The secrets of Dead Space deciphered

Special mention should be reserved for the Marker. The artifact unearthed on Aegis-7 is a fake: a replica of the original Marker discovered on Earth years before. If you watch Dead Space Downfall you'll even spy this revelation at the start. The discussion about a retired ship class leaving its mark on Aegis-7 was soon forgotten when the Marker was found, when in actual fact it was that very ship which dropped it off in the first place.

Sadly the markings on the Marker itself are too jumbled to make any sense of, but the importance of the artifact is impossible to ignore. From the hidden lab in chapter 4 to the scribblings dedicated to the relic, the Unitologists are obsessed with the Marker and its paranormal properties.

Above: Marker idols can be dotted all over the ship, especially in secret areas

Above: Keep us whole! Make us whole! Marker. The sacred relic. The message from our creators

Above: The black marker is really really close. Altman our marytr. Altman our pioneer. The beginning. Keep us whole! Believe or die

Above: Strangely, the ‘message from our creator’ seems to be gibberish

Become too engrossed in translating, however, and mistakes will appear. It's clear EA Redwood Shores wrote a group of phrases and pasted them all over the ship. Unfortunately some surfaces didn't register the layer, or had layers on top resulting in chopped text. And while it seems like there are hundreds of different messages, most rooms are coated in the same few pieces over and over again, sometimes upside down or mirrored, but rarely different.

Above: The pilg is at Unity

Above: And how it should read: The pilgrimage is at hand! Unity is at hand!

Above: The circle just says 'Forever' repeatedly

Even the main menu is home to Unitology phrases, and this time they're unique. At the bottom of the screen is a repeating message which reads ‘Never give up’, but while that appears to be all there is here there's plenty more to be found. Enter the options menu and you'll pull the camera back, revealing three more messages: 'Red Marker is man made', ‘Trust no one’ and 'There’s always Peng!' The last being a reference to the hidden Peng trophy in Chapter 11 which is in the trench on the left of the walkway you start the game on (grabbing it unlocks an Achievement/Trophy depending on the platform).

That's not all.  The deeper you delve into the menus, the more you'll see. 'Rancid Moon' on the bottom right is a reference to the game Dead Space was originally pitched as – a prison break in space. Thankfully executive Producer Glen Schofield soon decided against pursuing that avenue and opted for Dead Space instead. In keeping with the story, ‘Make us whole’ is the phrase on the top left, although anybody wanting another easter egg won’t be disappointed for long: the final phrase in the top right corner reads 'Secret Message Fail'. The irony never fails to raise a smile.

Above: Watch the sequence and it’ll read ‘Never give up’

Above: Spoiler warning: the truth about the Marker is revealed

Above: Rancid Moon was Glen Scofield’s original project. You’ll also spy posters for a Rancid Moon in chapter 10’s hub

Above: Secret message fail. Geddit?


  • 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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