The Tormenter is a gigantic Necromorph with a long, slender body and highly elongated limbs. At the end of a flexible neck is the Necromorph's head, which is formed from the head of a single human victim; the upper jaw has expanded into a fanged maw and a pair of mandibles protrude from either side of the face. The Tormenter's forelimbs are extremely long, and are composed of glowing yellow tissue near the shoulder joint; this tissue is a weak point, and if enough damage is sustained in this region it will explode, severing the limb. The rest of the body is a serpentine, misshapen mass of bone fragments and necrotic tissue.
The fight scene between Isaac and the Tormenter begins when Isaac falls through a vent in order to escape a Government gunship. After falling through the vent into a bloodstained pit, the Tormenter appears, roars at Isaac and seizes him in one of its arms. Isaac shoots the yellow tissue on the arm's shoulder in order to dismember the limb and escape.
After successfully dismembering the Tormenter's arm, Isaac runs towards a window. The gunship appears outside and proceeds to open fire, breaking the glass and sucking Isaac and the Tormenter out into space, the latter whirling madly in the zero-gravity enviromnent Isaac grabs hold of the gunship, but as he turns to look the Tormenter crashes into the ship as well. Isaac tries to escape by boosting away, but the Tormenter grabs his leg. The Tormenter, however, is momentarily distracted by the fuel canisters floating out of the ruptured hull of the gunship; to escape, Isaac shoots one of the canisters, which kills the Tormenter and sends Isaac spiraling back, through a window, into another residential area of the Sprawl.
Due to the constrained time to attack the Tormenter's weak points, Isaac's equipped weapon will automatically be reloaded once the weak point is sufficiently hit, bypassing the reload animation and saving precious time.
- During any part of the sequence where Isaac has to dismember one of its arms, should he fail to do sufficient damage to the arm, the creature will break free of the debris it is trapped under and bite Isaac's head off.
- If Isaac fails to open the Kinesis door after the first part of the fight, the Tormenter will run into Isaac, knocking him down and trampling him to death.
- If Isaac fails to shoot the explosive barrels released from the ship while being held by the creature, it will fling him around and while doing so bites into his torso, then the Tormenter gets a better grip on his legs and yanks his head sideways, ripping Isaac in half. As Isaac's top half floats away, Isaac's right hand floats past the screen against a blank background of space, a clear reference to the cover art of the first Dead Space.
- Dead Space 2's development team had given the Tormenter the nickname Kong, possibly as a reference to the movie King Kong.
- The Dead Space 2 demo ends as the Tormenter appears.
- There are a total of six ways to die in the Tormenter boss fight. This is the most death scenes of any Necromorph so far in the series that has been scripted.
- The Tormenter is the only boss in the Dead Space series that is entirely fought through quick-time events.
- There is a glitch where using the Detonator in the second segment of the Tormenter fight will cause Isaac to be completely dismembered except for his pelvis. The player can still play until the part where the Tormenter throws Isaac across the room near the door. Isaac immediately dies after he stands up.
- There are two ways to trigger the glitch where the Tormenter can run past Isaac. The first way is to stand against the hatch and not open it and it will pass through with Isaac harmed. The second way (if you want some extra room open the hatch) is to use stasis on the Necromorph and carefully walk around it, the arm will damage Isaac and if the body or secondary legs touch him it will result in an instant death. Isaac can then explore the lair. Somehow, if the player did the glitch where the Tormenter would run past Isaac, it runs through the glass in the room behind the hatch and eventually run out to space. However, if the player triggers the third fight sequence, the Tormenter will still teleport back and the scripted fight scene continues as normal.
- It is unknown just what the Tormenter was doing in the Unitologist Church, as there is no foreshadowing its appearance previously. Furthermore, no characters say anything about its size, attacks, or even presence before Isaac encounters it.
- The name of this Necromorph is strange, as the word "torment" would mean to constantly bother somebody.
- However, it could refer to the fact that it was causing Isaac a lot of stress and worry while it was trying to kill him.