Nicole Brennan



Nicole full body view

Nicole Hallucination

Biographical information



Date of birth:

November 23, 2469

Date of death:

2508 (Aged 39)[note 1]

Physical information




Medical Officer's RIG
211-V Plasma Cutter[2]





Chronological and political information


Concordance Extraction Corporation


"Isaac, it's me. I wish I could talk to you."
—Nicole's Message to Isaac[3]

Nicole Brennan was a Senior Medical Officer on the USG Ishimura during the Second Aegis VII Incident. An initial survivor of the Necromorph outbreak aboard the Ishimura, Nicole tried to help save as many survivors as she possibly could.

After her death, she becomes a hallucination haunting Isaac throughout the first two games, and is arguably the main antagonist of Dead Space 2.



CEC careerEdit

Prior to her attachment to the USG Ishimura, Nicole lived with her boyfriend, Isaac Clarke. She was uncertain of her future career aboard the Ishimura at first, but changed her mind when encouraged to take the job by Isaac.[4]

Second Aegis VII incidentEdit

Two days after her departure from Earth on the Ishimura, Nicole defers to Dr. Terrence Kyne on the matter of Brant Harris’ deteriorating mental state. She believes Harris shows no signs of recovery and should be locked up. Kyne, satisfied with her opinion, asks if she’s heard of the “horror stories” currently circulating about Aegis VII. Nicole makes an insensitive remark about the Mission Square Suicides and their connection to Unitologists, inadvertently offending Kyne with her blanket statement on hysteria and religious zealotry.[5]

Prior to the planet crack, Nicole contacts Isaac on Earth and thanks him for pushing her to take the offer to join the ship before it was decommissioned. Their conversation is cut short by connection problems and she promises to call him back.[6]

On the day of the planet crack, Nicole and her partner Perry deal with the sick crewmen aboard the Ishimura. Nicole lies to Perry about being confident that the “no-fly” order will keep the Ishimura safe from the sickness affecting the planet. Secretly, Nicole believes the no-fly order will do little to help them deal with crewmen going mad aboard the ship.

Sometime after the ship loses communications with the planet, Nicole’s workload is doubled when the announcement of a “small outbreak” on the crew deck is announced. As she tends to her patients, Perry announces they’ve got wounded from the flight deck that need their help. Moments later she is contacted by P.C.S.I. Security officer Alissa Vincent. Vincent tells the Senior Medical Officer that her team has arrested four colonists who snuck aboard the ship.[7] Nicole believes they still remain in her jurisdiction. Vincent tells her they’ve already been arrested, but she wants them checked for signs of the infection spreading across the ship.[5][4]

During her inspection of the four survivors for potential infection, Nicole is quick to spot unusual brain activity and blood pressure in Lexine Weller. After completing her examination she begins to release Lexine's friends one-by-one. When Warren Eckhardt collapses, she fails to release Gabe Weller from his tube and triggers a quarantine lockdown. P-Sec officer, Nathan McNeill, volunteers to disable the lockdown by crawling through the vents. When his mission is complete, Nicole accompanies the survivors to the morgue where McNeill waits for them. There she discovers Captain Benjamin Mathius has been killed. The situation worse than she believed, Nicole and the survivors head for the medical deck where Perry is looking after other patients. There, they are attacked by Slashers and Perry is killed. They make for the barricade where she decides to remain with the other P.S.C.I officers, knowing other survivors would come looking for help.[8]

Alone with the security officers, Nicole tries to examine Lexine’s brainwave patterns with the security panel to no avail; when she overhears a call for help in Sick Bay 2, she is barred from leaving the barricade by one of the security officers. Frustrated, she continues to examine Lexine’s scans until the sudden breach of the barricade drives her and the security officers to run for another safe haven. Armed with a Plasma Cutter, Nicole is the only survivor of the group when she arrives at Sick Bay 2. The situation in the bay deteriorates quickly; within a half-hour they’re out of med packs to help the injured.

She records a frustrated log hailing for more help from anyone on the ship and detailing the staff’s inability to handle the injuries that were beginning to swamp them[9]. Nicole begins to regret not following Lexine and the others to the engineering deck. During another examination of Lexine’s scans, she begins to notice a pattern in brainwaves and hallucinates being attacked by a swarm of Necromorphs.

No sooner than she awakens, Sick Bay 2 is breached by a real Necromorph attack; Evans and Nicole drive them back with a defibrillator and the plasma cutter. They seal up the vent using various metal objects and sheeting. Nicole, desperate to create an anti-virus for the “recombinator virus”, speculates she could have used the medical packs to spread the proposed anti-virus. However, with none at her disposal, she begins to believe her theories are merely spun from a desperate hope to survive. Evans warns her of another Necromorph attack. She manages to escape the Sick Bay to a safe place. Coming to terms with what would be her final hours, she sends a message to Isaac via video log. She commits suicide, by inducing an air embolism with an empty syringe, to avoid being slaughtered by the Necromorphs.[10][11]

Events of Dead SpaceEdit

Unaware of his girlfriend's fate, Isaac journeys through the ship in search of her. "Nicole" makes her first physical appearance to Isaac from a distance when he was instructed to obtain the Mining Key in the Ishimura Mining Deck. She offers her help to open the door for Isaac while he defends her from Necromorphs at a distance. Successfully doing so, she promises to find a way to him and runs, remaining unseen until the penultimate level.

Isaac reunites with Nicole again after Kendra Daniels revealed herself to be a Government agent and escaped the Ishimura with the Marker. The two called the shuttle back to the Ishimura, forcing Kendra to eject from the shuttle in an escape pod. The two of them descend to the planet's surface to place the Marker back on its pedestal. In doing so, Nicole disappears as the intense light from placing the Marker consumes her. She thanks Isaac for his efforts, declaring they were "whole again"[11]. Shortly after this, Kendra confirms to Isaac that Nicole has been dead the entire time and the woman who spoke to him was a hallucination.

After Isaac escapes Aegis VII, Nicole makes her final appearance as a decrepit and bloody hallucination that screams at Isaac, a sign of Isaac's developing Dementia.

Events of Dead Space 2Edit

—One of "Nicole's" recurring lines

On Titan Station, the Site 12 Marker feeds off of Isaac's dementia, using Nicole's bloodied visage as a tool against him. Throughout the course of the game, she manifests as a voice or an image on a view screen. When she makes physical appearances to taunt Isaac, she is covered in blood and with an eerie light shining from her open mouth and eyes (which is later a trait of the Waster from Dead Space 3). As Isaac progresses through the station, Nicole becomes more disturbing and violent, making attempts to harm and even "kill" Isaac.

Later, "Nicole" threatens to kill Isaac unless he explains why he can't "let [her] go"[12]. Isaac reveals if he lets her go, he has "nothing left." Seemingly satisfied with this answer, "Nicole" sheds her haunting visage and appears as she did when she was alive and releases Isaac. "Acceptance" was the final step in Isaac's "recovery", she believes he's ready to finish his mission.

"Nicole" continues to appear to Isaac in order to offer encouragement and advice on how to reach the Marker. However, she still displays behavior similar to a hallucination; after Isaac sends Ellie Langford away, "Nicole" continues to plead to be "made whole" by Isaac, something he's afraid he can't do[13]. Eventually, "Nicole" leads Isaac to the machine that Nolan Stross mentioned as the first step in destroying the Marker. Isaac follows her instructions to use the machine.

After Isaac dispatches Hans Tiedemann, "Nicole" suddenly drops all pretense of being anything more than a hallucination broadcast by the Marker. She explains that Isaac, the maker of the Site 12 Marker, must be killed and absorbed for Convergence. Feeling betrayed, Isaac destroys the phantom "Nicole" inside his mind, destroying the Marker in conjunction with his connection to it.[14]

Spoilers end here.


Nicole's personality in Dead Space and Dead Space: Extraction suggests she was a strong person, but when pushed to the edge, breaks down in the midst of the chaos. During the events on Aegis VII and the Ishimura, Nicole remains dedicated to her job and to the welfare of crewmen and colonists alike. Friendly, she befriends the likes of Lexine’s party in spite of their position as stowaways who broke the no-fly order issued by Captain Mathius.

Her knowledge of the Necromorph outbreak is little; she trusts the word of the ship's commanding officer in regards to the scale of the infection until she leaves the ER and encounters the Necromorphs for herself. She tries to remain calm and stays vigilant. She has a very calm posture. Convinced the infection is no longer a “small outbreak”, she tries to use the knowledge provided by Lexine’s CAT scans to concoct an anti-virus to combat the recombinant nature of the virus. In the face of her own experiences with hallucinations and dementia, Nicole maintains a great deal of her composure before her death.

Her final message to Isaac implies that there may have been trouble in their relationship prior to taking the position on the Ishimura. Despite this, it’s evident that she loves Isaac, particularly enough not to worry him unnecessarily over the large Unitologist presence aboard the sixty year old planet cracker.

As a hallucination, Nicole is much more aggressive, often screaming and yelling various twisted phrases while assaulting Isaac as an attempt to evoke a sense of guilt within him, and to hasten Isaac's descent into insanity. When her death becomes accepted, she becomes much like she was when alive and is encouraging towards Isaac as he goes to destroy the new Marker. This ruse is eventually dropped at the base of the Marker and Nicole attempts to twist Isaac's mind to kill himself aggressively in order to make the Marker whole, hence the term: "Make us whole." In accordance to her state as a hallucination, Nicole's RIG health bar is empty.[note 2]


  • Iyari Limon is the original voice and likeness of Nicole in the first Dead Space game and Dead Space: Extraction. In Dead Space 2, Nicole's voice and likeness was provided by Tanya Clarke.
  • Nicole's message to Isaac at the beginning of Dead Space presents a chronological error to the series, as the message was recorded and sent mere minutes before the escape of the characters of Extraction, yet Isaac was able to watch it many, many times before arriving at the Ishimura (the two events happened at the same time), as remarked by Kendra Daniels.
    • However, since Extraction was released after the original game, the developers may have not intended for this to happen.
    • It also makes it impossible for the frightened female crew member Alissa Vincent talked to at the end of Downfall to be Nicole, as she would have sent the message and committed suicide by then.
  • In the E3 Debut Trailer for Dead Space, Nicole appeared different from the final version. In the trailer, she has shoulder-length, brown hair.[15]
  • Throughout her appearances in Dead Space, Nicole (and Isaac's hallucinations of her) continuously apologize to Isaac for an act she takes responsibility for. What it was Nicole was attempting to apologize for has never been elaborated on.
  • Oddly, in Dead Space, when you have to defend Nicole to unlock the storage room, she can somehow die, even though she's already dead, which nets you a game over. This is probably meant to fool the player into thinking that Nicole was alive.
    • It is possible that she wasn't entirely just a visual hallucination during this part, but rather a living person whom Isaac imagined as being Nicole. This would explain why the Necromorphs would attack something that would not be real
      • Reality altering hallucinations such as this later make an appareance in the co-op missions of Dead Space 3, where Isaac's partner John Carver hears audio logs of his past, even though in reality the logs contain just an insane man laughing maniacally.
    • Isaac can actually kill Nicole by shooting her in the back with any weapon he has. The game will not end up in a failure if Nicole is being damaged by the player for as long as she does not die. Interestingly, the weapons do very insignificant amount of damage compared to the Slashers and the Lurker which appear.
  • Occasionally during Dead Space, random voice messages from Nicole will pop up asking Isaac for help. This is a side effect of Isaac's developing dementia. Michael Altman experienced a similar event late in Dead Space: Martyr, when he received a communication from his dead girlfriend Ada, asking him where he was and begging him to find her.
  • In Dead Space, the first letter in the name of each of the game's chapters spells out, in order, "N.I.C.O.L.E. I.S. D.E.A.D.".
  • During Chapter 11 in Dead Space the player may get close to Nicole in the control room to recall the shuttle. If the player looks at her RIG, it is shown to be black and empty. This is a further hint that Nicole is dead, as the RIG displays brightly colored lights until the death of its user, where it then turns dark.
  • Prior to the release of the Dead Space: Extraction comic, there was some contention to Nicole's status as a physician. In the original game she refers to herself only as a "Senior Medical Officer", prompting speculation regarding her professional title aboard the Ishimura. However in the comic she refers to herself, and is referred to, as Dr. Brennan.
  • In the Extraction comic, Nicole first notes the anomaly with Lexine's scans. The comic depicts several patterns resembling Marker symbols appearing within her brainwaves. Whether or not these were simply an hallucination due to the marker is unknown.
  • In the animated movie, Dead Space: Downfall, Alissa Vincent meets a frightened crew member that strongly resembles Nicole. She asks if the crew member has a boyfriend, prompting the woman to nod in response.
  • According to Visceral, Nicole's appearance in Dead Space 2 was to serve as a look into Isaac's psyche. Her bloodied clothes represents Isaac's guilt of her dying, and the eerie lights with the audio effects was to represent memories of Nicole and to reference the last video Nicole made, which was the only thing Isaac had left of her, as well as her voice, which sounds as though it is spoken over an audio log or a video, the only thing Isaac saw of her on the Ishimura.
  • It is interesting to note that, even though she understood the virus, Nicole still killed herself in a way that left her vulnerable to the transformation.
  • The room Nicole committed suicide in can be accessed in Dead Space; it is unknown what happened to her body after her death. It is possible, however, that Nicole's body was infected and turned into a Necromorph. "Nicole" references this in Dead Space 2 when she mentions that Isaac never did find her body, which prompts her to question whether she herself was transformed into a necromorph.
  • Ironically in Dead Space she committed suicide with a syringe, and in Dead Space 2 during the first Nicole event she will try to kill Issac with a needle. If she succeeds, he is killed in a similar to Captain Mathius in the first Dead Space.
  • The second death scene in Dead Space 2 caused by Nicole suggests that hallucinations have some control over the reality the host exists in, for example being able to lift Issac up and snap his neck.

Death ScenesEdit

In Dead Space 2, it is possible for the hallucination of Nicole to kill Isaac, either during one of the two dementia scenes involving the hallucination, or during the final boss battle of the game:

  • First Scene: During the first struggle, the hallucination lunges at Isaac as he exits a maintenance shaft, and attempts to stab him in the eye with a needle (presumably the same one Nicole used to kill herself in the first game). If the player fails the subsequent quick-time event, the hallucination kills him. If the player survives the attack, it is revealed that Isaac was trying to stab his own eye out as a result of his dementia.
  • Second Scene: During the second scene, the hallucination grabs Isaac by the throat as he gets off of a freight elevator in the Sprawl's mines. It effortlessly smashes him against the walls, before attempting to suffocate him, demanding that he tell her why he can't move past her death. If the player fails the following quick-time event, Isaac refuses to accept that Nicole is real, and the hallucination successfully snaps Isaac's neck.
  • Third Scene: During the final scene, the newly created Marker attempts to kill Isaac with the Nicole hallucination so that it can "absorb" him and be "reborn." If Isaac comes into contact with the hallucination during the fight within his mind, or accidentally wanders too close to it, it will grab him and scream loudly in his face. In reality, the hallucination forces Isaac to shoot himself in the face with Tiedemann's Javelin Gun, presumably allowing the Marker to "absorb" him in the process. Although it is interesting to note that Isaac drops Tiedemann's gun before he turns to Nicole.




  1. Dead Space takes place three years before the events of Dead Space 2.
  2. This can be seen in Chapter 13 when she shows Isaac the way. Simply walk behind her to see this before she disappears.


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