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 (opens in new tab) 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

Matt is former editor of Official PlayStation Magazine, his favourite games include Skyrim, Final Fantasy VII, Braid, Shadow Of The Colossus and Puggsy, and when he's not grinding away in Destiny you'll often find him talking about WWE or NFL (go Seahawks!).