Dead Space remake ending explained: What is the Marker?

Dead Space markerElectronic Arts

The Dead Space remake has a somewhat somber ending, but those who are familiar with the series will know that’s not the end of the story. Here’s what the Dead Space remake ending means.

Spoilers for all things Dead Space ahead! While Isaac Clarke’s time on the Ishimura is over at the end of the Dead Space, in truth his Necromorph nightmare is only just beginning. The good news is the Necromorphs, the Hive Mind, and the Marker that causes the outbreak have all been destroyed.

The bad news is their influence and a plot to revive them still exist and will go on to cause trouble for Isaac in both Dead Space 2, 3, and beyond. Here’s a brief explainer of the story, the ending, and what could be next after this game.

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Dead space nicoleElectronic Arts
Is Nicole truly there?

Dead Space: What is the Marker?

Markers are alien artifacts created by an ancient and unknown civilization. They appear as black or red double helix-shaped structures and have been scattered throughout the universe deliberately by their creators. Those who’ve studied the markers and decoded the strange language on them have discovered they are essentially a religious symbol, one that is designed to prepare the population of a planet for the coming of a ‘Breathern Moon’ or an event known as ‘Convergence’.

These Moons are sentient, powered by an alien intelligence that hopes to convert all living matter into themselves. They achieve this through the Markers, which emit an electromagnetic pulse that mutates dead flesh into a Necromorph. These then form a Hive Mind which guides nearby Necomorphs to attack and kill to create more Necromorphs until all nearby life has been converted. Once enough has, it will all form into a mass of flesh, become a Brethren Moon, then go join the other Moons across the stars.

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Many civilizations, including humans, have become aware of these Convergence events, but most followers of this alien religion aren’t aware that it means their doom or happens in such a violent and tragic way. They believe the Moon will offer some guidance or ascension for their species, but in reality, it’s just the alien’s way of conquering and converting all life in the cosmos. In fact, the Ishimura was only part of the plan – their true target is planet Earth.

dead space unitologyElectronic Arts
The Church of Unitology has some serious explaining to do.

Dead Space remake ending explained

The Marker dug up on the Aegis VII human colony managed to infect the workers and the crew of the Ishimura. Most people there either died or became Necromorphs, so Isaac was sent to find out what happened and make the ship operational again. However, not only did Isaac discover the ancient alien plot, but he also foiled a human plan to transport the Marker back to Earth for study – or perhaps to use it as a weapon.

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At the end of Dead Space and the Dead Space remake, Isaac escapes and destroys the Isimura along with the Marker that caused the whole mess in the first place. Isaac has also learned that his girlfriend, Nicole, was actually dead the whole time – and the Nicole that’s been aiding him throughout his journey is a hallucination brought on by the Marker. The artifact has chosen Isaac to spread its virus, and his survival may in fact be part of its design. Or at least, the alien intelligence decided to use Isaac as a tool once it realized its original plan was lost.

In Dead Space 2, to his horror, Isaac learns that the Marker has been recreated from his memories and has now infected an entire space station known as the Sprawl – forcing him into action again. The story continues in Dead Space 3 where the aliens accelerate their plot to locate and send their Brethren Moons to attack Earth. Therefore, in the Dead Space remake, the Nicole you’re talking to was an alien intelligence all along, one that is not only manipulating Isaac, but other humans in an effort to spread the contagion to their home planet.

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The real Nicole died before Isaac arrived. Kendra Daniels discovers this at some point during the mission but chooses to keep it from Isaac to continue to manipulate and motivate him. Her true goal all along was to retrieve the Marker and return it to Earth Gov – and remove all witnesses. This is what makes Isaac a target of the government, the Unitologist cult, and the aliens in later games.

Dead Space 3 endingElectronic Arts
Isaac confronts the Brother Moons in Dead Space 3 – and many markers.

Dead Space hidden ending explained

There’s also a secret ending in the Dead Space remake which requires Isaac to collect enough of the mini Marker figurines during his mission. Once these have all been completed, a secret ending scene involving Isaac and Nicole will play out instead of the usual cutscene. The secret ending also teases the events of Dead Space 2, suggesting that Isaac is now fully under the influence of the aliens and will recreate the Marker for them.

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To unlock the ending and gather the figurines, you will need to upgrade their security clearance to the max with a custom keycard. This can be unlocked through the side mission that directs Isaac to collect the RIGs and security data of various high-ranking Isimura staff. Once this has been obtained, you can then open the various boxes and lockers that require the highest possible security clearance. This is also a good way to obtain some nice loot.

Looking for more Dead Space remake content? Check out some of our other guides below:

Dead Space review | Dead Space ending explained | Dead Space everything different in the remake | Dead Space New Game Plus | Dead Space remake voice cast | Will there be a Dead Space 2? | How long is Dead Space? | How to upgrade your RIG in Dead Space | Is Dead Space coming to Xbox Game Pass?

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