Dead Space (2008)
Console of origin
PlayStation 3/Xbox 360
Isaac Clarke is a systems engineer working for the Concordance Extraction Corporation. Prior to the Second Aegis VII incident, he was part of an emergency response unit of the USG Kellion, sent to the USG Ishimura to investigate and handle the ship’s problems. Apparently the sole survivor of the incident, Isaac became stranded in space for a long period of time before he was rescued by an Earth Government ship. Three years after those events, Isaac was held in an asylum on Titan Station and was diagnosed with mental disorders, the most prominent being dementia that result in haunting illusions that taunt him throughout the game. In Dead Space 3, he still has the blueprint to destroy and create Markers. However, in the Awakening DLC, he witnesses the effects of dementia once again when he is exposed to one of the Brethren Moons.
Born on June 5, 2465 Isaac lived with his parents Poul Clarke, a ship designer, and Octavia Clarke, a Unitologist, in the Northeastern American seaboard sector. As a child, Isaac lived most of his life with his mother as his father left on a mission before he could even get to know him. Isaac takes after his father and obtained an education in electrical and mechanical engineering. He was later selected to attend a prominent engineering academy. Unfortunately, he was unable to afford the tuition fees as his mother, a devout Unitologist, spent the family funds to purchase a vested-level title in the Church of Unitology. This led to his distrust and hatred for Unitologists and Unitology in general.
Despite financial difficulties, Isaac manages to graduate with high honors from a lesser college to become a systems engineer. Several years later, he signs up for the Merchant Marines division, allowing him to prove his abilities in original engineering situations to his superiors. Impressed by his progress, Isaac’s superiors promoted Isaac to a position closer to major shipping lines. At an unspecified time, Isaac worked on the Ishimura. Isaac lived with Nicole Brennan, but his career had begun to stagnate around the same time as her assignment to the Ishimura two years prior to its communication blackout.
Emergency Mission to the USG IshimuraEdit
In 2508, Isaac volunteered to be a part of an emergency response unit attached to the USG Kellion. The crew was dispatched to the USG Ishimura, the CEC mining ship was last reported orbiting Aegis VII on its mission to crack the planet, their mission was to investigate the distress signals sent by the ship and to discover the reason behind the total communication black out. Upon their arrival, the Kellion tried to hail the Ishimura to establish communication with the ship’s crew, but was greeted with static messages. Unfortunately, as the Kellion tried to land on the Ishimura, the ship was severely damaged by a docking procedure malfunction and was forced to crash land into the landing bay. Due to the emergency crash land, the Kellion lost its port booster.
Shortly after disembarking from the damaged Kellion and noticing that the ship seems to be deserted, the party was attacked by several unidentified entities in the flight lounge, later these entities were revealed to be the Ishimura's deceased crew members being reanimated by a recombinant extraterrestrial infection known as Necromorphs. In the aftermath of the attack, only Isaac Clarke, the engineer, Computer Specialist Kendra Daniels, and the team’s commander, Zach Hammond survived.
Isaac was separated from the emergency response unit and avoided his pursuers by escaping in a nearby elevator. Still in touch with Kendra and Hammond via RIGlink, Isaac aided in the Ishimura’s repair by fulfilling numerous tasks across the ship. Despite the Necromorph’s opposition, a CQD beacon was eventually placed on an asteroid chunk undergoing ore extraction and purged from the mining hold. The signal attracted the attention of a military vessel, the USM Valor. However, the crews of the Valor were slaughtered shortly, after they recovered an Ishimura escape pod containing a Slasher, trapped and unintentionally jettisoned from the ship's bridge by Hammond.
With most of its crews dead or being transformed into Necromorphs, the Valor was left to drift out of control and subsequently sideswiped the Ishimura, violently crashing into it. A successful attempt to retrieve the Valor’s singularity core nonetheless resulted in Hammond’s death at the hands of an Enhanced Brute. Returning to the Ishimura, Isaac was contacted by Dr. Terrence Kyne, a scientist who planned to return Marker 3A to the colony below via the remaining shuttle.
After Isaac repairs the shuttle with the Valor’s singularity core and restored its navigation discs, Kyne was shot and killed by Kendra. She revealed herself to be a covert Earth Government agent, and that the entire conflict on Aegis VII was due to CEC interference with the Marker. Shortly thereafter she departed with the Marker.
Left for dead on the Ishimura, Isaac was saved by Nicole. After appearing, she compelled him to take the Marker back to Aegis VII, recalling the shuttle in the process. She forced Kendra to abandon ship in an escape pod. Once on the devastated planet, Isaac finally succeeded in returning it to its pedestal. This resulted in a massive EMP that disabled the gravity tethers holding the chunk of Aegis VII above orbit causing it to fall back onto the planet pulled by its gravity. Kendra appeared and removed the Marker from the pedestal with the intention to load it into the shuttle and return to Earth.
Before leaving Isaac to his fate, Kendra insists that he had gone insane. She forced him to watch the conclusion of Nicole’s video where he learned that she had committed suicide during the outbreak on the ship. The Marker used Nicole’s voice and appearance in his halucinations. Despondent, Isaac returned to the shuttle pad in time to see the Hive Mind brutally kill Kendra. It attacked Isaac, but he defeated it.
After the engagement, Isaac piloted the Executive Shuttle just in time to escape the colony as the tectonic load crashed down onto the planet. After his narrow escape, he reviewed Nicole’s video one more time before being attacked by a hallucination of Nicole.
Three weeks after the Aegis VII incident, Isaac’s shuttle was picked up by Recovery Patrol X22376 commanded by Captain Maxmillian Reinhardt and Xander Sklar.
After his rescue, Isaac was placed in a stasis chamber and taken to Titan Station. There, he, alongside scientist Nolan Stross and several others, would spend the next three years subjected to experimentation by Earth Government in Project Telomere. Isaac was confined to the psych ward in Titan Memorial Medical Center and was diagnosed with dementia and post-traumatic stress disorder. Using the information imprinted on his mind by Marker 3A, memory suppressants were used to keep him and the others in check as they manufactured the blueprint that would allow the Earth Government to build the Site 12 Marker.
Titan Station OutbreakEdit
When a Necromorph infestation suddenly ravaged the Sprawl, Isaac awoke in a hospital and was freed by Franco Delille, who was then transformed into a Necromorph, after escaping the overrun hospital he was forced to make his way to a woman named Daina, Franco’s superior. As a result of stasis and the memory suppressants, Isaac was unable to remember the past three years or how he had ended up on the Sprawl. Daina claimed that she could cure Clarke’s dementia, which was allegedly killing him. Left with no choice, Isaac made his way to Daina, surviving encounters with Necromorphs, insane survivors and Earth Government troops ordered to kill him, led by the Titan Station Director Hans Tiedemann.
Along the way, Isaac experienced more disturbing hallucinations from his dementia, most notably apparitions of Nicole. Eventually, Isaac made his way through the Sprawl’s Church of Unitology to Daina’s location, only to find out that she was a devout Unitologist fanatic sent to capture him. It became clear that, as well as being forced to survive the Necromorph onslaught, Isaac was also caught in the middle of a growing conflict between the Earth Government and the Church of Unitology. Both sought to possess Isaac because the Red Marker from the previous Aegis VII Incident had left the knowledge of how to build Markers in Isaac’s mind. The Government was after that technology to study its effects and possibly develop it into a weapon, while Unitologist fanatics wished to build their own Markers in the interests of their faith.
Isaac was saved from capture by a Government gunship, which killed all Unitologists present, and forced Isaac into a maintenance hallway. There, Isaac was attacked by a massive Necromorph and, as he escaped, managed to destroy both his pursuers. Helpless, with no contacts or a feasible escape plan, Isaac was contacted by fellow test subject Nolan Stross. Isaac encountered Stross several times before, during which Stross revealed that he also encountered the Red Marker and was used to build new ones alongside Isaac.
Stross informed Isaac that there is a way to destroy the new Marker and guided him to its location. Along the way, Isaac encountered another survivor, Ellie Langford, who rejected his offer of help and absconded. Some time later Isaac was contacted by Ellie, who found Stross on her way towards Government Sector. Agreeing to work together and to keeping Stross alive, Isaac made his way to them. Despite several attempts by Director Tiedemann to thwart Isaac’s efforts, including forcibly separating a portion of the Sprawl, Isaac, Ellie and Stross were still able to progress.
During these events, Isaac discovered the recovered USG Ishimura, almost fully repaired, and was forced on board to use the gravity tethers to prevent the government section from drifting away from the Sprawl. As Isaac traveled the ship’s halls, his hallucinations became more aggressive and frequent. Eventually, however, Stross’ already weak mental state collapsed and he attacked Ellie, removing one of her eyes. The insane Stross later attacked Isaac, who was forced to kill him. Making his way to Ellie through a mining area, the Nicole apparition attacked Isaac and demanded why he held on to her memory.
Isaac revealed that he was obsessed and riddled with guilt because he convinced her to board the Ishimura in the first place, thus resulting in her death. He could not let her go because she was the only thing in the world that still mattered to him. The Nicole apparition was seemingly satisfied with this answer, and revealed that "acceptance" was the final step in Isaac’s recovery. Using a mining drill, Isaac and Ellie made their way to the Government Sector, where Ellie found a working gunship.
After a moment of contemplation, Isaac activated the gunship from outside, instructing Ellie to leave him and escape. Assuring the heartbroken Ellie that she would be safe, Isaac kept going to the Marker’s location. As Nicole’s illusion guided Isaac to the Marker, he remained uncertain of his subsequent actions. He was also forced to evade Tiedemann’s personal troops, thwarting them by cutting the power to the sector and letting a horde of Necromorphs loose on the security force. Continuing his way to the Marker, Isaac came to a machine which was the subject of Stross’ mental state. The machine activated the parts of Isaac’s brain where the Marker code, along with his lost memories, were stored. At this period, the Necromorphs had already reached the Marker in numbers sufficient to initiate a convergence event.
Hunted by the deadly Ubermorph, Isaac was able to make his way to the Marker, where an angry and partially burned Tiedemann awaited him. After Isaac disarmed and killed Tiedemann, Nicole’s apparition embraced him in front of the Marker and told him that he had to die, as the Marker had to inherit all of its creators to be complete or become annihilated in the Convergence taking the whole station with it. Isaac entered a state of limbo, in which he mentally managed to break free of the Marker’s influence.
As soon as Isaac regained sanity, he resigned himself to his death. This, however, was not to pass. Ellie was able to collect him with the gunship Isaac sent her away in by bursting through the roof of the room where The Marker was kept in. As she navigates through the collapsing Titan Station Isaac engages the thrusters on his suit and boosts to the ship moments before the whole sector collapses. Isaac, haunted by his past, expected all this to be another cruel hallucination. Thankfully, all that sat beside him was a grateful Ellie.
After escaping Titan Station, Isaac and Ellie went into hiding. They became romantically involved and took up residence in Earthrise Apartments on Luna’s New Horizons Lunar Colony. Despite having freed himself from the Marker’s mental grip, Isaac was still suffering from the effects of the Marker, his mind containing the secrets to creating and destroying them. Isaac’s inability to move on from the past eventually caused their relationship to deteriorate; Ellie ended their relationship and left Isaac.
On his own, Isaac continued to run from his past, unaware of the escalation of events between EarthGov and the Unitologists, still distraught over losing Ellie. One day, however, without warning, his apartment is infiltrated; Isaac is attacked by Sergeant John Carver and Captain Robert Norton of the Earth Defense Force. Norton explained, briefly, that they needed him to come to Tau Volantis to stop the Markers. Isaac initially refused. However, when he is told that Ellie went there and is currently missing, he cooperates with Norton and Carver.
New Horizons is attacked by the Circle, a militant Unitologist sect under the leadership of Jacob Danik. Along the way, Isaac discovers that Danik worked to destroy EarthGov. Separated from Carver and Norton, Isaac was briefly captured by Danik, who explained his intentions with the sabotage and murder of the civilians on the colony. He forced Isaac to watch the destruction of the colony’s Marker test lab. After escaping Danik and making his way through the infected city, Isaac escaped aboard the USM Eudora with Norton and Carver.
Upon arrival to Tau Volantis, the USM Eudora was bombarded by remote mines in the debris field above the planet. Isaac quickly devised a plan to secure pilot’s Mark Rosen and Locke in an airtight room. The destruction of the Eudora sent the room flying headlong into debris, Isaac, Carver, and Norton close behind in suits.
The crew managed to survive the hectic ordeal and board one of the abandoned ships, the CMS Roanoke. Isaac reunited with the crew of the Eudora and Ellie, who is romantically involved with Norton. Technician, Jennifer Santos and Marker Operative, Austin Buckell, find a shuttle in poor condition aboard the Terra Nova, the CMS Crozier.
Ellie reported that the Captain of the Roanoke wrote Marker inscriptions on the wall of her room that may provide further leads. After investigating, Isaac deciphered the writing and revealed that the Captain discovered a Machine that can control the Markers and was obsessed with the phrase "turn it off". Ellie concluded that Tau Volantis is the Marker home world. Norton spoke out urgently in favor of escaping to safety, but Isaac, Ellie and the Marker Ops team opted to continue the mission. They found a spare shuttle abroad the Terra Nova capable of descending to the planet’s surface.
Norton claimed that Isaac was siding with Ellie because he still had feelings for her. He implored Isaac to abandon the mission for the sake of Ellie’s safety, pointing out that there was little hope of success and a significant chance they’d all be killed, but Isaac contended that everyone will die if they give up. Norton continued voicing doubts about the mission, yet, after the shuttle was secured, the team boarded and proceeded to enter the atmosphere of Tau Volantis.
During the landing sequence the ship was knocked off course and crashed, killing Locke and Rosen and separating Isaac from the rest of the group. Isaac woke on the frozen planet suffering from severe hypothermia, but warmed himself from piles of burning debris. Desperately searching through the wreckage of the ship, Isaac was greatly relieved to find a video recorded by Ellie and the other survivors. Isaac proceeded to follow their trail of flares into a building, where he finds Buckell, lying on the floor.
After a brief talk, Buckell succumbs to his injuries. After some searching, Isaac found a RIG designed to withstand freezing temperatures. Isaac catches up to Ellie and the team. In the meantime, Santos had successfully recovered fragments of written information on an experiment that would help them. While attempting to reach the warehouse, they were attacked by Danik and his soldiers. Isaac was separated from the team, but managed to escape from the Unitologists and regroup in the warehouse.
In the warehouse was a giant frozen Necromorph, known as the Nexus, which contained signals within its body that could be tracked back to the machine. While attempting to thaw it and triangulate the signal, Isaac, Norton and Carver were ambushed and captured by Danik’s soldiers. Danik revealed that it was Norton that led them to the planet under the pretense that he and the others would be given a shuttle if Isaac was surrendered to him. However, Danik reneged on their deal, intending to execute all of them. Isaac attacked Danik; he, Carver and Norton were able to fend the Circle off long enough to regain a mild advantage. However, the emergence of the Nexus altered their situation; Isaac is sucked into the belly of the beast and forced to shoot his way out. In the ensuing confusion, Norton became hostile and began blaming Isaac for all of their misfortunes.
Norton fires at Isaac and Carver, at which point Isaac fired back in self-defense, shooting Norton in the head. After regrouping, Isaac tried to explain to Ellie what happened but she refused to listen to him. Santos uncovered information about a device the researchers referred to as the Codex and a guide known as Rosetta in a lab on top of a nearby mountain. The group ascended the mountain, but a creature called the Snow Beast attacked when Santos was on the cargo cage. Carver severed the main cable, disconnecting it and sacrificing Santos to prevent the entire cliff side from collapsing.
Isaac eventually kills the Snow Beast by pulling it apart with engine-powered harpoons and reunites with Ellie and Carver at the lab. As they explored the lab, they discovered that Rosetta was an alien dissected and carved up into separate sections. Rosetta possessed information about the Codex, the Markers, and the Convergence Event.
When all of the pieces of Rosetta were combined and scanned, Isaac was able to use the lab’s equipment to experience Rosetta’s memories: Rosetta was one of the planet’s inhabitants that uncovered a Black Marker. This eventually led to a cataclysmic Necromorph infestation. After securing control over sufficient biomass, the Convergence Event began. The event involved a massive transfer of organic matter, Necromorph mass, and other materials into orbit along with the Marker to create a Brother Moon, the same moon orbiting Tau Volantis.
Despite the imminent extinction of their species, the aliens used the last of their resources to construct an unimaginably powerful city-sized machine which managed to quickly freeze the largely ocean world of Tau Volantis, halting the Convergence Event.
Isaac unknowingly reveals much of this in front of Danik who then stole the Codex. He tries to stop them by using the decontamination protocol, but Danik escapes. The room filled with corrosive lethal gas which trapped Ellie and separated her from Isaac. Seeing no way out, Ellie tearfully told Isaac to close the doors so he and Carver could escape.
Enraged by the loss of Ellie, Isaac and Carver relentlessly pursued Danik, decimating the remaining Unitologist soldiers along the way. They recovered the Codex from Danik and then descended to the buried alien city where they discover how to use the Machine. At the Machine’s core, Danik waited with Ellie, who had found a way to escape the gas but had been captured by Unitologist reinforcements. Danik threatened to kill Ellie unless Isaac gave him the Codex.
Carver, believing in redemption, grabbed the Codex from Isaac and threw it to Danik, who let go of Ellie to catch it. Danik immediately used it to turn off the Machine, resuming the Convergence Event. The incomplete Brethren Moon, free of the Machine’s control, descended towards Tau Volantis, instantly stripping away the surface layers of the planet under which the city and the Machine are buried. The ancient alien necropolis began to disintegrate as it ascended to be consumed.
Enraptured by his success Danik was unceremoniously impaled and killed by a piece of falling debris. Realizing that there was no way to stop such an overwhelming force and escape safely, Isaac kissed Ellie goodbye, and she escaped on a shuttle. Isaac and Carver then worked together to fight their way through the crumbling flying city to the Codex. Being pulled up into the moon-sized organism, they managed to reactivate the Machine and set it to its original function, which stops the Event and causes the moon to crash into Tau Volantis along with the remains of the alien city.
Ellie grieved for Isaac, but took solace in realizing her ship's instruments no longer detect the Marker signal. The Necromorph Moon was now falling apart as it descended into and merged with the planet in a horrific cataclysm. Ellie set a course for Earth and left the orbit of Tau Volantis.
Later, Isaac’s voice is heard calling out for Ellie followed by the sound of Isaac’s breathing apparatus.
Isaac and Carver wake up underground after reactivating the Machine and destroying the Brother Moon. After claiming a Unitologist ship, they escape the planet, only to find they cannot go back home without the ShockPoint Drive which happens to be on the Terra Nova, the last surviving ship in the Sovereign Colonies Armed Forces flotilla.
The two defeated the newly formed Unitologist Cult and their so-called prophet and piloted the Terra Nova back to Earth, only to discover the other Brethren Moons have already arrived. One of the Moons arises, causing both Isaac and Carver to suffer further damage from dementia. The Terra Nova starts to crash into the lunar colony on the Earth's moon and the screen cuts to black, their status currently unknown.
Even before the events of Dead Space, Isaac Clarke had strong resentment for Unitologists, an emotion that originated from the actions of his mother, who had spent the family funds on exploring Unitology. After the events of Dead Space, this feeling would mutate from distrust into hatred. Isaac enrolled in the electrical and mechanical engineering course, joined the Merchant Marines and focused on major shipping lines. Isaac then tried to find out where his father was, but he had been missing for quite some time and his personal files were kept classified by EarthGov. Isaac loved Nicole deeply, as shown by his determination to find her among the infested USG Ishimura. Isaac was also heavily distraught after finding out that Nicole had committed suicide during the initial Necromorph infestation and that his visions up to that point were merely hallucinations caused by the Markers.
Even three years later, during the events on the Sprawl, Isaac found himself unable to let go of Nicole, and was saddened and weakened by her continuous psychological presence. Fortunately, as Isaac traveled deeper into the Sprawl, he displayed strength against Nicole and was increasingly more willing to let go of her. Even so, Isaac was consumed with guilt over the death of Nicole, as he had encouraged her to take up a post on the USG Ishimura.
He is a selfless and determined individual as shown throughout the series. Some examples are him activating a gunship so Ellie can be rescued despite her protests not wanting her to end up like Nicole, and him trying to save a fellow engineer (Santos) from a cable car under attack by a large Necromorph when doing so was dangerous to his own life -- when Carver cut out the cable from the car and send both the engineer and the monster to their deaths, Isaac was angry and distraught.
As a CEC Engineer, Isaac is extremely resourceful. He displays his best abilities in hacking, repairing and dismantling technological machines. An example of this came about during the Sprawl outbreak, where he dismantled a Kinesis Therapy machine box in the hospital and removed its Kinesis Module for his own uses, along with a Stasis Module some time later. Also, he was able to improvise the creation of a Plasma Cutter using a flashlight and a surgical module when he tried to help a survivor. Due to his experience on the USG Ishimura and the betrayal of Kendra, Isaac was understandably slow to trust the people around him. However, he would still go out of his way to help others if the situation allowed for it.