Michael De Santa, formerly Michael Townley, is easily one of the best characters in the GTA series. The character is far removed from the identity of the typical video game or GTA protagonist. He doesn't have many points of reference or comparison, at least in the medium of video games.
Michael is an aging, alcoholic, temperamental, middle-aged man with deep-seated issues. For all intents and purposes, he shouldn't be a character that is aspirational or even well-liked, but fans have collectively rallied behind him.
Michael has now become the de facto face of GTA 5 and a deeply beloved character in the series. Here, we take a look at some facts and interesting trivia about the character that fans might not know about.
5 lesser-known facts about Michael in GTA 5
#1 He was the first character that Rockstar Games came up with for GTA 5
Dan Houser has previously spoken about Michael and how he was the first character that Rockstar Games came up with for GTA 5. He was quoted as saying:
"He began as the idea of, what happens to a regular GTA protagonist after they retire? Then you think, what would make him retire?"
Michael's internal conflict as he tries to be an idyllic family man and a violent criminal made him an interesting character, to say the least. He was the first character in the GTA series to have any sort of family outside of a sibling or a deceased parent.
This gave him an instant air of uniqueness that helped him stand out in a sea of interesting characters. For Rockstar, Michael represented a break away from convention and was a character that hasn't been explored at all in the medium.
#2 His violent first meeting with Trevor
One of the most volatile driving forces of GTA 5's story is the explosive relationship between Michael and Trevor. Years of anger, lies, and deception have caused a rift between them, but it is quite clear (in certain situations) that they both share an indelible bond.
While neither really trusts the other completely, they do share a rather interesting relationship, which is perfectly encapsulated in their first meeting.
Michael first met Trevor in 1993 while he was escorting cargo across the border. After Michael was confronted by an older civilian, Trevor decided to intervene by shooting a flare gun into the civilian's eye. The pair then attempted to get rid of the body by carrying it along with them on a plane and dumping it after they landed. The entire time, the flare gun caused the corpse to burn inside the plane.
This is a rather fitting introduction for Trevor prior to the events of GTA 5.
#3 He robbed his first score on the outskirts of Carcer City
Before the Jewel Store Heist, Michael shared details about the first score he ever took all the way back in 1998. The small business he took down was located on the outskirts of the infamous Carcer City.
Carcer City, as fans might remember, is the location of the Manhunt games, which should be enough indication of the hellhole that Michael crawled out of. The heist was relatively small-scale, with Michael coming away with $10,000.
While not a whole lot of money, the thrill of the heist and the discovery of his own talents as a stick-up artist was enough to turn Michael into a career criminal.
#4 He is the best shooter in the trio
While all three protagonists in GTA 5 are good with firearms, Michael seems to be the best shot among them. Not only does he have a Max Payne-like ability to slow down time, but he also seems to have far more tactical animations when it comes to shooting.
For instance, when the players stop aiming in GTA 5, the other two characters hold the gun in only one hand, while Michael maintains a two-handed grip. This little detail and a default high-shooting stat led players to believe that Michael was indeed the best shot out of the three.
This fact is also solidified in the events of GTA 5 as Michael is always the one handling a Sniper Rifle.
#5 He was a former famous high-school football star
Michael is not entirely satisfied with the hand he has been dealt, and this was apparent from the first scene with him at the house in GTA 5.
Michael has often made references to his past as a famous high-school football star and how an injury sidelined him:
"I'm just a fat washed up jock who can't get his head around the fact his high school football career didn't play out the way that he planned. The only way I'm content and competent is with a gun in my hand or a price on my head."
This has led many to believe that Michael could be inspired by the character of Tony Soprano from the classic HBO series, as they both shared an illustrious past in high school football.