Michael De Santa Guide

Michael De Santa Guide: The Architect in the Spotlight!

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Grand Theft Auto 5 is the most revolutionary installment in the Grand Theft Auto series. The latter introduced three main playable characters: Michael De Santa, Franklin Clinton, and Trevor Philips. The player can switch between characters and experience the story from their perspective.

However, one might argue that Michael De Santa, previously known as Michael Townley, is the best character to play with. The majority of the story revolves around him and the consequences of his decisions.

Michael De Santa is known as a hardcore criminal with years of experience in his inventory, so he can deal with almost any situation. Nonetheless, he loses control every once in a while and goes on a rampage destroying anything in his path.

You came to the right place if you are a fan of Grand Theft Auto V and want to know more about Michael De Santa, also known as Mikey/ Mr. Suxxx. This Michael De Santa Guide provides details about Michael’s personality, background, missions, and relationships.

Who is Michael?

Michael De Santa

Michael De Santa, previously known as Michael Townley, is one of the three main playable protagonists in Grand Theft Auto 5, alongside Trevor and Franklin. He is the father of Tracy, Jimmy, and is married to Amanda de Santa.

Michael faked his death as a way out of the criminal life and moved to live in the posh area of Rockford Hills with his family. However, his life is not as ideal and prosperous as it seems.


Michael was born on January 12th, 1968/1965 in the Midwest and spent most of his criminal life in North Yankton. Just like the other two protagonists in the game, Michael had a rough childhood. He lived in a trailer park with his mother and an alcoholic father, who physically abused him.

Eventually, both of his parents abandoned him. Michael played quarterback for an all-state football team during high school and put on a magnificent performance headlining the newspapers on several occasions.

Nonetheless, his football career did not pay off because his hot temper and injuries forced him to quit.

Michel got his foot in the door of the criminal life in his early adulthood years. According to his own words, Michael went to prison twice before the age of twenty, where he learned several skills, including how to use a tattoo gun.

He used that skill to tattoo his name on the heinie of his cellmate.

Michael managed to execute his first successful heist in 1988 in the suburbs of Carcer City and got away with 10,000 $ from a small business. from that point onwards, Michael worked on developing his criminal skills and became an expert heists leader and a professional marksman.

carcer city gta 5

Meanwhile, Michael befriended a man named Lester Crest with high skills in planning to help him pull off successful heists and much more.

Michael met Trevor Philips while accompanying a cargo across the U.S – Canadian borders. Trevor was supposed to be waiting for a single employer when he noticed the dust trail of vehicles heading toward him. Michael got out of the first car while an old man exited the other.

Turns out that Michael carjacked the old fellow while trying to escape on foot. The old man tried to get Trevor’s attention, hoping he might help him, but he shot him in the eye with a flare gun killing him on the spot. Michael helped Trevor dump the body in a nearby lake while the flare was still burning inside his head.

Realizing they make a good team, Michael and Trevor became partners in crime with Lester on their side and began a chain of bank robberies. Michael claimed that he and Trevor were always broke and on the run from the authorities despite the money they stole. The main reason was Trevor’s impulsive attitude, Michael’s caution, anticipation, and Solomon Richards’ film quotes that attracted attention.


Michael is an untidy nostalgic man lost between his virtue and vice personalities. He lives most of the time in his mind and fantasy, reminiscing on certain aspects of his life and his old glory days.

He is chained to a sad, yearning, and confusing world and dwells on why things did not turn out according to plan. Michael developed an obsession with money-oriented things and reputations that explains why he chose to live in the Vinewood area with his family. In a conversation between him and Franklin, he claims that he lives in a loop of chasing things and hating them after acquiring them.

michael de santa gta 5

After taking a deeper look, Michael seems to have a profound hate for himself. He chose to live a fairytale-like life instead of facing the fact that his bad decisions brought pain and destruction to him, his family, friends, and associates. As a result, Michael has an uncontrollable temper to the point where he becomes touchy, aggressive, and does things without thinking.

For instance, Michael goes on a rampage when he finds that his wife is cheating on him with her tennis coach. He gets furious and destroys the house where the coach is hiding, not knowing that it belongs to the drug baron Martin Madrazo. Sarcasm is another thing Michael holds on to very tightly. He uses it most of the time in conversations as a defense mechanism to cover his self-hatred and avoid awkward situations.

In the Paleto Score Setup, Michael gets into a heated talk with Trevor and says that sarcasm is the only thing he got left, and no one will take it from him.

Furthermore, Michael has an extravagant sense of his self-importance and is excessively conceited in himself. In other words, he is a narcissist with a massive ego. He thinks about his problems and forgets about the horrific situations he got his family and friends into. To make matters worse, Michael gets triggered when someone criticizes him about it.

A case in point is when his wife Amanda scolds him for not giving her any support in raising the kids and catering to his pleasure instead during Shame or Fame. During the same mission, Michael snaps when Trevor slaps his wrist for letting Tracy humiliate herself in public. And the same happens with Lester and Franklin. Michael keeps falling into heated conversations with everyone around him and gets criticized for complaining too much and thinking about himself.

amanda michael de santa

One of Michael’s bad qualities is hypocrisy and addiction to chaos. He lectures everyone around him about their mistakes more often and denies his own. For instance, he rebukes his son Jimmy for lounging, playing video games, and eating plentifully, forgetting that he does almost the same thing. Another example is when he stands in the way of his daughter, preventing her from becoming famous. Yet, he appeases favors from Solomon Richards to become a recognized movie producer.

Michael also complains that Amanda is wasting money, but in reality, his day-to-day trading is ruining their finances. This extends to Trevor as well. Michael judges him for killing, stealing, and destroying things with no mercy. However, Michael himself did not show any remorse to all the people he previously murdered and started trouble with the likes of Madrazo and Simeon.

Regardless of his negatives, Michael still has a positive side. He pays Franklin for driving into his boss’s business even though he broke into his mansion and tried to steal his car. Michael also cares for and loves his family. Despite all the trouble, he still attempts to reunite with his wife and kids and solve their problems.

Additionally, he shows that he cares for his friends and mourns Trevor’s death if Franklin decides to kill him in the end.

Michael is on the opposite end of the spectrum compared to Trevor when it comes to crime. He is more rational and composed. For that reason, he is the leader that plans most of the robberies and heists alongside Lester. Nonetheless, Michael always prioritizes his family’s well-being over anything else. For instance, he left the premiere of his film to save his family from Merryweather’s forces.

At the end of the game, Michael shows that he began to acknowledge and embrace his shambolic personality. He also displays regret and starts working on fixing his anger and family issues.

Physical appearance

Michael is built like the average white male. He is in his mid-forties with black hair turning grey and green eyes. Michael is depicted as overweight with an intruding beer belly due to his love for fast food and alcohol. He weighs about 210 lbs. at about 6.2 ft tall.

Michael’s default attire is a two-piece gray suit without a tie and beach shorts with sandals and a polo shirt as a casual outfit. He’s got a Lexington haircut and a short stubble. Although he appears with a much shorter haircut in the prologue.

Michael’s hygiene was not that great either because of his addiction to drinking and smoking a lot of cigarettes and cigars. Thus, he got poor teeth and discolored fingers. Unlike Franklin and Trevor, Michael used to be an athlete and played as a quarterback. As a result, his physic is thick with veiny arms and legs. He also toned his physic and skills when he spent time behind bars.

Michael is not obese, but many people often make fun of his beer belly, including his son Jimmy, Trevor, and himself. He is also slower than the other protagonists because of his old age and lack of physical activity. In the mission Pack Man, Trevor describes Michael as fat but stronger underneath.

Special ability

Michael has a special skill known as Area Kill. Once activated, Michael enters a hyper-speed state like the Flash. However, it appears as if time slowed down, which gives him an advantage over his enemies, especially during shootouts.

Where can I find Michael?

Michael chose to live in the wealthy Vinewood hills area after his fresh start. He moved into a mansion with his family on Portola Drive, Rockford Hills in Los Santos.  He moved out to Trevor’s trailer in Sandy Shores, Blaine County after getting in trouble with the drug baron Martin Madrazo.

His vehicles collection is not as big as one may expect. It consists of a black Tailgater, Scorcher, white Marquis, and a couple of rentals. However, his collection is a lot more diverse. Among the weapons he owns are Pistol, Combat Pistol, AP Pistol, Stun Gun, Carbine Rifle, and Assault Rifle.

Relationship with other characters

Trevor Philips

Trevor is Michael’s friend and brother crime long before the events of GTA 5. They met at the U.S/ Canadian borders when Michaels was escorting a cargo.

After burying the body of a random victim, Michael carjacked, the latter convinced Trevor to become his partner and start a series of robberies since they make a great team together.

Trevor saw Michael as his spiritual brother, while Michael thoughts of Trevor as a loose maniac.

Franklin Clinton

michael franklin gta

Michael meets Franklin when the latter steals a car from his house while he is still in the back seat. Michael forces Franklin to drive through the front of his boss’s business and gets him fired.

Instead of hating each other, Franklin was impressed with Michael’s criminal attitude, and Michael was fascinated with Franklin’s courage.

Lester Crest

Lester Crest

Michael met Lester sometime before the Ludendorff heist and became the architect behind many of Michael’s heists.

Amanda De Santa


Michael met Amanda while she was working as a stripper and fell in love with each other. The couple ended up getting married and having two kids. Their marriage took a turn for the worse when they moved to Los Santos.

Michael became depressed and disappointed with his lifestyle, which led to him pushing his family away. Nonetheless, the family reunites in the end and works on solving their issues.

Jimmy De Santa

Jimmy De Santa

Jimmy has a shaky relationship with his father at the beginning. He shows no respect for his old man and always tries to steal money from him and sell his boat behind his back.

But their relationship improves later on when Jimmy admits that he loves his father, and starts spending more time together.

Tracy De Santa

Tracy De Santa

Tracy is Michael’s daughter, and their relationship is tense. Michael loves his daughter, but he hates the social aspect of her life and tries to stop her from hanging out with drug dealers and adult movie stars.

Even so, their relationship comes back to life when Tracy states that she misses Michael. After they reunite, Michael helps Tracy get rid of a creepy old man and humiliate Lazlow in the tattoo shop.

Does Michael appear in missions?

Since Michael is one of the main protagonists of the game, he appears in tons of missions. Here is a list of every mission related to Michael De Santa:

  • Prologue
  • Franklin and Lamar
  • Complications
  • Father/Son (Boss)
  • Marriage Counseling (Boss)
  • Friend Request (Michael Only)
  • Daddy’s Little Girl (Michael Only)
  • Casing the Jewel Store (Michael Only)
  • The Jewel Store Job
  • Philips
  • Fame or Shame (Boss)
  • Dead Man Walking (Michael Only)
  • Three’s Company
  • By The Book
  • Did Somebody Say Yoga? (Boss, Michael Only)
  • The Merryweather Heist
  • Blitz Play
  • I Fought The Law
  • Richards (Michael Only)
  • Caida Libre
  • Minor Turbulence
  • Paleto Score Setup
  • Predator
  • The Paleto Score
  • Derailed
  • Monkey Business
  • Hang Ten
  • Surveying the Score
  • Bury the Hatchet (Boss)
  • Fresh Meat
  • The Ballad of Rocco (Michael Only)
  • Cleaning Out the Bureau (Michael Only)
  • Reuniting the Family (Boss, Michael Only)
  • Architect’s Plans (Boss)
  • Legal Trouble (Michael Only)
  • The Bureau Raid
  • The Wrap Up
  • Lamar Down
  • Meltdown (Michael Only)
  • Planning the Big Score
  • The Big Score
  • Scouting the Port

Michael also appears in other missions that can be completed as any character:

  • Trash Truck
  • Boiler Suits
  • Masks
  • Tow Truck
  • Military Hardware
  • Fire Truck (Fire Crew)
  • Stingers (Subtle)
  • Gauntlet (Subtle)
  • Driller (Obvious)
  • Sidetracked

He also appears in the final mission of the game

  • Something Sensible (Option A)
  • The Time’s Come (Option B) (non-canon death)
  • The Third Way (Option C)

There are some side missions related to Michael, including:

  • The Good Husband
  • Doting Dad
  • Parenting 101
  • Chaos
  • Evil
  • Negativity
  • Fucked Up
  • Abandonment Issues

He also takes part in strangers and freaks.

  • Grass Roots
  • Exercising Demons
  • Seeking the Truth
  • Accepting the Truth
  • Assuming the Truth
  • Chasing the Truth
  • Bearing the Truth
  • Delivering the Truth
  • Exercising the Truth
  • Unknowing the Truth
  • Death at Sea
  • What Lies Beneath

What are Michael’s top five best moments?

Protecting the Family


Michael loves his family deeply and always puts their safety first. His attempt to be a protective and caring father is one of the most heartwarming moments in the game.

Michael hunts down Lazlow and humiliates him for trying to take advantage of his daughter Tracy.

In addition, he leaves the premiere of his movie and runs back home to save his wife and kids from Westin’s hitmen.

Union Depository Heist

Dubbed the Big Score, Michael, with the help of his friends Trevor and Franklin, manages to execute the ultimate heist by robbing the Union Depository.

The jackpot is estimated at 201,600,000$ and arguably Michael’s biggest score to date.

Saying Hi to Franklin and Beating up Simeon

Michael and Franklin’s meeting for the first time cannot get any better than this. Franklin snuck into Michael’s house and stole a car from his garage with Michael hiding in the back seat.

The latter holds a gun against Franklin’s head and makes him drive through the window of Simeon’s dealership. Michael pays Franklin to run while he beats up Simeon for his fraudulent actions.

Destroying a mansion

Michael comes home and finds his wife cheating on him with her tennis coach. He goes on a rampage and chases the tennis coach. With the help of Franklin, Michaels finds the coach hiding on the deck of a house in the Vinewood Hills.

The duo ties the support beam of the house to their truck and drives off causing the house to crumble down a cliff. Later, Michael finds out that the house belongs to a drug lord called Martin Madrazo.

Bury the Hatchet

Arguably the best moment by far and a game-changer. Michael and Trevor get into a fight when the latter discovers that Michael has been lying to him the whole time.

Trevor found out that Michael made a secret deal with the FIB and faked his death. To make matters worse, Trevor also discovered that Brad was killed and buried in Michael’s grave.

Before GTA 5 Events

The betrayal (prologue)

Sometime later, Michael got into a romantic relationship with a stripper he met named Amanda. The couple got married, had two children, Jimmy and Tracy, and moved into a trailer park. Michael became very attentive to his criminal activities, which could fire back and hurt his family. This made Trevor very angry, thinking that Michael was getting soft.

Years later, Trevor introduced Michael to a man he met called Brad Snider. Michael and Brad never liked each other, and sometimes they would express that hate. At one point Brad suggested to Trevor that he should cut off Michael, but Trevor was loyal to Michael and refused to let him go.

The trio managed to work together and complete a series of successful heists until the 2004 Ludendorff job. Before the heist, Michael met shady FIB agent Dave Norton. Worried about his family’s safety, Michael made a secret agreement with Norton.

Michael would end the chapter of his criminal life with Trevor and Brad and start a clean sheet with his family. Norton agreed to relocate Michael and his family to Los Santos and give them new identities after getting paid five figures per month.

Michael informed Norton of the Ludendorff heist where Norton would arrest Brad, and pretend to shoot Michael before killing Trevor. The plan seemed flawless, but it soon crumbled when Trevor killed a guard who held Michael at gunpoint. During their escape, the getaway driver was killed forcing Michael to take the wheel.

On their way to meet up with Norton, the car got hit by a train on a railroad crossing while attempting to avoid a police roadblock. Things turned further away from the original agreement when Norton shot Brad by accident when he walked in front of Trevor. Michael faked getting shot and begged Trevor to escape.

Trevor ran away and took a hideout in Sandy Shores, Blaine County while Michael Townley was declared dead and received a funeral. In reality, Michael was alive and living in a mansion in Rockford Hills with his family under the name “De Santa”, and Brad was buried in Michael’s grave in North Yankton.

Grand Theft Auto 5 Events

Nine years after the Ludendorff heist, Michael is finally living in a mansion in a wealthy area like he always wanted. However, Michael was very depressed and disappointed because his lifestyle did not turn out the way he wanted. In addition, he became angry and self-centered, lazy, fat, and an alcoholic.

Michael’s story in the events of GTA V is very complicated. His relationship with his family is crumbling down, he got into trouble with the FIB for going back to the criminal life, and Trevor returns with his psychotic plans. Not to mention, Dave Weston and Martin Madrazo entered the conversation as well.

Michael’s return to crime begins when he meets Franklin, his future brother in crime after the latter stole a car from Michael’s mansion. To Franklin’s surprise, Michael was hiding under blankets in the back seat before he reveals himself and points a gun at Franklin’s head.

He forces him to drive into the window of his boss’s dealership and pays him to run away. Yet, instead of becoming enemies, Michael admired Franklin’s courage and skills and kept him close helping him in heists and saving his family.

Michael’s problems start at home with his family. His relationship with his kids is shaky. He gets into heated conversations with his son about being lazy and addicted to video games. Jimmy ends up trying to sell Michael’s boat behind his back, but the boat gets hijacked with Jimmy still on it. The latter also puts drugs in Michael’s drink and steals his car and money.

michael boat

The problems continue with his daughter, who spends her time around drug dealers and adult film stars trying to be famous. However, Michael hates her social life and tries to keep her away from the people she hangs out with. He swims to a yacht to prevent Tracy from acting in an adult movie and runs to the Maze Bank Arena to stop her from humiliating herself on the TV show Fame or Shame.

Things get more complicated when his wife Amanda claims that he mistreats her and blames her for wasting money. She later cheats on Michael with her tennis coach and leaves him for her yoga instructor Fabien. Infuriated, Michael, with Franklin in tow, chases the tennis coach to a stilt house in the Vinewood hills. They attach a winch to the support beams of the house and drive off in a Truck, causing the house to fall down a hill.

Which was a big mistake!

It turns out that the house belongs to a powerful cartel leader called Martin Madrazo, who wants 2,500,000$ for the damages or he will kill Michael and Franklin. The duo plan to rob a jewelry store to pay back their debt. The robbery goes smoothly, but it costs Michael a lot in the long run.

The jewelry heist caught the attention of Trevor in Sandy Shores. He figures out that his old pal Michael is behind the job and heads to Los Santos to reunite with him. While Michael is in the middle of an argument with his family, Trevor walks into the room, leaving everyone in shock.  It also made the FIB agent Dave Norton angry at Michael for going back to his old criminal life.

He calls Michael and tells him that the higher-ups are on high alert, and they may find out about their secret deal, putting the pair in danger. Michael reluctantly agrees on doing tasks for the FIB to keep the heat off of him and Norton.

michael de santa fib

After hijacking an armored truck for the FIB, Michael meets Devin Weston who promises to make his dream of becoming a movie producer come true in exchange for his services. However, Michael discovers that Devin was exploiting him and the studios and his film was never going out to the public.

Michael chases Weston’s lawyer and kills him. In retaliation, Devin sends Merryweather mercenaries to kill Michael’s family during the movie premier. Michael finds out and rushes back home to save his family.

Michael starts fixing his relationship with his family, but his friendship with Trevor takes a turn for the worse.

Trevor meets Michael at his house and pitches him the idea of busting Brad out of jail but Michael avoids the subject entirely and tries to switch to a different topic. This made Trevor suspicious and finally realized that Brad is dead and buried in Michael’s grave in North Yankton.

Trevor flies to the cemetery and digs up the grave to see Brad’s body in the coffin. Michael followed him, hoping to stop him, but it was too late, and the duo ends up pointing guns at each other. During the standoff, the Triads interfere and capture Michael while Trevor escaped.

Trevor decides to hold back on killing Michael and comes back to help with the Union Depository heist. The robbery was successful, and the trio left with 201,600,000$ in the bag.

What is Michael’s fate?

After the heist, Franklin receives a visit from both Steve Haines and Devin Westin. The latter wants Michael dead, while Haines wants Franklin to kill Trevor. The available options are:

Option A: Something Sensible

Franklin chooses to kill Trevor and calls Michael for help. while Franklin is in the middle of a car chase with Trevor around the oil fields, Michael arrives and rams Trevor’s truck into an Oil Tanker. They pull the trigger causing the Tanker to catch on fire killing Trevor in the process.

Option B: The Time’s Come

Franklin decides to kill Michael. The latter discovers that Franklin is luring him to the desert to kill him, so he makes a run for it. Franklin chases Michael, and they end up on the rooftop of a power station. They get into a fistfight, but Franklin manages to push Michael off the edge to his death.

Option C: The Third Way

Franklin risks his life to save Michael and Trevor. The Trio gets together for the last time to kill their enemies. Trevor kills Steve Heines while Franklin goes after the Triads leader for Trevor, and Michael stops Stretch from going after Franklin. The trio then meets up to capture and kill Devin Weston.


Question: Can Michael De Santa wear a hat?

Answer: Unfortunately, Michael does not wear any hats in GTA 5 story mode. He cannot buy any hats despite the massive collections in the clothes stores. His only available option is a baseball cap.

Question: Will Michael De Santa return in GTA 6?

Answer: Rockstar confirmed that the new addition to the series is currently under development, but it did not disclose any further information.
Theoretically, the new title might be a fresh start for the series with a new set of characters, but it may feature a cameo for one of GTA’s 5 protagonists. Nonetheless, nothing is confirmed until Rockstar releases a trailer.

Answer: Grand Theft Auto 5 is one of the most popular and best-selling games ever thanks to its gameplay, graphics, characters, story, and features. What kept the game going so far is the Online aspect of the game and the continuous updates it receives. Recently, GTA fans received the Los Santos Tuner update that adds more vehicles to the game, extra modifications, races, and car meets.

Final Words

When it comes to characters, Rockstar got the nail on the head with GTA 5 protagonists. Michael De Santa proved to be a professional assassin not to play around with.

Despite being old and out of shape, he can blow anyone’s brain with a bullet. To some extent, Michael is the center of the story, and without him, Grand theft Auto 5 would fall apart.

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