Well, we're back here for part 2 of several of the things that make Dead Space, well, Dead Space.
In the game, you walk the empty corridors of the Ishimura, scared to death. The undead terror that makes you this scared are the Necromorphs, monsters made from the dead crew of the ship, weather it be an engineer or the masses of babies. Nothing is safe. And you can't stop these creatures by severing their heads, or destroying the brain. You must become a monster yourself, and butcher the walking dead, dismembering their limbs to stop them.
But is there more to these creatures than being something scary?
The short answer is, no. These things were made to jump out at Isaac, looking like something out of a nightmare, something that crossed the boundry of evil years ago. That is one of the reasons babies were used. Nothing except wild animals and pure evil kill babies, but then using the baby? It's a shock tactic used to amp up the terror. The bony pieces of humans slithering around the walls, jumping at you like the Thing? Used for shock. And the fact they used to be dead also connects with the overarching theme of death in the game.
One of the odder facts associated with the necromorphs, is their insect and animal referances. They hunt in packs, use surprise attacks, and play dead. But then there are the insect referances, with their bony scuttling on their arms, the pale, hardened carpaces of some of the more advanced Necromorphs, and that the horrors are controlled (we believe) by a Hive Mind. But why are these associations used?
Because it's scary. What's more dangerous than incects, killing like a pack of lions, needing to be dismembered or squished, like a cockroach, all acting, every single one, against you with a conected mind of some form. Sort of depressing, when you look at your odds against them.
Apart from the Necromorphs, another adversary doggedly follows Isaac in his quest to save Nicole. And that is the Church of Unitology, a cult like group that worship the marker as a symbol of their eventual transformation, or Convergance. And after the marker's discovery on the planet Aegis VII, the worshipers there really went nuts. On the Ishimura, things were even worse, with some zealots commiting suicide to become the Necromorphs, either because of their faith, dementia, or the proding of the insane Docter Challus Mercer.
Dr Mercer becomes practically the face of Unitology for Isaac on the Ishimura after he meets him on the Medical Deck, and attempts to kill Isaac repeatedly with his Necromorph creation, the Hunter, as it's known on the Dead Space wikia. Mercer follows his contorted beliefs of his faith to the end, his end being a transformation into a Necromorph after the destruction of the Hunter. But before then, he had a habit of locking doorways Isaac must enter, creating Necromorph monsters, impaling people in the head with a metal spike, and preaching the beliefs of his faith.
Mercer is like this to personify the Church of Unitology, make it an antagonist in it's own right, and deepen the story, but also to show the insanity of blindly following faith. Mercer is insane, that's easy to see, but his faith is the only thing that has been taken to the extreme. His medical expertice is undetered, nor is his intelligence. He's just a powerful zealot from Unitology.
For the final piece of this part, we look at the impacts of Dementia in the game. This is what makes people scared. Is it real? Was that all my mind? Those are questions that make you feel insecure with yourself, and in the game. But there is more to it than that.
Dementia, in Dead Space, makes people hallucinate their lost loves. Wether these hallucination are brought up by the marker, or something else, is another question, but the fact remains that the Dementia is almost like a mind control. It controls you with one of the greatest emotions humans have. But it also scares people with disturbing scenes of death and insanity. But this most likely happens because it wants the 'advise' from the loved ones to be one of that person's highlights, and maybe help that person complete the advise. This shows how easily our emotions can be manipulated, like fear and love.
That ends part 2. Come back next week for the finale, where we look at the importance of Dead Space's ending, what the lullaby means, and where the universe will be headed next.