The secrets of Dead Space deciphered

We literally think Dead Space is awesome. It's an interstellar scare-a-thon of the absolute highest order. And we guarantee that anyone who plays the game will wish they knew what all the alien scribblings plastered inside the Necromorph-infested Ishimura mining vessel mean. Well, we did at least. Which is why we made it our mission to crack the code. We're anal like that.

And crack it we did. The vast majority of it ties-in with the game's religion, Unitology - fanatics who seemingly support the idea of the recently deceased waking up, growing a few extra limbs and snacking on necks. Hey, what real harm can it do? As Isaac Clarke you'll uncover reams of Unitology, all of which can be decoded. Get your thinking caps on…


Above: The full translation with numbers and symbols included can be found in Chapter 6

Forget about using the rosetta stone in Chapter 6 because to really feel intelligent you'll need to complete the game. After the credits have finished the endgame screen will appear saying 'Dead Space', 'Chapter 12' and 'Completed', all written In Unitology. Scribble them down, or take a picture if you can, and you'll have your first steps towards solving the game's secrets. Armed with these symbols it's possible to revisit previous chapters and start cracking the code by filling in the blanks, Wheel of Fortune style.

Above: Choose to figure it out yourself and this will be your starting point

The biggest secret appears once in every chapter, although this particular block of text (below) lives in a toilet cubicle in Chapter 10. It's a strain to read at a distance but by boosting the in-game brightness and turning the camera the message is unmistakable: 'Do you believe? Your light shows the way. We have left you a gift.'

Above: Shine a light on the bottom arrows and one will glow green

Above: Pushing the camera against the cubicle wall helps to zoom in

Follow the weblink and you’ll uncover the truth. Hidden in each chapter is an arrow which glows green if you wave your torch over the top, and by plugging the arrows into the website's algorithm you'll discover the following code: YXYXXYXXYXXY (or TSTSSTSSTSST for the PS3). Type this in when the game's paused and five extra nodes are yours – which feels a little stingy given the work needed to solve it in the first place.

Above: The website reveals how the coloured arrows turn into a cheat code

The rest of the text is more in keeping with Dead Space's story. They're a happy bunch these Unitologists. 'Unity is forever,' 'Death is only the beginning' and 'Keep us whole' are three particular favourites of theirs. Almost every passage makes reference to death, the Marker (the artifact responsible for Dead Space's Necromorphs) or Unitology's founder, Altman. Think Scientology's Ron Hubbard and you won't be too far off the mark. Certainly the implications of the pay-to-pray religion's methods, along with the atheist's views that Unitology is simply a cult, bear a striking resemblance. 'Don't be afraid and rejoin the holy one: Altman our martyr, our pioneer.'

Above: Altman. Unity is forever. Death is only the beginning

Above: Sacrifice is inevitable. The time has finally (unintelligible)! Don't be afraid and rejoin the holy one: Altman our martyr, our pioneer

Above: Humans will learn that at death of their worldly spirit they will be reborn in unity as a stronger community unending


  • kitler - May 23, 2010 10:03 a.m.

    Found a message on one of many flashing red monitors on level 5, to see it you have to pause the game just at the right time to get the message into frame. This one was a hard one to decode due to the message being upside-down anyway the message says "the ships are coming for the chosen one". Could be the uintologist coming to pick up the necromorphs, or maybe a message for hopes of a sequel due to Issac escaping the colony. Guess its whatever you want it to be.
  • SmileMan64 - April 3, 2010 3:30 p.m.

    Well, this is quite interesting. Thanks for the info.
  • CosyFudge - November 15, 2008 8:58 a.m.

    @corsair89 Yu don't see Issacs face for the first time at the end of the game. Yu can see it for the first time before the actual gameplay kicks in. When yu start the game and yur on the little ship with the three dudes and the kendra if yu keep pushing the right thumb stick to the right or left the camera will turn. Granted it won't turn eventually but keep doing it and I promise yu, yu get to see his face. Altman be praised!
  • bluenosejock1 - October 28, 2008 11:21 a.m.

    "The black marker is really really close. Altman our marytr. Altman our pioneer. The beginning. Keep us whole! Believe or die" ... Are there not scribings that also say death is only the beginning ?? hmmm contradiction but the game looks awesome and shows just how much work developers and the likes actually do !!
  • Corsair89 - October 27, 2008 5:42 a.m.

    *SPOILERS!* Was anybody else pissed that the acheivement "Betrayed" spoils the fact that Kendra betrays you in the end?. It would have been fine, if it was a secret achievement. The fact that Kendra betrayed me got me mad, when she easily stole the marker that I worked and fought so hard to transport to it's destination made me madder, the fact theat she withheld the knowledge that Nicole has been dead this whole time made me even madder, but what really pissed me off was the fact that the Hive Mind spattered her before I had the chance to slowly rip that bitch apart myself. >:( I though that the very very end was awesome because after we see Isaac's face for the first time, you see Nicole's reanimated corpse attack! Sweet! :)
  • pornomancer - October 25, 2008 9:13 p.m.

    Where are these locations to get the green lights? You guys are amazing for doing all this work
  • CandiedJester - October 25, 2008 4:02 a.m.

    @atomgrad Me too! Actually, I rarely pay any attention to anything written on the walls. Unless its portal. THE CAKE IS A LIE!
  • NelosAngelos - October 25, 2008 12:50 a.m.

    Altman be praised.
  • Ravenbom - October 24, 2008 9:30 p.m.

    I totally missed almost everything until the 3rd chapter or so. Take those green crates, for instance, I thought, "oh bright green crate! there must be something in there!" then I went over, pressed "a" and nothing happened, so I ignored them for a while. It wasn't until I accidentally curb stomped a crate that I discovered they had items in them, and by that time, it was like chapter 3. After that, I was much more careful in how I looked around for items, but I know I missed almost everything in the first 2-3 chapters. Anyways... great translation guide! There's so much I missed in the first few chapters, and the alien graffiti was one of those things!
  • bron1417 - October 24, 2008 6:59 p.m.

    wow guys this is really interesting stuff right here way to go GR!
  • Samael - October 24, 2008 2:26 p.m.

    Awesome. Thanks for taking the time to decipher this.
  • noewon - December 9, 2008 6:08 p.m.

    somebody teach me to be an asteroid smasher
  • JINJO - November 28, 2008 1:29 p.m.

    this is one of the best games i have played in a long time... and i wasnt expecting to get as hooked on it as i did. this feature just adds even more depth to a trully brilliant game!!! tho i must say... im playing through my third time and never even thought it was possible to work out the freaky language lol thanks guys
  • Baconator96 - November 18, 2008 6:30 a.m.

    you fail it. it being secret messages. love it. thank you.
  • Corsair89 - November 17, 2008 9:37 p.m.

    @CusyFudge Oh, yeah, your right. My bad. :P
  • Narcase - November 14, 2008 7:10 p.m.

    It says that there's 12 codes to find. I've only seen 8 codes online. Has anyone found the other 4 codes?
  • Jiiik2 - November 3, 2008 5:17 a.m.

    I wonder how the people who made the game came up with all these writings.
  • Corsair89 - October 27, 2008 5:16 a.m.

    I had no idea that the gibberish was a language until I completed the game. It's neat to see that the development team took the time to write it on the walls and GR for translate for us. I saw a lot of similarities to Bioshock in Dead Space. Kinisis, warped formerly human monsters, isolated city/ship turned hell-hole in the the middle of the ocean/space, blood and bodies EVERYWHERE, freaking scary, fantasitic stories, excellent games overall. I still like Bioshock better.
  • Skykid - October 26, 2008 7:12 p.m.

    Go Gr gaming nerds! This is truly the creepiest thing ever!
  • Skykid - October 26, 2008 7:11 p.m.

    Creepy, very creepy. You have deciphered the crrepiest stuff ever. Go GR gaming nerds!

Showing 1-20 of 42 comments

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