Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D is for Dom

Back in October while I was playing Gears of War 3, I wrote a post about getting to "that part." It's now April and I'm going to talk about "that part" and the character behind it. There will be major Gears  spoilers ahead.

For those who don't know the Gears of War series, Dominic Santiago is the second player's character.  But, he is more than just a typical re-branding of the first player's character, Marcus. Dom's story through out the games has captivated me in a way Marcus' doesn't.

Before I get to "that part," here's brief history of Dom, one of my favorite video game characters:

On Emergence day,  (the day of the full scale Locust Horde attack on Sera's surface) Dom lost both of his children and his wife.

Years later while still fighting against the Locusts, Dom learns that his wife might be a prisoner of the Horde. He spends most of Gears of War 2 trying to find her. And he does.

But, Maria isn't herself anymore. From the stress and torture inflicted on her, she is in a comatose state. Dom decides to euthanize her. It's clear that this is the most painful decision of his life.  And this is one of the most heartbreaking  things I have ever seen in a video game.

It doesn't end there. Here's "that part".....

In Gears 3, the war isn't going well. In order to find fuel, Dom and the squad go to Mercy, Maria's hometown.  After arriving, he visits her family tomb and leaves his COG tags there. This is when I knew he was going to die. Later in Mercy, the squad is completely surrounded. Dom jumps into the driver's seat of a fuel truck and crashes it, giving Marcus and the others time to escape.

I have played through this scene at least 3 times now. Every time, it gets me. The first time I saw this, my son and I were playing together. As the scene unfolds with Dom getting into that truck and the aftermath, we both cried. I don't think I ever had to stop playing something and walk away before. In fact, I don't think we played Gears 3 for the rest of the day. Of course we did finish the game, and although the ending is bittersweet, it is also hopeful. I just wish Dom was there to see it as well.

more about Dom on the Gears wiki


  1. I remember Ad's reaction to Dom's storyline throughout the series and it was pretty similar to yours. While I haven't played Gears myself I am impressed that a game some people might not see as very deep - "It's just a shooter." - can incite this level of emotion (the type of emotion I expect from RPGs). Hats of to Epic for doing such a good job.

    1. I agree. Gear's story isn't perfect, but at the rawest level of feeling what the COGs go through, it totally works for me. There's a lot more emotion in those games than just Marcus going "Oh yeah!!" when he kills a Locust.

  2. Wow, I never thought of a game making someone have that reaction before. Sounds like a really powerful game!

  3. My hubby plays GW3! I'm not a gamer, but I do recognize the guy in the photo on your post! Thanks for stopping by my blog! ~ Angela, Whole Foods Living,

  4. Ah...Dom's death, didn't come as a shock. The moment he lay down his COG tags, you knew it was game over.

    The wierd thing of this is that I don't find it sad. I understand completely why people find it sad. But as a huge Gears fan, I felt as though Dom wasn't dying. He was leaving the war to be with Maria.

    Yeah, it's horrible that he had to die. But it's also Dom's defining moment that showcases who he is and what he holds dear.

    So for those reasons, I look upon it in a more positive light. He was reunited with the love of his life.


    Great, great read btw, really good call on D.


    1. I totally agree. It does make me sad, but he's with Maria now.

  5. My boys love playing and all the game stories. Games are a powerful way to communicate. <3 Kate
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