Remembering Dominic “Dom” Santiago; one the best video game heros of all time

Dominic Santiago | Gears of War 3

Dominic "Dom" Santiago has an older, tired look in Gears of War 3.

Gears of War 3 has finally come, ending the story of Delta Squad and the Locust threat. Enhanced graphics, perfect controls, amazing storyline and top notch voice acting all lead to an epic gaming experience. As you progress through the game, plot twists and the fast-paced action draws the player in and doesn’t let go. And one twist completely shocked me.

Before you continue to read this article, a warning to you. If you have not finished campaign mode or at least made it past Mercy, please STOP reading. Just bookmark this article and come back when you have beaten the game. I don’t want to spoil Gears of War 3 for you.

OK, it was late one night. Everyone in my household was asleep and I had settled in to a few hours of Gears 3. I was in Mercy and waves of Lambent humans were rushing my squad and I was focused. A cutscene starts where Dom visits his wife’s grave, an emotional moment which gave a perfect break between waves of enemies. I’ve always loved Dom’s character and it was a nice scene which helped his character grow and evolve.

Now back to the action. More waves of enemies come flooding in. Word comes to get the hell out. An epic battle begins as we try to leave with Lambent humans and Locust coming from all directions. Huge stalks erupt below the platforms we are on spewing even more enemies. We’re trapped. An epic cutscene begins with Dom making his way to the tanker. He jumps in and takes off. I thought, “No way is Dom leaving his friends.” One of those “oh no” songs begin to play and I realize Dom is going to sacrifice himself.

Glued to the events unfolding, I murmured, “How can they kill him? He’s a major character. He’s Dom!”

Dom sacrifices himself to save Delta Squad; his friends, brothers. It was an emotional scene. And I have to say, I got a little choked up. I never get emotional or teary-eyed but here I was with a small tear growing in my right eye. Damn that eye! I know its stupid but I’m man enough to say that I did. I totally got razzed when my friends and wife found out.

I wondered why it touched such a cord with me. Its just a video game. But it has become so much more. For millions of fans, its an epic story that we have been following for years. We’ve become attached to the characters just as my wife has with her soaps. And, for me, Dom was a character that I was close to. He was always their fighting by my side. I was especially drawn to his character because of how I could relate to him. He was a family man who loved his family with all his heart and he was a warrior. I was there when he searched for his wife Maria and there for the sad events surrounding her death. No matter how bad things got during battles, Dom and Marcus always found a way to make it out.

So I was speechless at the end of Act 3.

How can you kill off a major character like that. Dom’s character was so strong with a very deep back story. Dare I say, his character had more depth than Marcus. Of course Marcus is my favorite character in Gears but Dom comes a close second. Like I said, I can completely relate to him. I can see how his death made the story that much more interesting but it bummed me out for that night and I had to stop.

Where is the outrage by fans about his death? So many gamers were pissed when Carmine died inside the Riftworm. So many pissed and moaned about his death. What about Dom? I didn’t even get to play as him in campaign mode.

You have to congratulate the writers employed by EPIC Games for creating such an amazing world and characters. The storyline is perfect, better than most Hollywood movies. Dom will be missed. Now that the Locust threat is gone though, maybe we can see Dom again in a prequel. Pendulum Wars?

Delta Squad | Gears of War

They truly where brothers till the end.

So, a few words (as Marcus) for our friend and brother Dominic Santiago.

Dom,

You were one of the greatest men I’ve known. You are a decorated solder with more Locust kills than drunk teens at a frat party. You’ve saved my *** more than I’d like to admit. There was nothing we couldn’t do together. No matter how bad things got, you were there by my side. You were a tough S.O.B., but what made you so great, was the love and compassion you had for friends and family. Now matter what it was you were there. You were more than my best friend, you were my brother. Your loss has left a huge hole in my heart that can never be filled. And the victory we all now share was only possible because of your great sacrifice.

You saved more than our asses that day, your action ensured the survival of our species. We have gotten payback for your death but it doesn’t make things feel any better. The only thing I can say is that one day we will see each other again.

You suffered greatly in this world. You lost the family that you held so dear. You lost your children and your beautiful wife Maria. I know how much they meant to you. And I know how hard it was to end her suffering that tragic day but it was for the best. She is now in a better place with your children. And as your life has ended here on Sera, a new one begins with them. You are now reunited with your family. You are now where you belong, with them.

My journey on this crazy world hasn’t finished. But one day, we will meet again. We will sit around the table telling stories of times gone by, laughing and remembering the fallen. Who knows, maybe I’ll tell the tale of how my heart was conquered by a beautiful blonde with a mean streak and kids that I had. Maria will bring us something to eat and we will sit and watch your children play.

So, until then my friend, we will keep fighting the good fight in your honor. We will rebuild this world and learn from past mistakes. Sera will be reborn because of you and the sacrifices that so many have made.

Dom, you are a warrior, hero and friend. And remember we will always be…
…brothers to the end.

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