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Dead Space 2 and Dead Space 3 have their own Headscratcher pages. Please put Headscratchers for those games on their pages.

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    Containment Protocols 

  • Okay, I can totally understand a containment system locking down a room regardless of whoever's in there. The thing is, that system is repeatedly shown to be ineffective, given that the Ishimura is full of hundreds of vents that apparently can be crawled through by necromorphs the size of large bears. Who, exactly, thought that those containment systems would accomplish anything other than getting the ship's crew killed?
    • What's a sci-fi horror without a million air vents for the monsters to escape through?


    Ishimura comm signal and Valor 

  • This has been bothering me for a while. Why did the Valor need the Ishimura to send out a comms signal to locate it? I mean, Isaac and the crew found it just fine. Presumably the CEC wouldn't just give a team of regular engineers exact coordinates to the Ishimura if the company was keeping it a secret, so why couldn't the Valor find them? This is also disregarding the fact that they were in a 1.3 kilometer long space ship, most certainly still giving off an EM signature, firing mass driver rounds to stave off asteroids, next to the only planet in the system with a micro asteroid belt...
    • Since both the Valor and Kendra were working for the same people, it could be that the Valor wasn't waiting to find the Ishimura, they were waiting to see if their agent managed to secure the ship. They just horrifically underestimated how dangerous the situation would be.


After having played Dead Space 1 and watched Dead Space: Downfall, I have to wonder why so many people in the DS universe seem to be utterly insane to various degrees. My main problem is the Unitologists, who seem utterly convinced that being horribly mutilated and transformed into undead monsters to be tormented eternally in unspeakable ways is a GOOD THING. Even the most dedicated Christian would balk if they somehow discovered Heaven was actually an endless torture session, which is essentially what becoming a necromorph is. Yet despite the blatantly obvious facts presented to them, the Unitologists continue to try and build more markers and spread the necromorph infestation wherever they can. How does this make any kind of sense? A few hardcore fanatics are one thing, but this many indicates either a pretty major underlying problem or a serious case of writer's block on behalf of the developers.

  • Never underestimate the potential for stupidity in humans. The Church starts with glorious promises of salvation, and also charges its members. People who 'donate' are frequently unwilling to admit they were wrong because otherwise they look like idiots who wasted a lot of money. This drags them deeper into their own brainwashing.
    • You watched Dead Space: Downfall right? Samuel Irons was clearly a unitologist and he was not insane and would go on to save some scientists from the necromorphs. You also might notice that in the crowd of people trying to escape the Mess Hall that there was several presumed Unitologists trying to actively run away from the slaughter that was going on. If anything the only REAL insane part of Unitology that you see is the Necromorph Cult in Dead Space 3's Awakened DLC. That cult was driven insane by Brother Moon levels of Marker singles and it is also detailed in the logs that even the devout unitologists after witnessing the events of Dead Space 3 gave up their beliefs.
    • Another example is of Kyne, a Unitologist who changes his mind and realises how crazy it all is. In fact a large number of the entire crew is suggested to be Unitologists but it looks like they went down fighting once they realised just what was meant by 'make us whole'.
    • Aside from the fact that willing participants in ritual sacrifices were rare - there was almost always some degree of coercion - all of those believe that dying will give them a better future. Harem of virgins, afterlife with the deity you're being sacrificed for, that sort of thing. With necromorphs, you get a (probably very short) future as a slavering monster. That's a pretty strong difference.
    • Look at it from the perspective of a more dedicated Unitologist: You're not getting a short life as a slavering monster, you're becoming part of a unified and immortal Hive Mind that has groomed all life on Earth for this purpose since we were single-celled organisms. It is the appeal of being part of something bigger than yourself, of mankind's selfish squabbles and petty prejudices thrown aside in favor of being one, connecting as we have always been meant to. It is being made whole in a universe where you seem utterly alone. Most Real Life religions have similar rhetoric, and their "pleasant" afterlives can also be seen as a Fate Worse than Death if you apply a little Fridge Logic to them. I'm not going to get into it here, for obvious reasons, but the fact remains that that is a thing that happens. Polemic arguments are constructed based upon similar premises all the time.
    • This is actually pretty easy to explain: Unitology is a Broad Strokes, theology-wrapped depiction of the basic facts behind the Necromorphs. In other words, the common Unitologist doesn't really know that much and just gets the candy-wrapped 'immortality' version in which hunger, pain and sorrow is gone and we are all united - and in a sick way is completely accurate. The guys at the top are using the religion for personal gain without actually believing, or are just complete psychopaths driven mad by the Markers.
    • In support of this explanation, throughout all of Dead Space 3 it's made clear that Danik and most Unitologists consider necromorphs an aberration caused by the "heretical" experiments of EarthGov. They represent "The Inner Circle", a fundamentalist group of Unitologists not representing the general view of Unitology. This becomes clear while Isaac is exploring the Unitologist compounds on Titan in Dead Space 2. In addition to the indoctrination propaganda that depicts the faces of several people being burned away with only skulls remaining, there is other grim imagery to be found as you explore the "VIP" sections, namely wall carvings in a temple that show skulls with tentacles for mouths. So at least on some level, members high in the church know it is not all rainbows and sunshine and are cool with that. This being kept from general knowledge is consistent with the Church's vesting schedule, which—similar to its namesake, Scientology—requires members to pay the Church significantly before receiving information about the religion that could be harmful in the wrong hands. Say, the hands of people who aren't idiots.

    Medical staff and injuries 

  • One log has a nurse claiming that the medical staff is not prepared for treating so many people with such horrible injuries like these. Given that it's an industrial mining ship and the tools you use against the necromorphs, the injuries caused by necromorph attacks would be exactly what would be expected from industrial accidents.
    • Then again, the frequency of (assumedly) trained miners suffering horrible injury caused by mining accident on any given day is probably less than the frequency of said miners suffering horrible injury at the hands of the space zombies once all Hell broke loose.
    • As the nurse said, the bay is not prepared for dealing with so MANY people with such horrible injuries. One or two they can handle.
    • Not really. Industrial accidents almost always feature some degree of crushing or pulverization if its a physical object that does the injury, or burning if its a thermal device or acid. Necromorph attacks are primarily piercing and slashing, with a great deal of tearing and lacerations involved. An industrial ship won't be prepared to deal with the kind of ragged slashing and cutting that's consistent with Necromorph weaponry.
    • This seems grasping at straws. A ship housing a crew of thousands must be prepared to deal with all sorts of injury, whether it's industrial or not. The number seems to be the issue rather than the type of wound.
    • Living on a ship as dark and depressing as that (yes it is better, pre-infestation) would caused many mental problems with people. There would be a few stabbings a year.
    • She's probably talking about the hundreds of emergency cases coming in all at once rather than ten or twenty people a day. And look at the injuries. I don't think any hospital would be properly equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse.
    • There's also a bit of grim calculus to consider. . . in a truly major accident, a significant percentage of the victims will be beyond medical assistance immediately after it happens.

    End of video 

  • How is it that Isaac never saw the end of Nicole's video transmission before? He watches it near the beginning of the game, prior to ever encountering/getting near the Marker and when he should therefore not be under its influence. He would've had no logical reason to just stop watching before it was over.
    • Issac didn't want to believe it, so he blocked it out.
    • Maybe the government received it first, and Kendra edited it prior to showing it to him?
    • Except there's no evidence whatsoever that the government would receive a personal transmission before the recipient. From Kendra's speech, Isaac was always in a position where he'd be able to see the whole thing, and had chosen not to watch it all.
    • I always just assumed that Kendra used her position as the teams computer expert to cut off the last half of the message. After all, if Isaac thinks she's alive then he's motivated to help, but if he knew she was dead all along then he'd probably be useless to Kendra's plans.
    • After you beat the game, you get a log that says Isaac DID watch up to Nicole's death, but he never wanted to believe it, so he never watched that part again until Kendra tells him to.
    • Confirmed in the sequel. Isaac saw her death, but the shock of it made him suppress the memory and refuse to watch the video all the way through again.
    • Could also be an invocation of Unreliable Narrator. Even if Issac knew when he boarded the Ishimura that Nicole was dead, he forgets it very quickly, due to a combination of regular mental trauma and Marker insanity. Thus he's effectively editing his own memories, convincing himself Nicole is alive and he's here to save her. Thus, what the player experiences is Issac's memories after he starts editing them.

    On the back 

  • All the vital information on the armor is displayed on the back where the user can't see them.
    • You have a fair bit of a problem if you can't tell for yourself what your current physical condition is...
    • This is due to the "RIG", as it's called, being meant to be used amongst teams... in space... If radio communication is compromised, looking at a handy little indicator is a hell of a lot easier than running through sign-language with a man who may be half dead.
    • Yeah, this works until you get to the part where it's telling the guy behind you to press his X button to get something off you.
    • According to the UI designers, all non-environmental holograms behind Isaac are for the benefit of the player and don't exist In-Universe
    • Also, if you look on the front of Isaac's armor, right beneath his chin is another holographic display, which likely shows the same information for his own convenience. The back display is, as noted above, for the benefit of his oft-absent teammates.
    • Having the vitals displayed on the back is actually immensely useful. In Dead Space 2 multiplayer, all humans come with RIG's. Keeping in line with the minimalist HUD it allows easy necking on your teammates' vitals. Is he going to fall apart on the next Lurker barb? Better heal him. Is he carrying the MacGuffin? The blue light on his back says so. Is his health green? He can get that Slasher off himself while I deal with this baby attacking my feet. It makes a lot of sense, but the circumstances Isaac faces make it's usefulness negligible.


    The Marker's abilities and function 

  • The Marker: from game mechanics, it just seems to be a very large and very story/game segregating McGuffin because it doesn't actually do anything in the game when it's around. Does it attract the necromorphs? Does it repel them? The logs seem to indicate that it would repel them or control them, but then why would they go onto the ship if that's where it is why would they attack you while you're sending it along the rails in the last level if it negatively effects them as much as it sounds like.
    • As far as the bonus logs and what we see in the game indicate, all it does is inhibit the Necromorph virus within a very small immediate radius of itself — preventing the creation of new Necromorphs — and inhibit the hive mind if placed in the proper location. They can knock it over and perform a song and dance routine on top of it if they want to, and it won't do a damn thing. In fact, the necromorph virus appears to originate from the markers.
    • As noted on the Main page, the game creators have admitted that the behavior of the Marker in the first and second games are radically different, resulting in a Continuity Snarl.
    • There's been some Fan Wank to reconcile the Marker's behavior in this game with the later games:
    • Theory #1: it wanted to get back to the planet because there was a greater amount of biomass down there than on the Ishimura with which to initiate Convergence. Being placed back on its pedestal forced a "reboot", which is why all the Necromorphs briefly drop dead when that happens.
    • Theory #2: the Red Marker had been "reprogrammed" by its creators after it caused a Necromorph outbreak in the past, causing it to force all Necromorphs within its radius into a state of dormancy when it's placed on its pedestal.

    The Red Marker 

  • The Red Marker. According to the backstory logs you get after you beat the game, it projects a field around it that inhibits the necromorph virus from recombinating dead flesh and creating new necromorphs, which the scientists that created it dubbed "Dead Space". However, in the final level, if you don't kill them a pair of infectors will freely transform several nearby corpses into new necromorphs, despite the Red Marker being roughly 30 feet away. Gameplay and Story Segregation, or does the Marker just have a really small Dead Space?
    • According to the prequel movie, it does have a small "Dead Space" of only a few meters.


  • What's the deal with Dr. Mercer? Was he nuts before the Marker, or was he driven that way like some of the others? Insanity seems to be one of the first symptoms of the virus.
    • Mercer was not the most stable guy around, plus he was a very religious man, he states that in his journal on the medical deck. So, people discovered a holy artifact which is the center of his religion and begin to "ascend" one by one. Mercer tries to rally the crowd into accepting their fate and "becoming whole again". Crowd basically goes "Whatevs..." (Looped recording on the level 10). Callus goes nuts completely and forces unbelievers to join the god while helping believers (Most of the crew of the USG Ishimura was replaced by devoted people after the discovery of the Marker. Plus bodies with white bags on their heads are not even tied up).


  • What's up with the airlocks? I'm pretty sure its a serious design flaw to vent a chunk of air into space every time someone opens one. Rule of Cool maybe.
    • I may be failing something forever, but isn't the point of an Airlock to do exactly that, or have I read too much Sci-Fi?
    • This, to make the chunk of air vented into space as small as possible, and to avoid exposing the entire ship to hard vacuum.
    • A proper airlock shouldn't vent any air into space (or at least so little as to be effectively negligible). Such an airlock would seal itself, and then use pumps to remove the air, thus creating a vacuum, and then open into space. Thus there is no wasted air, and the problems of explosive decompression (such as say, being blown into space if one's magnetic boots aren't on or working at the moment) are avoided.
    • These airlocks are on a corporate mining ship with an entire wing devoted to re-growing limbs lost due to work-related accidents. It seems that in the future, doing stupid, potentially dangerous things that can threaten the safety of your employees is par for the course.
    • An illegal mining ship, at that. They're clearly more concerned with profit than safety.
    • Nitpick: The ship itself was perfectly legal, it was illegally mining in an off-limits sector. In fact, the Ishumura was probably a little too high profile in the civilian sector, which may be what helped draw the government's attention to the whole thing.
    • Some of the rooms didn't look like they were intended to be airlocks. I think a couple of the "airlocks" lead out into destroyed rooms that were vented into space. Though that doesn't explain the rooms that were actually airlocks.
  • On the subject of air, I was put off by the disturbing number of ashtrays scattered throughout the ship. Why would they EVER allow smoking on a ship in the middle of space with a limited air supply? Between the carcinogens and the fire hazard, it seems like they're asking for problems.
    • Thank God they invented the, you know, whatever device. More seriously, it's probably part of the series' overall homage to sci-fi horror, and Alien being the seminal work in that genre, which featured plenty of smoking (also in a confined spaceship). The ambience probably just didn't feel right without evidence tobacco use.

    Valor's end 

  • The fate of the Valor borders on a wall-banger for me. One lone necromorph, not even a special necromorph or infector, but just a garden-variety one, somehow managed to get through a ship full of Space Marines and kill the bridge crew, causing it to crash. How is it that an engineer can kill hundreds of these things, but several dozen well-trained soldiers with advanced equipment can't even handle one?
    • The necromorph killed the people who opened the pod, who weren't expecting anything other than a normal miner. The necropmorph then got into the vent system and made it's way straight to the bridge, by-passing all those soldiers easily. Once at the bridge it makes short work of the bridge crew, who wouldn't be heavily armed if they even are armed at all, and that causes the valor to crash into the Ishimura. The remaining crew are shaken and thrown around by the sudden impact, and are reorienting themselves when the rest of the necromorphs start coming out of the woodwork.
    • There are still a few problems. After the necromorph killed the crew who opened the pod, who were probably only unarmed medics and engineers, wouldn't the ship's AI have detected a foreign life-form and shut off the docking bay? That happens several times to you during the game when Isaac is in a room full of necromorphs.
    • Unfortunately, there is one fatal flaw with that otherwise decent theory that really cannot be explained or justified in game. Please read the following text log I've quoted, which can be found aboard the Valor, to understand what I mean:

      CEC vessel USG Ishimura in breach of government order. They are believed to have recovered Marker 3A. Special Ops has confirmed the system but has been unable to provide the planet location. Special Ops advises caution. If Marker 3A has been recovered, infection by a lethal organism is a credible threat. Shockpoint to Aegis system, move to position out of local scope range and await signal from Ishimura to confirm location"

      Read that fifth sentence again. Commander Cadigan's knew that "infection by a lethal organism is a credible threat." Why he picked up that escape pod is unknown (my theory is that he was in league with Kendra and assumed the escape pod contained the Marker and/or herself, but that's beside the point), but the fact that he didn't have it opened in a sealed, sterile room with 20 guards standing by with rifles and stasis modules aimed at it and every technician involved wearing biological hazard suits goes beyond a mere wallbanger and straight into plothole territory.
    • The Necromorph manages to kill the "welcoming committee", and make it's way to the Bridge. And even though the ship's AI could lockdown every room and hallway on the ship, a Necromorph could simply bypass that by the ventilation ducts and subceilings. Remember the Decontamination Chamber in Chapter IV?
    • As to why an Infector was not present, one can assume that there was more than just a Slasher shoved into the escape pod. The bridge was picked clean of corpses, so it is possible Hammond disabled more than just that one Necromorph. If there was only the one Slasher, however, one could argue that the Slasher itself was the infector. It kills someone, and as it's ripping out the poor guy's throat, it's bacteria-infested saliva is going into the wound. Guy dies, necromorphosis occurs, bam! New Slasher.
    • No, Hammond specifically refers to the necromorph in singular terms when you tells you how he locked it into the escape pod. Besides which, the escape pod wasn't big enough for more of them. There was only one basic slasher in that escape pod.
    • Yes, the Marine's pulse rifles should have made short work of the Necromorph(s). However, one has to assume that the Pulse rifles used by the Marines are fully upgraded, with maxed-out damage, reload speed and capacity, which would be unlikely, given the high cost. 7,000 credits compared to about 120,000? Take a guess which on the government will pick.
    • Even completely unupgraded should have been able to kill that necromorph when you remember that there would be dozens of them firing upon it. They had an entire armory aboard the Valor, plus each soldier was equipped with stasis modules and the best armor in the game.
    • Lastly, concept art has shown that the Valor is only one-fifth the size of the Ishimura, so that means it naturally has a smaller crew. Officially, at the time She crashed into the Ishimura, She carried a crew of only 69. It would be fair to assume that it would take an exponentially shorter amount of time for the Valor to overwhelmed.
    • Yeah, but unlike the Ishimura, each of those 69 crewmen were trained soldiers equipped with pulse rifles, stasis modules and the best armor in the game, plus their captain knew the Ishimura had been overwhelmed by a lethal biological threat.
    • Let's go through the order of events, and put everything in context. First, Valor picks up a damaged escape pod (potentially with no life support), and the medical staff, expecting nothing dangerous aboard (most likely, the government was unaware that space zombies can survive in space since their last Necromorphic experiment was on a planet, not a ship), and are promptly slaughtered by the necromorph aboard, who then hits the vents and, guided by the hive mind, hits the bridge hard and fast. The unarmed bridge crew also gets hit hard, but doesn't necessarily get overwhelmed, just kept busy long enough for the Ishimura's broken guidance tether to do to the Valor what it did to the shuttle Isaac came in on. Maybe it's even possible that during the last moments, someone overpowered the necromorph, and tried to abort, which causes it to crash into the side of the ship, instead of the docking bay. Now, with their ship damaged severely, and the crew (who had not been prepped for this mission: the orders were for the commander's eyes only, and the other soldiers aboard would only be briefed ONCE NECROMORPH PRESENCE WAS CONFIRMED) tries to escape out the few airlocks that are not sealed due to radiation. Unfortunately, necromorphs, drawn to the noise of the crash, are now swarming in through the now open airlocks and the openings in the hull caused by the crash. Armed only with unmodded pulse rifles, and their aim severely affected by the panic that space zombie attacks would cause, the crew of the Valor are lambs to the slaughter. A few soldiers manage to break through, and are converted into necromorphs aboard the Ishimura. Does that sound about right?
    • That's easily the best explanation that I've ever heard about the fall of the Valor, it even explains the log where Commander Cadigan is ordering his men to fight back against a full scale necromorph assault (since most of the soldiers survived until after the ship crashed). It still requires Commander Cadigan to have been a complete idiot though. Him allowing the escape pod to be opened without proper precautions when he knew that the Ishimura had potentially been infected by a lethal organism was definitely a wall banger decision.
    • The only plausible explanation is that some very important people on the ship were Unitologists, or that there was a conspiracy to get the ship infected by necromorphs. Unfortunately, without more logs detailing what happened, we will never know.
    • Actually, Unitologist graffiti is found on the Valor, and seeing as at least some Unitologists are prone to mass suicide and/or killing other crew to 'prepare' them for 'ascension', it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to assume that the crew who opened the pod were Unitologists, who willingly became infected, or at least were misled by Unitologists on the crew into believing there was no threat. Dead Space 2 reveals that, despite the division between church and state, some Unitologists have infiltrated the government, such as Hans Tiedemann, and Captain Matthius of the Ishimura is a devout Unitologist, so Cadigan may have deliberately misled his crew to allow them to 'ascend'.
    • The "division of church and state" thing in Dead Space is pretty much a lie. According to the prequel novel, Unitology was founded by maybe-maybe-not rogue members of the Earthgov. That and the presence of the very legal Ishimura on an illegal mining operation implies a shism between factions of the Earthgov that follow the church of Unitology and the rest.
    • Old headscratcher but here we go. USM Valor had total crew of 67, with 23 marines, and like said before, only captain knew what they were dealing with. Also, I guess the infector is only one who can create necromorphs in less than few seconds, but every necromorph can infect bodies, it just isn't their "primary" objective. So the crew picks up a pod, and accidentally releases the necromoph. It manages to kill 2-3 and dying/escaping. While moving dead to the morgue and leaving them there, they change and reanimate. There new ones go and kill unarmed doctors and hide into wents. From there it's game of hide and seek. At this point captain finally releases the intel, but Unitologist screw up defense plans. Non-combat personnel, engineers and such, get killed by necromoph ambushes. Slowly, whole thing goes to hell as necromorphs slowly outnumber marines.
    • Adding on to this theory, it's also possible that the Valor's course took it onto the path of several Necromorphs (a fairly large amount were blasted into space at the end of Dead Space Downfall) so no matter what happened to the slasher on board, it would be distracting enough that other Necromorphs could latch onto the ship and force their way in.
    • Also, it's very likely that the marines on the ship would operate similar to Navy personnel today. So they do not have their own weapons (aside from maybe a sidearm), or armor. A couple would be in full gear as guards, but the rest would just be in regular uniform until they actually get the order to suit up and prepare for combat. So this would easily give the already on board necromorph a critical 5-10 minutes to work with even if the Captain put everyone on high alert the moment he realized a necro was on board.


    Marker and Necromorphs 

  • What exactly is the relationship between the Marker and the Necromorphs? I always found this confusing. I thought The Marker spawns Necromorphs, but it also tries to stop the Necromorphs by having people nearby hallucinate to reunite it with the pedestal or whatever.
    • It appears to create necromorphs, yes — they've only shown up where there's a marker, thus far, including some necromorph fish around the original Black Marker. However, it also seems to suppress them — within a certain radius of a marker, the virus is prevented from creating new necromorphs, and it can apparently suppress a Hive Mind if placed in the proper location. The Markers also have some sort of psychic capabilities — they can influence people to do what the Marker in question wants... but also seem to have a side effect of causing insanity in people. Exactly why the original Marker had these properties and what it was actually for are unknown — and are likely to remain so, unless more sign of the alien race that made the Black Marker is found.
    • Original poster here. Just started playing Dead Space 2 and Issac says that he stopped the original outbreak by destroying the Marker. Is he mistaken or is this actually true? I rather thought he stopped it by dropping that huge chunk of the planetcrack back onto the planet, killing all the Necromorphs with the huge explosion, but I guess not? If it is true, then it seems a much easier option for stopping the outbreak would be to destroy the Marker rather than moving it somewhere specific. So why wouldn't the Marker have people hallucinate destroying it to stop the outbreak instead? Unless it's sentient and doesn't want to "die" or something...
    • I'm pretty sure the Marker doesn't actually spawn necromorphs unassisted. The logs from the first game explained that the symbols on the surface of the marker describe the DNA sequence of a virus. Human scientists on Aegis used those symbols to synthesize the virus, but didn't discover what it did until an unhygienic scientist dropped some dead skin cells into a culture of the virus, which were promptly reanimated. The Marker didn't want to be destroyed because destroying it wouldn't stop an outbreak. Once the necromorphs are free, building a podium to boost the Marker's dead space field is the only thing that can stop them, which is exactly what the scientists did to contain the Hivemind. What I want to know is why the marker didn't manipulate the scientists into destroying it before they recreated the virus, or at least convince them that it would be a really bad idea to do so.
    • The relationship between the Markers and the Necromorphs seems to be subject to a lot of confusion. In Dead Space, the Red Marker repels Necromorphs and actually destroys them when placed on the pedestal. However, in Dead Space 2, an audio log reveals that the Necromorphs on the Ishimura melted upon the Marker's destruction, and presumably reanimated when the Ishimura is towed within range of the Titan Marker. The Titan Marker itself, actually does seem to cause or create Necromorphs, and seeks to propagate Marker creation. However, the Red Marker is red because it is an imperfect copy of the Black Marker - a perfect copy might not attempt to stop the Necromorphs, or a perfect copy might not attempt to create the Necromorphs. Perhaps different Markers are designed to have different effects, or the signal that attempts to tell people to stop outbreaks of Necromorphs are a later addition by the creators, or a different source altogether - essentially, the Markers are a bomb that has been intercepted en route, and someone other than its maker has bundled instructions with it telling you how to disarm it. Alternatively, the Marker on Aegis VII perhaps did not intend to destroy the Necromorphs, merely the Hive Mind - Dead Space 2 implies that the Markers are at least partially sentient and control the Necromorphs. Perhaps the Hive Mind is a mutation of Necromorph DNA that was unforeseen by the Markers and tried to wrest control of them away from them. When the Red Marker got you to destroy the Hive Mind, it may have simply been manipulating you to get rid of a rival. Finally, the shape of the Markers is two intertwining prongs that come from the same base - it could represent their methods: the Markers use two apparently conflicting methods to achieve the same end result.
    • I have just watched the second movie (Aftermath) yesterday, and it confirmed the fact that the Black Marker does actually spawn Necromorphs. A single, fist-sized fragment of the Black Marker spawned a full outbreak upon coming into contact with a single dead corpse (there weren't even any Infectors in the movie), and all of the necromorphs on the ship instantly melt/vaporize when the Mark fragment is destroyed.
    • It could be that Markers are creating and trying to stop the necromorphs. It creates them when its been removed and stopping them when returned from and to their pedestals. The whole hallucination side effect fiasco part of a homing beacon. In a nutshell, the Markers will keep causing problems until someone with common sense puts it back.
    • This could be a useful way of reconciling the difference between the Markers' methods in Dead Space 1 and 2. Given what we learn of the Markers in Dead Space 2 and 3, their purpose appears to be to influence the target species to replicate them - resulting in the creation of the copy Markers, like the red one on Aegis VII - with the aim of triggering a Convergence Event. A Convergence Event, as suggested at the end of 2 and confirmed in 3, requires a 'critical mass' of dead or Necromorph tissue in order to generate and complete a Necromorph Brethren Moon like the one above Tau Volantis. However, the Markers presumably rely on the target species not realizing they're dangerous, and keeping them around in dense population centers. The Marker on Aegis VII is in the ass-end of nowhere, presumably with insufficient human and Necromorph corpses on either the colony or the Ishimura to trigger Convergence. Consequently, the Red Marker has to render the Necromorph outbreak dormant, presumably so that humans can possibly return to the planet and colonize in greater numbers. Even Kendra's theft of the Red Marker plays into its hands, as it would likely find its way via Earth Gov to a more populous area, ripe for Convergence.
    • Maybe the Hive Mind and thus the necromorphs was already on the planet long before the Red Marker and the Isimura Incident happened, the Red Marker was created and placed on that planet specifically to keep the Hive Mind dormant, while the Titan Marker was created by Unitologists in order to make necromorphs because of their insane belief that was God's work, thus explaining the differences between the two markers and their functions.

    Ishimura after Aegis 

  • What exactly happened to the Ishimura after Issac left it to go to Aegis VII? Is it still drifting out there in space or did somehow the huge explosion from dropping a huge chunk of rock destroy it too? Or did some other spaceship show up and destroy it?

    Ignition and Sara 

  • Okay, in Ignition, Franco kills Sara in two paths, rather than tell her that he plans to thaw Isaac. Why? Y'know, if he just said "Hey, I'm going to thaw the one guy who's ever outright defeated the threat we're facing. Wanna come?" I think she'd be on board. Unless he doesn't actually know that Isaac has previously destroyed a Necromorph hive mind, in which case you have to wonder why he even cares about reviving him.
    • Franco is working for the Unitologists, and they want Isaac to help them build more Markers. Franco can't tell an outsider all of this and if he had survived more than about 10 seconds into Dead Space 2 the truth would have come out eventually.


  • According to something I've read, the necromorphs are an effect of the marker being man-made, instead of the apparently-alien original. So... why do the marker's powers seem to affect necromorphs specifically? The powers are weird enough and enough beyond normal science that they're probably carried over from the real thing... but if so, why would they affect something that should never have existed?
    • There is a lot of other material on the game universe that helps fill in plot holes. The original marker found on Earth also had necromorphic life around it, albeit fish life. Once discovered, a loopy scientist driven mad by the original marker, injects it into himself. He starts turning into a necromorph and leads to a small outbreak on the research station on Earth to analyze the black marker. So the red marker is a man made copy of the black marker which is alien of some origin. This is all in a book that discusses the origins of Unitology and such.
    • I need to look up the bonus logs and other materials to get more information on what's. The "thing I read" was something on TV Tropes.
    • From the Dead Space 2 page and mouth of the creators, they retconned the original idea of the marker being an inhibitor to necromorphs. It instead is a method of spawning them or similar. I would consider this a case of "We never thought we'd spawn a franchise, OOPS!" occurrence.

    Plasma cutter 

  • Now, I know from a Doylist perspective, it is a weapon, but am I the only one who finds it hard to think of the Plasma Cutter as being an in-universe tool being improvised as a weapon? I mean, unlike a nail gun or a glue gun, it appears to have good accuracy and its effects do not seem to diminish over long range. And unlike a chainsaw it appears to be easy to wield. Some models even appear to have iron sights if the laser pointer isn't doing it for you. And given the nature of how it works, it seems far better at disabling a person in one shot than a bullet.
    • Depends on the bullet. If you were using the pistol, you'd have a small-scale grenade on your hands, judging by wounds inflicted by it in Dead Space. In an era where armor is about ten times better than current models, that would be really useful. Hence why squads intended to pacify people wearing such armor would use a weapon like that.
    • My guess is that the plasma cutter normally doesn't shoot energy blasts (since that would be absurdly dangerous for a tool designed to be used on a space ship) but was hacked by it's previous owner to do so (it probably detonates the battery to acquire the explosive force needed to propel the plasma, which would explain why it goes through battery packs so fast).My guess is that it normally sustains a stationary cutting blade suspended between the two orange prongs. I have to agree that it really is amazingly accurate for an improvised weapon though.
    • Cutting off limbs sounds like an awful thing to do in a war. Blasting a Necromorph in the torso literally does next-to-nothing. There's just a few scorch marks. Presumably, something thin enough to be cut is cut totally clean, but something even the slightest inch too thick won't take much damage at all, so limb shots are the only viable alternate, leading to horrific tales of soldiers bleeding to death from limbs cut off, leaving them to die watching blood pump out of their stumps... there's just a few lines you don't cross in warfare, and that, my friend, is one of them. Unless you're a Nazi, or something, which actually sounds like what they'd do.
    • In Dead Space 2 Isaac flat-out makes a plasma cutter from a laser-scapel surgery rig. I think the only reason any of his weapons are as effective as they are is because he's modded/created them, even before taking into account using the Bench.
    • ^ This. In addition, in Dead Space 2, you frequently come across both small and large scale plasma cutters, most of which are used as traps or tools, but, importantly, are constant stream instead of the pulse blast that Isaac's cutter fires. The plasma cutter he finds on board the Ishimura is right under a scrawled sign that says to cut off limbs; it's already been modded for pulse blasts. The cutter he jury-rigs in the hospital is something he created, and he's aware of the advantage of pulse blasts over constant stream. In other words, the plasma cutter is intended as a long range cutting tool, akin to a very sharp, long-range saw, albeit one that fire low-intensity streams of energy to make the cutting a more consistent action. However, that would be completely useless against the Necromorphs, so the plasma cutters that Isaac uses instead fire extremely high-power blasts of energy, which detrimentally affects the clip size of the tool (I imagine the cutter lasts longer per "round" when used as intended), but is a better weapon than tool.
    • That's a good theory but the plasma cutter Vandal takes from the tool locker in Mobile already fires in short bursts and (if I recall correctly) the RIG even says it's meant to do that when it's picked up.

    Baby tanks 

  • Why are there babies being grown in tanks aboard the Ishimura? It's a mining ship! There's no reason for them to be there.
    • According to a sign near the tanks, limb replacement operations can be carried out after serious injuries. The replacement parts have to come from somewhere, apparently. And humanity has reached a pretty desperate stage.
    • The babies are named, though. You find a log recording the number of infants born on the ship.
    • That log is found in a very different area of the medical wing and names babies that were born naturally. The babies in the tanks are presumably clones and only used for limb/organ grafting.

    Cracking Aegis VII 

  • Aegis VII has a breathable atmosphere. Why are they cracking a habitable planet in search of resources?
    • The planet is habitable, sure, but from what's shown in the game it doesn't seem to be very hospitable.
    • That requires operating under the assumption that they're there for the raw materials. While the rest of the crew seems to be operating under that idea, there's a Marker there, and a large portion of the crew were Unitologists. While they were illegally operating in the Aegis system, the organization of the Unitologists is basically an N.G.O. Superpower - they had the resources to risk it to get their holy relic back.

    Planet cracking 

  • Planet cracking. It just makes no sense to me. Lets imagine for a second that Aegis is the size of our Moon (even though it's obviously bigger else it wouldn't have had an atmosphere, but I am making an argument) - it is still 3500 kilometers in diameter. That means it has a semi-fluid to fluid core underneath its crust. The bigger the planet the bigger the liquid core. Does Ishimura simply strip the mantle off? How would you "process" a sphere of molten metal (which is what's left after lifting the crust) thousands of kilometers in diameter? Nevermind the core, how would it process that much mantle material? The ship itself would have had to be hundreds of kilometers long in order to do this. As it is it's an equivalent of a single fruit fly consuming a watermelon. No matter how I think about I can't make any sense of it. Promotional materials showing the planets being processed as only a few times bigger than Ishimura and apparently being spheres of solid rock with a green glow inside doesn't help.
    • My guess, a planetcracker only processes a small fraction of the mantle at a time and has a constant supply line of delivery ships warping into the system and picking up the refined ore as it's produced. Eventually after a decade or so they'll have processed all the raw material in the mantle. The molten core is likely just ignored since it would be so difficult to work with, or perhaps they have some kind of technology for cooling it down.
    • Two things to remember here: first, planetcracking is usually done on atmosphere-less or atmosphere-barren planetoids (like Titan in the second game) as a decades-long process. The second thing is that, when the molten core is exposed, the lack of pressure actually cools it quite quickly, and it would be cooled even more on an atmosphere-less planet when exposed to the vacuum of space. That's why magma, when it reaches the surface via volcano, eventually cools to more rock. So cracking probably involves a process by which the core is either exposed and cooled rapidly, or a process where the core is allowed to "vent" to the surface. Aegis VII is an atypical approach, presumably, as there is no good goddamn reason for a colony to be on a planet that's destined to be reprocessed, but we can probably chalk that up to crazy Unitologists looking for the Marker.
    • Not really, the whole building a colony thing is part of the standard planetcracking process. The workers and miners are here to survey, map the interesting resources, prepare the planetcracking itself by digging into the crust. They are very numerous, thus need a whole logistic of more workers, up to and including a police force, to work correctly. I guess that once they're done, the planet having been cracked, they dismantle the colony and move on to another planet.
    • Vacuum is actually an excellent insulator, so a planet with no atmosphere would take millennia to cool down. Ah well, I guess the whole planetcracking premise just isn't as though out as I would have liked, no biggie.
    • Not quite. It can't conduct the heat away, but it can radiate. Which it will. A lot. So the magma would cool to rock, allowing it to be processed, exposing more magma, etc. For that matter, it actually takes quite a while to get deep enough into a planet to find liquid - the Earth's core is only an eighth of the entire planet (by volume). That said, the vast majority of the mantle is very hot, but not molten.
    • Unfortunately this one pretty much has to come down to Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale. There's simply no way the civilization shown in the series could require resources on such a ludicrous scale anyway, by at least a dozen orders of magnitude. (You could equally well ask why they bother with markers at all.)

    Colony drop 

  • There is something that has been bothering me for awhile. The "colony drop" at the end. I mean releasing huge chunk of crust and letting it fall down. Is that actually possible? Putting aside realism of actual planetcracking. Will that piece fall down on the planet? I was under the impression that Ishimura was in space, and not floating in the planet's atmosphere. Is it because of said planet's gravity field? Why did said piece fell so fast? Why did it fell at all? Shouldn't it say float around the planet like some space station?
    • Astrophysics is funny stuff. Depending on the distance between chunk'o'planet and planet-proper, the gravity well created by the planet could still have a pull on the chunk'o'planet. The larger the chunk'o'planet, the further out it has to be to maintain stable orbit. As a point of comparison, Luna is (at closest point) 356,400 km away, and is 0.0123 Earths by Mass. While there is *some* orbital decay, it's marginal. Essentially the Earth and Luna orbit around a common point, somewhere around a third of the way through the Earth. Now (by eyeballing it) the chunk'o'planet was not far enough away from the planet that it'd ignore the mass of the planet and stabilize in orbit. Make sense?
      • Aside from the first sentence? Horribly wrong. Oh, and the point about the Earth-Moon system orbiting a point inside the Earth that isn't the planet's center, that's fine. Everything else? Wrong. As to the actual question? If the fragment was in orbit with the Ishismura then you'd have to give it a push to make it drop. If the Ishsimura was instead hovering above the planet, then as soon as it stopped holding the fragment up it'd fall.

    Nicole's message 

  • As far as I'm concerned, the biggest WTF of them all, and the one that most causes my willing suspension of disbelief to crack, is Nicole's message. I mean... how deranged do you have to be to want your beloved to watch your suicide while it happens? Why the hell didn't she say her goodbyes, switch off the camera, and then off herself?
    • The marker causes insanity, even if she wasn't effected by that she was feeling suicidal, thus not thinking logically. Or if Isaac knew she was dead he wouldn't have come looking for her, sparing him possible death by necromorph.
    • It's probably the latter. If she cut it off before she died he might hold out hope that she was alive and come to the ship. Which it should be pointed out is exactly what he does when he blocks out the part about her death.

    Nicole on the mining deck 

  • Probably one of the biggest headscratchers in the entire game is, if Nicole was dead the entire game what was happening when Nicole appears in the mining deck and unlocks a door for Isaac? Isaac is apparently trying to protect a person that doesn't exist from necromorphs.
    • Especially after playing the other games, you realize the door was probably open the entire time and Isaac was just standing there hallucinating.

    Slasher senses 

  • Dead Space 2 shows that the Slasher transformation destroys the eyes, but Slashers can't see you if you cut off their heads. What, do they track you by sound? They find you even if you're not moving!
    • The transformation shown in the very beginning was into a Unitologist 'zealot' slasher, the more common varieties may still have their eyes. As for how they can still find you without their senses, perhaps the infection gives them a sixth sense that allows them to track living organisms.
    • Confirmed in multiplayer, oddly enough. The necromorphs seem to track neural-electrical impulses (like sharks).

    Dead tissue 

  • The human body has a small amount of dead tissue in it already. Why do they need to kill people for the necrovirus to work?
    • Maybe the necrovirus needs a critical mass of dead tissue to get the ball rolling.
    • So, how is it they can infect immediately killed organisms no problem?
    • Well if it's been killed, then it's not alive. Ergo, plenty of dead tissue to work with.
    • It takes two hours outside of optimal conditions for tissue to begin to decompose...
    • Out of all the outbreaks usually what starts it is a lone slasher or a live or dead body turning into a Infector. The disturbing thing about infectors is that an person that is alive can turn into one (of course he would die in the process by being choked by the infection fluid)as shown by that medical officer you find choking on some yellow fluid on the Medical Deck

    Credits in emergency stashes 

  • I'm just getting into this game, but why are the emergency stashes sometimes filled with credits? Even the ammo in them makes more sense than that.
    • There is a theory that not all songs in animated movies are real, they're metaphors to express characters' goals and feelings (Example: 'Circle of Life' was"real", but 'I just can't wait to be King' was a fantasy). Similarly, one could argue that not every gameplay element is real within a game universe. What you play and experience may not official canon; did Leon in Resident Evil 4 really find crows that dropped grenades in his special mission?

    Sending a small ship 

  • The Ishimura is kilometers long and has a crew exceeding 1000, not to mention everyone on the Aigis VII colony. Obviously, they have the personnel and resources to fix any minor to moderate problem they encounter. I know the CEC didn't exactly know what was wrong with the Ishimura when they sent the Kellion to repair it, but they should have sent a much larger ship to solve the problem. If the problem is so major that the entire Ishimura crew can't fix it, it doesn't make sense to send a shuttle with a 5 member crew.
    • It does when it was a cover for an Earth Gov operation to obtain the Marker they created more than a hundred years ago and bring it back to Earth. Fixing the Ishimura was never Kendra's objective, merely her cover story. Issac and Hammond were just puppets being used to maintain the charade.
    • When needing to send repair components, or experience that has suddenly been lost, to an Aircraft Carrier, you don't need to send a huge ship, unless the parts needed are X-Box HEUG. The Kestral could easily have tugged the Ishimura if needed. (See tugboats IRL for an example.) Recon in force is really only needed if you know that your distressed vessel is in enemy territory.

    Medical bay 

  • Twice you must pass through the medical bay - once you have to move the medical pod to provide yourself with a floor to walk on, and once you have to slow it down to cross. How exactly does that room work when the ship is operating normally and why was it built that way?

    Hive mind 
  • If there's a hive mind controlling the necromorphs that wants to kill Isaac, it doesn't do a very good job of tactics and strategy when directing them. On the other hand, if there's a hive mind that wants Isaac to return the Marker to the pedestal, it's efforts to kill him are counter productive. The hive mind being insane might explain both issues, but if it was insane how did it do such a good job at manipulating Isaac into returning the Marker?
    • Originally it was the Marker that manipulated Isaac into returning the Marker.


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