The secrets of Dead Space deciphered *SPOILERS*


Forum Elder
Oct 19, 2006
The alien language of 2008’s scariest game translated
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

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?
I didn't catch any of this stuff on my first playthrough.


Master Guru
Feb 1, 2007
[QUOTE="snotties, post: 0]yea i saw the alphabet in chapter 6 on my 2nd playthrough but was to lazy to write it down XD[/quote]

Same :lol:
i looked at it and knew it would say something just like the futurama dvd's
but im far too last to decode it.
seems like i didnt have to any way :mrgreen:

OP great post +rep
Mar 11, 2006
How about this one?

Warning! Major Spoiler.....
Chapter 01: New Arrivals
Chapter 02: Intensive Care
Chapter 03: Course Correction
Chapter 04: Obliteration Imminent
Chapter 05: Lethal Devotion
Chapter 06: Environmental Hazard
Chapter 07: Into the Void
Chapter 08: Search and Rescue
Chapter 09: Dead on Arrival
Chapter 10: End of Days
Chapter 11: Alternate Solutions
Chapter 12: Dead Space

Also, did anybody notice the voice actor for the religious psycho nut sounds like it is the same guy as the religious nut in Assassin's Creed and is almost saying the same thing?