- "Oh my God. I built that?"
- —Isaac Clarke
The object designated by EarthGov as the Site 12 Marker, also known as The Golden Marker, The Titan Marker, or Isaac's Marker, is the source of the Necromorph outbreak featured in Dead Space 2. It is physically encountered in Chapter 14, although the knowledge of its existence occurs much earlier in the game.
The Site 12 Marker is the largest Marker encountered so far in the series and, like the Red Marker, is also man-made.
The Site 12 Marker was built by a team of scientists and engineers stationed on Titan Station, under the orders of Director Tiedemann. Many details regarding the construction process remain a mystery, but various logs suggest the Marker was either "grown" in mineral bath or physically constructed using machinery.
The team used Isaac Clarke, Nolan Stross, and, it is implied, at least three others (Clarke and Stross are called Patient Four and Patient Five, respectively) suffering mental illness from a Marker's signal as the basis for their research. The signal had implanted specific codes into their brains at an earlier time - in Isaac Clarke's case, during the events of Dead Space - and these "blueprints" were extracted from them during sessions in the NoonTech Diagnostic Machine, using a needle through the ocular cavity (the eye) into the patient's brain.
Logs found by Isaac throughout the course of the game Dead Space 2 reveal that, to highly intelligent people, such as Nolan Stross and Isaac Clarke, the Marker's signal manifests inside their minds as 'blueprints' for the construction of a Marker; people of lesser intelligence are simply driven mad by the Marker's signal over time. To them, the signal only manifests as noise.
In Dead Space: Catalyst the Marker can influence every human mind even at great distances, but some people are extremely sensitive to the Marker's influence. The Marker tries to "upload" its blueprint and an obsession to build copies of itself in every human in range, but the vast majority of people cannot process the information. To them, the signal causes pain, hallucinations and suicidal or homicidal behaviour.
- "Marvelous Convergence, the extension of consciousness from bodies to a place both within and between bodies."
- —Istvan Sato
When Isaac arrives at an overlook above the Site 12 Marker's chamber, he is positioned above a mass of Necromorphs at its base. Nicole appears and tells him they are coming to the Marker as Convergence is at hand. During a holographic video message from Tiedemann, the sheer mass of bodies near the Marker triggers the start of Convergence. The Marker flashes and emits a noise like a fog horn followed by an upthrust of wind drawing the Necromorphs up into the air. When asking what it is doing, Nicole simply replies, "What it was made to do. Isaac, you have to make us whole." This echoes what she had said in Dead Space during Isaac's encounter with the Red Marker.
While it's unclear precisely what Convergence is (at least until Dead Space 3), both the Unitologist dogma, Nicole's statements and some developer comments seem to indicate that it culminates in the creation of "something greater ". An important part of this is the accumulation of a large number of Necromorphs and, as stated by Nicole, "absorbing the maker" of the Marker (in this case Isaac), by killing and converting them.
After using the Noontec Diagnostic Machine to gain the knowledge necessary to destroy the Marker, Isaac arrives at the foot of the Marker to find Nicole bathed in a bright light. Once Tiedemann is taken care of, Isaac is shocked when Nicole reveals her true motive is to kill him in order to allow the Marker to absorb its creator's body and complete the Convergence.
A fight takes place in Isaac's mind against the apparition of Nicole and, shadows that look and behave similarly to The Pack. By shooting at Nicole, Isaac is able to expose the parts of his brain where the Red Marker still has an influence over him and destroy them.
Isaac emerges from his mind after defeating Nicole and destroying the Marker's influence to find the Site 12 Marker essentially dead and crumbling. Although Isaac is able to escape thanks to Ellie, the reactor cores of the station become unstable, resulting in the complete destruction of Titan Station and the remains of the Marker.
Key differences from Aegis VII Red MarkerEdit
One of the most obvious differences between the Site 12 Marker and the Red Marker is the size and color. The Site 12 Marker stands at an incredible height, towering above Isaac and the Necromorphs, compared to the Red Marker's height of roughly 10 feet. Interestingly, when you get a closer view of the Marker before the encounter with Tiedemann you can see the Site 12 Marker pulsating gold and red rapidly.
Another key difference is in the distance that the Necromorphs may be able to approach the Marker. In Dead Space: Martyr and Dead Space: Downfall, both the Black Marker and Red Marker exhibited the ability to keep the Necromorphs from approaching it due to the "dead space" field surrounding them. The Site 12 Marker seems to show evidence of such a field, though a far less powerful one, as the Necromorphs are able to approach to within an arm's length of it.
It is possible that Necromorphs are attracted by the Site 12 Marker despite the dead space surrounding it. When enough bodies surround it, the convergence event begins, though it seems possible that they are not "attracted" directly to the Site 12 Marker until the Creator (in this case, Isaac) has been assimilated; Hans Tiedemann was able to find safety at its base, despite being surrounded by hundreds of necromorphs in the chamber.
Another possibility is that the dead space field of the Site 12 Marker is weaker than that of other Markers, either due to the relatively smaller inscriptions adorning surface in comparison to the previous markers, or the markings more horizontal pattern. Therefore, it could be a possibility that the functionality/power of the Markers is (largely) determined by the precision of the scrawls written on them.
- Based on the computer readout for the NoonTech Diagnostic Machine, the needle taps into the Lateral Geniculate Nucleus, which is the center of the human brain tasked with processing the visual information received by the Retina of the eye. It makes sense that this would be the focus of study for EarthGov when evaluating patients like Isaac Clarke and Nolan Stross who could "see" the Red Marker's symbols.
- The Site 12 Marker is not made of the entirely same substance as seen on the outside. When the Marker is destroyed, various support frames can be seen inside it.
- At first glance the Marker seems to lack the symbols present on the smaller, previous Markers. However, the alien script is present on its surface but appears smaller than on the Red Marker and is arrayed in a more linear, horizontal pattern from top to base along the structure.