The star of the series, Isaac Clarke is an engineer with the CEC, dispatched on the USG Kellion to repair the Ishimura. He is also looking for his girlfriend Nicole who is stationed there. He quickly finds that the Ishimura has been overrun with Necromorphs and has to fight through all of them while repairing the ship and rescuing Nicole. By the time of Dead Space 2, his sanity has taken a couple of hits and he has been locked away in an asylum on Titan Station. Unfortunately, another Necromorph attack happens there and Isaac has to once again fight to survive. In Dead Space 3, he travels across the galaxy in hopes of stopping the Necromorph threat permanently.
Took a Level in Badass: He was just an engineer, but was forced to take a level at the beginning of the first game.
Berserk Button: He already had a longstanding mistrust of Unitology, but it turned into outright hatred after the events of the first game.
Character Development: Goes from barely surviving the Ishimura outbreak to fighting space zombies, government troops and religious fanatics. By the third game he's "The Marker Killer". After the third game you could probably go ahead and call him The Moon Killer or something.
Cool Old Guy: Isaac is actually in his 40s, according to his official bio. In the first game he was 43, in the second he's about 46, though a lot of that was in stasis so it might not count.
Crazy Sane: Tormented by Marker hallucinations pretty much constantly by Dead Space 2 (as well as some honest-to-goodness symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder during the Ishimura level), he managed to continue to persevere in spite of this, even though his psychological record would draw some rather uneasy glances.
Dead Man Walking: Unless Isaac can cure himself of the nasty things in his brain in the second game, he's doomed to go crazy and die. Struggling to find a way to solve this is the major impetus of the game.
Deadpan Snarker: Isaac has turned into one of these by the second game, perhaps courtesy of being Suddenly Voiced. It's understandable, given what he's been through.
Isaac: What, you think there's something out there that's trying to eat me?
Ellie: Not funny.
Isaac: Yeah. I know.
Determinator: Isaac Clarke is not going to let a shipful of horrors stop him. He does his repair jobs alone despite the circumstances, he manages to repeatedly punch out Cthulhu, refuses to relent when betrayed and left to die, and his Heroic BSOD lasts all of five seconds when he finds out that Nicole's dead.
And in the second game, Isaac doesn't let the fact he's been locked in a mental asylum for the past three years and he's wearing a straightjacket stop him from evading Necromorphs, fashion a plasma cutter and a stasis module out of surgical tools, before suiting up and fighting his way through yet another outbreak.
Disappeared Dad: It's mentioned that Isaac's father vanished during an extended off-world mission, building ships for the Marine Corp. Due to his work being highly classified, Isaac's attempts to track him down have been thus far mostly futile.
The Engineer: Isaac's definitely the Combat Engineer variety. This characterization is much better reinforced in the second game than in the first game, where his status as an engineer was more of an Informed Attribute. This time around, his first tools are improvised devises he jury-rigs out of medical equipment, and he occasionally has to do a little rewiring of control panels in the form of a hacking mini-game to bypass inoperative doors. It's taken even further in Dead Space 3, where Isaac is able to make his own guns.
The Faceless: Averted after the first game. Even within that, he can have his face shown in the opening, and has it shown in the closing cutscene as well.
Gadgeteer Genius: In the first game, an Informed Ability on par with Dr. Freeman's Theoretical Physics degree, but in the second game Isaac's first tool is a Kinesis Module he cobbles together out of parts he rips from a malfunctioning hover-bed. His new plasma cutter is a mash-up of a flashlight and a surgical operating laser, and his new guns in Dead Space 3 will be made from scratch. By him, customized by you.
The second part of this (the Genius part) is what makes him so effective at combating the Necromorphs and the Marker. Several logs indicate that smart people that come into contact with the Marker are more functional afterwards than people of less intelligence. Isaac takes this to the natural conclusion: the smartest people are able to defeat the Marker, rather than being consumed by a desire to make it.
Genre Savvy: Becoming this by the time of 3, after surviving two Necromorph outbreaks.
Heroic Mime/The Quiet One: In the first game, with nothing but Voice Grunting and screams. Interestingly, he does have things to say if you look at his notes on the objectives. He's intelligent, and not gullible or naive. He is, however, scared out of his mind.The grunts and screams are somewhat on the extreme side, almost making him a Screaming Warrior. Entirely justified in that, when he's stomping the crap out of the monsters he comes across, he's scared to death, and likely is trying to resolve some of that fear any way he can.
Heroic Willpower: Isaac takes debilitating hallucinations quite well. At least one other character mentions that out of everyone exposed to the Marker, he was by far the most stable. In the end, this is what saves him. In fact, his Battle in the Center of the Mind seems to even destroy the giant Marker! No surprise he looks totally drained afterwards.
Informed Ability: Averted more and more as time goes on: Isaac must physically rewire control panels in order to activate different machines or devices, which certainly requires more engineering know-how than simply pushing a button on a screen. He can also make guns as of Dead Space 3, which definitely requires a lot of know-how. Justified by the developers as a way to highlight and emphasize Isaac still being an engineer rather than a Space Marine.
Ink-Suit Actor: Averted at first, as he had no actor to begin with in the original. But then played straight in the sequels, with him Suddenly Voiced, which called for a redesign of his appearance to fit Wright's.
Irony: Since Nicole's body is never found and she killed herself in a manner that would leave herself open to infection, it's possible that she might have been one of the countless Necromorphs killed by Isaac, whilst he searched through the Ishimura looking for her.
It's All My Fault: Sees Nicole's death as this, due to pushing her to take the job on the Ishimura in the first place.
Kleptomaniac Hero: Isaac steals more or less everything he comes across. Mostly justified, since the previous owners are all dead. Everything he doesn't steal is readily purchased from your local Ishimura Store terminal. With looted money. That he acquired by selling other stolen stuff.
Made of Iron: Let's see, he has survived the outbreak on the Ishimura, the destruction of Aegis VII, the destruction of the Sprawl, has defeated several massive creatures, and recently killed a moon. Did the destruction of the moon kill him? Nope. He survives that too! And in every single one of these instances, he constantly gets injured or attacked, and yet he keep on trekking. This man refuses to die.
Danik: "Isaac, is that you? You are unbelievably hard to kill. Are you aware of that?"
Mysterious Past: Very little is known of Isaac's past. Some logs in the first game indicate strong familiarity with the crew of the Ishimura such as Gabe Weller, implying that in addition to Nicole, he had several friends serving onboard at the time. Some have even theorised that Isaac himself may even have served on the ship previously or at least repaired it a few times and that was how he found out about the job opportunity for Nicole.
Parental Neglect: You will find in Isaac's bio that he was not priority number one for his parents.
Somewhat justified in the case of his father, who vanished during an extended mission off-world whilst building ships for the Marine Corp. That said, his father did make sure to spend the first four years of Isaac's life on Earth with the family. His mother on the other hand, threw herself into Unitology out of loneliness and later depression when her husband disappeared. Her fanaticism lead her to blow most of their family's wealth on getting herself risen to the rank of Vested within the Church, preventing Isaac from attending a prominent engineering college in the process and driving a permanent wedge between them.
Right Man in the Wrong Place: In Dead Space 1 he was just an engineer that only volunteered to go to the Ishimura in order to find his girlfriend, only to get way more than he bargained for with Necromorphs, yet he still managed to eliminate the Necromorph scourge on Aegis VII. In Dead Space 2 he's yet again caught in the middle of another Necromorph infestation, and manage to stop a Convergence event from happening.
Reluctant Hero: In 3 due to his experiences. This shakes off when he's told to help Ellie.
Sanity Slippage: Isaac suffers from hallucinations because some of the Red Marker's influence still lingers.
He's cured of the hallucinations at the end of 2, although there are signs he suffers from lingering mental trauma. He relapses into hallucinations in the Awakened DLC, mostly because there's an entire Eldritch Abomination race trying it on him and Carver.
Second Love: Subverted. Isaac and Ellie initially got into a relationship after the events of the second game, but broke up by the beginning of the third. Double subverted by the end of the game, when Isaac and Ellie share one final kiss before he takes on the Brother Moon.
Shell-Shocked Veteran: The events on the Ishimura have quite an impact on him. The Sprawl does as well in terms of both trust and horror.
Survivors Guilt: After the events of the first game. Also because Isaac was the one to push Nicole to take the job on the Ishimura in the first place, thus indirectly making him responsible for her death.
Chief Science Officer of the Ishimura and devout Unitologist. Fearing what would happen if the Necromorph outbreak spreads, he sabotaged the ship, until visions of his deceased wife shows him how to stop the outbreak.
The Atoner: All he wants to do is make things right after helping cause the Necromorph outbreak.
Another Mad Scientist and Unitologist on the Ishimura. Audio logs Isaac finds detail how the Necromorphs drove his already unstable mind into full blown Ax-Crazy. When Isaac finds him Mercer has been experimenting on humans and Necromorphs, the results of which he unleashes on Isaac.
The Man Behind The Monsters: While not leading the Necromorphs directly, the true leader is the Hive Mind, he is helping to advance the Necromorph infection and create new, more powerful types of Necromorphs.
Meaningful Name: Mercer is an old term for a dealer of textiles. Seems he's a man of the cloth. Another interpretation: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a type of bacterium responsible for numerous difficult-to-treat or outright incurable ailments in human beings. It's abbreviated MRSA, and the abbreviation is often pronounced "Mer-sah" or Mercer.
Omnicidal Maniac: Mercer's master plan, such as it is, is to use the Ishimura to transport a group of Necromorphs to Earth, where he'll unleash them to turn the entire planet into Necromorphs. This plan's not particularly realistic given the current condition of the Ishimura, and he eventually forgets about it entirely and feeds himself to an Infector.
One-Winged Angel: After Isaac kills the Hunter, Mercer lets an Infector turn him into a Necromorph. His transformation isn't anything special though, as he just becomes another Enhanced Slasher. The process can even be averted if the player is fast enough to kill the Infector before Mercer transforms.
Worthy Opponent: He respects Isaac's ability to survive and constantly compliments his efforts, even if he does believe Isaac's only fighting the inevitable.
Played by: Iyari Limon & Tanya Clarke
Isaac's long-term girlfriend, a medical officer stationed aboard the Ishimura at Isaac's suggestion. Nicole didn't suffer any negative effects from the Necromorphs, and managed to send out a message to Isaac saying that the place is falling apart (though she doesn't say what the problem is), alerting Isaac that something is wrong. Isaac spends most of the game looking for her. Nicole also makes cameo appearances in Downfall and Extraction.
Better to Die than Be Killed: Her reason for committing suicide, she preferred to die by her own hand rather than be ripped apart by Necromorphs.
Never Found the Body: Isaac at one point encounters room she's later revealed to have died in, but her body is no longer there. This suggests that she did indeed end up become one of the Necromorphs onboard the Ishimura and ironically might have been one of the countless number killed by Isaac as he ventured through the ship searching for her. The Nicole hallucination pointedly guilt-trips Isaac about this in Dead Space 2.
Proper Lady: She is very kind, sweet, compassionate, and calm.
Acting Chief Engineer of the USG Ishimura after most of the crew is dead. His story is chronicled through various logs Isaac finds, where he attempts to repair the Ishimura and find his girlfriend, Dr. Elizabeth Cross.
A security officer on the Ishimura and the second player character in Extraction. He is sent down to Aegis VII to retrieve the bodies of the mass suicide and happens to meet up with his old friend, Nathan McNeill. The bodies are found to be gone, and he and Nathan have to escape Aegis VII as they soon discover what the bodies have transformed into.Weller is the main character in Severed, re-appearing alongside Lexine as the two try to get off the Sprawl.
Late to the Tragedy: His chapter one in Severed starts off just as the Necromorphs are attacking the hospital, but by the time he gets there, Isaac is long gone and the place is in even worse condition.
Red Herring: One is naturally inclined to assume he's the one who becomes the necromorph at the end of Extraction, since the shadow of the slasher depicts it with two human arms and, well, McNeil only has the one.
Lower Deck Episode: She has one level starring her. She kills a brute protecting Lexine, but she dies when she calls Warren out for seeding Unitologists into every corner of the ship. Immediately afterwards she is attacked by a tentacle and left to die by Warren while he yells about his "god" having different plans. This leaves the player in serious doubt of his character.
An engineer stationed on Aegis VII and Lexine Murdoch's boyfriend. What was supposed to be a routine planet crack changed due to the discovery of a mysterious red artifact. He and his team are sent to extract what everyone is now calling "The Marker"...
A detective stationed on Aegis VII and the player character whose point of view is shown through most of the game. He was investigating the bizarre rash of murders and insanity since the extraction of the Marker, until he meets up with his old friend Gabe Weller from the USG Ishimura. He soon finds himself trapped on a madness-ravaged Aegis VII, along with an alien threat known as the Necromorphs.
A surveyor of Aegis VII and girlfriend of Sam Caldwell. As the Aegis VII colonists go mad, she tries to find sanctuary in the security office, but joins Nathan and Gabe as they all try to escape from the Necromorph attack.Lexine reappears in Dead Space 2: Severed, once again trying to escape from Necromorphs.
Action Girl: She protected Gabe and found painkillers, off-screen.
Damsel in Distress: She's stuck in the hospital during the second Necromorph attack. She's also one of the Key Subjects Tiedemann marked for Termination alongside Isaac, and the Church of Unitology wants her as well.
The Chick: Most of the time, she has to be protected by Nathan and Weller, but you do see her use a gun and defend herself later on.
The Immune: She is immune to Red Marker influence like Michael Altman, and imparts resistance to it to those who remain in close proximity.
MacGuffin Girl: In Extraction, she somehow has the ability to nullify the Marker hallucinations which is why the Church of Unitology is after her. In Severed She was one of the subjects in Tiedemann's project, likely because of her ability to cancel out Marker-induced hallucinations. It's revealed that she's pregnant, and her and Gabe's child was also of interest to the government.
Executive Director of Colonial Mining Affairs for the Concordance Extraction Corporation. He survives the crash that wipes out the shuttles, and relies on Nathan, Gabe, and Lexine for protection, as he possesses the last working shuttle off the planet.
The Load: He doesn't really do anything after giving them the shuttle.
The Mole: For the Unitologists who want to take Lexine.
A P-Sec officer and the protagonist of a comic prequel to the game.
Noble Bigot with a Badge: Has a very dim view of Unitology, based on his ex-wife's devotion to it. He's not hesitant about spouting off his distrust of it, even around his Unitologist partner. Despite this, he is generally trying to help people. Given what happens to many Unitologists later, it isn't completely unjustified.
Only Sane Man: Not quite, but he figured the Marker was bad news as soon as it was dug up.
What Happened to the Mouse?: After leaving a final recording, he wanders off into the Necromorph-filled hallways of the colony, likely killed by them. Isaac can find his recording in-game.
USG O'Bannon Crew
Played by: Curt Cornelius
A scientist that experimented on part of a Marker in Dead Space: Aftermath. Stross went insane and was locked up on the Sprawl after he killed his wife and daughter (whether he was hallucinating or if they had turned into Necromorphs is unknown). In Dead Space 2 Stross knows Isaac since they both had information about the Marker, and insists that he knows how to destroy it, but his incoherent ramblings make him hard to understand.
Asshole Victim: His hubris is directly responsible for everything that happens on the O'Bannon in Aftermath. Even before he came under the Marker Shard's influence and brutally murdered his wife and infant child, he was still an arrogant dick, who was cheating on his wife, planned on leaving her, and thought too highly of himself to consider that maybe, just maybe he shouldn't be playing with the Red Marker fragment. When hell broke loose, he panicked completely, leading directly to
The Load: Stross is a completely useless liability. He gives you a few hints on where to find the Marker, claiming he knows how to destroy it, but after that he degenerates rapidly into a Madness Mantra and has nothing to contribute. Once he becomes violent, Isaac struggles with him and kills him. Turns out, his help was unnecessary, anyway.
To the point that the developers put an audiolog on his body, in the extremely likely event that the player would want to abuse his corpse.
He was also this in Aftermath, culminating with him Hesitating to throw the Marker shard inside the ship's engines to destroy it, while the other survivors were fighting for their lives against the Necromorphs.
Never My Fault: His Fatal Flaw. As Dead Space: Aftermath showed, he was responsible for the death of several people after breaking a seal on a door which let a necromorph slaughter a crew of workers. Driven insane by it, he brutally murders his wife, Alexis, and their son, by his own hands. By refusing to accept responsibility for his actions, the Marker slowly drives him crazy in 2, to the point he starts attacking Isaac and Ellie, forcing Isaac to kill him in self-defense.
Shadow Archetype: To Isaac. Isaac and Stross were both brought to the same colony and suffer from similar delusions under the Marker's influence. However, Isaac accepts his girlfriend's death and stays sane, while Stross let's his guilt consume him.
Sanity Slippage: Starts out fairly coherent and helpful, and gradually degenerates through the course of the game as the Marker eats away at his mind.
A Class 4 heavy equipment pilot working on the Sprawl when all Hell breaks loose. She and a few of her friends lasted for a while, but by the time Isaac finds her she is the only one left. She is at first reluctant to trust Isaac, but goes along with his plan to destroy the new Marker and stop the Necromorphs.
Action Girl: A CEC Class Four Heavy Equipment pilot. She kicks major ass and calls Isaac a nerd.
Bad Ass Bookworm: When you first meet her, she's fighting off Necromorphs. No big deal, right? Except she's knows they can rip her apart, and is safely taking them apart from behind a security fence. No one else thought to do this in the chaos of the outbreak.
Faux Action Girl: In Dead Space 3. Granted, she is still a helpful asset to Isaac and barely avoids Chickification by not being a Distressed Damsel for the most part. However, she hardly does anything to defend herself onscreen despite having to be shown as an Action Girl in the previous game.
Action Survivor: One of very few characters to survive a Dead Space game. And only one of three people who has survived two outbreaks.
Ambiguously Brown: Ellie's apparently modeled after her voice actress Sonita Henry, who's mixed-race.
Badass: In Dead Space 2, considering how well she survives, even when defending people by herself.
Major Injury Underreaction: Her eye is gouged out. Her response to this is to insist Isaac owes her a new one while kicking the assailant's ass.
Second Love: Zig-zagged. She and Isaac became a couple after the events of "2", but she broke up with him by the start of "3", ultimately starting a relationship with Captain Norton. After Norton's betrayal and death, their love blossoms again.
Stiff Upper Lip: Given her mixed heritage and accent, she's British. She pretty mellow for losing an eye.
Survivor Guilt: She was the only member of her CEC crew who escaped the CEC facility on the Sprawl and displays some shades of survivor's guilt. She's reluctant to team with Isaac at first, and is not happy when Isaac forces her to leave on a shuttle while he prepares to go off on a Heroic Sacrifice. In 3, she does it again.
Took a Level in Jerkass: To a minor degree in 3, as she's revealed to have broken up with Isaac because he refused to face his demons in lieu of simply running from his past. While her frustration is somewhat understandable and it would put pressure on any relationship; considering she knows Isaac's survived two Necromorph outbreaks, spent three years being tortured in a hospital for information and been subjected to a ton of Mind Rape by the Markers, you'd think she'd understand why he's so shell-shocked and reticent to deal with it?
Played by: Lester Purry
The director of Titan Station, he was the one running the project that extracted the knowledge in building Markers out of Isaac's head and is partially responsible for the new Necromorph outbreak. He spends most of the game trying to stop Isaac and Ellie from getting to the Marker.
Determinator: It doesn't matter that the station is almost destroyed, all his men are dead, monsters are everywhere and he himself has horrific injures - while he is alive, Tiedemann will not let you reach the Marker. And he's justified in trying to do it too.
Facial Horror: Towards the end of the game, he is caught in an explosion, resulting in him losing a lot of the flesh on his face, as well as his entire nose. And he's still alive. Ouch.
For Science!: Tiedemann's excuse. Partly justified as the game suggests that all attempts to replicate the Marker (including the serious scientific ones) are in fact manifestations of the Marker's influence on the human mind.
I Did What I Had to Do: Whilst he does inhibit Isaac, he does occasionally show empathy for him, and even states that, under different circumstances, he'd find his persistence admirable. An audio log later in the game also reveals that, despite the demands of his superiors, Tiedemann made sure that a decent amount of people could escape.
Pet the Dog: Near the end of the game, you find logs that reveal that Tiedemann's order to evacuate Titan Station, given near the start of the game, was directly against the wishes of his superiors. Evacuate everyone except the people who came in contact with the Marker, who are to be killed by Sprawl Security, that is... which, considering that the Marker's architects are required for its activation, has its justifications too.
In Dead Space Mobile, Tiedemann is quite reasonable towards Vandal and is rather quick to be willing to work with her after she explains she's not his enemy. This is quite a contrast to his no-compromise, kill-at-all-cost attitude towards Isaac.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Yes, he tries to kill you multiple times, and yes, he's the one who left you to rot in an asylum for three years, and yes, he's a dick, but it's implied he had ultimately good intentions and was following orders. Also, he refused to let the civilians of the Sprawl under his care die and issued an evacuation against direct orders of his superiors.
Nicole Brennan Hallucination/The Golden Marker (12B)
Played by:Tanya Clarke
A hallucination Isaac experiences repeatedly during the game. In contrast to the real Nicole, this Nicole is mean-spirited and spiteful, alternating between belittling Isaac and flat out yelling at him.
The military attachment present for the Sovereign Colonies expedition to Tau Volantis, 200 years prior to the events of Dead Space 3. They're obviously all dead by the time Isaac visits, but the specifics of how they died are quite the mystery.In general
Brainwashed and Crazy: Not all of them, but the 163rd division, the 'Reapers,' are apparently psychologically conditioned to accept orders. In there barracks, they have their own version of the Liquidation order, which is instead a series of repeated instructions plus many subliminal images.
Kill 'em All: Once they received the Liquidation order from Command, they scuttled all vehicles, purged all data, and killed absolutely everyone.
New Meat: There was a civil war on Earth occurring during the same time period of the excavation, so Sovereign Colonies Command mostly sent those who they judged weren't vital to the war effort, plus a few veterans to keep them in line. Many of the more experienced soldiers lambasted that, "half of these guys don't know how to hold a gun, and the other half run for the hills when they hear one go off."
Posthumous Characters: Everyone, considering their time on Tau Volantis was 200 years before the series proper.
Undying Loyalty: Granted, not 100% loyalty, but there are enough fanatically loyal soldiers present that a Liquidation order is met with near-universal acceptance in the military attachment. One text log describes a soldier retrieving a body bag, sharing a last smoke and speech with the author, sitting down inside and then calmly offing himself.
Honor Before Reason: Even after Caufman tells him that Serano knows a way to stop the Necromorph infestation, and the Codex is the key to salvaging everything, he still views the situation as beyond recovery and fulfills the Liquidation order anyway.
Justfied: He doubtlessly knows by now that the Marker's energies can drive people insane in all sorts of ways; he naturally has to suspect the possibility that Serrano has been driven mad so that he believes there is a way to use the Codex to stop the Necromorphs.
Murder Suicide: After executing Caufman, he turns to a Sovereign Colonies flag, salutes it, and then kills himself.
My Country, Right or Wrong: Even when his orders involve killing everyone under his command and protection, and then himself, he obeys without hesitation.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Could have stopped the Necromorphs from existing 200 years before the first game if he'd only trusted Serano's claims that the Codex could also be used to activate the "Necromorph Destroy Mode" of the Machine.
Peeling Potatoes: In a log, he threatened to dole out this punishment to Caufman if he doesn't find the munitions depot key by sundown.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: He got involved with the Marker experiments only to try and avert the looming energy crisis for humanity. Furthermore, the level 5 containment action is only to be activated in the case of an "extinction level" biohazard outbreak — and freeing the Brethren Moon would certainly count as that.
It's shown that he had his doubts about the mission from the start; he would've preferred spending his time fighting what would eventually become EarthGov, and clashed with Admiral Graves and Doctor Serrano over it.
Pvt. Tim Caufman
Played by: Scott DeFalco
An S.C.A.F. Private, Caufman was part of a mission to Tau Volantis 200 years before the incident on the Sprawl.
Decoy Protagonist: He's the player character in the prologue, and like the rest of the S.C.A.F. expedition to Tau Volantis, he ends up getting killed.
New Meat: His inexperience shows through his constant panic.
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: He struggles to retrieve a cylinder containing data for Doctor Serrano, but is killed by General Maheed, who deletes all of the data before killing himself.
Pvt. Sam Ackerman
Another S.C.A.F. Private, he appears alongside Caufman if the prologue is played on co-op.
Dropped a Bridge on Him: Caufman may have avoided being crushed by the falling spaceship, but poor Ackerman didn't.
I Did What I Had to Do: You can find his logs in the Feeder barracks. He hid in a back room for days, and eventually locked his unit in when he ran. Since they were going crazy at the time, it's pretty justified.
Sanity Slippage: Was one of the earliest sufferers in the S.C.A.F. forces. General Mahad would order her confined to her quarters, where she wound out writing "Turn it Off" in Marker script all along the walls.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: She sought the Markers in order to try and save humanity from the resource and energy crisis that had consumed them, and believed that finding the source of the Markers would greatly aid the Sovereign Colonies in their war.
Lt. Tucker Edwards
Pilot of the CMS Terra Nova. When the Liquidation order came in, he killed his commander and barricaded himself in the ship's conning tower.
Dead All Along: If Isaac chooses to go into the conning tower to nab Tucker's supplies, you'll hear audiologs from him, taunting you as you progress. Given that he lived 200 years ago, it's not much of a surprise when you get to the end of the road.
Determinator: The tally marks on the floor indicates he lived ten years and seven months by himself after the order was given. Though this brings up the question, why didn't he just leave if there was a shuttle and he was a pilot? See Dead Space 3 headscratchers page for more detail.
Driven to Suicide: Eventually, loneliness and guilt overcomes him and he kills himself.
Mad Bomber: Rigged bombs and other traps all around the conning tower.
Optional Boss: Visiting the conning tower is entirely optional; you get quite a lot of loot for persisting through all his traps.
Villainous Breakdown: Not much of a villain, but the deeper you progress, the more unhinged his audiologs become. He starts out somewhat boastful, before just repeating that he doesn't want to die, before realizing that he should have accepted the Liquidation order.
Doctor Earl Serrano
The head researcher of the Sovereign Colonies expedition to Tau Volantis, the player can find audiologs throughout the game describing his discoveries and research on Tau Volantis.
Only Sane Man: Unlike almost any other scientist who worked on the Markers, Doctor Serrano remained completely sane and rational. Of the Sovereign Colonies expedition, he realized the truth about the Markers and attempted to activate the machine, however, Mahad's killing of Caufman and his own injuries stopped him from doing so. His audiologs tend to be quite helpful to Isaac Clarke, however.
USM Eudora Crew
Sergeant John Carver
Played by: Ricardo Chavira
An Earth Defense Force Space Marine from the colony world or Uxor, home of the Site 4 Marker. Carver lost his family after a Unitologist terrorist attack destroys the shroud surrounding the Marker. He later joins the crew of the USM Eudora with Isaac Clarke on a mission to Tau Volantis, hoping to destroy the Markers once and for all.
Adult Fear: After the Site 4 Marker was exposed, an outbreak of Necromorphs erupts and he cannot contact his wife and child, both of whom are completely vulnerable.
Domestic Abuser: A side mission reveals that Carver has been suffering from PTSD pre-game, and he even ended up assaulting his wife in front of his son. Despite therapy and understanding from his family, he later tried to kill himself out of guilt.
Doomed Hometown: His home planet of Uxor is destroyed by a Necromorph outbreak.
Driven to Suicide: An audio log on one of Carver's side missions reveals he was on the verge of killing himself from guilt before his wife unexpectedly walked in.
Fire-Forged Friends: With Isaac. During their first conversation he tells Isaac quite flatly, "We're not friends," but by the end there is a mutual respect between them.
Good Scars, Evil Scars: As the second protagonist in Dead Space 3, his facial scars are considerably less horrific than other physical deformities in the franchise.
It's not even as horrific as the other heroes! During the game's final cutscene, it's Isaac with a scalp gash, while Carver remains unblemished. This is true even during co-op play, when Carver is actually involved in the shooting. Throughout the game, only Isaac's character model of the two of them changes.
Jerkass: He's taciturn, ruthless, and has pretty much zero people skills. If you play solo, he mostly just comes across as a goon with a gun, although he does Pet the Dog once or twice such as when he backs Isaac up after Isaac shoots Norton. The co-op game and side missions show him as having quite a lot of Hidden Depths, though.
Red Eyes, Take Warning: Invoked. The visor lights in military RIGs all glow red to make them look more threatening.
Unreliable Narrator: Playing as Carver results in the player seeing things that the less-insane Isaac cannot. His second side mission begins with entering an elevator, only to find out in the end that they've been standing in the elevator for five minutes and Isaac's just waiting for him to push the button.
Capt. Robert Norton
Played by: Robert Gant
Leader of EarthGov's last remaining battalion after the Unitologists wiped out most of the military. He searches for Isaac on Ellie's behalf, as Isaac's the key to stopping the Necromorph threat to the galaxy.
Obi-Wan Moment: Out of all the characters of the Dead Space universe, Buckwell arguably has the most peaceful death. He isn't torn apart by Necromorphs or shot, but dies of hypothermia and existing wounds.
Members of The Circle
A violent and fanatical sect of Unitology, the Circle rebelled against EarthGov following the Marker experiments that occurred in 2. They serve as the primary human antagonists in 3, seeking to kill Isaac Clarke and bring about Convergence to humanity.In General
Driven to Suicide: Several times on Tau Volantis, Isaac can stumble across a lone soldier who screams a Unitologist proverb before shooting himself. At one point, he witnesses several members performing a ritual before they all slit their throats.
Elite Mooks: Certain Circle troops wear black gear and have more durability. They also tend to carry heavier weapons.
Evil Versus Evil: EarthGov undoubtedly trampled on the rights of its citizens, performed unethical experiments, and manufactured Markers like crazy. The Circle overthrows them, guns down civilians left and right, and deliberately engineers Necromorph outbreaks.
Eviler than Thou: Unitologists weren't a pleasant bunch to begin with, but The Circle makes mainstream Unitologists look like saints in comparison. Also pull this off by toppling EarthGov.
The Cultists in Awakened are this to the members of the Circle who haven't lost their minds.
Glass Cannon: As they are normal human beings, they are much easier to kill with gunfire than most Necromorphs. However, since they're similarly armed, they can be a substantial threat.
Sanity Slippage: The DLC Awakened features Circle members who have completely lost it, outright worshipping Necromorphs (when in the base game artifacts show that they previously had considered them abominations caused by heretics messing with the Markers), and engaging in self-mutilation.
Jacob Arthur Danik
Played by: Simon Templeman
Leader of The Circle. After bringing ruin to EarthGov and its colonies, he hunts down Isaac as he's the only one capable of stopping his plan of bringing Convergence to the galaxy.
Faux Affably Evil: He speaks in a polite and refined manner, and even hands out compliments to his adversary. However, he usually follows it up with a death threat, and his compliments always have an smarmy, insincere tone to them.
Leader of a cult of followers in the Circle who believe that they can ally themselves with the Necromorphs by becoming like them through bodily mutilation. He serves as the Dragon-in-Chief of Dead Space 3: Awakened.
Ax-Crazy: Considering his plans, this probably shouldn't be a surprise.
Zero-Effort Boss: Once he's actually found after the Let's You and Him Fight and his wounding in a hallucination fight, he doesn't even fight back. He just sits on his knees, bowing and mumbling his Madness Mantra over and over like his followers until Carver and/or Isaac kills him. The two don't even comment on killing him.
Dead bodies reanimated by an alien virus and turned into giant monsters that go out and kill everything, making more Necromorphs.In general
Bizarre Alien Biology: Doesn't get much weirder than hive-minded alien bacteria that reanimates necrotic flesh. Also the fact that limbs are their weakness; since the only goals of the Necromorphs are to kill and further spread the infection, by removing their limbs and thus their mobility, there's little point in an infected individual remaining active. Isaac might not be so much killing them, but simply rendering them dormant.
Body Horror: Almost all of them are, in some form, human at one point, although the larger ones tend toward several corpses fixed together.
Human Aliens: Completely subverted, but in an ironic way, since all the Necromorphs are made from human corpses and have just enough recognizable human parts for a fully-horrific Uncanny Valley effect.
After the going into the Eye Scream machine in Dead Space 2, their screams and grunts sound distinctly less animalistic and more like the shrieks of humans in agonizing, unconscionable pain.
Our Zombies Are Different: Type P. The Necromorphs are spread by a virus that reanimates and mutates dead bodies. But the person has to be dead for it to work, no slowly becoming weaker until they die. That said, the person can be dead remarkably recently (as in immediately) and it still counts, which is probably why the Necromorphs infect by stabbing with giant mandibles.
Perpetual-Motion Monster: Necromorphs don't rot and can survive centuries with little to no problem, suffer no damage from being frozen, and to top it off rarely if ever seem to need to eat.
Type II. Necromorphs, despite their appearance, do not rot and appear to get stronger the longer they last; Necromorphs formed 200 years ago are equally as potent as Necromorphs infected in the modern day. Shooting them in the midsection does little damage, while dismembering them only disables them; they can get reinfected and come back later. Only by destroying the entire body (whether it be by grinding it up, melting it, or through gratuitous use of Isaac's stomp ability) will permanently put an end to them.
The Hunter, Ubermorph, and Regenerators take this even further, being Type IVs capable of rapidly regenerating damaged limbs and surviving all but catastrophic damage.
The Virus: The Necromorph Recombination Virus. Interestingly it only affects dead bodies, which the already-created Necromorphs are ready to make.
The most common type of Necromorph as well as the first type Isaac encounters. Attacks with razor-sharp arm blades.
Elite Mook: The Enhanced version are much faster, have more health and deal more damage.
Multi-Armed and Dangerous: They have a pair of vestigial arms sprouting from their abdomens in addition to their original arms, which are mutated into swords. In DS3, they have a couple more sets when encountered after they've been freeze-dried for 200 years.
Playing Possum: One of their favorite tactics. If you see an intact Slasher corpse it's probably not dead...
Starfish Aliens: Unlike many Necromorphs, these are just....flaps of skin and a proboscis.
A bloated-looking Necromorph that carries Swarmers in its stomach. Damaging its belly will release the Swarmers, making it a difficult Necromorph to deal with, especially in large groups.
Attack Its Weak Point: Subverted, unlike most others. Shooting a Pregnant in the stomach, the most obvious weakpoint on it, is one of the worst things someone can do when facing one.
Dead Weight: Although being heavily bloated doesn't slow them down much.
Kill It with Fire: The flamethrower, though objectively a lousy weapon in the first game, has the benefit of burning their Swarmers to death as they pour out.
Outside-the-Box Tactic: The Force Gun can be used to shoot Pregnants even in the stomach and avoid releasing Swarmers.
Mook Maker: Shooting them in the stomach unleashes Swarmers.
A very dangerous Necromorph with a bloated (and highly explosive) arm which it detonates in a suicide attack if it gets too close.
Action Bomb: If that wasn't bad enough, they often appear in large groups. On the plus side, friendly fire is in full effect here, and you can even steal the bomb if you sever it from the arm.
Attack Its Weak Point: That big, glowing, orange thing on its arm? It might be a good idea to shoot it before it gets too close.
Glass Cannon: Two shots will put one down. You don't even have to aim since it's so thin. It's basically a walking stick with a bomb attached.
Took a Level in Badass: To a very minor degree, but in 3, they now crawl, dragging their explosive behind them, and move faster than before; this makes hitting them before they get in close slightly harder.
A tall, thin Necromorph that splits into several smaller Necromorphs upon being attacked.
Chekhov's Skill: In Dead Space 1 and 2, the head part had a move where it jumped on Isaac, and could replace his head. This is their gimmick in 3, able to revive fallen enemies, including gun-wielding ones.
Out of Focus: They were an uncommon enemy in the first game, but still showed up often enough that you kept an eye out for them. In the second, there are a few separate parts and maybe one or two complete Dividers in the whole game. They come back into the spotlight in the third with a different gimmick, their old gimmick of "changes when dismembered" having been given to the Waster. Only Divider heads looking for new bodies show up, with no intact Dividers to be found.
Puppeteer Parasite: The "head" piece. Which makes for one of the most disturbing deaths in the entire game. In the third game, this is their new power; Divider heads can show up after a battle with Unitologists and posses their corpses by decapitating them and replacing the head.
The Worm That Walks: It's a bunch of thin, tentacle creatures (one of which is wearing a skull) latched to each other to form a monster, and breaks apart into those creatures when damaged enough.
Soldiers whose stasis modules fused with them upon being turned into Necromorphs, making them extremely fast.
Bullet Time: Thanks to the stasis modules fused with their flesh.
Fragile Speedster: Can be killed in one shot with the best weapons... if you can hit them.
Nightmare Face: Even more so than most of the others in Dead Space 1, as due to the violent fusion between their flesh and the stasis module, their faces are completely static.
You Are Already Dead: One particular death scene has a Twitcher kill Isaac so fast that when he raise his weapon to counter his entire body falls apart.
A mass of flesh attached to a wall that spews out smaller, weaker Necromorphs to defend itself. Often encountered one at a time, but can sometimes be found in pairs. One of the most extreme cases of Body Horror in the franchise for a single human body.
Screaming Birth: The Guardian constantly lets out an agonized wail, and it goes up an octave when it spawns a Pod.
Tiny, swarming Necromorphs that, despite their small size, can easily overwhelm Isaac with sheer numbers.
Composite Character: The new Infectors in 3 are basically a combination of Swarmers and the original Infector; they are small, appear in large groups, and their attack is lifted directly from the Swarmers.
Death of a Thousand Cuts: Individual Swarmers do pitiful damage and can be swatted off before they even do damage. However, as their name suggests, they're much more deadly in groups, and can severely injure or kill Isaac if he's caught in a large swarm.
Made of Iron: Most of its body, aside from a few weak points, are completely immune to damage. When playing on hard or impossible difficulty, one main concern isn't its attacks, but running out of ammo white fighting one. Hope you saved up some stasis so you don't have to worry about missing...
No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: One shows up out of nowhere on the Valor and delivers one to Hammond. They can also do this to Isaac.
Hope Spot: Often when Isaac is dragged all the way back to their hole he tries some desperate form of escape only to be killed almost immediately. When the second tentacle that appears pulls him near the hole it loses its grip just long enough for Isaac to stand back up before brutally grabbing his head and yanking him the rest of the way in.
Interface Screw: Whenever one grabs Isaac it messes with his aiming controls, making it much harder to hit. However, the weakpoint is very large.
Nothing Is Scarier: We never do get to see what is on the other end of this thing... but Isaac might.
A Necromorph whose main attack is vomiting caustic bile at Isaac, as well as a ball of caustic material that slows Isaac down, allow it to close the distance.
Poison Is Corrosive: The Puker spits highly acidic bile at its enemies, reminiscent of The Spitter. While it's sizzling any Human player's armor, he's unable to run. In multiplayer, this can range from annoying (on the objective carrier, who can't run anyway) to lethal (human players rushing toward an escape point).
Tiny infant Necromorphs whose bodies are filled with a volatile, yellow fluid that explodes when Isaac is close. They are tiny, making them hard to hit, and they come in packs, but can be killed easily.
Action Bomb: They explode. Like the Exploders, a headshot will put them down and leave the bomb intact for you to use.
Stationary Necromorphs that spit out an explosive, living pod when something gets too close.
Land Mine Goes Click: They're essentially organic land mines, and instead of going "click," they gurgle and hiss loudly.
Unfriendly Fire: They go off regardless of what touches them, whether it's a living human, an inanimate object, or another Necromorph. Their own pods also kill them as well if the Cyst is too close to another surface or if they're on the ground and gravity brings the pod back down.
Necromorphs that resemble velociraptors. They attack by running at high speeds toward Isaac, ramming him, and running back. They love to attack in large rooms filled with boxes to hide behind, though you can find an odd Stalker in a random room once in a while.
Get Back Here Boss: They only show themselves to attack you, and you have a window of about two seconds to hit them (preferably with a Stasis blast) before they tackle you and retreat to cover for another round.
Naked, emaciated Necromorphs resulting from humans desperate enough to eat Necromorph flesh.
Boom, Headshot: Surprisingly, one of the only Necromorphs where headshots are the best way to take them down, tying into their Technically Living Zombie status. The regular variants are weak to pretty much any attack, but when facing Enhanced versions, aiming for the head is a must.
Necromophed members of the original alien species that once ruled Tau Volantis, these abominations have been waiting for over 2 million years for new prey, and they weather damage as much as they've weathered time.
Airborne Mook: One variation is a sort of flying jellyfish, encountered during Zero-G sequences. It has float-sacs and four tentacles that throw homing wisps or smack Isaac when he flies to close.
Enfant Terrible: The Crawlers that it spawns from its chest? They're made of the Alien species' spawn, just like they were made with human infants before.
Expy: The 'Brute' variation is much like the old Brute. It's slow moving but can quickly charge, has tremendous resilience, and has ability to spawn exploding pods from a orifice in its chest.
Made of Iron: Although they don't possess the indestructible plates of the older brutes, they also lack any glowing yellow weak point to attack, meaning killing one comes down to shooting at one's limbs until the creature finally drops dead.
Starfish Aliens: Or Starfish Necromorphs, due to the species that they were formed of. However, their infections parallel our own; their facial structure looks relatively intact and have similar growths fusing and adding new limbs as suited.
More of a scheme of Necromorph than a type in and of itself, this is a typically bipedal Necromorph that takes on a variety of names depending on its incarnation. The main constant, however, is that it can regenerate lost limbs, making it nearly impossible to kill.This is a boss-type enemy. For the example in Dead Space 1, see "The Hunter" under that section. For the example in Dead Space 2, see "The Ubermorph" under that section. For the examples in Dead Space 3, see "The Regenerators" in that section.
Determinator/Implacable Man: Due to being nearly impossible to kill, it doesn't see much reason not to try following a target forever.
The Bigger Bad species of the series, these are the culmination of Convergence events, as Necromorph organisms so large that they can easily be misconstrued as "moons". Having eaten every other advanced species between their point of origin and human space, they have created a massive area of "dead space" that is why Absent Aliens seems to be in effect.For one example of this kind of Necromorph, see under "Boss Necromorphs in Dead Space 3".
A special type of Necromorph created by Dr. Mercer, made from injecting Necromorph tissue into a live victim's skull. It constantly regenerates limbs, requiring Isaac to stop it using his environment. For the type, see "Regenerator" in the Necromorph section.
Implacable Man: The Hunter Necromorph reappears throughout the levels it's in (albeit in fixed locations), regenerates from any damage you do to it, and even returns a few levels later to menace you after you think you've stopped it by trapping it in a cryogenic freezer.
A Necromorph that has barricaded itself in food storage and is poisoning the Ishimura's atmosphere as part of a biological terraformation. Takes the form of an enormous wall of flesh, with a central orifice surrounded by tentacles. Fights Isaac by flailing its tentacles and shooting exploding pods at him.
Combat Tentacles: Three. After destroying them it reveals its weak point allowing Isaac to finally kill it. Of course, then the tentacles come back.
A huge Necromorph that attacks from outside the Ishimura by flinging debris. Isaac fights and kills it with the ship's turret system.
Combat Tentacles: It uses them to pitch debris at you, which you must destroy if you don't want the hull to rupture.
Spanner in the Works: Its presence on top of the communications array prevents Kendra from being able to radio a warning to the Valor.
The Hive Mind is the last boss in the game and has been controlling the other Necromorphs through telepathy. It kills Kendra after she betrays Isaac and attempts to make her escape before turning on Isaac himself. After a heated battle, Isaac manages to destroy it and barely escapes with his life.
Combat Tentacles: Its favorite type of melee attack is swinging its tentacles at Isaac. After dealing a significant amount of damage it will grab him with them and lift him up in the air where he'll have a short amount of time to destroy its remaining weak spots or be ripped in half.
Hive Mind: Its name alone is all you need to know.
Mook Maker: Starts spiting out Pregnants if you take too long to defeat it.
Boss Necromorphs in Dead Space: Extraction
A large Necromorph of unknown origin that appears in chapter 6.
A massive Necromorph that that is found crawling on the exterior of the USG Ishimura. Serves as the boss of chapter 9.
Boss Necromorphs in Dead Space 2
A huge Necromorph that attacks Isaac in the Church of Unitology basement. Isaac has to shoot off one of its arms, then run as fast as he can to escape it.
Cutscene Boss: Gameplay wise, it's not so much a battle as a timed aiming minigame. Shoot the right target before it can eat you.
Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: After dodging the gunship, it turns out the Tormentor's lurking in the basement of the Church of Unitology for... some reason, tries to eat Isaac, and ends up being killed in a massive explosion.
A Necromorph Isaac encounters near the end of Dead Space 2. Like the Hunter, it is impossible to kill by normal means; unlike the Hunter, its origin is unknown. It is also the only Necromorph that looks like an alien, not a mutated human.
Palette Swap: It is literally the Hunter with a different skin. It even shares the death animation with the Hunter.
The Golden Marker
Once the Convergence Event starts, the Golden Marker tries to get Isaac to kill himself so it can be made whole, via a Battle in the Center of the Mind. In the battle, Isaac has to fight off swarms of The Pack while shooting and dodging the Nicole hallucination.
Attack Its Weak Point: After shooting Nicole enough, the central "heart" is revealed, giving you about 5 seconds to damage the boss before Nicole reforms.
Flunky Boss: Spawns waves of the Pack to deal with you.
One-Hit KO: Touching Nicole instantly kills you. Fortunately, the boss is very slow, though she can teleport closer to you if you get too far away.
Boss Necromorphs in Dead Space 3
A Necromorph type first encountered about the USM Terra Nova. Like the Hunter and Ubermorph before it, it regenerates lost limbs at a rapid pace, making killing it permanently a difficult proposition. Unlike the Hunter and Ubermorph, there's more than one Regenerator.
Bonus Boss: Although the first set of Regenerators (aboard the Terra Nova) are unavoidable, a later set is encountered in an optional mission towards the end of the game.
Super-Persistent Predator: It attacks Isaac shortly after he crashes on the planet and continues to stalk him throughout most of the game. Even after he fights it off several times, it keeps hunting him.
Several giant Necromorphs Isaac and Ellie find frozen on Tau Volantis. Isaac has to explore the inside of one to locate the origin of the Markers, which thaws it out.
Expy: Similar to the Hive Mind from the first game; even the game's achievement text calls it the Hivemind, probably because it is one, albeit one made from aliens, not humans.
Mook Maker: Similarly to the Hivemind, except it spawns Enhanced Feeders.
A Brother Moon that has gone into hibernation due to the machine that turned Tau Volantis into an ice planet, this unfinished Convergence Necromorph is masquerading as Tau Volantis' broken moon, using the Marker signal to call other humans to it to wake it up and "make it whole." Due to this, it serves as a Bigger Bad, manipulating EarthGov, Unitology, and many more for its cause.
Bigger Bad: Of the entire series up to 3, being the source of the Marker signals in human space.
Biosphere Eater/Planet Looters: It's presumed that after finishing its own birth, it would have roamed the galaxy, homing in on humanity's Marker signals and eating everyone.
The Chessmaster: Manipulated pretty much everyone in the series at one point or another until 3. Those who it didn't tended to end up dead, except for a select few.
Chekhov's Gunman: Seen prominently throughout the game, shown on various posters and promotional material, literally hiding in painfully obvious sight from the protagonists throughout the entirety of the game.
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Isaac and Carver, two characters who barely measure up to the size of its teeth, manage to not only go toe-to-toe with it, but end up doing what the aliens failed to accomplish and actually kill the Brethren Moon with the Machine.
Eye Scream: Its weak points are its eyes, and it can only be weakened by hurling Markers at them.
My Death Is Just the Beginning: Before its death, it sends out one final signal to reawaken the remaining Brethren Moons. At the end of the DLC, Isaac and Carver arrive at Earth just in time to see that the Moons are already there and are well on their way to devouring the planet.
Serial Escalation: The single largest boss and Necromorph encountered by far in the entire franchise.