"Running away won't help! I'll just shoot you in your asses!"
— Dominic Santiago

Dominic "Dom" Santiago was a COG soldier. 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 Marcus. Dom later joined the army as a commando and took part in Operation Levueler. Years later Dom freed his best friend Marcus Fenix 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.


Early Life

Dom was born to Edward and Eva Santiago. He grew up in Ephyra city and went to school at Olafson Intermediate School, where his brother met Marcus Fenix. Dom met Maria Flores, who moved down two doors. They were both 11 when they met. Dom would spot Maria climb her front yard tree, and soon plucked up enough courage to talk to her. They both became good friends, then dated when teenagers, then became 16 year old parents. Maria became pregnant with a boy, so Dom and Maria decided to get married. Dom was forced to stay in school so he could give a better future for his kids, staying behind while his brother and Marcus join the army. His first son, Benedicto Santiago was born during Frost, 4 years before E-Day. Dom later dropped out of school and joined the army, joining the experimental commando units with his trainee partner Georg Timiou. Dom passed his commando training and was subsequently part of Hoffman's commando team to take part in Operation Leveler. The day before the Battle of Aspho Fields, Dom's second child was born, Sylvia Santiago. Dom took part in Op.Leveler and was able to save many of the Commandos at Aspho Point and was awarded the Embry Star. 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.

Emergence Day

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 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.

Lightmass Offensive


Upon arriving at the Stranded outpost, Dom calls in a favour 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 onboard 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 onboard, with the help of Colonel Hoffman.

Sinking of Tollen and Montevado

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. Some time after the evac Dom took part in the Mission to the Pirnah Badlands, on a search and rescue mission for missing gears. The mission was a failure, and afterwards Delta had a week to leave. Dom, however, couldn't stand staying one week in Jacinto knowing Maria was out there. He was more then eager to get back to the field. On the Mission to Montevado, Dom and the rest of Delta were shot down over Locust territory. Dom and Delta made it to Montevado on foot, but as soon they entered the city it was sunk by the Riftworm. Barley surviving the sinking, Delta was attacked by Bloodmounts in the sinkhole. Dom was ordered by Marcus to escape with Jace Stratton. All the members of Delta except for Michael Barrick made it out of Montevado. In the month after Montevado in a Battle near Jacinto, Dom remembered what he was fighting for and hoped one day he could have Maria back.



Dom along with the rest of Delta with members from Sigma-One and Foxtrot, were sent to the city of Jilane. After a distress call, they traveled to the old birthing farms there. Dom hoping to find Maria there but was told by Alex she was better off somewhere else, decided that the city was the best shot to find her. After entering the city Delta was split into two groups, Jace, Cole and him set off looking for any survivors. Only to find dead fetuses and evidence of a massacre. While Fenix, Alex and Baird came under attack from the Jilane survivors.


Evacuation of North Gate

Operation Hollow Storm


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 the exact 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 loves her. Marcus walks away, and in the distance he hears a gunshot; Dom later appears and Marcus apologizes for his loss. 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.

The fall of Jacinto and living without Maria

"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.

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 Marcus Fenix's court martial.

Dominic Santiago was known for his out right loyalty to his friend and some fear in the COG high command that his 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.

Notable Quotes

"...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.

Behind the Scenes

Dom was created to be just as "bad ass" as Marcus but without overpowering him. That's why his armor is slimmer. Dominic gameplay model carries a combat knife attached to his chest armor, though he only uses it in the Gears of War novel and Comic. This is the same knife he showed Maria after passing his commando training. 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 will be a playable character in Lost Planet 2.


  1. Gears of War: Aspho Fields pg. 89
  2. Gears of War: Aspho Fields
  3. Gears of War: Jacinto's Remnant pg 195
  4. Gears of War: Aspho Fields
  5. Sourcebook
  6. Gears of War 2
  7. Gears of War 3
  9. Gears of War:Aspho Fields
  10. Gears of War: Jacinto's Remnant
  11. According to Rod, this is due to his problems dealing with the loss of his wife.
  12. Ashes to Ashes Trailer
  13. Art of Gears of War