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"And as far as manners go, I didn't pick them because they play nice with others. There's a reason they call the 163rd the "Reapers". These guys all cut their teeth doing wet work for us during Secessionist riots on Earth. They're the coldest bunch of killers you're ever going to find and they're my insurance that nothing's going to go wrong."
—Major General Spencer Mahad[1]

The 163rd Unit, nicknamed "The Reapers", was a fearsome unit in the Sovereign Colonies Armed Forces' 401st Division.[2][3] They served a major role in the Secession War back on Earth, such as controlling the Secessionist riots there.[1]

The Reapers were later stationed on Tau Volantis, specifically chosen by Major General Spencer Mahad to be his "insurance" against unforeseen difficulties.[1] The unit was at first stationed on the fleet's flagship, the CMS Roanoke, but later half of the unit was taken down to the planet. The unit even got their very own barracks located in Facility Two, next to the entrance to the Alien Machine. Scenario Five was presumably the reason why the unit was sent there.


Tau Volantis Expedition[]

"Would you mind telling me why I have to double-bunk half the officers on my ship so you can house your freeloading 163rd? They're rude and they don't do a single useful thing aboard my ship. Why are we wasting resources on this frivolous addition to the mission?"
—Admiral Marjorie Graves to General Mahad.[1]

The Reaper Unit was sent to Tau Volantis to serve as a safe-guard of General Mahad and his team. Mahad told Marjorie Graves, the admiral of the fleet stationed above the planet, to have the 163rd stationed on her ship, the CMS Roanoke. According to Graves, the Reapers were rude and did not do a part for the ship and the crew. Mahad agreed to have half of the unit's soldiers taken down to the planet once the dig teams had dug into the icy surface.


"They told me the only way I'd become a Reaper is if every last one of them miraculously died and I was the only one left who could take their place. Then they sent me packing. I got demoted to working in the pits. I credit my determination and strong work ethic for not giving up. In the dead of night, I returned to their barracks and went to their beds, silent, discreet. With a firm, swift stroke, their heads rolled away one at a time. One... Two... I counted as I cleaved. Three... Four...Scratching the notches into my axe. Five... Six... They couldn't refuse me now. Seven, eight, nine, ten... Fifteen heads later and I'm the 163rd. The most feared unit in the SCAF. I am the Reaper."
—PVT K. Myers[2]

At some point after their deployment on Tau Volantis's surface, the unit's "water boy" went missing and was replaced by a young SCAF soldier, Private K. Myers, who was eager to join the legendary "Reapers". Several members of the 163rd harassed the private, giving him demeaning tasks, primarily janitorial duties. Myers was eventually convinced by a unit member that if he performed his duties without cleaning himself for a week, the unit would consent to him joining the Reapers.[4] His task completed, Myers was instead humiliated and informed that the only way that he could join the 163rd was if everyone else in the unit was dead. Private Myers apparently took this literally and subsequently murdered all fifteen members of the 163rd stationed planetside, by chopping off their heads, in their sleep, with an axe. What became of Myers after his killing spree is unknown.[2]

What happened to the Reapers still stationed aboard the CMS Roanoke is unknown. It is presumed, due to their brainwashing, that they complied with the Scenario Five orders and committed suicide.

Events of Dead Space 3[]

"Christ! Somebody got chop-happy. There are severed heads everywhere."
Isaac Clarke upon entering the Reaper Barracks.

Dead Space 3 - Reaper Barracks Mission - Brainwashing video

A Scenario Five video playing in the Reaper Barracks.

After the rediscovery of Tau Volantis in the 26th century, several members of the Unitologist Circle managed to find an officer's access card to the barracks of the Reaper Unit in the Paleontology Sector of Facility Two. Inside, they were all killed by Necromorphs hiding within. Some time later, Isaac Clarke went to investigate the barracks, to search for any weapons that may have been stored there, and discovered the massacre that Myers committed with severed heads laying everywhere. The barracks seemed to be highly infested with Creepers and Shamblers that presumably were transformed from the heads that Myers cut off 200 years prior, using the bodies of the slain Unitologists.


The 163rd was issued the Elite Suit, a specialized variant of the standard Legionary Suit. The unit also used the Show Stopper submachine gun.


  • The logo in the barracks of the Reapers next to the elevator has an "RIP" graffiti written in blood on it.
  • Given the Reaper's reputation as merciless killers, as well as one of the S.C.A.F.'s most elite combat units, who would have no problem killing their comrades if ordered, their being "insurance" likely referred to the possibility of the Scenario Five order. The half of the unit stationed planetside had close proximity to the research labs to allow them to quickly eliminate those with the most knowledge of the research, as well as critical research materials/equipment. Meanwhile, the other half of the unit were left aboard the CMS Roanoke, the command ship of the orbital flotilla, which would allow them to quickly eliminate the flotilla's leadership and any critical data. This is all but confirmed as a film still playing in the Reaper's barracks is apparently a brainwashing program to ensure that they would have carried out a Scenario Five order without a second thought.
  • PVT Myer's murder of all members of the Reapers planetside prevented them from participating in the Scenario Five protocol. This is possibly why the "Rosetta" labs, and the materials in the research labs, were saved from destruction.