Massive dead space spoiler question re: ending

I figured I’d throw this here before I ask this same query on the general Internetz, because this is something that bugs me a lot about Dead Space’s story, and I want to make sure I’m not missing something obvious.

I shit you not, this is a massive spoiler, and if my thread title didn’t warn you, then, I dunno how to help you.

So, assuming that Nicole was dead the whole time, here’s my request:

Can someone give a good explanation for the room where you have to protect Nicole from the Necromorphs in order for her to open the door?

This annoys me a lot because it’s one huge blatant hole that makes the “twist” of Nicole being dead the whole time feel like a cheap “HA, GOTCHA!” twist rather than a legitimate story element. I can’t think of any good explanation that doesn’t devolve into “HURPADURP he IMAGINED that whole room!”

I’ve talked with people who love Dead Space more than life itself, and while I’ve had most of my other annoyances (why the hell does no one else wear a helmet?!) explained, even the DS fanboys I know at work can’t explain this sequence.

But maybe someone here can give a good in-game explanation. If not, that’s when I put this question out to the Internetz.


I agree with you, for whatever it’s worth. I couldn’t really make sense of that sequence as I played through it in light of the fact that I was fairly sure she was dead from the moment the character was introduced. Maybe Isaac hallucinated the necromorphs that were attacking her? Needless to say I didn’t lose much sleep over it, but it definitely feels incongruous with the rest of the story.

Yea, replaying the game again, I am keeping close attention on many elements regarding Nicole and none of it gels.

There are many conversations outside of the obvious ‘escort’ section where other members of your team comment on communications you are directly having with her. Clearly it isn’t all in Isaac’s head.

Also, the girl’s betrayal(Kendra?) seems really tacked on as well. If her goal is really to steal the marker, she certainly does everything in her power to do otherwise until the 11th hour.

The plot is probably the least impressive aspect of this game. Isaac is an emotionless cypher, and it’s hard to buy into the Nicole relationship even before it takes the weird turns.

I did find the final ‘scare moment’ the most frightening thing in the entire game though. First time I jumped out of my chair playing, mostly because her shriek was so loud it rattled my apartment.


Holy crap yes. I was playing in a dark room, with headphones, and that particular moment nearly sent me to the ED - very well done. That being said, most of the rest of the game didn’t come close to the level of creepy that I was hoping for. It felt much more like System Shock 3 than a survival horror game. That’s not bad, necessarily, just not what I got out of the marketing for the game.

Regarding Nicole - I can’t figure out why you would have to protect her unless it was some other survivor that Issac is hallucinating is Nicole (Kendra? Doesn’t make a bit of sense.) Alternatively, it is some sort of specialty necromorph (which the ending supports, I guess) that other necromorphs mistake as human? That feels weak as well, since we never see the necromorphs turn on each other. Also, if they’re all remotely controlled by the hive mind, this doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense. “Nicole” does manipulate the machinery there, as she does in the shuttle control room, so I guess that might be some support for a physical chassis that Issac is projecting onto. (As opposed to the “Thanks for making us whole” version of Nicole at the not quite ending, which could just be an image) Still - seems quite a stretch.

Unless there’s something in the background material that gives a reason, I think this is just a plot hole.

Another spoiler end question, while I’m at it.

The USM Valor is supposedly in system and fully expecting “infection” as a possibility, if I’m remembering the log entries correctly. They clearly have some indication of what they could be up against, and they’re loaded for bear. So why would they pick up a emergency escape pod rather than just shoot it out of the sky? I did like how the game set it up earlier that you know exactly WHICH escape pod that was, but how these supposed military folks could be that painfully clueless was a bit jarring.

Bruce Willis was dead the whole time?

I think it’s the only way they could convince you, the player, that Nicole is real. There’s alot of discussion about hallucinations, particularly about loved ones which immediately makes Nicole suspect. That sequence exists entirely to throw a wrench into the works.

It didn’t do a very good job though. The way Nicole was acting every time you saw her, i.e. showing up completely at random, never seeming surprised or confused or afraid was a big giveaway.

Overall the story was very amateurishly executed, but was sufficient for the game’s needs. I do wish that the game had revealed more about the markers, which left me confused.

Of course. This leaves things open for the sequel.

I mentally flagged Nicole as suspect from the first minute I saw her, and her weird dialogue just cemented that as I went along playing the game. Dead Space’s plot was downright poor, thanks to its holes and obvious aping of Bioshock and such, but it’s still a good game.

I am typing this with my eyes closed, sort of.

I just wanted to thank the OP for the huge ass spoiler warning and not trying to be clever, please go back to wrecking the game for each other.

I will join you later tonight, maybe.

Just once, I would like the end mission of a “save earth from space infestation” game to be that you have to run around and self-destruct the ship - and NOT get off of it. Not even try. Just push the button, cut to scene of big explosion in space, and the credits roll.

That would be awesome, the feeling of hopelessness and noble self-sacrifice could make for an amazing character dynamic. Have some videos with the guy’s family saying goodbye and crying, him getting increasingly hurt while fighting through the hordes of monsters and have him (and the player) knowingly go through all the steps until, crawling, hands shaking, he finally pushes the self-destruct button right before he gets torn apart. If done right, it could even get some players crying.

I guess the sequel would have some issues as you’d have to build up a new character, but just have someone else, say a soldier investigate the wreckage and find all the nasties along with the corpse of the first guy, with charred, shriveled hand still pressing the button that ended it all. Easy transition.

I think we’ll see a lot more liked characters getting offed. It’s such a powerful and easy way to emotionally affect the player, even if the game overall has a happy ending.

Easy. The locked door was also a hallucination. It was open and blue the entire time but your character’s brain saw it as red because “Nicole” told you so.

What happens if you don’t interfere with the necromorphs attacking Nicole during that sequence? If she dies, does the game end?


I was using the Force Gun during that sequence and kept killing Nicole on my own, without the baddies even touching her. Happened twice before I realized it.

As opposed to the way the character is offed here =/.

EDIT: Just watched the 1up Show on Dead Space and Scooter was totally dead-on with his remarks. The other writers had this uncritical love for the game I don’t understand.

I don’t remember anyone else ever hearing Nicole but you, but come on the first time you see or hear from her on the ship she says make us complete. She’s totally in his head. That said the room with her could be all in his head monsters included.

I got the feeling that she (the marker maybe) was good. She wanted to end the madness make us (the hive mind and marker) complete. What I didn’t understand was this.
The marker (original one) is found much earlier. I also got the feeling that your father knew about the marker and was killed trying to stop it or another one. The marker in this game is man made right, so where the hell did these creatures come from? Especially the end boss.

I don’t think Issac is dead because the Nicole at the end doesn’t look like anything you’ve seen in the game before. Maybe that is in his head.

I was hoping Issac would pull off his helmet and be dead already.

They dump a set of text logs under level 12 when you beat the game that explain everything in more detail.

You mean like that microwave sequence in MGS4?

Just finished it and the story doesn’t make any sense what so ever. It is almost like they had a much larget story and some how it got torn up and put together without any thought on how well it came together. Thats my feeling about Nicole. At some point during the design she was alive but as the game near the end of development they left that scene in not thinking it no longer fit.

OR they felt they left too many clue that she was already dead and felt they had to do something to make the twist work. “Thought she was dead? Here look, she was alive! No wait, she was actually dead the whole time, HAHA!”

We have:
An Alien like for that can reanimated dead tissue.
A man made copy of an alien stone…“thingy” called the Marker that is somehow used as a weapon to drive the entire population of a planet mad.
A government agent trying to get back the man made Marker.
The man made Marker was cut into two and is somehow trying to rejoin itself on an alien planet.
A doomsday cult that think the Marker is a sign from god to off themselves.
Not one but TWO mad doctors.
A player trying to rescue his girl friend even though she is already dead.

Really at some point someone should of sat down and focused the story. I like the idea presented here of just the alien life force and the player trying to stop the ship from reaching earth. The could have been enough.

Oh and BTW, fuck the last level. Dragging that Marker around the level and playing with the bridges was the most boring I’ve done in a video game in a long while.

Over all, I really loved the look of the main character and liked the game for the most part. Just so long as I try not to think about the story too much.