Thanks for the head's up on the dead space 3. The first 2 scared the crap out of me
A little clarification, the Marker's EM signal is basically downloading its data to any organic brain within range. The insanity is caused by information overload. Only those of high intelligence can manage it well enough to hold onto their sanity and actually interpret at least some of the data being dumped into their minds.
Thus how the government were able to recreate the marker for second game, taking the data already stored in Isaac Clarke's and Nolan Stross's minds.
Prior to this only the Church of Unitology had access because they're the ones who found the original Marker on Earth centuries ago and they're the ones who created the replica and placed it on Aegis VII in a attempt to better understand it.
The Marker's signal itself essentially serves as a virtual DNA and once a victim is dead then that virtual DNA takes over and recycles the organic matter. The initial process is just slow and of course requires recently dead bodies to work with but the signal usually induces insanity to produce enough suicides and murders to get the process going in short order.
Then once the initial Necromorphs are created, they accelerate the process both by killing for more raw material and also with specialized Necromorphs that directly inject the Marker's DNA into the host body and/or bodies... Since some of the larger Necromorphs are created from multiple bodies.
The process seems to have limits though as only the artificially created Necromorphs, like the Ubermorph, became the Unkillable type and look more alien. Possibly a purified version of the Alien DNA.
So it's pretty much all consistent and explained if you combine all the source material.
The Hive Mind and consistent actions of the Necromorphs with even non-human life pretty much indicates the Marker's actions are not accidental as well.
Definitely a cool game series and it should be interesting what they'll do with the third release...
Never played the first two but will need to get my hands on them it looks really interesting and a lot of people have said it is the scariest game they ever played.
IIRC, the Black Marker infestation began when the DNA chain the Marker transmits was synthesized and injected into someone's arm. Stross makes mention of a reanimate "field," but it appears there are multiple potential vectors. I'm not sure it's clear how the Necromorph bug got loose at The Sprawl (though I have not played the Wii game, which may explain this).
The question of the madness seems to be highly dependent on not just the intelligence, but also the personality of those involved. Stross went bugnuts extremely quickly, Isaac holds his sanity far longer. There's also the fact that the Site 12 marker continued "communicating" after all signals from it were damped down, as well as the question of whether or not the markers have had different personalities. The Black Marker seemed to warn humanity against itself, the Red Marker wanted to return to the planet -- there was no mention of Isaac having to die. The Site 12 Marker, on the other hand, clearly wanted him dead.
A few of my own guesses:
1) The Marker's ability to communicate with the Sprawl scientists, even after they blocked all signals, is caused by part of it setting up shop in your own brain. There were no signals leaking out -- the call was coming from inside the house, as it were.
2) The madness and dementia may truly be an unanticipated side effect. If the Marker truly landed on Earth in the Chicxulub impact, it could have no knowledge of humanity, no ability to tailor it's message. It's entirely possible that the field was meant to create something else, I'm not saying I think this is a likely twist, but it's certainly an option the mythos would support.
3) I don't think the Markers are truly sentient. If they were, it would be far, far, easier to accomplish their goals through negotiation and strategy. Each time humanity encounters the Markers, they "reproduce" using the equivalent of a giant space caveman club. There's also no explanation for how the Red Marker would continue to have exactly the same effects on the people around it when smashed to shards as it did when perfectly whole.
3A) It's *possible* the the Marker is sentient as a whole but carries on some sort of autonomic function when smashed to bits -- small pieces might be capable of kicking off necromorph invasions, but unable to launch Convergence Events. This leads to #4...
4) Convergence Events appear to happen automatically, once some sort of critical mass is reached. One might assume the result was a Hive Mind, but the Marker on Aegis VII appeared to be restraining the Hive Mind -- an odd situation if the HM is the end result of the Marker's own programmed goal. If the Marker had been responsible for the HM but inadvertently exploited to restrain it, the last thing it would've wanted to do was return to the surface.
5) It's possible that the different personalities of the Markers are explained by a reverse imprint process. "When you stare into the Abyss, the Abyss also stares back into you." If Markers "learn" from their creators, it's entirely possible that their goals are influenced by the very minds that construct them. This could explain why the Black, Red, and Site 12 Markers appear to have acted differently.
I loved the first 2 games, even played the one iPhone. It's not as scary as people say, but maybe I'm just jaded from watching lots of horror movies. The enemy designs are really great and gory, but they rely too much on jump scares. I'm a bit hesitant on this next one though. They really screwed PC players with Dead Space 2. No dlc, late patches, unstable release, all for $60 even for the digital version. As much as I enjoyed the game, that was one of the first times I ever regretted paying full price for a game.
I'm surprised to hear you say that. My playthrough of DS2 on PC was *much* smoother than DS1. DS1 had insanely variable mouse sensitivity and sluggish controls. DS2 came off without a hitch and I never had a single crash. Then again, I only played the game months after release.
To tell you the truth I played the original and loved it but have been out of this type of gaming for quite some time (maybe since then really) so I might check out the new one when it gets here or even try to get into beta.
I played the first two, and i think i was more scared by the first one but the combat felt better in the second one. Cant wait to see whats going to happen in the third one. This is one of the best storyline games ive ever played, they have done a great job building up a mythology.
Yes, the Wii Game went into how the Aegis Breakout occurred when the mining company dug up the Marker and exposed the colony to the signal. Also there was other media releases like a comic mini-series that went into the origins a bit more.
Like how the founder of Unitology never intended it to go that way... Michael Altman was actually a scientist who discovered the original Marker on Earth but when he tried to destroy it others made him the first Martyr and used his image to create the Unitology Church.
The second game DLC used characters from the Wii game to further expand the story and tie it all together.
While the Sprawl's Marker was created from the data stored in Isaac and Stross minds. So essentially they had a direct link to the source code.
Mind our brains are essentially organic computers and unlike the previous games that made them a threat to the Marker's continued existence. In fact that's how Isaac destroyed that Marker by battling it through the link in his mind and it wasn't like Isaac was obtuse in his intentions on stopping the Marker for it to respond and try to protect itself.
On the madness... all Markers have consistently had the same effect on people and all other known life. There are for example Necromorph Fish and plants that behave exactly like the human victims once converted into Necromorphs. So unintentional is too remote a possibility to really be taken seriously at this point. Aside from perhaps terraforming.
For sentients, you're assuming human sentients. Things like negotiation suggest commonality but it's alien intelligence and most likely created by a xenophobic race or it may have been a doomsday weapon.
They're starting to follow a similar plot for Aliens with upcoming Prometheus movie. Life advances to the point of space faring race... race then discovers alien artifact... artifact then kills race... and repeat...
On to the convergence event, considering the Marker acts as the DNA then it's a symbiotic relation. Mind in the second game, when Isaac plays the logs from the repair crew that they stated all the Necromorph's bodies dissolved into basically primordial ooze. So we know without the Marker that the Necromorphs can't continue to exist on their own.
Mind DNA doesn't only provide the blueprints for life but also helps regulate it. Like they kept telling Isaac... "Make us whole!"...
Though I agree that the little differences we've seen are likely due to both the artificial nature of the other Markers and the interaction it's had thus far with our form of life.
Definitely a couple great games. Played both on PC, and actually played DS2 non stop till I finished. I think the surprise tactics of the necromorphs do grow on you as you play, but still a scary game. Especially with the audio running in 5.1...the sound design is excellent, and every creak and groan puts your nerves on edge. It's a different experience if you have to play with the sound off.
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Wow very interesting information how it compares to today.i Imagine it will better than the last 2 and hope it is.
But it's *not* that far a stretch if you consider two things:
1) Most life on earth is strongly related.
2) Flipping certain genes on and off can have enormous effects if it's the right (or wrong, depending on your POV) genes.
It's possible, for example, that Necromorphs are meant to retain a good deal more intelligence than they seem to, that the transformations were meant to be more subtle (thereby allowing the Necros to infiltrate society far more easily than they do) or that the Marker was meant to do a far *better* job of appearing to promise huge scientific advances while creating an infiltration epidemic. If you step back and think about the problem from a biological perspective, pod people (who look and appear to think like people) are a far more effective invasion than dementia inducing murderbots.
The other thing is that I don't think the Marker was necessarily meant to end up on Earth at all. If the goal was to sterilize life, just using a larger meteor would've worked. Remember, the Marker landed at a time when dinosaurs were the dominant life form -- not exactly sentient threats. It fell to Earth on one of the largest confirmed meteors to ever hit the planet; any species capable of pulling that off, could've just chucked in a few more rocks to finish the job.
What makes this all fascinating is that there's such a lot of material to dig into. ;)
Pod people are only for absorption/assimilation of a target race, not for annihilating it. Besides, it's not like the Necromorphs are easily stoppable. Pretty much every outbreak has resulted in 99%, if not 100%, effectiveness.
While a biological weapon doesn't have to out think it's target to be devastating. The Hive mind makes the Necromorphs act a lot like cooperative insects. Each has it's specific job to do in the collective and there's little arguing with how effective they are...
And all life on the planet may have common elements but they're all also very different. Yet the Necromorphs created from each still act consistently the same.
Mind also that life develops over time, a asteroid or comet is a one time event and life can eventually redevelop. The Marker though can remain and activate again and again as needed to ensure no intelligent life develops very far before it triggers an extinction event.
Besides, it wouldn't be a horror game unless there was a specifically a horrible intent throughout it.
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