Dead Space is 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. Which is why we went and cracked the code.
The vast majority of it ties-in with the game's religion, Unitology - the fanatical followers of which support the idea of the recently deceased waking up, growing a few extra limbs and snacking on necks. As Isaac Clarke you'll uncover reams of Unitology writings, all of which can be decoded. Get your thinking caps on...
After the credits have finished the endgame screen will appear saying 'Dead Space', 'Chapter Twelve' 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.
The biggest secret appears once in every chapter. It's a strain to read but by boosting the in-game brightness and turning the camera the message is unmistakable: 'Do you believe? deadspace.ea.com/ibelieve. Your light shows the way. We have left you a gift.'
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.
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.'
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 four to the scribblings dedicated to the relic, the Unitologists are obsessed with the Marker and its paranormal properties.
Even the main menu is home to Unitology phrases. 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 on (grab it to unlock an achievement / trophy).
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 decided against that strategy and opted for Dead Space instead. In keeping with the story, 'Make us whole' is the phrase on the top left, and the final phrase in the top right corner reads 'Secret Message Fail'. The irony never fails to raise a smile.