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Western Animation / Dead Space: Aftermath

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Dead Space: Aftermath is a Direct-to-Video animated movie set in the Dead Space universe. The movie is told mostly in flashback by the remaining crew of the USG O'Bannon, explaining to the crew of the USG Abraxis what happened to the rest of the ship.

Following the events of Dead Space, the crew of the O'Bannon are sent to Aegis VII to collect any remaining traces of the Red Marker destroyed by Isaac Clarke. A member of the survey team, Nickolas Kuttner, stumbles upon one such shard and is driven mad in short order. Seeing visions of his deceased daughter, Vivian, he accidentally disables one the planetary stabilizers in a misguided attempt to save her. The resulting chain reaction destroys the planet and cripples the O'Bannon. The survey team barely makes it back.

Scientist Nolan Stross experiments on the recovered shard, and he too begins seeing visions. Alien symbols fill his vision, which he believes to be the key to the alien language. He exposes the shard to a corpse, thinking that it will revive the body. It does, but not like he expects. The corpse is turned into a Necromorph and quickly escapes. It slaughters the crew, turning them into more Necromorphs. Stross kills his wife and son, believing they were more Necromorphs, before being found by his mistress Isabel Cho.


Cho, Stross, Kuttner, and engineer Alejandro Borges make their way to the ship's engines. They throw the shard into the engine, destroying it and the Necromorphs. The survivors are picked up by the Abraxis, where the story begins.

Dead Space: Aftermath provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adult Fear: Poor Kuttner. Honestly, if you came into contact with something that made you see visions of your own dead daughter, would you behave any more rationally? Even if you knew there was no way she was really there?
  • And I Must Scream: Stross ends the movie locked in a stasis pod and waiting to be turned into a medical test subject for the EarthGov marker program. However, this stasis pod appears to keep its victim conscious while they're encased, which makes it all the worse for Stross who's claustrophobic.
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  • Art Shift: The present story is told in CGI, while the flashbacks are done in a anime design. In addition, each flashback has its own distinct style.
  • Artificial Limbs: Borges has a cybernetic arm.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: No one ever figures out that the limbs on Necromorphs gotta go, but they have an uncanny knack for hitting them anyway.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Cho is lobotomized and used as a scapegoat for the Aegis VII disaster after she refused to work for the Overseer, and Stross is imprisoned for study on the Marker's affects on the human mind.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Kuttner is the first main character to die onscreen, but as the flashbacks show, he wasn't the first main character to be killed in the storyline.
  • Boom, Headshot!:
    • Kuttner deals out a lot of these.
    • Poor Borges.
  • Buried Alive: This is Stross' fear.
  • Coitus Ensues: Even if Cho and Stross are having an affair, her randomly jumping his bones in the middle of studying the shard still seems a bit forced.
  • Continuous Decompression: When the hull is breached, the air takes way longer to vent than it should. Notably, the games are actually a lot better about this.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Cho is strapped to a cross-shaped gurney just before she's lobotomized.
  • Downer Ending: Given this is a prequel to Dead Space 2, it can only go south for the survivors. Worst of all was Cho, who gets the honor of getting a drill through the head after turning down their offer and is then posthumously pinned for the "Terrorist Attack" on Aegis VII.
  • Driven to Madness: Touching the Marker fragment causes this, though smarter people are able to cope slightly better than those with average intelligence. Stross is one of those smarter people, but he still brutally murdered his wife and child, believing them to be a Slasher and Lurker, respectively.
  • Driven to Suicide: Kuttner blows himself and an entire squad of soldiers out an airlock, since he believes his daughter is on the other side.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The already unstable Aegis VII explodes when the gravity tethers fail, with the debris heavily damaging the O'Bannon.
  • Explosive Instrumentation: In Borges' flashback, the shockwave from the destruction of Aegis VII hits the O'Brian, causing a number of explosive equipment failures. This includes a control console on the bridge going up right in an unfortunate technician's face.
  • Expy: Captain Campbell looks quite a bit like the Ishimura's Captain Mathius from the previous film, Downfall. Their behavior is radically different, however. Campbell recognizes the Marker is affecting his judgment and orders Stross to take it away from him, while Mathius suffered significant Sanity Slippage. Campbell is legitimately heroic and dies to save others, while Mathius is obstructive at best, and is accidentally killed when Kyne tries to relieve him of his post.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The Overseer and leader interrogator are polite to their victims, which only adds to the creepiness of their schtick of torturing the truth out of the O'Bannon survivors. The Overseer even offers Cho a job, right before having her lobotomized while fully conscious.
  • Frame-Up: Cho is framed by EarthGov as a terrorist responsible for the loss of the Ishimura, the O'Bannon, and the Aegis VII colony. She's in no position to argue seeing as it done after she was lobotomized.
  • From a Single Cell: A variant. The Marker can't actually regenerate, but every piece of it is as potent as the whole, no matter how small.
  • Genre Blind: Despite everything she's witnessed about her interrogators, Cho doesn't realize she's in both a horror story and a conspiracy thriller until it's too late.
  • Gorn: A given since this movis is a part of Dead Space series.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Captain Campbell closes a door to save the others from a hull breach and detonates a grenade when the Necromorphs Zerg Rush him.
  • Heroic Willpower: Kuttner takes two shots center mass, but still manages to summon the effort to reach his daughter.
  • Ignored Expert: Borges warns Captain Campbell that twelve gravity tethers is nowhere near the amount necessary to hold the planet together and that it's just a matter of time until the planet straight up explodes. Campbell ignores him and predictably Aegis VII suffers an Earth-Shattering Kaboom when the twelve tethers prove insufficient for the task.
  • Kill ’Em All: Just like the movie that came before it, only one of the main characters is left to make it into the next game: Stross.
  • Kill It with Fire:
    • Borges rigs up some flamethrowers and incendiary grenades to deal with the Necromorphs.
    • A variant of this is used to destroy the Marker shards. The protagonists drop them in the O'Bannon's fusion reactor.
  • Lowered Monster Difficulty: The Necromorphs are a lot more fragile than they're supposed to be, even accounting for the protagonists' unusually lucky shots. This is subverted with the bigger ones; when the Brute shows up, all they can manage is to stun it briefly.
  • Man on Fire: This is Kuttner's fear.
  • No Name Given: All the Earth government officials are never identified beyond their job assignments, IE the Overseer.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Without the Marker signal, the Necromorphs instantly liquify.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Cho is given one by the Overseer, who offers her the chance of joining the Earth government conspiracy surrounding the Markers with the obvious implication being she'll be killed otherwise. She unwisely tries to refuse, which goes about as well as you'd expect.
  • "Rashomon"-Style: Main story is told through flashbacks each following the other characters' perspective, allowing the viewer to see the delusions and reality of many scenes. It also helps that each one has its own art style to reflect that character's viewpoint.
  • Retirony: Campbell, just before sacrificing himself, mentions that he should have heeded his wife's advice to retire instead before taking on this mission.
  • Room 101: The thing that coerces the four survivors into telling their stories.
  • Sanity Slippage: This happens to Kuttner once he sees visions of his dead daughter.
  • Shoot the Hostage: The military does not mess around when it comes to subduing an unruly prisoner.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Borges' cousin is seen playing Dante's Inferno during a couple moments of downtime.
    • A less overt one appears when Captain Campbell is seen drinking Kirkwall whiskey.
    • The name of the ship, O'Bannon, a shout out to Alien writer Dan O'Bannon.
  • Smoking Hot Sex: Stross in Cho's flashback.
  • Taking You with Me. Campbell uses an incendiary grenade to take down a bunch of Necromorphs after manually sealing a door so the others can escape.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: Stross and Kuttner both see visions of things that aren't there or aren't as they seem. Though Kuttner's hallucinations are pretty clearly a product of his mind, you'd be forgiven for mistaking some of Stross' hallucinations for reality.
  • The Un-Reveal: It isn't revealed what the interrogation chair showed Cho.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: The interrogation chair is able to create hallucinations of the subject's worst fear. More specifically, Borges is afraid of spiders.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • Borges is unceremoniously executed once they determine he has had no contact with the Marker, and thus is of no further use.
    • Cho gets the unfortunate honor of being useful after that fact is determined, since there were no other potential subjects to examine.
    • The Overseer has the remaining two interrogators executed after they complete the questioning of the O'Bannon survivors.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Alexis, Stross' wife, already had strong suspicions that he was having an affair with Cho.
  • Zerg Rush: The 100+ crew goes down to a half-dozen within ten minutes or so, resulting in this trope when the corpses get back up.

Alternative Title(s): Dead Space Aftermath


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