No Known Survivors is a web site that allows visitors to explore the narrative world of Dead Space. The site employs interactive components, 3D animations, voice acting, original video and "Papervision 3D" technology to tell two equally tragic four-chapter stories. The first, "Misplaced Affection", tells the story of an organ replacement technician who falls hard for a capable female P-Sec officer. The second, "13", brings us the tale of a sleeper agent who makes the wrong decisions for the right reasons. The site plays less like a typical Alternate Reality Game like ilovebees, the famous ARG for Halo 2, and more like an old-school PC adventure game like Myst.
It all goes down at a hub built for the site. A cosmic "deathscape", the hub features 9 severed body parts, with each one representing a content release. The week before a content piece went live, its assigned body part began to mutate, finally evolving in to a mature Necromorph part. Each Monday (it started August 25th, 2008) a new Necromorph part became live and clickable, ready for visitors to dive deep into the content featured on No Known Survivors.
NOTE: The site is now a redirect to http://www.ea.com/dead-space
Chapter 1: Misplaced Affection
Users take on the perspective of a psychologically deteriorating George Greggs, an organ replacement technician in his lab on the USG Ishimura's medical bay, where body parts are grown for injured crew members. Users also learn tangential information about the planetcracking of Aegis 7, the Red Marker and life on the Ishimura via voiceover logs, animated/video content and artifacts. Greggs is hiding from the Necromorphs inside of his lab, but it soon becomes horrifyingly clear to him (and us) that the creatures know he is in the lab, and are looking for a way in.
Chapter 1.1: Injured
This chapter introduces George Greggs, who has locked himself in his lab to try and escape the horrors that are spreading throughout the Ishimura. As Greggs quietly sobs to himself in terror, his CECL-RC console reminds him to review today's request forms. Through the lab window, a sporadically flickering light reveals a surgery room splattered with blood and bodily remains.
- Users can review six Replacement Organ Request Forms that contain animation and stories of dismemberment from Aegis 7 workers, one of whom is Jane Gauthier.
- An opened compartment on the wall contains a jar with Jane Gauthier's fingers preserved inside; users may click the jar to examine it more closely.
- On the Patient Audio Log Terminal, users can listen to "patient consultation audio logs" between Greggs and recently injured workers, including Gauthier.
- Users can also access the CECL-RC, or Concordance Extraction Corporation Litigious Risk Computer. This system, in its own words, "provides many services to help CEC employees analyze risk scenarios in both their professional and personal lives." There are four data branches that the user can explore.
- The current Risk Assessment Analysis shows George's chances of survival depending on different courses of action. Apparently it is safest for Greggs to stay locked in his lab, but even then his prospects look extremely bleak.
- The Risk Assessment Archives play audio logs of recent assessments. In it, Greggs queries CECL on his possible relationship with Jane Gauthier, and whether rearranging his furniture can improve his quality of life.
- The Social Interaction Analysis Report is currently inaccessible, as it requires a password which is not revealed until chapter 1.2.
- A small "About" section shows some additional information on CECL-RC and her functions.
- If one waits long enough, they may hear Gauthier's voice whispering to George and begging him to save her.
- This chapter's subtitle, when viewed from the main screen, is "Long".
Chapter 1.2: First Date
At the beginning of this chapter, there is a loud roar and a terrified scream - the room quakes as a hole is torn in the ceiling and a murdered crew member falls through, landing on Greggs' file cabinet and smashing it. This causes the cylinder containing Gauthier’s fingers to fall and shatter on the floor, as Greggs slips deeper into his state of dementia. Something is now banging on the lab door, intent on getting in.
- When the user rolls over the fallen crew member with the mouse pointer, panicked transmissions from scared survivors can be heard coming from the blinking commlink in the corpse's ear.
- George’s broken file cabinet unlocks and the user is able to view an interactive staff guide to attractions aboard the Ishimura, including bars, restaurants and entertainment areas.
- From reading the attractions guide, the user may be able to figure out the password to the Social Interaction Analysis Report on CECL-RC. Accessing this will allow them to listen to a series of "simulated social interaction sequences" between Gauthier and Greggs, manufactured by CECL based on known data about them and their relationship. These were used to assist Greggs in finding a topic of conversation he could pursue on their date which would lead to a satisfying conclusion.
- In the back of the attractions guide is a strange coded message, written with pictographs depicting human bodies in various positions and states of dismemberment. The pictured bodies are using a signaling system known as semaphore; translated, the message reads "THE DEAD WALK THE SHIP".
- Jane Gauthier's whispering voice can be heard again, asking George why he was not there for her.
- This chapter's subtitle, when viewed from the main screen, is "Dream".
Chapter 1.3: Observations
As the noises outside the lab grow louder and more terrifying, Greggs begins to completely break down, hearing more and more of Jane Gauthier's whispers as well as haunting echoes of the recent past. The strange organic substance that will later be seen spreading throughout areas of the Ishimura has begun to creep into the lab, growing in patches on the floor and near the hole torn in the ceiling, as well as around the sides of the lab door. There is loud banging on the door now, and inhuman growls; it is clear now that the creatures are aware of Greggs' hideout and are trying to breach the door. Terrifyingly, they are succeeding; the door shows signs of buckling. Greggs does not have long left.
- Rolling the mouse over the dead crew member from chapter 1.2 will trigger a couple of new transmissions from more survivors.
- The Genealogy Report data which has been downloading on CECL-RC in the previous chapters is finally completed, and users can access an extensive Genealogy and Background Report video on Gauthier which not only gives insight into her background, but also gives a sense of Earth history by peeking into the different generations of Gauthier’s family. At the end of the video, an encoded message is displayed in stylized alphanumeric characters.
- Carefully listening to George's ever-increasing auditory hallucinations may give the user a hint about the password for the video screen above the CECL-RC console. Activating it will display an animated depiction of the date between Greggs and Gauthier.
- If the player waits, Greggs' and Gauthier's voices can be heard. Greggs' voice is an excerpt from the date on the terminal, and Gauthier can be heard whispering that she wants her fingers to be returned to her (which is itself an excerpt from one of the conversation simulations).
- Reviewing the injury report files from the first chapter will reveal that the words "I LOVED U" were recently written on Gauthier's file.
- This chapter's subtitle, when viewed from the main screen, is "Touch".
Chapter 1.4: Gone
This chapter consists entirely of a video depicting Greggs in his final moments. It opens with Greggs kneeling down to collect Gauthier's fingers from the floor, while the creatures outside furiously beat on the door, which is about to buckle at any second. As Greggs strokes the fingers softly in his hand, a video log from Gauthier back on Aegis VII begins playing - she tells Greggs that things will not be able to work out between them, before a growl is heard nearby and Gauthier screams in terror, followed by static. The door to the lab finally gives, and the screen goes black while Greggs is heard screaming in agony. The video returns, and we see the creatures have torn him into unrecognizable pieces; showing his mutilated corpse strewn across the floor, the hand on his severed arm still holding Gauthier's fingers. Tendrils slither out from the sliced ends of her fingers as her disembodied voice whispers, "Now we can always be together..."
- This chapter's subtitle, when viewed from the main screen, is "Lose".
In a short voiceover, CECL-RC talks about the fate of Greggs and Gauthier, sets up the scene for the next story, "Thirteen", and gives its personal opinion on the fallacies of happy endings. She tells that the "recent events" (Necromorph infection) on Ishimura, will affect all humans including those unborn.
- The intermission's subtitle, when viewed from the main screen, is "Breathe".
Chapter 2: Thirteen
In Part 2, players control Stefan, a spaceman who is conducting space experiments and surveys with his colleagues Gavin and Dennis. In a twist of fate, they rear close to Aegis's solar system. Unlike Greggs, he is not influenced by the Marker shown by a lack of hallucinations.
Chapter: 2.1: TUB Dwellers
- If the players click a small TV behind Dennis' body, a video plays which was sent by Gavin's daughter. The video portrays a crudely animated version of the trio along with a simple song consisting of the lyric "three happy spacemen" repeated several times in a cheery tone.
- Dennis' dead body can be seen slumped in a seat, but the corpse cannot be interacted with.
- If the player looks at the window long enough, they will see Aegis, but it is far away from their ship.
- If the player clicks one of the two monitors, they will be able to watch a transmission sent by Gavin's wife, saying that her daughter misses him. She asks him for the transmission he promises to send to Sally.
- If the players click the red blinking monitor they will be notified of a distress call from Ishimura and Aegis VII, but will be unable to play it because it is "archiving".
- If the player clicks a small monitor on the floor, they will watch a transmission which was made by the trio to be sent to Sally.
- Clicking the weekly board will show the weekly routines and work done by the trio. This includes body readings for stress measures.
- The player can tilt the camera upwards to see a dark figure looking down a hatch with the light flickering behind him prompting Stefan to say that the figure killed Dennis. The figure, assumed to be Gavin, says he doesn't want to make it any harder than it has to be.
- This chapter's subtitle, when viewed from the main screen, is "Wait".
Chapter 2.2: Unanticipated
- Clicking on the small TV behind Dennis' body in this chapter shows the video sent by Gavin's daughter. However, the tune has become much more sinister and the animation shows Gavin crying before pulling out a knife and stabbing Dennis whilst Stefan runs for his life.
- Clicking on the red blinking monitor again gives the player the option of listening to an audio log of the crew's reaction to the distress beacon. All three realize that the Ishimura is in restricted space, and Gavin is heard leaving the scene shortly afterward.
- Various computer screens that were operational the chapter before have now been smashed and have blood stains on or near them.
- Looking up at Gavin again prompts Stefan to say that they used to be friends, whilst Gavin says he doesn't want to kill them but has to.
- This chapter's subtitle, when viewed from the main screen, is "Contact".
Chapter 2.3: Bad Deeds
- At the bottom of the ladder coming down from the hatch, a small item can be clicked on. The item is revealed to be a transmission log from Gavin to an unknown man. Gavin tells the man about the Ishimura and that the other crew members know about it as well. The man instructs Gavin to execute "Eventuality 117" and wait for a pick up. Gavin protests to the option but is told that his family may be in danger if he does not carry out the task. This explains why Gavin killed Dennis and is planning to kill Stefan as well.
- Looking up at Gavin this time prompts Stefan to say that he saw the transmission and that he knows Gavin is an agent. Gavin claims he has to put his family first.
- If you look at Gavin's daughter's message again, the music has become even more distorted and sinister and Gavin is shown dragging Stefan back onto the screen and stabbing him before falling to his knees, crying.
- This chapter's subtitle, when viewed from the main screen, is "Lie".
Chapter 2.4: Primary Objective
- This chapter is another video, much like 1.4. Drawn in a comic style, Stefan is shown backing away from Gavin who has now cornered him with a knife. He vainly tries to bring Gavin to his senses by showing a photo of his wife and child, but is then stabbed in the chest and killed. Gavin contacts his boss and says that it's done and then proceeds to walk away. The boss orders Gavin to come back, but Gavin refuses and decompresses the TUB, blowing himself into space. His body is seen floating outside as his pickup arrives. They mention that there is no need to "clean up" and suggest they head to their rendezvous point as the video ends.
- This chapter's subtitle, when viewed from the main screen, is "Leave".