Michael De Santa (1968-Present) is one of the main protagonists during the 2013-15 and the 1998-2010 Arcs in Grand Theft Auto VI. Michael is also the main protagonist of the game.
Michael was born in the mid-to-late 1960s, possibly in the Midwest, which would explain why he spent some of his earlier criminal career in North Yankton. As a child, he didn't have the advantages his children have and grew up in a poor environment with his parents, where his father drank alcohol and physically abused him. During his time in high school, Michael was a quarterback for an all-state football team. Michael would often put on a well placed performance during games and also had his face in the local newspaper. However, due to his temperament issues and constant injures, he was ultimately forced to quit while he was ahead.
As time moved on, Michael eventually became a criminal. He did his first robbery in the outskirts of Carcer City in 1988, where he was able to steal $10,000 from a lesser known franchise. In the same year however, he was arrested twice for unknown reasons. While in prison, Michael was able to master many skills, sometimes through bizarre events, such as learning how to do tattoos by tattooing his name on his cellmate's buttocks. Despite his failures and shortcomings, Michael perfected his criminal skills to the point where he was one of the FIB's Most Wanted Criminals in America.
As the years went on, Michael met Trevor Philips while escorting cargo. The deal went somewhat badly but both men were able to notice that they work well together: Michael would plan out details for jobs while Trevor would execute them. From that point on, Michael and Trevor created a solid friendship but an uneasy partnership with each other. They were both somewhat successful at their profession, but Michael claims that they were always impecunious and constantly on the run from the law, which was mostly due to Trevor's rage issues that would cause him to kill someone in broad daylight. While the friendship between them was in fine condition, it was later strained as Michael met his future wife Amanda at a strip joint - she was a stripper at the time. Using his criminal proceeds, Michael was even able to buy Amanda some breast implants, which would help with her stripping as well as her days as a hooker. This lead to Michael creating his own prostitution racket.
After falling in love with each other, Michael and Amanda married one another while living in a trailer park in the Midwest. As time moved forward, Amanda soon gave birth to their two children, Jimmy and Tracey. Michael, who was able to see that he had a lot more to lose if he was ever killed or imprisoned, grew more cautious over time as a criminal - much to Trevor's annoyance. At some point in 2004, Michael met FIB agent Dave Norton. Michael struck a deal with Norton to give Trevor up to the FIB and fake his death in the process, in exchange for a cut of his accumulated millions and letting Norton "kill" him in the upcoming bank heist in Ludendorff, North Yankton - a move that would make Norton's career as the agent who took down the "Most Wanted Man in America".
The robbery, however, turned out to be a disaster; after Trevor murdered a guard, he, Michael and their accomplice Brad Snider were ambushed by over a dozen police officers ready to arrest or kill them. During the getaway, their driver was killed by pursuing police; Michael took the wheel and drove the crew to the ambush spot he and Norton had agreed on, where he claimed there was an escape chopper waiting. However, things yet again deviated from their plan when Brad was accidentally shot by Norton (later succumbing to his wounds) after he walked in front of Trevor. Michael took the second bullet as planned - although the lack of a visible wound or blood loss implies that Dave intentionally missed him, or he was wearing a bullet proof vest and acted as if he believed the wound was fatal, imploring Trevor to leave him behind. Enraged beyond sense, Trevor proceeded to massacre numerous police officers before barely escaping the ambush (to Michael's chagrin) with his life.
After the incident, Michael Townley was pronounced dead. True to his word, Dave arranged for Michael to receive a comfortable stipend and a relocation to a large Los Santos mansion, where he and his family lived under the surname "De Santa" (a longtime alias of Michael's); thus, Michael received an off-the-books way to safely retire from his former criminal life and spend time with his wife and kids in exchange for a monthly five-figure "hush money" payment to Norton in exchange for his silence.
During the Events of GTA VEdit
Nine years later after the events of his false death, Michael's domestic life is spiraling out of his control. Amanda rarely shows love towards him because of his rude behavior and spends her days spending most of his cash on items she desires, thus leaving him with $7,860 by the start his part of the story. His children have little respect for him. With all of this, Michael goes through a midlife crisis and goes to therapy often. After one therapy session, Michael has a chance encounter with a Los Santos youth named Franklin Clinton, whom he unknowingly directs to Franklin's repossession assignment along with his friend Lamar Davis.
A short time later his son Jimmy buys an SUV from Simeon Yetarian, an Armenian car salesman who sells the car to him at an unaffordable price of $5,000 in monthly instalments. After being late on the first payment, Simeon gets his repossession man, the same Franklin Clinton, to "repossess" the SUV from the De Santa household. However, Michael spots Franklin sneaking in and hides in a rolled up matress in the backseat of the car prior to Franklin stealing it. Michael reveals himself and holds Franklin at gunpoint, ordering him to go to Yetarian's shop and drive the SUV through the store's window. Afterwards, Michael pays Franklin to leave and beats Yetarian into submission, threatening more violence if he pulls another of his sales tactics on him or his family again.
At home, Michael attempts to relax by his pool, only to be interrupted by Franklin, who takes up his earlier offering of a drink. Surprised that Franklin actually took it to heart, Michael decides to take him out drinking. Unfortunately, Jimmy calls that instant and reveals he has tried to sell Michael's boat, ending with the "buyers" hijacking the yacht themselves. Enraged, Michael along with Franklin drives after the boat and saves Jimmy, but is unable to rescue the yacht. Michael becomes angry at Jimmy but becomes fond of Franklin after his impressive efforts, whom he tells to visit him any time.
After the fiasco with the boat, Michael discovers Amanda sleeping with her tennis coach, leading him and a recently arrived Franklin to give chase. Furious, Michael chases the coach to an exotic house on the side of the Vinewood Hills. Michael then orders Franklin to hook their truck's winch onto the supports of the house and he pulls them loose, causing the house to collapse, much to Franklin's shock and Michael's joy. However, it turns out that the house did not belong to the coach, but the girlfriend of a powerful Mexican gangster named Martin Madrazo, who sends men after Michael and Franklin. The two manage to fend them off, but Madrazo arrives at the De Santa residence. He orders a henchman to hit Michael with a bat before demanding that Michael pay for the damages in an installment of two million dollars - money that Michael does not have.
With no other choice, Michael decides to return to bank robbing and contacts his old partner Lester Crest. Crest agrees to help Michael get the money if the latter agrees to sabotage founder of Lifeinvader, Jay Norris' phone. Michael does so and causes Norris' death when he calls the entrepreneur's sabotaged phone, causing it to explode and kill him instantly. After collecting information about the Vangelico Jewelry Store and its gems, Michael and Lester set up a heist, with Michael insisting that Franklin be a part, claiming that the experience will be something that he'll look forward to even with his stiff payment.
The heist goes smoothly, and Madrazo is paid. Unfortunately for Michael, the job is reported on the news, which Trevor sees on his TV. Trevor recognizes Michael's modus operandi from the report and goes partially berserk, making his way to Los Santos to confront the "ghost" of his former partner and friend.
Back home, Michael finds marijuana in the fridge, and correctly assumes it is Jimmy's. This creates an angry argument among the family until Trevor abruptly arrives, much to everyone's shock and horror. Thankfully, the tension is broken by Jimmy revealing that Tracey has gone to audition for Fame or Shame. Realizing that Tracey will embarrass herself in front of the nation due to her horrible dancing, Michael and Trevor rush to the Maze Bank Arena. The two find Tracey doing a stripper-like dance and the show's host Lazlow Jones beginning to do a sexual pose behind her, enraging both Michael and Trevor. The two give chase to a fleeing Lazlow to the Los Santos river. Trevor forces Lazlow to take off his pants and dance for them as he records it on his phone. In the aftermath, Tracey angrily blames her father for ruining her life, which doesn't seem to bother him.
Soon after, Michael is assigned by Dave Norton to do a favour for him. When they get to the meeting point, Dave requests him to confirm the death of a suspect in a morgue. To do this, Norton knocks Michael out and delivers him as a corpse to the morgue. Michael wakes in the middle of the autopsy and then finds out that the suspect isn't dead by finding his name tag on a woman's corpse. Michael escapes the morgue by killing the guards. In a panic, Michael calls Franklin and accidentally reveals that he is affiliated with the FIB, though Franklin continues to trust Michael due to the better pay from jobs with him.
Michael continues to work for Norton. Steve Haines, a corrupt FIB agent working with Norton, contacts him and makes him team up with Franklin and Trevor to extract a prisoner of the IAA, dubbed Mr. K, out of the IAA building and into the hands of the FIB. Later, Michael and Trevor are summoned to a remote warehouse where Michael is briefed that he will accompany Norton to assassinate an Azebaijani terrorist suspect whilst Trevor and Haines torture Mr. K for information on him. The mission is successful, and Michael refuses to know any more details of the mission.
When Michael returns home, he finds his wife with her yoga instructor Fabien, who asks Michael to join them. After a few poses, Fabien begins doing a sexual pose on Amanda, causing Michael to get angry and attack Fabien, who dodges him and makes him fall into the pool. Angered by her husband's attitude, Amanda leaves with Fabien.
Michael goes upstairs and tries to do something with Jimmy, who asks him to go with him to get a package from a friend. They meet the friend at Burger Shot and he gives Jimmy some pot and a drink. On the way home, Michael drinks from Jimmy's drink and begins to feel strange. Jimmy reveals that he drugged the drink and then pushes Michael out of the car and reveals he is moving out and he is going to keep the car. Michael begins having strange dreams and wakes up in his underwear a few blocks away from his home. When he gets to the house, he finds a note from Amanda saying that his family has left due to Michael's behavior.
Later, Trevor contacts Michael and Franklin to partake in his own heist; of security force Merryweather's cargo at the docks. The heist goes as planned and Trevor finds a super-weapon that Lester reveals is highly dangerous, especially in the hands of someone like Trevor and tells him that he must return it. Michael and Franklin agree, and Trevor is furious that he cannot keep the loot.
After the Merryweather heist, Michael is called upon by millionaire Devin Weston, who offers him a partnership with movie producer Solomon Richards if he steals several rare cars for him with Trevor and Franklin. Offered his dream job, Michael eagerly agrees and delivers the cars to Weston.
Michael is thrilled to finally meet his idol Solomon Richards, who hires him as an assistant. His first job is to convince Rocco Pelosi to obey Solomon's wishes for how the actors should behave during the production of the digital movie Meltdown. This gets Michael on Richard's good side and is promised the role of producer for the upcoming film if Michael continues his good work.
Martin Madrazo later summons Michael and Trevor to his home, and offers them pay if they bring down his cousin's airliner, which is carrying a package Madrazo wants. Michael does his part by bringing it down with a weapon inside a van. After destroying the van, Michael finds out to his horror that Trevor has kidnapped Madrazo's wife Patricia. Knowing full well what Madrazo might do to them if he catches them, Michael agrees to hide out on Sandy Shores with Trevor.
While exiled in Sandy Shores, Haines and Norton summon the trio for another mission against the IAA. This time, the two agents plot to raid an IAA chemical plant to steal a dangerous neurotoxin that the agency was plotting to use in a simulated terrorist attack. To carry out this operation, the trio must first secure enough funds to purchase a Cargobob and other assorted equipment that the FIB can't assign them. Ultimately, the crew settles upon robbing the Paleto Bay bank, as it contains millions of dollars deposited there by Blaine County's corrupt law enforcement.
Using stolen military body armour and machine guns, Trevor, Michael, Franklin and one gunman successfully rob the Paleto bank, taking a small cut each and giving the largest profit to Haines and Norton so they can purchase the equipment for the chemical plant robbery, much to the teams irritation. While awaiting this operation, Michael and Trevor carry out another job, raiding a Merryweather courier train that carries gold and priceless artwork so that they can pay off Martin Madrazo. Trevor derails the train over a bridge and Michael dives into the river below to retrieve the merchandise, taking an ancient Aztec fertility statuette that Madrazo would value. Trevor is greatly dissatisfied with Michael's choice of take, but he calms down once Michael proposes that, once they get the FIB off their cases, they should carry out "the Big Score" - robbing the Union Depository.
However, Trevor realizes Michael's deal with Norton back at North Yankton, and hastily travels back there with Michael in pursuit. After a stand off at his (Brad's) grave, they are attacked by Wei Cheng's henchmen. Trevor scarpers, leaving Michael to fend off the henchmen himself. Although he succeeds, Michael is captured when he tries to escape in his car which Trevor sabotaged. After being tortured by Cheng at a meat processing factory (back in Los Santos), he is rescued by Franklin.
Michael and Franklin are called up once again by Haines for one more job: to break into the FIB building and remove incriminating evidence against Haines. This goes according to plan, but when Michael meets Haines and Norton at the Kortz Center, Haines attempts to arrest him to cover his involvement in the raid. However, this tuns into a three-way gunfight between the FIB (to arrest the trio because of the raid), the IAA (for the FIB's constant sabotages) and Merryweather (for Michael's involvement in their troubles). Michael manages to escape with the help of Trevor, under the pretense of cooperating with the Big Score.
At this point, Michael's family reunite and after defending Solomon from Rocco, becomes executive producer of Meltdown. Things were starting to look up, until Weston announces his intentions to exploit the movie studios' insurance policy by hiding the completed film from the world so he would claim the insurance money and finally close and destroy the studios. This infuriates Michael, and chases Weston's assistant to the airport, where she is accidentally sucked into a jet engine. Michael retrieves the film, and Solomon arranges a premiere for the film so that it could not be tampered with. At the premiere, Weston unexpectedly shows up and cryptically threatens Michael with Amanda and Tracey's lives because of his interference. After Michael subdues the killers, he sends his family into hiding and notifies Lester that they pull off the Big Score now.
Michael helps Franklin and Trevor fight off Merryweather and the corrupt FIB agents, then kills Stretch, to not implicate Franklin from its effects. Afterwards, he meets Franklin and Trevor, who kidnapped Weston in his car, at the foothills of Mount Chiliad, where he is seen trying to smoke, but soon gets disgusted and tosses the packet and lighter away. After taunting Weston on their apparent victory, the trio pushes the car off the cliff and into the ocean. Michael reflects that he is getting too old to continue a life of crime, and drives home with Franklin
During the Events of GTA VIEdit
Taken place about five months right after the events of GTA V, Michael has completely given up a life of crime and is adjusting a better life with his family, being annoyed but loving his family at the same time. Michael has also become a successful executive producer and director in Vinewood Studios, due to the success of his previous film Meltdown and is seen producing another film called Inhumanity and has gained 4,000,000,000 from his movies The Raid which is based on the assualt on the FIB Headquarters. Michael along with Franklin are contacted by the mysterious Henry Deus who decided to hire them to do various jobs for him, one of them involves smuggling weapons from London to Liberty City. Michael objected, but Henry threaten to endanger him, his family and friends if he doesn't comply. Michael along with Franklin and FIB Special Agents Alberta Da Silva and Ashley Madison decided to do the job for him.
Michael's ability is to slow down time while in a gunfight, similar to Dead Eye in Red Dead Redemption or Bullet time in the Max Payne series.
Despite being one of the playable characters in the game, Michael is considered to be the main protagonist of the game, due to the plot mostly revolving around him, is the mastermind behind the heists, making the most appearances which consisted of 102 appearances, is playable along with Niko in both chapter arcs and has the option into killing one of the two main antagonists in the end.