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LONG BLOG

Dead Space 4

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So a few people (precisely two) expressed some interest in seeing this, a concept I wrote in a moment of weakness of a proposed Dead Space sequel. I really miss the series, I doubt I'll ever see another proper sequel again, so I wrote this nigh-fanfic proposal to alleviate my disappointment/weekend boredom. Then I spent two more days editing it to something resembling coherent because this was never meant to see the light of day. I also have no idea how to write an authentic game concept proposal the way experts do. 




So with apologies to Visceral, and to you because this is a really long document (30ish pages), I give you my ideas for Dead Space 4.




Dead Space 4




Premise: Isaac Clarke fights to stop the Necromorphs from wiping out humanity.

Synopsis: Dead Space 4 is intended to mark an official end to the "Necromorph arc" of the series. The Brother Moons—source of the Markers and the Necromorphs—have awoken and are approaching Earth, consuming every outlying colony on the way. The Sol System is in ruins after the Circle—militant sect of the Unitologist faith—overthrew EarthGov. The Marker copies, created by EarthGov to try and solve humanity's resource exhaustion, have been unleashed, spreading madness and death.

At the end of Dead Space 3: Awakened, Isaac and Carver used the 200 year-old Sovereign Colonies flagship Terra Nova to escape Tau Volantis and return to Earth, only to discover it being consumed by the Brother Moons. The ship veers out of control as the two are psychically assaulted and the world is washed away in crimson…

Act One: Tycho City

Isaac awakens in a hospital bed. A nurse, Sandra Lacroix, explains that he crashed three days ago and was discovered by looters scavenging the Terra Nova. They took everything Isaac owned, but delivered him and Carver to a hospital—Saint Michael's Unitologist Hospital in Tycho City. Sandra explains how she and many of her fellow doctors "woke up" after the Markers went silent (thanks to Isaac in Dead Space 3). It didn't last, and when the Markers flared back to life many of her companions became something worse than before. Sandra and a handful of others kept their sanity.

She then reintroduces Isaac to Carver, who took the brunt of the crash: his left arm and leg had to be replaced with cybernetic prostheses. Moments later, the hospital goes dark. Sandra realizes that the Converts—psychopaths who worship the Necromorphs—have broken in.

Unarmed and weak, Isaac and Carver nevertheless agree to stall the Converts while the doctors and patients evacuate. Using their Kinesis modules and stealth, Isaac is introduced to the different types of Converts before finding a RIG station and suiting up for a stand-up fight. Good thing too, because the Converts were just a prelude: the New Horizons Lunar Colony Marker is active and the Necromorphs have breached Tycho City.

Sandra flies the two to the Network Hub, recommending they re-establish the city-wide communications grid so they can contact a group called the Pathfinders. Isaac and Carver fight and fix their way through the Hub and contact Pathfinder envoy Edgars. Edgars directs him to Colonial Administration, where the Pathfinders have established a base. Isaac and Carver take the mega-vents under the city to reach Administrations. There they meet Edgars and the leader of the Pathfinders: Isaac's father, Poul Clarke.

Their reunion is a mix of stunned shock, joy and anger, but both men accept that the situation is too grave to dwell on old wounds for the time being. Poul explains the many objectives the Pathfinders have been trying to complete in order to secure Tycho City, and save as many people as possible. This opens up Tycho City to open-world exploration, and Isaac can choose to complete these objectives or focus on the main plot: to head to the Monolith Building, where he constructed a Marker Signal Jammer. While the Network is back up, they still haven't been able to communicate with the Jammer team.

Some of the secondary objectives Isaac can complete in Tycho City are:

*         Reactivating the Riot Suppression System in the Tycho City Police Department, where Isaac encounters the serial killer cop Giles.

*         Helping Sandra Lacroix secure the location she has chosen to house her fellow doctors and patients.

*         Sealing the Tram Station that connects Tycho City to New Horizons.

*         Hunting down the RIG codes Isaac needs to access stockpiles of resources, which are being carried by Necromorphs.

*         Freeing Pathfinders trapped by malfunctioning security systems in an abandoned EarthGov base.

While completing these objectives, Isaac learns more about the people around him. Sandra Lacroix shares her own fears about relapsing into another pawn of the Markers, feeling like someone in an abusive relationship who escaped, only to be hounded by her abuser. Poul and Isaac briefly reconnect, though they two remain terse; Poul and Edgars were both Oracles, and while they sometimes believed they were doing the right thing; that changed when Poul realized the Oracles were using Isaac as a test subject. Isaac angrily questions why Poul didn't try to free him, but by the time Poul was able to escape the Oracles Titan Station had already been destroyed.

Whether Isaac completes these tasks or not, Isaac heads to the Monolith Building. Fighting his way up, he starts getting distress calls from the last person he expected—Ellie Langford. Her RIG is damaged, so Isaac can't track or respond to her, but she's defending the Jammer.

Isaac hurries to her position, driving off a swarm of Converts, and battling a Choir Convert. Ellie thanks them for their help, but when she asks them her name she's shocked to tears when Isaac unmasks, leading to a heartfelt reunion (punctuated with a tearful "You bastard!").

Ellie reveals Jammer requires a human who is immune to the Marker signal, and introduces us to Lexine Weller who unplugs from the device. Knowing the Monolith Building is compromised, the four evacuate back to Pathfinder Base. There they meet Lexine's daughter Gabrielle. The young girl takes an instant liking to the gruff Carver (who reminds her of her own father), but is less impressed by Isaac who is "just a nerd."

Ellie explains that the Pathfinders were one of the groups she contacted prior to the events of Dead Space 3, and that Austin Buckell was a member spying on EarthGov. This introduces Larson Buckell, Austin's son and a computer programmer. Larson is moved when Isaac informs him about Austin's death and thanks Isaac for staying with him as he died, which Ellie quietly looks ashamed about. Larson insists he doesn't blame anyone for what happened, but Ellie clearly still carries a lot of guilt over the people who died at Tau Volantis.

Poul, Larson and Lexine set to work getting a mobile Marker Jammer working, but Ellie tells Isaac that the Jammer is only a bandage: the only way to save Luna is to destroy the New Horizon Marker before the Necromorphs overrun everything.

At this point Isaac has one last chance to complete his Tycho City objectives, or head right to New Horizons, but he can never go back after leaving for New Horizons.

Isaac and Carver fight their way down a linear path to the Marker, contending with Marker-induced hallucinations of characters who died in previous Dead Space games. This is when Ellie begins to exhibit signs that she is being affected by the Markers in a manner similar to Isaac and Carver, as she begins seeing Marker!Norton, her personal nemesis for the course of Dead Space 4.

Reaching the Marker, Isaac isn't sure how to destroy it. He is then contacted by a force other than the Brother Moons, appearing as a kindly maternal figure, identifying itself as the Mother. She explains that she gave Isaac the knowledge to harm the Markers long ago, at Aegis VII.

Carver and the others can't see the Mother like Isaac, but Isaac assures them he knows what to do, takes Carvers hand and pulls them both into the Marker's "mind," a hellish landscape that reflects the real world, but is a surreal and nightmarish reinterpretation. After fighting the Marker's shadow beings, Isaac and Carver confronts the psychic-self of the Marker and destroy it.

Pulled back in the real world, they find the New Horizon's Marker shattered. Isaac is again contacted by the Mother, who exposes that the Brother Moons were created to seed life in the galaxy, by beings that have long vanished from the universe. They spent millions of years in their task, until one day the harmony of their hive mind was tainted by some unknown force. Fearing it, the Mother cut herself off from the hive mind and hid herself away, helpless as the Brother Moons systematically consumed the life they helped create.

Before Isaac can ask more the Mother panics, claiming they have found "it." Poul Clarke alerts Isaac that Mars Capita is under attack by a sudden infestation, and need help. The Mother tells Isaac he must answer the call, or humanity will have no hope.

With the New Horizon's Marker destroyed, Tycho City is temporarily safe. The Pathfinders venture to Mars. On the way Ellie questions her decisions at Tau Volantis, Carver feels a mix of doubt and hope as he wants to bond with Gabrielle but is terrified that he will be just as bad a father figure to her as he was to his own son.

Act Two: Mars Capita

The Pathfinders arrive just as the Mars Defense Force is about to be overrun. Captain Avery explains that they evac'ed large numbers of civilians from the Outer City into the more defensible Inner City, but the Necromorphs are threatening to breach their defenses and his own men are suffering hallucinations. Lexine plugs herself into the Marker Jammer, relieving some of the madness, and Isaac sets out to do what he can for the Inner City.

Once again Isaac is permitted to move through sections of Mars Capita's Outer City, achieving objectives:

*         Aiding Stefan Schneider in securing a mothballed fleet of ships to aid in planetary defense.

*         Obliterating the bridges that connect the Outer and Inner City.

*         Entering the Old Mines under the Inner City to seal the tunnels.

*         Escorting Sandra to a forward hospital so she can provide triage.

*         Shutting down the Outer City Riot Suppression Grid that is preventing survivors from reaching evacuation points.

Isaac's primary mission is to aid the Mars Defense Force in shutting the Olympian Gates, which is where the main body of the swarm is breaking through. Isaac has to power up the generators, free the locking systems, and battle a Hivemind/Nexus-like Necromorph called a Synapse to seal the Gates.

Once this is done, Isaac receives a distress call from Pathfinder Base, and returns to find it under attack by the Unitologist Enigma Guard. He fights his way to Ellie and Poul, but arrives too late to prevent the Guard from injuring Lexine and kidnapping Gabrielle, enraging Carver. They are contacted by Octavia Clarke, Isaac's mother and Poul's estranged wife, who commands Isaac to surrender himself for Gabrielle's life.

Heading to the Cathedral ends the hub section of Act Two; Isaac cannot return afterwards.

When Isaac and Carver arrive at the Cathedral of Infinite Unity in the Outer City, Isaac is willing to surrender, but Carver attacks the Enigma Guard. Battling their way through the Cathedral, the Enigma Guard are thrown into a panic when they realize the man they're attacking—the man Octavia ordered them to capture—is Isaac Clarke. Some flee, others go even crazier. Octavia communicates to Isaac over the PA system, boasting that the Brother Moons have promised her godhood in exchange for his death. Isaac tries to plead with his mother, trying to reach some semblance of the woman he remembers from his childhood memories, his Octavia is either mentally gone or never there to begin with. She unleashes a quartet of Regenerators on him, and the two are forced into the Cathedral's Catacombs.

In the Catacombs, Isaac finds hundreds, possibly thousands of corpses in cold storage. Isaac realizes that the Necromorph outbreak originated here, meaning Octavia is holding a Marker. Fighting their through the Catacombs and back into the Cathedral, Isaac and Carver confront the Enigma Guard leader, Tyler Radikov, on the outer balconies.

Tyler is holding Gabrielle, threatening to inject her with Necromorph blood. Filled with tranquil fury, Carver hits them both with Stasis, and Isaac quickly recovers Gabrielle with Kinesis. Carver is about to beat Tyler to death with his bare hands before Gabrielle's cries pull him out of it. Deciding he would rather comfort her than expose her to more violence, Carver stays his wrath—slightly, smashing his fist into Tyler's face and knocking him out cold.

A Pathfinder shuttle arrives to evac Gabrielle, but Isaac and Carver stay behind to find the Cathedral Marker. As the shuttle leaves the Regenerators find them, killing Tyler while Isaac and Carver flee back into the Cathedral.

Knowing they'll never evade them for long, Isaac and Carver lure the Regenerators through the Inner Chapel, fending off Enigma Guardsmen and Necromorphs, and discover Octavia praying before the Marker she uncovered… the original Black Marker, buried on Mars by the Sovereign Colonies centuries ago.

The Regenerators catch up to them, but the Oracles suddenly make an appearance. Their Beam weapons easily (if temporarily) incapacitate the Regenerators and Isaac is forced to watch as the Black Marker is taken, leaving Isaac and Carver to face the Regenerators.

Isaac and Carver head deeper into the Cathedral, to Octavia's Sanctum, a bunker-like chamber that is almost impenetrable, which she believes she can wait out the apocalypse within. She tries to draw Isaac close with a show of love for her son, but Isaac sees the heads of her fellow Enigmas lining the walls of the Sanctum, and realizes she's insane long before she can try and stab him with a concealed knife.

With a look of utter heartbreak, Isaac backs out of the room… just as the Regenerators enter. Octavia realizes Isaac's intentions too late as he seals the Sanctum, trapping Octavia and the Regenerators inside. Isaac tries to block out the sound of her screaming, then slumps against the wall, overcome with horror with what he has just done, even as he knew his mother wasn't his mother anymore.

Carver leads them back to Pathfinder Base, where Ellie comforts Isaac. He and Poul share a moment of mourning for the Octavia they remembered, reflecting on how they both failed her in their own way. Carver informs the others that the Oracles have the Black Marker, but Ellie sees something in the sky over Mars.

A moon.

A Brother Moon, the Hunter. With monstrous ease, it attacks Phobos Station. Things look hopeless as the attack on Sol has begun. Carver question how they can possibly fight a creature the size of a planet.

"We need a Planet-Cracker," is Isaac's answer.

Act Three: USG Ishimura

Escaping Mars, Isaac, Ellie, Carver, Edgars and Poul Shock to the Titan Station debris field over Saturn. Their plan is a desperate one, but there is only one Planet-Cracker close enough to Mars. Ahead of them is the USG Ishimura, ominously silent, and the shuttle's approach is reminds Isaac of when he first approached the vessel years ago, over Aegis VII.

Boarding the ship, Isaac and the others split up to bring its systems back online and make it travel- and crack-worthy. Away from Lexine's Marker Jammer, everyone begins to suffer Marker hallucinations, which are even more intense than before. Ellie is suffering the worst, her guilt amplified by Marker!Norton, who taunts Isaac with how he is twisting her mind to the breaking point. Nevertheless, Isaac gets the Ishimura read for launch, and they Shock back to Mars where the Hunter Moon has turned its attention on Deimos Station, and engaged the ragtag Mars Defense Force fleet.

As Isaac gets the gravity tethers up to strength, the Ishimura is inadvertently sabotaged by Ellie, who is succumbing to the Marker's influence. Isaac rushes to repair the damage and stop Ellie, and the Hunter Moon attacks with its tentacles, impaling sections of the ship and injecting it with Necromorphs. During the hectic battle, Isaac corners Ellie and is forced to incapacitate her.

As hell is erupting all around them, Isaac guides her through the madness in her mind, and she comes to terms with her guilt, shattering the Marker's presence in her mind as Isaac and Carver did in their own psyche. Finally freed, Ellie realizes how horrifying Isaac's ordeal was and feels like "a real asshole" for not being more patient with him.

But tender moments have to wait, as the Ishimura is getting hammered. Isaac leads the fight to the bridge where Edgars and Poul fire the gravity tethers, snatching a chunk of the Hunter Moon's rocky shell. Aided by the Ares' MAC gun bombardment, they start to crack its shell enough for the Ishimura to begin peeling it open. Angered, the Hunter Moon rips apart Deimos and starts hurling it at Ishimura, forcing Isaac and Carver to man the ADS cannons and gun down the debris.

But it works! The Hunter's shell is cracked, and the Ares opens fire, pouring MAC gun fire into the Hunter's soft interior. The Hunter writhes in agony, trying to rip the minds of its attackers apart with an overwhelming psychic assault, but the Mother blocks its attack. The Brother Moons realize the Mother is alive and chose to abandon their assault of the outer colonies, summoning all of their number to Earth. The Hunter Moon turns its attention on the Ishimura, wrapping it in its tentacles and crushing the vessel. Poul volunteers to keep the tethers working.

The Hunter begins crushing the Ishimura as the Pathfinders escape, and Poul tries to send one last message to his son, but the iconic ship is obliterated before he can finish. But the tethers did their work: the Hunter Moon finally succumbs to the Ares' attack and it is blown apart, showing Mars with an ocean of blood and forming a ring of gory remains around the planet.

On the trip back to Mars, Isaac struggles with the loss of his parents, wondering if there is any hope or meaning left. The Mother speaks to him, explaining how she witnessed the self-sacrifice of the Tau Volantis aliens, and how their nobility shamed her to action. She spent millions of years secretly implanting the concepts that might one day save humanity. Lexine's immunity, the idea of planet-cracking, but all of these gifts were nothing without the right person to recognize them for what they were when the time came. Potential humans came and went, from Michael Altman to Terence Kyne, but they failed to persevere. Like Isaac, the Mother had almost given in to despair. But then she witnessed Isaac on Aegis VII, on Titan Station and Tau Volantis, and her hope was restored. She tells Isaac that if Isaac can connect to the Black Marker, he can enter the Brother Moon's minds directly, not by proxy like the Marker copies. Inside, if he is strong enough, he may yet be able to peel away the corrupting plaguing them and free them from their madness. In doing so, they will save humanity.

On Mars, Carver is horrified to learn that Gabrielle volunteered to power the Marker Jammer, as her mother was too injured to do it. Despite the little girl's fears, and the pain she's undoubtedly feeling, she puts up a brave front. With Poul dead, the Pathfinders are demoralized, but Isaac steps up to lead. The Oracles have the Black Marker, and Edgars says that they will have taken it back to its original resting place: Chicxulub Crater.

Act Four: Chicxulub City

Isaac and his party set out for Earth aboard the Ares, where they throw caution to the wind and bombard Chicxulub City from orbit, destroying enough of its surface defenses to allow the Pathfinders to land.

Chicxulub is the final open world hub, an EarthGov town strictly controlled with monitoring equipment and the Oracle's agents. Secondary objectives revolving around securing the Pathfinder's position in the city.

*         Isaac must shut down monitoring stations throughout the city.

*         Resources caches must be secured by hunting down RIGs with the access codes.

*         Carver wants to retrieve medical equipment to keep Gabrielle comfortable.

*         Converts are trying to shut down the city's defense walls, which would let innumerable Necromorphs into the city.

Isaac begins the hunt for the Oracle Base by learning of its whereabouts under the polluted waters of the Crater. Then he hunts down an Oracle Seer for its command codes, and uses them to sabotage the Base's critical systems, forcing its access points to surface in the event of a crisis. Even as Isaac prepares to venture in with Carver and Ellie, things take a turn for the worst: the Necromorphs have breached the outer walls, and in the skies over Earth the Brother Moons have begun to arrive. The remaining Pathfinders remain behind to hold the line while Isaac finishes the fight.

Within, Isaac is exposed to the atrocities the Oracles committed in the name of "saving" mankind, from their cybernetic enhancements that rip away a person's humanity, to the extermination of humans that share Lexine's rare Marker-blocking gift, to humans driven mad by deliberate exposure to Marker signals in the hopes of copying them and creating more. Isaac realizes that the Oracles are just another pawn in the Brother Moon's game; it allowed them to think they had found a way around its control then manipulated them into doing it bidding.

Isaac, Carver and Ellie confront then confront Overseer Peter Kauffman, the man behind much of the pain Isaac has suffered. Kendra, Teidemann, the Oracles, ensuring that Marker copies were spread to every major human colony, Kauffman was responsible for it all. But he brushes off Isaac's accusations, insisting that saving humanity was worth any cost, and refusing to see that his actions only accelerated its potential extinction.

Pinned down by the Oracles as Kauffman makes his escape, Isaac releases the contained Necromorph specimens Kauffman was keeping, spreading chaos through the base. This allows him to fight into its most secure chambers at the bottom of Chicxulub Crater, where he confronts Kauffman in the Black Marker Chamber. Kauffman activates the base's contingency systems, which begin to flood the chamber. Kauffman then attempts to make his escape on a submersible, but he is attacked by a massive aquatic Necromorph and torn apart. Isaac, Carver and Ellie have to battle the creature as it tries to break in, killing it by sealing the chamber's observation ports. But the chamber is continuing to flood and the three have no way to escape.

Isaac knows the only thing that matters is ending the Markers. With the Mother's help, Isaac guides his friends and they enter the hive mind.

Act Five: The Hive Mind

Within the psychic representation of the Brother Moon's collective consciousness, Isaac is reunited with Carver and Ellie, and guided by the Mother. They move through surreal landscapes, born from both the Brother Moon's memories as well as Isaac's, Ellie's, and Carver's. Their worst fears exist all around them, their dead loved ones are a legion of accusing rage. But the Mother lights their path forward to the first seed of corruption, a thing of pure malevolence that represents the madness inflicted upon the Brother Moons and through them, everything they touch. The Seed releases shadow beings to attack them, but they manage to rip away its defenses and destroy it, sending ripples of pain through the Brother Moon's minds. In a rage, the Moons attack the Mother as one, dragging her into the depths of their psyche.

With only her distant light to lead them, Isaac, Carver and Ellie battle the corruption and avoid the wrath of the Brother Moons' psychic attacks, and find the Mother wounded and poisoned by a Seed. They destroy it, but the Mother states it is only a matter of time before her own mind is broken by the corruption.

The battle seems without end; the minds of the Brother Moons are vast and tireless, and even with the Mother's guidance it is beyond what a trio of humans can hope to overcome, and the final hour has come for humanity. Isaac realizes he cannot free them from their madness, so he intends to do what the Brother Moons did to him; turn their pain against them. The Mother reluctantly guides them to the heart of the Brother Moon's unity, the source of their psychic link, where the Brother Moons are at their most powerful and vulnerable. Fighting hordes of shadow creatures, stalked by their own dead loved ones, in a dimension continuously shaping itself to hinder and harm them, Isaac refuses to stop until they reach the link that binds the Brother Moons as one single terrifying unity… and severs the chain.

The resulting backlash threatens to overwhelm the three, but the Mother snatches them out of the psychic realm, hurtling back towards the physical world.

Isaac wakes to find the Black Marker has cracked down the middle and died. The chamber is all but flooded, and the three join hands and wonder if they made a difference, if their deaths will have had meaning. The answer comes in an explosion that tears open the chamber, and the three are sucked out into the open water to find Lexine piloting a submersible. Desperate for air, the three cling to the sub as it rushes back towards the surface.

Dragging themselves to the shore, the three look skyward and see an awe-inspiring site. The Brother Moons have turned on each other, driven insane and unable to recognize each other thanks to Isaac's "lobotomy." Continent-sized chunks of flesh and rock spin in the skies over Earth as the Moons rip each other to pieces. As the fighting continues, a new white Moon appears in the skies, the Mother. Still holding onto her sanity, she grapples the remaining Moons and drags them towards Earth's sun.

The Mother appears before Isaac one last time, informing him this is the end for her kind. They have failed in the purpose they were given. But with the Markers destroyed, perhaps humanity can overcome its failings and live. The Mother hopes that if humanity survives, she and her kin might one day be forgiven. She tells Isaac that the galaxy is now their responsibility, that life must be restored. But she also warns them to be wary, for whatever entity corrupted her kind may one day come looking for humanity. With that, the Mother casts herself into the sun, immolating herself and the last of her kind.

The Markers are dark, silent.

It's over.

Epilogue

We witness a montage of humanity in the hours, days and months following the end of the Necromorph plague. The Pathfinders seek out pockets of humanity throughout the Sol System. The MDF leads ships to the outer colonies, assessing damage and re-establishing communication with the few surviving worlds. Cities, entire worlds, now sit empty. The Necromorph bio-matter is breaking down, rotting away.

Mars becomes home to thousands of refugees as humanity regroups and recovers. We see Edgars and Buckell repairing equipment, Lacroix working as a refugee camp doctor, and we see Carver, Lexine and Gabrielle bonding as a family. Captain Avery takes the Ares to Tau Volantis, where he and Stefan Schneider recover some of the alien artifacts on a world that is slowly returning into an ocean once again.

Ellie finds Isaac on the beach looking out over Chicxulub Crater. They mention how strange it is, the sense of silence; humanity existed with the Markers quietly speaking to them and with that voice gone there is an uneasy feeling of loneliness, made worse by the knowledge that what's left of mankind may be the only shred of life left in the galaxy. Looking out over Chicxulub's polluted waters, Isaac laments that he's never seen green on Earth before and never will in his lifetime, but Ellie says that if they start now, their kids might one day see it. Isaac finds the idea appealing, and they walk away together.

As they go, Isaac senses a presence behind him. A woman, in a white medical coverall. Frowning, he turns… but the woman is gone. Isaac takes a moment to exhale, letting go of one last hard memory.

Sometime later… the sun rises over Earth, colored with green and hints of ice at its poles.

Characters

Isaac Clarke: The Marker Killer, Isaac faces humanity's darkest hour as our last, best hope.

John Carver: Isaac's partner from Dead Space 3, Carver is a potential Co-op partner whose personal arc revolves around his desire to bond with Gabrielle Weller conflicting with his guilt and regret over his previous failings as a father.

Ellie Langford: Ellie has joined the Pathfinders in their fight against the Markers, but feels crippled by guilt for the Tau Volantis mission. The Marker exploits this, and she is haunted by Marker!Norton over the course of the game.

In Act 3, she is temporarily driven insane by the Marker and Isaac has to guide her through her own mind to destroy its presence in her mind. This places Ellie in the player's control for the first time, with the Co-op partner (if any) taking the form of a ghostly form of Isaac.

Sandra Lacroix: A former Unitologist, Sandra joins the Pathfinders as a medic, and is the one who saved both men after the Terra Nova crash. Sandra believes she was under the Marker's control, as she woke up after it was silenced temporarily during the course of Dead Space 3. She devotes herself to providing medical care to everyone she can, but fears that she will be controlled by the Marker again. Her fears are ultimately unfounded.

Poul Clarke: Isaac's father, a brilliant engineer who was recruited into the Oracles, forcing him to cut ties with his family decades ago. Poul once believed in the Oracle's mission, but after witnessing Teidemann experimenting on his son during Dead Space 2 Poul orchestrated his own escape from the organization with Edgars. He founded the Pathfinders to fight the Markers, creating the Marker Signal Jammer that uses Lexine Weller as a power source, and was able to reverse-engineer some of the gravity technology Ellie inadvertently brought back from Tau Volantis.

Edgars: Poul's assistant and a fellow ex-Oracle, Edgars and Poul share a relationship oddly similar to Isaac and Carver's: Edgars is affable and calm while Poul is blunt and impatient. The two work off each other well in scenes where they quickly break down problems presented to them. His knowledge of the Oracles helps Isaac infiltrate their base in Act 4.

Larson Buckell: Austin Buckell's son, a friendly computer programmer. Like his father Larson is affable and intelligent, taking an instant liking to Isaac and feels a great sense of relief to know that Austin did not die alone on Tau Volantis, though he doesn't blame anyone for his father's death. Larson readily admits he is a coward, and choses to hide rather than aid the defense of Pathfinder Base when it is attacked by the Unitologists, which momentarily enrages Carver.

Lexine Weller: An Aegis VII and Titan Station survivor like Isaac, Lexine was briefly married to Gabe Weller and was pregnant with his daughter when he died at Titan Station. She has the ability to block out the Marker's madness-inducing signal, a genetic quirk introduced by the Mother Moon millions of years ago, and the reason she was hunted by both Unitologists and EarthGov over the years. Lexine spends a great deal of time plugged into the Marker Signal Jammer, subject to hours of pain, but does so bravely for the sake of protecting the Pathfinder's from the Marker's influence. She is critically injured in Act 2, forcing her daughter to take her place in the machine, and spends most of her time trying to comfort her during the ordeal. She also rescues Isaac, Carver and Ellie from Oracle Base at the end of the game in a submersible.

Gabrielle Weller: Lexine's daughter, through Gabe Weller. Despite her young age (three), she has been forced to grow up quickly and mimics her father's brash personality to disguise her fears. She has her mother's special gift to block out Marker signals. She likes Carver, who reminds her of her father, and the two bond quickly. She is kidnapped by the Enigma Guard in Act 2 and held hostage, but is rescued by Carver and sees him as a father for the remainder of the game. During Act 3, with her mother injured, Gabrielle accepts the task of being plugged into the Marker Signal Jammer, despite the pain it inflicts on her.

Captain Avery: Leader of the Mars Defense Force, an ex-EarthGov officer leading a ragtag team to protect Mars Capita. One of the only officers with any amount of seniority, Avery admits he's actually only a Lieutenant Commander. A hard-backed career military man, Avery expects similar discipline from others and prefers communicating with Carver instead of Isaac (referring to Isaac and the Pathfinders as Carver's "team"), and the two seem to have similar strategic methods. His leadership is unquestionable however, as he leads the defense of Mars Capita and then commands the Mars Defense Force fleet from the aging but still capable flagship Ares.

Stefan Schneider: A surviving character from Dead Space: Salvage, Stefan is an MDF volunteer helping them bring a mothballed fleet of ships back into working order. His acidic, mercenary nature is obvious to everyone, but he still does his best to help as he recognizes there's nowhere left to run. Stefan still owns the Oracle Beam he claimed during the events of Salvage, but refuses to hand it over. After the game he is seen scavenging Tau Volantis for their technology.

Tyler Radikov: The traitorous guide from Dead Space Mobile, Tyler is now the leader of the Unitologist Enigma Guard. While most of the Enigma Guard have become crazed fundamentalists (similar to the Circle), Tyler remains more pragmatic. He kidnaps Gabrielle under First Enigma Octavia Clarke's orders, but quickly realizes he's in over his head, and makes the mistake of threatening Gabrielle further. Carver's concern for her is all that prevents him from viciously beating Radikov to death. Though he is spared their wrath, Tyler is killed shortly after by the Regenerators Octavia unleashed on Isaac.

Octavia Clarke: Isaac's mother and Paul's estranged wife, Octavia has established herself as First Enigma of the Church of Unitology. Filled with delusions of godhood and willing to sacrifice everyone—even her own son—for her selfish dream, it isn't clear whether Octavia's madness is Marker-induced, or the result of her emotional troubles caused early on by Poul's absence. The Brother Moons give her the location of the Black Marker, buried on Mars, but when she proves too unstable to keep it out of Isaac's reach the Oracles steal it. Octavia remains convinced of her godhood until the end, when Isaac seals her in her own Sanctum with the monsters she released to kill him.

Peter Kauffman: Overseer of the Oracles and the head of EarthGov's efforts to copy and control the Markers, he struggles to unlock the secrets of the Markers without realizing he has been used by them. Kauffman is as much responsible for the chaos inflicted on humanity as the Unitologists, as he was  responsible for sending Kendra to Aegis VII, was Director Teidemann's superior, and had Marker copies built at every major colony in the belief that he was on the verge of unlocking the secrets of perpetual energy. This places the deaths of billions at his feet, but Kauffman remains adamant that he was serving the greater good. He attempts to escape Isaac in a submersible in Act 4 but it killed shortly afterward by the Kraken Necromorph.

The Marker: Appears to Isaac, Carver, and even Ellie over the course of the game, always in the appearance of characters who died in previous Dead Space games, from Nicole to Norton. Norton is the image the Marker seems to prefer in this game, taunting Isaac and amplifying Ellie's guilt over Tau Volantis. He convinces Ellie that Isaac is really Norton come to kill her in Act 3, and Isaac has to incapacitate her. When the game briefly enters Ellie's mind, she is able to destroy Marker!Norton and remove its presence from her mind. Marker hallucinations are rampant in Act 5, pursing Isaac, Carver and Ellie relentlessly.

Giles: An optional encounter in Act 1, Giles is a serial killer who posed as a Tycho City police officer for years and amassed nearly twenty victims before the Necromorph outbreak. A skilled engineer in his own right, Giles has filled the TCPD with an assortment of traps and keeps Converts in cages to be released like hounds. He seemingly has no motivation other than to watch victims die in his "funhouse." When he is encountered, Giles is armed with a riot shield and machinegun, similar to the Enigma Guard Hoplites, and Isaac must stun him with Kinesis, then pry the shield out of his hands to get a clear shot. This fight is much easier with a co-op partner, who can flank Giles.

The Pathfinders: A group founded by Poul Clarke, including many survivors of previous Necromorph outbreaks. Armed and armored in a manner similar to Isaac, they fight with Plasma Cutters, Line Guns, and similar cutting tools. Isaac encounters them rarely in the open world sections, fighting various types of enemies. Isaac can lend aid to them, and they often drop ammo, healthpacks and Stasis charges in gratitude.

Mars Defense Force Militia: Made up of former EarthGov and Mars volunteers, the MDF presents a more uniform military look than the Pathfinder's band of "working class heroes." MDF militiamen are armed with assault rifles, shotguns and grenades, but are otherwise functionally identically to the Pathfinders.

The Converts

The Converts are humans that have been driven mad and now worship the Brother Moons. They mutilate their bodies to look more Necromorph-like" and hunt down other humans for sacrifice.

Believer: The most common form of Convert encountered, Believers have been ritually mutilated with their hands and other portions of their bodies removed and replaces with crude metal claws and scythes to make them look more like Necromorphs. Despite this they are as weak as Feeders or the Pack, and rely on numbers to deal any real damage.

Choir: Female Converts possessing some amount of psychic abilities through their connection to the Brother Moons. She can stun Isaac with a psychic scream, and howl to summon the Pack to aid her. She can also begin singing to increase the Pack's speed, strength and resistance to damage, so Isaac must shoot her to stop her from singing before gunning down the Pack. Serving as a sub-boss wherever she is encountered, Isaac must also take care to kill as many of the Pack as possible before focusing on her: if she is wounded enough, with enough Pack present, they will turn on and forcibly unite themselves with her into a larger, more dangerous Necromorph called the Family.

Deacon: The leaders of the Converts, a Deacon is first encountered in the New Horizons colony segment, acting as a mouthpiece for the Brother Moons and as a boss character. He reappears on Mars and Chicxulub City as a sub-boss. The Deacon fights in a manner similar to Marker!Nicole from Dead Space 2 and the Prophet from Dead Space 3: Awakened. He walks slowly, teleports back and forth, and summons psychic shadow beings to assault Isaac. If he gets close enough to touch Isaac, he will instantly kill him. To fight the Deacon, Isaac must deal enough damage to his physical body to cause a hallucination of the Marker to appear behind him, and then destroy it. This will leave the Deacon momentarily cut off from the Brother Moons, leaving his physical body vulnerable to a single shot.

Parishioner: Converts lucid enough to arm themselves with short-range weapons like Flamers, Force Guns, and Rippers. Only encountered one or two at a time, Parishioners fight from the rear, firing their weapon's primary or alt-fire attack, depending on the distance. About one in ten Parishioners is also armed with a Stasis module, and will use it as their opening attack with the intent of leaving Isaac vulnerable to any Believer that might be present.

Zealot: A berserker strapped with spiked metal armor and pumped full of enough drugs to drive him into an insane rage. Zealots charge through anything and anyone to get at Isaac, and will toss him around before snapping his neck. Isaac can use the Zealot's rage to trample other Converts. The best way to kill a Zealot is to use Stasis, run around behind it, and attack the large chemical injectors on its RIG. This causes him to overdose on toxic steroids and die of a heart attack.

The Enigma Guard

The Church Militant of Unitology, taken from the few Circle members who did not become Converts but remain religiously devoted to the Markers. The Enigma Guard is convinced that by serving the Brother Moons, they will be rewarded.

Enigma Fanatics: Fanatics are almost identical to Infantry, but when wounded they will draw a pair of grenades and rush at Isaac in an attempted suicide-bombing. Isaac can Stasis them and shoot their grenades to prematurely explode them, or use Kinesis Module Patches to push the Fanatic backwards (possibly back into his fellow Enigmas).

Enigma Hoplites: Armed with heavy body armor and a protective shield, Hoplites defend their fellow Enigmas and slowly advance on Isaac to blast him with shotguns. Isaac can use heavy firepower to momentarily stun them, and use Kinesis to pry their shield from their hands, leaving them vulnerable. Carver can also flank them.

Enigma Infantry: Standard Enigma Guard soldiers, Infantry are lightly armored, carry sub-machineguns and grenades, and a rare few carry Contact Beams. They can be easily taken down with a headshot and only make use of cover sparingly.

Enigma SpecOps: Lightly armored soldiers with adaptive camouflage, SpecOps use grapple guns and short-range blades to move throughout the area quickly, only coming out of cloak to attack Isaac before disappearing again in a tactic inspired by the Stalker Necromorphs. Isaac's best tactic is to use some kind of trap weapon (such as Stasis traps) to stun the SpecOps for an easy kill.

Enigma Veterans: The elite of the elite, a Veteran often appears leading a group of other Enigmas. They are armed with ranged assault rifles and Stasis Modules, and fight from behind cover. If engaged in close-range, they draw a combat knife and are skilled at countering Isaac's melee attacks, dodging around and jabbing Isaac from the side.

The Necromorphs

Flesh re-purposed into a swarm of unstoppable killing machines, the Necromorphs have almost succeeded in consuming the human race. Returning Necromorph forms include:

*         Brutes

*         Crawlers

*         Cysts

*         Dividers

*         Drag Tentacles

*         Exploders

*         Feeders

*         Guardians

*         Infectors (both the 'bat-like' and 'swarmer' varieties)

*         Leapers

*         Lurkers (both infant and dog forms)

*         Nests

*         Pregnants

*         Pukers

*         Regenerators

*         Shamblers

*         Slashers

*         Spitters

*         Stalkers

*         The Pack

*         Tripods

*         Tripods

*         Twitchers

*         Wasters

The Family: A form of Necromorph born when a wounded Choir Convert is swarmed by the Pack she is controlling. The resulting beast is a Tripod-like Necromorph that possesses the Choir's ability to stun Isaac with a psychic scream, with all of the mouths of the creature all over its body screaming at once. Isaac must attack the glowing core of the Family to destroy it.

The Hunter Moon: Act 3 is a protracted boss battle against the first of the Brother Moons to reach the Sol System. The Hunter Moon consumes Phobos and Deimos Station and engages the MDF fleet. Isaac must bring the Ishimura online in order to attack it, prying open its hard outer shell to give the Ares a soft target to hit with their MAC guns. Over the course of the Act, the Hunter Moon injects Necromorphs into the Ishimura with its tentacles and hurls pieces of Deimos at the ship requiring Isaac and Carver to man the ship's ADS cannons. When the Ares finally succeeds in killing it, it bursts into fragments and rains blood over Mars.

The Kraken: The final physical Necromorph encountered in the game, the Kraken attacks Oracle Base when Isaac reaches the Black Marker Chamber. It first consumes Peter Kauffman as he tries to escape the base, then uses its tentacles to breach the base itself. Isaac must move through deep water and over a maze of catwalks to reach the Chamber's control platform, fending off its Drag Tentacle attacks and Necromorphs it spits into the Chamber, before sealing the Chamber's observation ports and slicing the Kraken's tentacles off, seemingly killing the creature.

Synapse: A Necromorph fought at the Olympian Gate in Act 2, the Synapse is very similar to the Hivemind of Dead Space and the Nexus of Dead Space 3, suggesting it is the same type of creature. Isaac must kill it by sealing the Gates, which crush the creature's head. It is able to consume Pathfinders and Mars Defense Force militia men and convert them to Necromorphs inside its body, spitting them back out. It can also smash the area with its tentacles and fire exploding orbs that sail slowly through the air towards Isaac, who must shoot them out of the air or hurl them back at the Synapse.

The Oracles

The "Men in Black" for EarthGov, focused on unlocking the secrets of the Markers. Oracles work in pairs, and are armed with the most lethal weapons known to man. Typical agents are human, but the Seers are insanely tough cyborgs with almost no will of their own.

Oracle Agents: Oracle Agents are almost identical to Enigma Veterans, armed with ranged machine guns, Stasis modules, and make extensive use of cover. They also hurl grenades and if wounded will pause to make use of a healthpack.

Oracle Seers: Imposing cyborgs, Seers are encountered in stealth sections. Armed with Oracle Beamers, they will search the area for Isaac and if they encounter him, their weapons kill Isaac instantly. Isaac must lure them into traps, damaging them enough to destroy their Beamer, and engage them from a distance. The Seers move slowly but take immense amount of damage and will deal heavy damage if they get hold of Isaac. Occasionally a critically wounded Seer will rush Isaac, exploding after a certain amount of time. Isaac can Stasis him to hold him off long enough to avoid the blast.

New Gameplay Features

Patches: A new feature, Isaac can apply Patches to his RIG, Kinesis and Stasis modules.

RIG Patches:

*         Armor: Improves Isaac's defense against certain weapon types.

*         Inventory: Grants Isaac extra inventory slots for specific items.

*         Leg: Improves Isaac's running or zero gee flight speed.

*         Melee: Change or improve Isaac's melee punch and stomp abilities: blades, Stasis, and similar attachments.

Kinesis Patches: Using technology gleaned from Tau Volantis, Kinesis can be altered to perform different actions. Kinesis Patches draw energy from Isaac's Stasis charges.

*         Enhanced: Lift and hurl heavy objects (including living or dead enemies).

*         Implode: Creates a momentary vacuum, pulling enemies towards it.

*         Push: Forces groups of enemies backwards.

*         Rip: Pulls weapons off Converts, Enigma Guard and Oracles, pulls limbs off living Necromorphs.

Stasis Patches:

*         Shockwave: Unleashes a burst in all directions to Stasis multiple enemies.

*         Trap: Fires a device that activates a Stasis burst if an enemy enters its proximity.

Open World: Tycho City, Mars Capita's Outer City, and Chicxulub City all have open-world features, allowing Isaac some measure of exploration in a 3D-Metroidvania sense. Hidden goods are everywhere, including logs and rare items. Enemies respawn at a continuous rate on the streets. Isaac can also reach and complete secondary objectives, which are more linear "dungeon-like" sections similar to those encountered in Dead Space 3.

Secondary Objectives: Each open-world hub in Tycho City, Mars Capita, and Chicxulub City has a series of secondary objectives that are optional for Isaac. Completing them costs him raw Materials he could use for crafting, but often rewards him with new equipment and improves the Pathfinder's own resources: NPC's will drop more ammo, healthpacks and Stasis charges if Isaac helps them out in the field, and the Supply Depot in Pathfinder Base will have more goods set aside for Isaac to claim. If he chooses not to complete objectives, he will have more materials for crafting and can greatly improve the gear he has, but will find fewer power-ups and his enemies will be more numerous.

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About TheInternone of us since 3:57 PM on 07.16.2015

Mike is a crazy, jobless hobo living in his parents' basement.