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?