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Nolan Stross
Stross2 DS2
Biographical information

Date of death:

February 7, 2511

Physical information







Chronological and political information

Notable facts:

caused the Necromorph outbreak on the USG O'Bannon


Earth Government

"Alexis, if you get this, I love you. I would never do anything to hurt you or our son. After the sessions, I kept seeing you, but you are so mad, so angry. You are scaring me. I wanted you to stop. What was happening to me? Please come get me."
—Nolan's guilt of killing his wife and his infant son.

Nolan Stross was a senior scientist who served aboard the USG O'Bannon, tasked with retrieving the pieces of the Red Marker from Aegis VII. He descended into madness after coming into possession of a Red Marker fragment. He was captured and transferred to Titan Station for further investigation.


Mission over Aegis VII Edit

Main article: Dead Space: Aftermath

As a senior scientist aboard the USG O'Bannon, Stross was tasked with retrieving the pieces of the Red Marker (With the help of a team of engineers) and conduct research on the retrieved fragments. Stross became obsessive over a Marker fragment as he conducted experiments on it. He soon descended into a state of madness and under the influence of the fragment infected a corpse with a Necromorph pathogen. As the Necromorph that he created slaughtered his assistant and two engineers, Stross fled to his private quarters in terror. Due to his Marker-induced madness, he perceived his wife and infant son as Necromorphs and subsequently killed them both.

Stross was later found by Isabel Cho, a crew member whom he had an affair with and was taken to the other survivors of the outbreak. Stross explained that the Marker fragment had to be destroyed in order for the outbreak to end. The group moved toward the ship's reactor core to do so, but Stross could not bring himself to throw the shard into the core. Isabel took the fragment from him and destroyed it herself.

Stross and the remaining survivors are soon apprehended by a rescue team and interrogated aboard the USM Abraxis. Since he came into contact with the fragment and was mentally affected by it, Stross was placed in cryogenic stasis alongside another crazed man captured weeks earlier and taken to Titan Station for research.

Outbreak on The SprawlEdit

Main article: Dead Space 2

During the Necromorph outbreak unleashed on Titan Station, Stross briefly encountered Isaac Clarke, a fellow patient under the care of Director Hans Tiedemann. Both men are on balconies apart. Before the crazed Stross could explain what was happening, he spotted a Leaper climbing toward Isaac and warned him just in time. Shortly after disappearing among the chaos, Stross would continue communicating with Isaac through video feeds, struggling to explain the situation with the Marker on Titan Station and the steps on how to destroy it. Stross later ran into Ellie Langford, another survivor who also met Isaac during the outbreak. Isaac convinced Ellie to keep Stross alive for him as the three journeyed toward the Government Sector.

Along the way, Stross became progressively worse for wear in terms of sanity, haunted by hallucinations of his dead wife and child. His added delusion over the steps caused him to start acting hostile toward Ellie, first by biting her on the tram and by threatening her with a screwdriver. Eventually, under the belief that she would be able to understand Step 3, Stross attacked Ellie, gouging her right eye out with the screwdriver. Soon after, he attempted to kill Isaac with the same tool (Ellie's eye still attached), but failed. Isaac quickly disarmed him and stabbed Stross in the head with the screwdriver, killing him.

Death Scene Edit

  • Dead Space 2 - Nolan Stross Death Scene

    Dead Space 2 - Nolan Stross Death Scene

    Dead Space 2 - Nolan Stross Death Scene

    Should Isaac fail to counter Stross' attack, he would repeatedly stab him in the head with the screwdriver, continuously yelling, "Tell her that I am sorry!".
  • On the other hand, should Isaac succeed in breaking Stross' grapple, he would wrest the screwdriver off Stross' hand and jab it through the left side of his head, killing him.


Breaking the fourth wall

Stross imploring Isaac to try and escape with him

  • In both Dead Space: Aftermath and Dead Space 2, Stross was voiced and modeled after actor Curt Cornelius.
  • It was odd that Ellie's eye was seen on Stross's screwdriver, driven through the sides as it was practically impossible to do so from the front (Though, this was most likely because Stross gouged her eye out, attacking it from the side to pull it out).
  • In Dead Space: Aftermath, Stross shared a likeness with the 3D animated Stross, but did not with the cell-shaded 2D animated Stross.
  • Stross seemed to be very level headed after the events of the O'Bannon which was very unusual since even the most strong-willed people in the movies and games suffered immensely after the death of a loved one. But, he believed that they are in fact Necromorphs as he spoke to his hallucinations in Dead Space 2. He acted as if they are still alive and with him. This was very similar to Dr. Kyne and his hallucinations of his wife.
  • On the PC version of Dead Space 2, Stross' attack on Isaac often experienced a glitch, making the game fail to register the QTE inputs by the player, effectively rendering the sequence un-winnable. This had a chance of being rectified by restarting the game. If this did not help, it could be fixed by setting the resolution down to 800x600.
  • When Stross' dead body was stomped by Isaac or tossed with Kinesis, an audio log would appear. His body was one of the few non-infected corpses which would relinquish an item through stomping or otherwise. Some corpses of the military officers shared this trait as well. Oddly, Stross' head did not explode when you tossed it with Kinesis.
  • As it was mentioned in Dead Space: Aftermath, Nolan suffered from claustrophobia, a fear of small spaces which was one of the most common phobias.
  • For a time, Stross was able to resist the Marker's effects in Dead Space 2. He knew how to avoid EarthGov's patrols as well as the Necromorphs and was able to hold it together and offer advice to Isaac. His strongest moment occurred when Stross proposed that he and Isaac could destroy the Site 12 Marker. He also seemed aware at the time that the dementia would worsen for him and Isaac, telling him "Time was running out for me. For us."
  • After he released the Slasher on the O'Bannon, he was seen running away from them with a tool similar to a Plasma Cutter with laser saws on the bracers similar to the Plasma Saw in his left hand, though he only used it to attack his wife and son. Afterward, he never used it or even carried it for the rest of the film.
  • Throughout the entire movie, Stross was consistently shown as being left-handed, both writing and using tools with his left hand. However, it was not as apparent in the game.
  • When Isaac was wearing any of the Security Suit variants, Stross' image could be seen on the holographic display on the suit's chest.
  • Just as Isaac Clarke was named after science fiction writers, Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke, Nolan Stross was named after authors, William F. Nolan and Charles Stross.
  • Ironically, Stross was one of the smartest of individuals when it came to the Marker's true nature when there are thousands of scientists trying to figure it out. One explanation could be in Dead Space: Aftermath was that Stross did not want to destroy it. He wanted to study it while EarthGov sought to abuse and control it's power so it spoke to him, that or it tricked him into becoming more curious enough to experiment with a dead body and start the outbreak aboard the O'Bannon.
  • In Chapter 9, Stross broke the fourth wall by looking directly at the player and shouting 'Stop staring at me!'