going in the city, and she told him they were still low on ammo, fuel, and soldiers, but that they were still holding the city. Dom agreed that that was good, and asked if she had seen Marcus yet since they had gotten back. She told him that she hadn't, but that she would try to find him later.
Mission to Montevado
Flight over the Dorado Hills
- "Jace, man, you serious? You never landed one of these before?"
- — Dom, after Jace claimed he knew how to fly a Raven but not land one
Five days later, Dom met with Jace near the helipad and asked how his week off was. Jace told him that he had visited a few friends and asked how his had been. Dom claimed he was ready to get back out in the field, and hated having too much time to think. They joined Hoffman and Anya, who had just finished briefing Marcus on their mission: they were fly to Montevado and investigate strange seismic activity in the region. Before getting on the Raven, Anya stopped Dom and told him that she was still searching for Maria. He thanked her, and got on the Raven with Marcus and Jace, where they discovered Barrick had been reassigned to their squad. As they flew over the Dorado Hills towards Montevado, Dom asked Marcus if there were going to be any other squads near them. He told Dom that Sigma-One would be in the nearby valley, and Dom hoped they could see Cole again, but not Baird. A few moments later their Raven was hit by a Nemacyst fired by a Seeder. Another shot hit the Raven, killing the pilot, and more Seeders opened fire on the helicopter. Dom asked if they had any parachutes, but Marcus told him that they had caught on fire. Jace told them he could fly the Raven, but that he had never landed one before. Dom was not filled with confidence by Jace's skills, and pointed out an incoming nemacyst to him. Jace managed to dodge it, causing him to compliment Jace on the maneuver, but Barrick pointed out that they were not safe yet. Another shot took out the landing gear, and Jace was forced to resort to crash landing. Dom pointed out there was a Emergence Hole filled with Locust in the way, but Jace simply plowed through it, killing all the Locust. They were uninjured by the crash, including their JACK unit STAN. Dom wondered how far away they were from Montevado, and they were unable to contact the CIC due to the Seeders. Barrick knew which direction the city lay in and they began walking through the hills towards their objective.
Battle for Fucked
- "What, they thought here was safe?"
- — Dom, after learning that Lily's parents had left her at Fucked because Montevado was too dangerous
After a few days of walking, they encountered a Stranded named Jonboy, who informed them that they were still pretty far from Montevado and would need a vehicle to reach it anytime soon. He took them back to his community, a small ramshackle town named Fucked. Dom and the others learned that the town suffered occasional attacks by a squad of Drones and that they would be given a Junker if they killed them. They easily slaughtered the Drones as they came out of an Emergence Hole and were given the Junker by the grateful citizens. They were shocked when they spotted a child, Lily, among the citizens. Jonboy told them that her parents had gone to Montevado to get help for the town, but never came back. Dom asked if they had thought she would be safe alone in the town, but Jonboy told him that there was not anyplace that was safe. Jace asked Marcus if they could take Lily with them and search for her mother, and Jonboy agreed, pointing out that the town was called "Fucked" for a reason. After gathering their supplies, Dom and the others got in the Junker with Lily and set out for Montevado.
Rescued by Sigma
- "What's the plan, Marcus? That thing'll be on us in seconds!"
- — Dom to Marcus, as a Brumak closes in on them
After driving for a while, they were ambushed by a group of Locust who shot out one of their wheels. Dom and the others got out and defended the vehicle from the assault, but he spotted a Brumak taking position on a nearby hill. He yelled out to inform the others. They scattered to cover in the rocks, and Barrick wondered how they were going to kill a Brumak without heavy firepower. Dom told him they would not be able to, and asked Marcus what their plan was. Marcus suggested they fan out and try to lead it away before coming back to the vehicle. As they scattered, the Brumak closed in on Marcus, but he was saved when Cole arrived and distracted the monster with a Boomshot. Baird picked them up in Centaur II-W0801, and after Marcus attached their Junker to the Centaur they drove out of the valley. The Brumak attempted to chase them but one of its shots caused an avalanche that buried it under several tons of rubble. They stopped in a field where they made sure that Lily was okay. After catching up with them, they sent Lily with them back to Jacinto while they secured two Rat Bike's to use. Dom rode in the passenger car of COG Bike 13 while Marcus drove it, and they reached Montevado later that night.
Sinking of Montevado
- "Talk about a ghost town..."
- — Dom, after Delta-One arrived in Montevado
Dom remarked that the city was a ghost town, and Barrick wondered what they supposed to be searching for, wondering if they were just supposed to wait for an earthquake. Dom agreed, noting they had not even been given any monitoring equipment for when something did happen. Dom and Jace went to explore the northern part of the city while Marcus and Barrick went south. As they walked through the streets, Jace asked if Dom thought anyone was still there. Dom told him that a city this size usually had a few Stranded in it, but told him not to get his hopes up to find Lily's parents. Jace joked that he still remembered what hope was, but Dom told him not to lose it, since they were often the only thing that kept you going. A few minutes later they found a Stranded man who told them that the city was a death trap. He said that there were two other people with him and another group a few blocks away, but that they had to get out of the city quickly. Dom asked where everyone else was, but the man told him that they were all dead, and that being in the city at night was a very bad idea. They were then attacked by a huge pack of Wretches, and the man ran off but was killed by them. Jace was angered by their failure to protect him, but Dom told him to forget about and that he had tried to warn him. As he fired, Dom contacted Marcus told learned that he and Barrick were also being attacked by Wretches. The two groups began fighting towards each other to regroup, but the Wretches suddenly ran away when the ground began shaking. Dom warned Jace to hold onto something as the ground collapsed beneath them. Dom was uninjured by the sinking, but his Lancer was destroyed. He began searching for Jace and found him pinned under a pile of rubble and managed to dig him out of it. After giving Jace a minute to catch his breath, Dom told him that they were stuck underground and needed to find a way out quickly. Jace asked if they could use their Lancers to cut their way out, but Dom told him that his had been crushed, and found Jace's in a similar condition. Jace wondered where the Wretches had gone, but Dom told him they had bigger problem. He pointed out a Drone that had its heart ripped out, telling Jace that there must be Heart Leeches around. He pulled out his Snub Pistol and got his knife ready to draw. As they worked their way through the rubble, Dom told Jace that they had to either wait for Marcus and Barrick to find them, or escape and search for them in case they were in worse trouble. They heard a noise nearby, and Dom stabbed a Heart Leech when it tried to jump on him. They spotted more on the walls and opened fire, hitting an Imulsion tank that exploded and lit up the room, showing dozens of the creatures preparing to attack. As they held them off, Marcus and Barrick cut through a nearby wall and joined them. They cut down all of the Heart Leeches, but their victory was short lived when a Corpser came through a nearby wall.
Escape from Montevado
The Corpser retreated back into its hole, and Drones riding Bloodmounts began pouring out to attack them. They cut down a few of the Locust, but Dom told Marcus he was low on ammo. The others were as well, and Marcus ordered Dom and Jace to climb up the side of the sinkhole and escape while he and Barrick held off the Locust. Dom protested, but Marcus told him to do it now. As they climbed, Jace was hesitant to leave, but Dom told him that Marcus knew what he was doing. They encountered a group of Stranded near the top of the sinkhole. Dom told them that they had a King Raven coming to pick them up and that they could come with them. The Stranded thanked him and after Jace inquired about Lily's parents, they told them that her father Blake was dead, and that her mom Emma had lost a hand to a Wretch. Dom spotted Marcus climbing the sinkhole to meet them, and later learned that Barrick had sacrificed himself so Marcus could escape. However, the clifside shook and part of it collapsed, sending Jace falling back into the sinkhole. Dom nearly went after him, but two Stranded grabbed him and held him back. They got back into contact with Anya, and were informed that two Raven's was almost there. Dom refused to leave without trying to rescue Jace, and Marcus told him he had no intention of doing so. They used a ladder from one of the King Ravens to lower down and rescue him. They then flew back to Jacinto with the rescued Stranded. Shortly after returning, Dom and Jace went out to a bar, and Dom told Jace about his search for Maria. Jace was impressed with his dedication, but Dom simply said that family was the only thing that really mattered. Jace wished him the best in his search and told him that he was sure he would find her one-day, and Dom told Jace that he knew he would as well.
Skirmishes with the Locust
- "We got people in there, Gears! Let's go!"
- — Dom, ordering a group of Gears to save civilians from the Locust
A month after the mission to Montevado, Dom led a group of Gears that included Jace on a mission to rescue a group of civilians near Jacinto. He reflected on everything he had lost during the Locust War and how he hoped to stop anyone else from suffering the same heartbreak. He ordered his men to stop a group of Drones from entering the building where the civilians were hiding, but the Drones managed to break in and began slaughtering the civilians. Dom ordered Jace to keep them occupied while he entered the building. He was too late to save most of the civilians, but he snuck up behind the Locust, planting a Bolo Grenade on one while shooting a second Drone in the head. Just as the last Drone was about to break into a room where a family was hiding, Dom used his Chainsaw Bayonet to cut it open from behind. He was glad to have saved the family, but hoped that one day he would learn what it was like to get back everything that had been taken from him.
- "Well how about you get back here and clear it for real this time?!"
- — Dom to Gus, after Delta was attacked in an area Foxtrot had declared safe
One month later, Dom, Marcus, and Jace teamed up with Foxtrot to clear out an abandoned urban area of Locust. When they entered an area that Foxtrot had reported as clear, they came under attack by Drones and snipers. They took cover in a ruined building, and as they returned fire Dom contacted Gus and demanded to know why they had said the area was clear when it was not. Gus was surprised that there were still Locust there since they had closed an E-Hole, and Dom angrily told him to get back there and help them clear it for good. Gus told him they were two blocks away, but Dom commented to Marcus that they would not be able to wait that long, but Marcus told him they could not try to escape because of the snipers. They managed to hold off the Locust long enough for Sgt.Alex Brand to tack out the snipers nest, and they easily finished off the rest of the Locust. Dom told Gus that Alex was a hardcore dude, but Gus said he should probably introduce them to Alex, who took off her helmet and revealed to Delta that she was a woman.
Liberation of Jilane
Preparing for Deployment
- "You're just jealous, you like being the squad's only princess..."
- — Dom, mocking Baird after he doubted Alex's scouting abilities
After returning to base, Delta was summoned to a briefing by Hoffman and Anya, along with Cole, Baird, and Alex. On the walk there, Dom expressed his embarrassment to Jace about thinking that Alex had been a guy. Jace noted that she was good looking, and asked Dom what he thought of her. Dom said that he already had a girl, but agreed that Alex was hot. As they entered the briefing room, Dom asked Marcus if he knew what was going on, and he replied that he did not know, but that since they were getting back up it was probably not a good situation. Anya told them that they had received a distress signal from Jilane, the site of a massacre by the Locust when the city fell four months ago. There had been a Birthing Creche in the city, so they were to investigate and rescue any survivors there. Dom went with the others to prepare for the mission, and shared a few beers with Baird and Cole, telling them it was good to have them back and asking how Sigma was. Baird told them that they were idiots almost always getting killed, so it was a lot like Delta. Jace said that having a scout like Alex would stop that, but Baird doubted that a female scout would be very good. Dom said that Baird just wanted to be the only princess in the squad, while Cole claimed that he was good with the ladies. Dom told him to be careful with Alex, and watched in amusement as she snuck up behind Cole as he described how he would woo her. He laughed with the others when Alex yelled incoming behind Cole, causing him to jump and drop his beer, which she caught. They turned their attention to packing their Armadillo for the trip, and Baird expressed his opinion that they were not going to find any survivors. Dom told him they had to hold onto hope that people could survive, and Cole wondered if maybe Maria could be there. Alex told them that Maria would be better off in the hands of the Locust than in Jilane, describing her nightmarish experiences as part of the birthing farms in the city.
Arrival in Jilane
- "I apologize about Baird, he's got a short fuse."
- — Dom, apologizing to Matron about Baird starting a firefight
They drove to Jilane and arrived there at night, heading to the birthing creche due to the distress signal emanating from there. Jace told Dom that it was a good sign about how people were survivors, and he thanked Jace for the support. Marcus ordered Dom to lead Cole and Jace in a patrol around the building's perimeter, but Dom told him that he had to go inside and search for any sign of Maria. Marcus told him to lead his team in a few minutes after he, Baird, and Alex went in. As they roamed the abandoned halls, Cole commented that he missed seeing kids playing in the streets from before E-Day, and that they had to grow up too fast now. Dom agreed and stated that being a father had been the most important thing to him, but that it had all been taken away. As they scouted the area, Dom told the others to keep looking for survivors, and to listen for sounds that might indicate people hiding somewhere. Cole called him over to a room where there were several dead babies inside test tubes. They were freaked out by the sight, but when they heard gunfire coming from the other side of the facility Dom ordered them to follow him. They found the others being forced to put down their weapons by several heavily armed women, and Dom heard one ordered them to put their hands up and move slowly. Dom commented that he was about to tell her group the same thing, causing the women to turn around and find Dom, Cole, and Jace pointing guns at them. The women set down their weapons, and their leader, Matron, explained how her group had survived following the Jilane Massacre. After contacting control and informing them of the situation, Dom was ordered by Marcus to stay with the survivors along with Jace and Alex to ensure everything stayed peaceful while he and the others found the beacon, which the women had not set off. As Jace started talking with the children the women had been protecting, Dom apologized to Matron about Baird's behavior, which had triggered the initial hostilities.
Defending the Survivors
- "We've gotta get him! His heartbeat's still pinging -- he's alive!"
- — Dom, protesting Baird's orders to stand down after Marcus was sealed out of the bunker
Dom later asked Matron if she and her people would return with them to Jacinto. Matron questioned if they had a choice, and Dom said he hoped that they did. Matron noted that his optimism was odd, and that she wished more Gears were like him. Dom responded that his mother had raised him right, and Matron agreed. Alex then reported that she had detected seismic activity and that they were going to come under attack. Dom yelled for Jace to gear up, but noticed that he was no longer with them. Jace and Alex escorted the women and children to the emergency bunker that they used as a headquarters, but was contacted by Marcus, who told Dom that he could not pick up his locator signal. Dom wondered why, and Annalisa told them that the Locust had jammers in the area. Alex went with Annalisa to find the others and bring them back, and Dom asked Matron how long before she would lock the bunker down. She told him that it would be soon, and he worried about where Jace was. Camille said she saw him go with Thecelia towards the procreation room, and volunteered to lead Dom there to find them. They found them under assault by Drones and Tickers, but Camille was shot during the firefight. Dom defended her as the Drones advanced, but was forced back by them. He was saved by Jace and Thecilia, and quickly contacted Marcus, whose team had been rescued by Alex and was on the way to the bunker. Camille died from her wounds, but they carried her body back to the bunker. They arrived at the same time as Marcus' group, and everyone made it inside but Marcus, who was knocked out by a Mauler while trying to rescue a kid he had spotted. Dom started to go back outside to rescue him, but Matron ordered the door closed. Dom and Cole argued that they needed to go outside to save Marcus, but Baird pointed out that they had women and children to defend. Dom did not care and started trying to force the door open, but Baird yelled at him to stand down, since he had seniority in rank. Dom and Cole glared at him in anger for a few moments, and Dom followed his order and began covering Marcus with Cole while Baird developed a plan. Marcus woke up and ordered them to get out with the civilians, and Baird noted that he was being left out their as bait by the Locust. After coming up with a plan to rescue Marcus and escape, Dom was assigned to fire from the window with Cole and to make it seem like they were low on ammo while the others left through bolt holes and Baird led the rescue of Marcus. Jace noted that they were low on ammo, but Dom told him that it would make it convincing then. After cutting down a few Drones, Dom told the others that the Mauler was leading a charge, and it began banging on the door. They placed grenades around the room, and Dom and Cole took cover in back. Baird triggered the door to open and they detonated the grenades as the Locust charged in. Dom and Cole were slightly injured by the explosion, but quickly rushed out into cover and opened fire on the remaining Locust, giving time for Baird and his team to flank them and kill the Kantus that was leading the attack.
- "Everbody in, let's make this quick! And kids -- remember to wear your seatbelts..."
- — Dom, as he escorted the children to the escape vehicles
Dom rushed to Marcus, who weakly asked him if they had rescued the kid. Dom sadly informed him that they had not, and Dom and Cole carried Marcus to where the others were. When Matron and Baird began arguing over if the Gears could force the survivors to come with them, Dom sadly noted that their orders were to bring back anyone they found. Many of the women were angered by this, but Alex pointed out that they had a large force of Locust inbound, making the argument a moot point. Matron revealed the location of several vehicles they could use to escape, but she and Annalisa refused to go with the COG and would instead stay behind to detonate a bomb and kill the Locust troops in the city. Dom and Cole escorted the children to them, and Dom reminded them all to wear their seatbelts. Dom drove one of the trucks out of the city, reporting to Marcus that everything was fine in his vehicle, but Cole and Jace reported that Baird and Alex had stayed behind for some reason. They left the city from a tunnel and watched a huge explosion, and worried about their squadmates fate. Baird contacted them and said he and Alex were fine, and that they had Annalisa with them. Dom was happy they had survived, and they drove back to Jacinto with the survivors.
Operation Hollow Storm
Six months after the Lightmass Offensive, the Siege of Jacinto is tightening. Dom was getting conflicting reports on Maria, including a sighting at Jacinto Med. Not finding her at the Hospital, Dom felt he had lost her again. Dom, along with Marcus and Benjamin Carmine, took part in Operation Hollow Storm and fought their way to Landown. After entering the Hollow, Delta fought their way though various Locust hardpoints and eventually ended up in the newly sunk Ilima sinkhole, finding Cole and Baird on the way. During extraction, the King Raven they are on was swallowed by the Riftworm. After cutting the arteries around the Riftworm's three hearts and killing it, Delta cut their way out. However, despite requesting pickup they are dispatched to investigate the New Hope Research Facility.
At the facility, Dom and Marcus reconned the buildings. There they discovered the Sires and clues that led them to Mount Kadar, where they reentered the Hollow. Upon finding a small ground of Stranded, Dom also discovered Maria's location. Dom immediately set off to rescue his wife. Marcus initially objects to this, wanting to continue on with their mission but Dom convinces him to help after reminding him he did exactly the same thing for his father. Dom and Marcus infiltrate the camp and eventually find the pod that contains Maria. Upon opening the pod, Dom, apparently delusional, sees his wife in perfect health. However, he quickly recovers from this and comes to see Maria is malnourished, scarred and has been mentally broken from the torture of the work camps and the deaths of her two children. Dom desperately tries to remind Maria who he is but all she can do is gaze emptily at him, showing absolutely no recognition of who Dom is. Devastated, Dom decides to euthanize her, telling Maria how sorry he is that he couldn't find her in time and how much he loved her. Marcus walks away, and in the distance he hears a gunshot; Dom later appears and Marcus apologizes for his loss. Marcus offers Dom two choices: sneak into Nexus or go in "guns blazing." A furious Dom chooses the latter. Dom and Marcus continued to infiltrate Nexus, the Locust capital, again meeting Cole and Baird on the way. After killing the Locust high priest Skorge, but failing to kill the queen, they return to Jacinto. There, they discover that in order to place a Lightmass bomb that will sink Jacinto but flood the Hollow with water, they must return underground. After hijacking a Brumak and using it to clear Locust from the area, Jacinto sunk and the Hollow flooded. Flying away from the ruins of the last bastion of humanity, Dom is left to an ambiguous future.
Post-Operation: Hollow Storm
- "You know we came face-to-face with the Locust queen? I was thinking about it last night, and... I could have asked her. I could have asked why the hell the grubs hate us so much, what they want, why they did that to Maria, and I didn't."
- — Dom confessing his inner thoughts to Anya
In memorial of his wife, Dominic had his "Maria" tattoo reworked to add an angel. He also has grown a beard and accepts death without a thought. Doctor Hayman noted that he was suffering from psychological issues and believed someone should watch him.
Mission to Mercy and Death
- "Never thought it would end like this, huh!? Huh, Maria!?."
- — Dom's final words.
Later on he joined Marcus, Anya, Sam, Jace, and Dizzy in a mission to Mercy in order to obtain fuel for a submarine. Sam was concerned about him but Dom stated that he could handle going to Maria's hometown and that it was important to obtain the fuel. They were attacked by Locust forces en route to Mercy but they managed to fight through them. Upon reaching Mercy Jace and Dizzy guarded the tanker while the rest of them searched the city. They found the entire city deserted with charges placed on the pipeline. They encountered a crazed old man, who fled into the sewers after seeing him. After catching up the squad found that him dead, wondering what killed him. They spot a woman, who they believe to be a Stranded but when they walk up to her she attacks them and they see that she has been infected by Imulsion. More Lambent Humans show up and they fight their way out of the sewers and into the city where a group of survivors takes them in. The survivors explain how the Imulsion infected the population before more of them break into their room, killing the Stranded. They fight their way to main pipeline. There Dom notices Maria's family tomb. He walks over and talks about how he's glad Maria is with her children now and leaves his Cog Tag and Maria's necklace on the tombstone. Once they reunite with Dizzy and Jace they come under attack by a massive amount of Locust and Lambent. Seeing that they were about to be overrun, Dom realizes that they can't hold every one of them off, so he takes a truck and drives into a tunnel, telling Marcus, Sam, and Anya to jump off the building they were on. He drives the truck back through the tunnel, telling Maria that he never thought it would end like this. Dom, driving the truck full speed, rams it into the tanker causing it to explode, killing him and all hostile forces. His body was left in the fire as Delta escaped. Shortly before he was killed, he gave his commando knife to Marcus to use to open a rusty pipeline and never took it back before he died. Marcus later used it to kill Queen Myrrah.
James Fenix's middle initial stands for Dominic, no doubt a tribute from Marcus and Anya as tribute and respect to their fallen brother. At least twenty-five years following the end of the Locust War, Dominic is one of many Gears being honored at a memorial service given by the new leader of the COG, First Minister Jinn At some point in the years after Dom's death, Marcus also takes up gardening in the greenhouse of his estate and shows a defensive attitude towards the treatment of his tomato crop.
Personality and Traits
- "Santiago is an exemplary soldier and one of the most courageous men I've ever met. But even with his outstanding record, I can't recommend his promotion to corporal. His loyalty to Fenix may well exceed his loyalty to the COG. Even if it doesn't, then his decision to testify for Fenix must call his judgment into question, However... even if I have refuse his promotion, I'll state privately that this is a man I can only admire for his refusal to abandon a friend, knowing what it would cost him."
- — Lieutenant Colonel James Amstin, assessing Private Dominic Santiago shortly after Trial of Marcus Fenix
Dominic Santiago was known for his outright loyalty to his friend and some fear in the COG high command that this loyalty conflicts with loyalty to the COG. During the raid at Aspho Point, Dom was horrified at himself when integrating an Ostri civilian making wonder how a loving father and husband can threaten an unarmed women. After the battle of Aspho Fields and the death of his brother, he made a promise to himself that he would make sure that he never loses his loved ones. After the death of his wife, Dom was brought to the breaking point until he'd realized that someone took care of Maria after she left Jacinto due to the fact that she was recently captured by the Locust Horde, leaving her eleven years with the Stranded until her demise. However, his closure with Maria was unable to stop him from continued "problems", leading to him to becoming a physically and psychologically changed man.
- "...So, what are we doing tomorrow?"
- — Gears 1 Ending
- "I don't 'hang out' with them, dickwad. I'm looking for somebody."
- — To Baird, on Stranded and his search for Maria
- "I remember you still owe me 20 bucks."
"Oh yeah? See me after the war."
- — Marcus Fenix and Dominic Santiago, on Thrashball
- "Dammit! Not again! I've lost her again! Arrgh! God Dammit!"
- — Dom's angry reaction when he lost Maria again
- "Maria! Maria! Hun I love you!"
- — Dom's first words to Maria in 11 years
- "You've seen this woman, name's Maria."
- — Dom asking Chaps if he has seen Maria
- "I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry, Maria. I love you... so much...!"
- — Dom saying his last words to Maria
- "I want to kill them all."
- — After Maria's death
- "Aww... ain't that cute."
"Like two assholes on their first date."
- — Augustus Cole and Dominic Santiago, on Marcus and Baird's bickering
- "This is gonna be awesome."
- — After hearing Delta Squad will be meeting up with Colonel Hoffman
- "If something happens to me... promise me you'll look for Maria."
- — Conversation with Marcus before seeing Skorge for the first time and boarding a Grindlift
- "But I'm Dom. I'm a good guy. I don't threaten women, This isn't me, honestly."
- — Dom's inner thoughts during interrogating Debrah Humbert.
- "The COG isn't a soul-crushing machine, dumbass. It's society. Mutual support, mutual dependence. Individuality might sound all noble and free, but it generally means crapping on your neighbors, and if you crap on your neighbors-- don't expect them to help you. Rules hold humans together. And it's together, or die."
- — Dom explaining to a former Stranded why he should stop whining about being drafted as part of Operation Lifeboat.
- "Do you know what it's like to lose everything? Everything you've ever loved? Everything you've ever known? Do you know what it's like to lose everything? I hope you never find out. Life's been hell since E-Day. A bloodbath every day! The Locust, we called 'em, and damn if that wasn't a perfect name for the bastards. They come from everywhere, in swarms, just like insects. And worst of all they've got the compassion to match. They kill indiscriminately, without remorse-- and we don't even know why they do it. Fourteen years and we still have no fucking clue where they come from or why they hate us. We just know they're our enemy... and we would be extinct if we don't put these fuckers back in the ground.
Do you know what it's like to get back everything you thought you lost? Everything you lived for? Everything you love?
I hope one day I find out."
- — Dom's thoughts on the loss of his own family while rescuing another.
- "Never thought it would end like this, huh? Huh, Maria?! "
- — Dom's last words.
Behind the scenes
- Dom is voiced by Carlos Ferro.
- In Gears of War Epic Games planned on allowing players choose the gender of Dominic between a male Dom and a female Dominique. This idea was scrapped and fans would not be able to play as female characters until Gears of War 3.
- Dom was originally named "Dom Glynn".
- Dom was created to be just as "bad ass" as Marcus but without overpowering him. That's why his armor is slimmer.
- Dom's gameplay model carries a combat knife attached to his chest armor, though he only uses it in the Gears of War novels and comics. This is the same knife he showed Maria after passing his commando training. Near the end of the war Dom gives his knife to Marcus to pick a lock. Marcus keeps it after his death and uses it to kill Myrrah.
- In Gears of War and Gears of War 2, Dom does not keep his pistol at his side like all other characters. Instead, he keeps it in a holster on his chest. This does not affect the gameplay of his character model at all.
- Along with Marcus, Dom is a playable character in Lost Planet 2.
- Dom is on of the character included in the Gears of War 3 HeroClix Toys.
- In Gears of War: Hollow, Dom is seen in civilian clothes based off Tyler Durden from Fight Club.
- Originally in Gears of War 3, Dom was going to be encountered by players in his overalls on the decks of the CNV Sovereign, but his garden was partially transplanted into the ship so that he could be encountered more quickly.
- Dom is available in the multiplayer for all three Gears of War games.
- In Gears of War 3, a "Commando Dom" multiplayer skin is available to those who pre-order the game from Gamestop.
- Dom is in the Forces of Nature DLC for Gears 3, but named as limited edition Commando Dom.
- In Gears of War: Judgment multiplayer, Young Dom can be unlocked through a pre-order code from Amazon/Wal-Mart, among other retailers.
- In Gears of War 4 multiplayer, there are three skins for Dom: Classic Commando Dom, Commando Dom and Zombie Dom. His Classic Commando skin is only available by crafting scrap, though there is a chance of receiving him early in the Weapon Collector 3 and Gears Engineers Gear Packs, and his Zombie skin can only be unlocked via the Brothers to the End Elite Gear Pack players receive for pre-ordering the game.
- Promise Me
- Gears of War: Judgment (Multiplayer only)
- The Slab
- Gears of War (First appearance)
- Aspho Fields
- One Day
- Gears of War 2
- The Quickening
- Dirty Little Secrets Part One
- Jacinto's Remnant
- Anvil Gate
- Dirty Little Secrets: Never Forgive, Never Forget
- Coalition's End
- Dirty Little Secrets: Need to Know
- Dirty Little Secrets: Diaspora
- Gears of War 3
- Gears of War 4 (Appears in flashback(s))