Santiago Camacho (da Costa in ARK 2) is a Terran Federation hacker. His knowledge of how to weaponize Element makes him the backbone of his Tek tribe. Ever since he woke up on the Aberrant ARK and learned about the fate of Earth, Santiago has been driven by learning more about Element's effects on planets. Specifically, he wants to understand how Element could ruin Earth.
The Santiago in Ark 2 is not a clone of the Santiago we know from Ark Aberration/Extinction. He is a clone of the Santiago that gets introduced in the Genesis 2 DLC of Ark: Survival Evolved. Santiago in Genesis 2 is like the Aberration/Extinction Santiago a clone of the original Santiago, that lived during the war between the Federation and the URE. His memory was altered like maybe his body and even personality to better fit for the tasks he was assigned to at the Genesis 2 ship. He doesn't remember most of his past and does not know what he has done at the war. He finds out some about it later.
A clone of the Genesis 2 Santiago returns in ARK 2, but with an incomplete set of memories and personality of Santiago.
Santiago grew up in a country occupied by the Terran Federation more specifically, San Paulo, Brazil a few years before the Element War. Because of that, he hates the faction's rival, the United Republic of Earth. On a personal level, he finds them to be loud mouthed, overly self-satisfied, and naïve people, but he never let it influence him completely as he wanted to let the transhumans in the faction to mind their own business. In his former life as a hacker and data terrorist, Santiago has undertaken many classified espionage missions acting against various corporations to test and develop his skills. When the Element War came, many people in the Terran Federation saw Santiago as a hero against the United Republics of Earth due to his hacking skills during its duration. At the end of the war, he was last seen in a Terran Federation shipyard in Central America and Santiago's death is what officially the Element War. According to Uma, Santiago's mind had been manipulated to make his clone think that he is still alive and is working on Project Genesis.
After waking up on the ARKs as a person who doesn't have Genesis Santiago's memories, those skills quickly earned him a place as the head engineer for the Tek tribe. Upon arriving on an Element ravaged Earth, Santiago wants to know how a harmless chemical can cause global devastation.
|“||I had a talk with Santiago today. A real one I mean, not the sarcastic banter that's his preferred method of communication. I was pretty surprised, I didn't think that had an off switch.||„|
Santiago is a calm, sarcastic, creative survivor who wants everyone to be safe. He loves messing with people and sees himself as a jerk but also understands and respects the reasoning of other people, as shown in his response to Helena's reluctance to travel with the Tek survivors down to Earth after the destruction she brought through Rockwell. Santiago is considered the brains of the tribe, always coming up with a grand project to either escape the ARKs, or fight against titans. He is quick at analyzing and applying facts. His witty, sarcastic style of communication is widely noted.
He also seems to be a perfectionist, as he wants his coding to be spot on to ensure his projects function flawlessly. For example, he becomes concerned about the Gateway project being 8.93 meters off its intended target, and worries over a simulation of the Mega Mek's fusion process when the base Mek's reactors melt down over a problem in the energy flow.
When Santiago and the other survivors reach Earth and find it barren, Santiago remains calm and level headed. His focus is on surviving the challenging situation rather than panicking like many others would. He takes initiative to lead the tribe to get them back together.
Santiago eventually deduces that the Element poisoning Earth likely came from Tek warfare based on weapons he designed. He feels guilty for causing such destruction, even though he did so unwittingly.
|“||Despite this, Santiago is insisting on analyzing his readings. The scientist in me is proud of his dedication to hard evidence, but the part of me that would rather not be obliterated by a mysterious, high tech space station really wishes he would hurry the hell up.||„|
Being the brains of one of the most advanced tribe on the ARKs, Santiago's understanding of technology is his most dominant survival trait. Where he may look like no threat at all, he can create armor that can withstand trees and boulders while running at mach speeds. On Aberration, he is capable of hacking an ARK, a piece of technology that should not be within any survivor's understanding. Being an engineer and hacker, Santiago is also capable of making weapons based off of element, a substance he worked with extensively before coming to the ARK. In an addendum of his eighth note, he notes he can make Element-based rockets, a new type of jet called orbital strike fighters, and a massive orbital carrier ship.
Whether forging deadly weapons from simple minerals in a certain area or making robots that break the limits of physics, he is a master of weaponry. The Meks, Santiago's masterpiece weapon, show for how deadly his intelligence can be. He even has learned to reverse engineer robots from just their data processor. Even the Mega Mek, Santiago's greatest weapon, is a result of him fiddling with the Hunter Killer Enforcer robot's teleportation technology. The result of his work? He built robots that can make the biggest creatures retreat with their tail between their legs.
What sets him apart from other survivors is his knowledge of Element, a futuristic substance that can render early 21st century technology completely obsolete and make it look like a Stone Age tool in comparison to Tek technology. He understands that element can grow in tiny amounts so small that according to him, a person can ignore it completely.
- Terran Federation (Hacker; based on his memories)
- Tek tribe (Chief Engineer/ De facto leader/ Mek architect)
- Genesis Colony Ship (Stryder architect)
- ARK 2 (Tribe leader)
The End of Santiago
When the Titans and Corrupted Horde attack Camp Omega, Santiago we know from Aberration/Extinction willingly sacrifices himself to allow the other survivors to escape. He is later buried by Diana.
The Genesis 2 Santiago diverted Yongki, the crew member that he is friends with, from blowing up the human archive bank at the cost of his life. His engrammic matrix is saved by Uma into the ships data base after she tried to repeat his death several times over to hear Yongki's final words.