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Dead Space: Downfall is a Direct-to-Video animated movie. Set in the Dead Space universe, it serves as a Prequel of the first game, going into detail about what happened onboard the USG Ishimura prior to Isaac Clarke reaching it.

The Red Marker is brought onboard the Ishimura. Meanwhile the colony on Aegis VII is attack by Necromorphs. One of the colonists escapes with the corpse of his dead wife and heads to the Ishimura, unaware that his wife is turning into a Necromorph. Onboard the Ishimura, the Unitologists want to worship the Marker, and start to otherwise go insane.

The colonists ship crashes into the Ishimura and the Necromorph escapes, eventually making its way down to the ship's morgue and infecting all the bodies down there. A team of crew members, led by chief of security Alissa Vincent, try to fight their way from the morgue to the top of the ship in a desperate bid to call for aid.

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Dead Space: Downfall provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Accidental Murder: Dr. Kyne's attempt to sedate Captain Mathius goes horribly wrong, ending with the latter dying. The crew members, who had been restraining Mathius after agreeing with Kyne's assertion he was unfit for duty, wonder aloud whether or not it really was an accident; Kyne flees the bridge before he can be detained.
  • Agony of the Feet: This happens to Jennifer, Colin Barrow's wife, when she walks on broken glass.
  • All for Nothing: Vincent's sacrifice is rendered pointless because something, possibly the Marker, ensures her final log is too garbled to be understood by the crew of the Kellion.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The log Vincent records explaining what happened on the ship.
  • Ascended Extra
    • Dr. Kyne played a fairly small part in the first game, but here he's treated more like a main character.
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    • Captain Mathius gets a pretty decent amount of screentime before his death.
  • Asshole Victim: Captain Mathius gets a needle stabbed in his left eye from Dr. Kyne's attempt to sedate him. Given his attitude before his Sanity Slippage, it's hard to muster sympathy for him.
  • Ax-Crazy: Everyone gets this from the Marker eventually, though some take longer to covert than others, and that assumes they live long enough to do so at all.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Samuel Irons in the mess hall.
  • Call-Back: At the very beginning of the movie, the first thing you see is the back of an engineer wearing the same suit as Isaac. It looks almost like a shot from the original game, complete with camera angle.
  • The Cameo: Nicole has a non-speaking appearance, being rescued by Vincent with some other civilians.
  • Chainsaw Good: Irons uses a plasma chainsaw in a heroic moment. As it's far more effective than their pistols, the security team trades up in kind.
  • Conspicuous CG: The spaceships and some backgrounds.
  • Continuity Snarl:
    • The movie timeline runs much faster than is implied to have happened in the game; the game's audio logs suggest the Sanity Slippage took days to manifest alongside the Necromorphs. Other differences include the Marker being much larger and the Necromorphs being unable to approach it. Though that may be because it has use for Vincent.
    • The Necromorphs shown in the film can be killed by getting cut in half or beheaded. In the source material, doing that couldn't be further away from killing them. The average Slasher can continue to function without its head or lower body.
  • Continuous Decompression: How Vincent deals with the Necromorphs between her and the shuttle's emergency beacon.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Suffered by anyone who gets nabbed by a Necromorph.
  • Darkness = Death: After Colin suggests a Let's Split Up, Gang, the lights flick off for a moment. When they come on, his partner has vanished.
  • Doomed by Canon: Everyone apart from Dr. Kyne.
  • Downer Ending: Everyone is killed and the Ishimura is a death trap.
  • Eye Scream: In the games, you only saw a video log of it; in the movie, you get to watch Mathius get stabbed in the eye up close. Then it goes further into this when after he gets impaled in the eye, he falls onto the floor, driving it into his brain.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Irons. As the Necromorphs advance on him, with his plasma chainsaw no longer functional and his strength depleted, he simply takes his Unitologist pendant and recites a prayer before being hacked to death.
  • Fan Disservice:
  • Five-Man Band
  • Flipping the Bird: Vincent gives Mathius a salute with her middle finger, though his back is turned at the time.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Even when the movie takes a few liberties with the plot, anyone who has knowledge of the game knows how this will end. Everyone dies and the ship is lost to the monster infestation. Even the opening scene lays it all out by showing Vincent's final recording declaring her the only remaining survivor.
  • Gorn: Prerequisite for a Dead Space tie-in.
  • Guns Are Useless: The security team's sidearms do precisely jack against the Necromorphs. This is justified as the games establish that you need to cut limbs off to kill Necromorphs, which the security team doesn't know. Even then, their standard issue sidearms are woefully underpowered compared to the weapons you carry around as Isaac.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Shen gets bisected, lengthwise, courtesy of Hanson.
  • Heel Realization: After witnessing the effects of the Marker and the infection, Dr. Kyne realizes that the Unitology church had been lying to the Ishimura crew about everything. He then sets out to sabotage the ship to ensure the infection doesn't spread beyond the Aegis system.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Both Irons and Ramirez know they're going crazy, so they go out fighting instead.
    • Vincent gets sucked into space when she opens the docking bay so she can launch the emergency beacon on the shuttle.
  • High-Pressure Blood: Why don't the plasma saws cauterize wounds instead of this happening?
  • Honor Before Reason: Vincent's attempts to stop Kyne are intended to save the crew, who are rapidly being butchered by Necromorphs. Hell, by the time she gets to him, there can charitably be said to be maybe a dozen left.
  • Hope Spot: When the Necromorph infestation hits the ship's showers, a young woman flees and it looks like she'll escape, only to impaled and pulled back inside.
  • How We Got Here: The movie starts as Vincent is recording her log, then flashes back to how everything started.
  • I Don't Pay You to Think: This is the response to one character pointing out that the Marker was obviously dumped on an otherwise worthless rock intentionally.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Captain Mathius holds onto it pretty tightly. Then again, he is a Unitologist, and going crazy on top of that.
    • Vincent holds onto the hope that the crew can be saved long after it's obvious Kyne's got the right idea.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" comes up at the end.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Ramirez says to Vincent before he dies.
  • Kill ’Em All: Almost. Only Kyne makes it to the main game. Everyone else, including the protagonist, is dead by the end.
  • Limited Animation: One of the common complaints about the film.
  • Made of Plasticine: And that's not counting the instances where future weapons/tools are used.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: The fat guy in the shower.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Pretty much everyone who tries to fix the situation on the colony or the Ishimura inevitably makes it worse:
    • Colin's attempt to get his wife to safety aboard the ship only ensures the infection spreads there. Admittedly, it's heavily implied he'd been driven insane by grief.
    • Although the full implications aren't seen until the game, Dr. Kyne's attempts at sabotaging the ship only succeed in making a subsequent protagonist's job much harder than it needed to be.
  • Obligatory Swearing: The characters in this movie are a lot more swear-happy than the characters in the game.
  • Off-Model: The health bars on everyone's RIGs are almost never consistent, let alone move down. Mathius' is a notable aversion to this, since we see his health meter quickly drop. Doesn't help that the movie used three animation studios during production (JM Animation, with assistance from Digital eMation and Hanho Heung-Up).
  • Oh, Crap!: The patient from the mining colony gets one when he finds out the monsters from the colony have ended up on the ship.
  • Only Sane Man: Kyne, for a given definition of "sane", and to a lesser extent Vincent. Both are the only two characters to remain completely rational throughout the film. Vincent gets a lower rank because she's a bit too Genre Blind for her own good or that of others. She only comes to her senses after having sabotaged Kyne's first attempt, and by then it's too late.
  • Sanity Slippage: Affects some way more than others.
  • Scylla and Charybdis: On one side, you have the Necromorphs. On the other, you have the Mind Rape caused by the Marker and it's resultant products.
  • Shaming the Mob: Irons breaks up an angry protest by the Unitologists on the Ishimura who're clamoring to see the Red Marker. One reasonable speech later, he's convinced them to improve the public perception of Unitology by not rebelling against the captain's orders and leave the Marker alone until they get permission to view it.
  • Space Madness: Coupled with It's Probably Nothing; naturally it's not the Marker that's causing the sudden spike in insanity and homicides:
    Colin: This is deep space. Weird shit happens.
  • Tempting Fate: Lampshaded when Vincent remarks on Hydroponics seeming to be clear:
  • Token Religious Teammate: Irons, to contrast with the other Unitology fanatics. He successfully convinces his fellow crew to follow his example.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Vincent ends up napping against the Marker, so it manipulates her into making sure more people come looking for the Ishimura.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Once Colin and another miner return to the colony, they find it trashed, with blood covering the walls and screams echoing in the darkness. Colin's response is to shrug it off and head home. It takes his wife committing suicide right in front of him for him to realize something's not quite right.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Shen gets one after seeing the blood-covered mess hall and the dismembered corpses within.
  • We Need a Distraction: When they find a group of trapped civilians, Vincent brings this up since Slashers are blocking the door. Irons volunteers since he's starting to go crazy.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Though anyone who played the game knows they're dead, the trapped civilians are never mentioned again after being rescued.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Shen has blue hair.

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