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"Let's get one thing straight, Clarke: we came to this frozen shit-hole to stop the Markers. And nothing — not you - or your obsession with Ellie — is gonna get in my way. You got that?"

Sergeant John Carver (EarthGov ID 0023-01) is a soldier of the Earth Defense Force's Special Ops branch.[4]

A survivor of the Necromorph outbreaks on Uxor and Keyhole Station, Carver aided Isaac Clarke in the completion of his late wife Damara's mission to destroy the apparent source of the Marker signal on Tau Volantis.[5]


Career and Family Life[]

"Damara - by the time you get this, I'll be... things will be better for you once I'm gone. I can't be the husband you need and we both know I couldn't have been a worse father for Dylan. I only hope that, with me out of the picture, the two of you can have the life that you deserve. Love you, Damara."
—Carver's final words before intending to commit suicide, shortly before his wife entered the room.[6]

John Carver was born on Mars on April 21, 2477. At some point in his life, he joined the Earth Defense Force Special Ops division and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. He was commissioned twice and gained nine commendations before being demoted back to grunt-level status.[7]

Carver family photo

A photo of Damara and Dylan.

At some point in his career, John met a woman named Damara and together they had a child whom they named Dylan. In the logs that Carver recalled during his hallucinations on Tau Volantis and also in an audio log on the USM Eudora, it was revealed that Carver had a difficult time adjusting to family life and spending time with his wife and son, which caused him to become irritable and even insubordinate, as he was once placed on administrative leave to be with his family after assaulting his superior officer (possibly the same incident that caused his demotion).[4][8] His anger issues also led to at least one incident of domestic violence involving Dylan.[9]

After Dylan told his mother that he wanted to grow up to be a soldier like his father, Damara bought him a toy soldier on John's behalf for his birthday, prompting John to react with fear.[10] Haunted by his actions as a soldier[11] and thinking that he was not a worthy father for not being there for his son and wife, John made a recording of his supposedly final words and was about to commit suicide when Damara entered the room that he was in. As Damara was horrified by what she was witnessing, John quickly lied and stated that he was just thinking.[6] Regardless, he began spending more and more time away from home to avoid his belief that he was a failure as a father and husband, further straining his relationship with his wife.

At some point, the family moved to an EarthGov research facility on Uxor that housed a Red Marker. Carver was tasked with guarding the facility.

Uxor Incident[]

John Carver

Carver on patrol on Uxor.

At an unspecified point in time, John Carver got into an argument with the captain of the Earth Defense Force unit stationed on Uxor and smashed the captain's vidscreen in a fit of anger.[12] He believed that the captain was spreading the troops on the planet too thin. As possible punishment for his actions, Carver was assigned to patrol the perimeter nearest to the Marker Shroud 4 site.

Damara contacted him while he was on patrol, frustrated with his behavior. On top of missing Dylan's bedtime, his actions cost the family promised vacation time.[13] Equally as frustrated with his own behavior as his wife was, Carver suggested that they may be better off without him after Damara made an offhand comment about raising Dylan "on her own". However, their argument was cut short when Carver discovered a sabotaged scanner and a long-sight laser marker triangulated on the position of the Marker's containment dome. Realizing too late what was happening, Carver warned Damara and Dylan to get to safety as a missile destroyed the Marker's signal suppression dome.


Carver barely recovered from the explosion before an EMP from the Marker took out the surrounding tech, bringing a large ship crashing down on the residential complexes. Fearing the worst, Carver rushed to reach his wife and son. However, he was quickly attacked by Necromorphs. Inside the colony, he was captured by the Circle, an extremist Unitologist group led by Jacob Danik.

Their attempt to get answers from him unearthed information about his family and his wife's work on the Markers, and Danik left Carver under guard while he went to dispose of the rest of the family. In a fit of rage, Carver broke free and attacked the remaining Circle members. After a successful escape, he reached his home. To his horror, he discovered that Dylan and Damara were dead and their bodies had been transformed into Necromorphs. He was forced to gun them down all the while apologizing for failing them. With his wife and child dead, Carver suffered an emotional breakdown and was about to commit suicide when Ellie Langford, an old friend of Damara's from when Carver was stationed on Haven Prime, contacted the apartment, trying to reach her.

Carver heard Ellie out, learning of his wife's research and its importance to Ellie, and grabbed the data stick that his wife hid in a stuffed doll. Knowing that the transmissions were likely being monitored, he used Ellie as bait to lure the Circle out into the open in order to spring their trap. Robert Norton and the USM Eudora arrived in time to get them safely off the planet.

Continuing Damara's Legacy[]

The data stick contained precious information and a message from his wife explaining that she had found the source of the Marker signal. Carver, proud of his wife's endeavors, decided to help Robert and Ellie to see Damara's mission through. Their first destination was Ptolemy Station, but as they made their way to the station, the crew realized that the Circle was there and the station was infested by the Necromorphs. Nevertheless, they managed to locate the master Marker signal and headed out. After destroying the station, they headed to Keyhole Station in order to get the beacon necessary to reach the Marker signal's apparent origin. During the transit, Ellie and Carver bonded. Carver expressed his guilt to a silent Ellie, reaffirming that he could set things right if he could successfully complete his wife's work.

On Keyhole Station, Carver, Norton and Ellie were separated by the combined efforts of the Necromorphs aboard and the Circle attacking the station's exterior. As Carver and Norton were unable to reach her, Ellie decided to make the blind jump to Tau Volantis without them, knowing that they would follow after her. They destroyed both the ShockRing and the station to prevent Danik and his men from following Ellie. Afterwards, Norton decided that it was time to begin the search for Isaac Clarke.

Events of Dead Space 3[]

DS3 Carver Captures Isaac

Carver captures Isaac Clarke in his apartment on the New Horizons Lunar Colony.

After some time, Carver and Norton finally located Clarke on the New Horizons Lunar Colony in the Earthrise Apartments. However, the Unitologists had already made it there and began their first step of plunging the city into chaos. Through unknown means, Carver infiltrated Clarke's apartment, allowing Norton to distract the engineer long enough for Carver to blindside him. Carver held him down at gunpoint as Norton explained the situation to Clarke just as the Circle attacked the concourse. Isaac agreed to help the two as the Unitologists were destroying the colony in an attempt to locate Clarke. On their way to be extracted, Norton and Carver explained to Clarke that they were the last remnants of EarthGov's military forces; the Circle having decimated EarthGov's strength in recent weeks. As they arrived at the extraction site, the Unitologist fanatics attacked the trio. After a brief gunfight, a suicide bomber destroyed their getaway car and knocked Isaac and Carver into a nearby sewage ravine, separating them from Norton.

With their plans sidetracked, the two had to fight their way to the extraction site where an EarthGov unit was waiting for them while the Unitologists attempted to slow them down. Upon arriving at the rendezvous point, they found the Unitologists had discovered the extraction team and watched as they executed the last of them. Outnumbered, they were quickly subdued by the Unitologists, with Danik forcing Isaac to witness as he blew the city's Marker containment shroud protecting the outside from the Marker's signal. Danik prepared to execute Isaac, but he managed to evade the shot, falling to a pile of corpses below and blacking out for some time.

DS3 Carver Helps Isaac

Carver helps Isaac onto the USM Eudora.

Later, Isaac and Carver woke up with all hell breaking loose as the dead rose as Necromorphs and started ravaging the colony. Due to the outbreak, they managed to evade the Unitologists long enough to head to their final destination, Washington Station, encountering swarms of Necromorphs in the process. Making their way to the train station and boarding a train out of the city, the Unitologists finally caught up with them, with the USM Eudora arriving just in time to save Clarke and Carver from certain death.[14]

Arriving at Tau Volantis[]

Isaac: "What was it, Carver? What did it show you?"
Carver: "What do you mean?"
Isaac: "The Marker. You saw something, didn't you?"
Carver: "I don't know what you're talking about. Let's just.... forget about this and find a way down to the planet. Alright?"
—Isaac and Carver after their encounter with the Brusilov Marker.
DS3 Isaac and Carver

Carver and Isaac explore the derelict SCAF flotilla.

During the transit through ShockSpace, Clarke woke up and noticed Carver sitting next to him. He attempted to make small talk with Carver, inquiring about his son and offering his sympathies when he was told that Carver's family was killed by Danik. Carver made it clear to Clarke that the two of them were not friends and a stronger effort to cooperate with their mission was mandatory.[15] Norton directed the two to get to the bridge while briefing the crew on their mission. Upon arriving at the bridge, the USM Eudora deshocked to Tau Volantis and they realized that the planet's orbit was littered with old junk from the Sovereign Colonies' ships before they picked up Ellie's distress beacon. However, the Eudora was soon bombarded with mines from the Sovereign Colonies' fleet and sustained heavy damage.

Norton tended to keeping their pilots Mark Rosen and Locke alive within a sealed room while Clarke along with Carver went to secure an EVA Suit for the engineer, barely managing to put it on him just in time. Once Clarke released the room from its seals, it was blown into the debris of the flotilla. Carver, Norton and Clarke fought to keep the box in control while they veered out of the path of the mines. They soon regained control of the sealed room and headed for the CMS Roanoke where they noticed bloodstains and coffins, with Carver realizing that there had been executions.[16]

DS3 Carver Brusilov Hallucination 1

Carver hallucinates a toy soldier in front of the Red Marker on the CMS Brusilov.

DS3 Carver Brusilov Hallucination 2

Carver picks up the imaginary toy soldier.

DS3 Carver Brusilov Hallucination 3

Isaac tries to snap Carver out of his dementia.

Realizing that the ship was not so dead after all, they encountered several Necromorphs on their way toward Ellie's distress beacon as well as managing to reactivate the ship's core. With the power up and running, they finally found Ellie, Santos and Austin Buckell. Carver was dismissive of Clarke's feelings in regards to Norton and Ellie when the engineer rebuked him for not being informed about their relationship. The duo arrived at Marjorie Graves' quarters, where Clarke discovered that Graves was obsessed with building a key to a Machine that could "control" the Markers. Ellie assumed that they had found the "Marker Homeworld" and they combined their efforts in figuring out how to get down to the planet.

During the salvage of parts, Carver overheard the voice of his son begging for help and decided to investigate the CMS Brusilov.[17] Inside, Carver continued to hear his son. The two restored the life support systems to the ship and discovered a small Red Marker surrounded by bodies. Despite Clarke's efforts to stop him, Carver approached a toy soldier sitting on the floor, before they were ambushed by Necromorphs who destroyed the life support systems. Once they escaped, Clarke asked what the Marker showed Carver. Carver avoided the question.

Descent to Tau Volantis[]

"We see what we want to, John."
—The voice of Carver's deceased wife, Damara, on Tau Volantis.

After the CMS Crozier was repaired, Carver and the others used the flight path to head down to the planet.[18] The shuttle, however, was severely damaged and crashed upon re-entry. Separated from the others, Clarke and Carver struggled through the freezing temperatures of the storm system. They took shelter inside a bunker where they found Buckell moments before he died from hypothermia. The others managed to find suits to keep them warm, but Buckell chose to remain behind, too afraid of what lurked below on the lower level to search for another suit. Carver and Clarke butted heads during the search to find the others, with Carver's point of contention being Clarke's obsession with Ellie and his apparent disregard for the mission itself. Eventually, they regrouped with the others, who had discovered a means to locate the Machine that Graves mentioned.[3]


Isaac Clarke and John Carver working together on Tau Volantis.

The unexpected appearance of the Circle separated Clarke and Carver from the group and they were forced to fight their way through the Unitologists as they began to swarm the dig site. Once they lost them, they regrouped with Santos and the others in the warehouse in time to hear how they planned to locate the signal of the Machine using the corpse of a massive Necromorph called the “Nexus". Restoring power to the generator, Carver and Clarke needed to collect the parts necessary to build a sensor.

DS3 Carver sees Damara

Carver sees his deceased wife, Damara, on the surface of Tau Volantis.

Carver and Clarke then headed for the path that would take them to the warehouse. Off in the distance, Carver saw his wife, bloodied, crying and shaking from the cold.[19] Clarke, unaware of what the soldier was seeing and wanting to make sure that he was okay, decided to follow him when he said that he had seen a woman. Heading inside the Archaeology Warehouse, the elevator broke down and Carver began to experience acute hallucinations of his family with their eyes gouged out on the walls of the elevator.

DS3 Carver We See What We Want To 1

Carver sees a disturbing picture of Damara and Dylan.

DS3 Carver Dead Family Hallucination 2

Carver sees a memorial to his dead wife and son.

Inside the warehouse, tin soldiers were lined up against the walls and containers, varying in size. Voices of his wife and son haunted Carver the further inside the warehouse that they went. Visions of children's toys, presents, party streamers adorned with messages ("Daddy hates me", "Dead inside", "Like father like son") fed into Carver's hysteria. The whole time, Clarke remained silent as they fought through the underground. Upon reaching the end of the warehouse, Carver blacked out and Clarke revealed that they had been standing in the elevator for over five minutes. They returned to the surface and Carver was visibly shaken by his experience.[19]

The parts that they found allowed them to build a sensor and locate over a thousand signals beneath the surface of the planet. Santos and Ellie headed out of the complex while Clarke and Carver were left with Norton, who locked them in the cage. Norton was subdued by Jacob Danik and his men moments before Clarke and Carver joined them. Carver was enraged when he learned that Norton had betrayed them to Danik for his and the others' survival in exchange for Clarke.

DS3 Carver vs Circle

Carver prepares to shoot a member of the Circle.

Clarke managed to prevent Norton's execution, allowing the three to gain the upper hand on the Unitologists. Their firefight, however, was short lived, as the Nexus appeared and attacked them. Carver and Clarke managed to get Norton out of the line of danger before battling the massive creature. After Clarke and Carver killed and escaped the belly of the beast, they were attacked by a hysterical Norton who laid the blame of their situation on Clarke. Clarke then killed him with a shot to the head.[20]

Carver justified killing Norton, reminding Clarke that he had no choice in the matter. Regrouping with Ellie and Santos, the news about Norton's death did not go over well. Santos believed that the mission was lost, but Carver reminded her that she would be left behind if she became a liability. Ellie and Santos stayed behind while Clarke and Carver climbed the cliffs, on top of which they found a cargo cage for them to use and later located the winch to reactivate the cage's generator. Ellie exited the cage seconds before the beast that had hunted Isaac and Carver appeared and grabbed onto the cage, endangering Santos. Isaac tried to save her, but Carver, realizing that they would be dragged down along with the face of the cliff, cut the wire rope of the cage at its base, killing Santos.[21] Clarke and Carver were then separated from Ellie when the Necromorph attacked the cliff and pulled them down with the collapsing structure.

Facing "Damara"[]

"You have nothing left, John. No wife. No son. No soul. No will to live."
—"Damara" to Carver during one of his hallucinations.
DS3 Carver What Are You Afraid Of

A bloodied Damara appears to Carver, asking him "What are you afraid of?"

After rendezvousing with Ellie at the "Rosetta" Lab, Carver and Clarke set out to search for the pieces of Rosetta. Carver once again began to experience hallucinations of tin soldiers and saw visions of his wife imposed over Clarke's face.[22] They headed down into the warehouse where Carver was taken to a landscape similar to the one that Clarke experienced when facing "Nicole" at the Site 12 Marker. The landscape was covered with birthday presents, jagged stone and photographs of Damara and Dylan.

DS3 Carver Dementia Land

Carver battles through a "dementia land".

DS3 Carver Marker

Carver faces a Red Marker in the "dementia land".

The voice of Damara spoke to Carver, taunting him about how he had "nothing left" and beckoning him to join his family in death, stating that with his death the family would be "made whole again." Each time that Carver was pulled out of the world, Clarke told him that he did not need to face the Marker. Carver, determined to face it, was repeatedly taken into the world inside his mind and faced off against several shadow creatures. He got close enough to the Marker to shatter it with his weapon and broke the connection. When he came to again, he and Clarke were standing in front of a damaged Marker. Afterwards, Carver reminded Clarke about their conversation earlier, telling Clarke that he would see the price for the things that he did "paid."

Retrieving all of the pieces of Rosetta, they discovered that the pieces were of alien origin. Activating the Codex, Clarke learned that the Alien Machine that they were searching for prevented the true source of the "Marker signal", the Moon above the planet, from being made whole with Convergence. Danik reached their location while Clarke was preoccupied, and apprehended the Codex as soon as the engineer recovered. Clarke activated the decontamination system, flooding the room with the toxin. After Carver and Clarke escaped the room, they needed to close the door manually, and Ellie urged them to go on without her, believing herself lost to the decontamination process. Closing the door, the two resolved themselves to completing the mission.[23]


Carver convinces Clarke to continue the mission despite the loss of Ellie.

The pursuit of Danik led them down into a strange alien city.[24][25] Observing the massive landscape below, Carver asked Clarke to finish the mission if he did not make it, hoping that his efforts so far would count for something. Clarke reassured him that they both would get this done and told Carver that he was a good man. Following the audio logs of Earl Serrano, Carver and Clarke quickly realized that the city was the dormant Machine that the scientist spoke about. Using the promenade, they travelled through the Machine city to reach the control center for the Codex.

After they configured the Machine, Danik tried to use Ellie, who had survived the decontamination protocol, to stop them from destroying the Moon. Carver, believing that Clarke had a second chance with Ellie, reminded him to "not let everything go dark" and threw the Codex to Danik. The Unitologist deactivated the Machine, restarting the Convergence Event, and was killed shortly after by the falling debris. As Ellie prepared to leave, Carver told her to return to Earth and warn "them" about what she knew.[26]

Separated, Carver and Clarke fought their way back to the Machine. They came face to face with the "Moon", a Necromorph of impressive size. They battled it and the horde of Necromorphs that it spawned. After severely damaging the "Moon", Clarke and Carver used the Kinesis plate to pull the Machine free from the injured creature. Upon making it to the island, Carver helped the injured Clarke up onto the island over to the Machine. Activating it sent a pulse through them and the surrounding area, and Carver was blown off the crumbling island as the Convergence Event was halted and the "Moon" was crushed into the planet.[27]


DS3 Awakened Brethren Moons at Earth

Carver and Clarke watch as the Brethren Moons converge on Earth.

It appeared that Carver as well as Isaac survived after reactivating the Machine, as their goal became escaping from Tau Volantis to get back to Earth on the CMS Terra Nova while fighting the New Unitologist Cult. During this fight, the Brethren Moons attempted to turn Isaac and Carver against each other by making Isaac believe the pair would lead the Brethren Moons to Earth if they returned home (while in actuality, the Moons were already en route and simply wished to prevent them from warning Earth in time).

The two defeated the newly formed Unitologist Cult and their so-called prophet and piloted the Terra Nova back to Earth, only to discover that the Brethren Moons had already arrived. One of the Moons arose, causing both Isaac and Carver to suffer further damage from dementia as the Moon closed in on the Terra Nova. Their statuses are currently unknown.


"What are you looking for, John? Forgiveness? Because you couldn't be there for us? Because we died? But that wasn't the end, was it? We came back. And now it's time to join the party, John."
—A Marker-induced hallucination of Damara Carver to John on Tau Volantis.
DS3 Carver Render

Character render for John Carver.

Carver was an EarthGov soldier dedicated to his duty, willing to prioritize missions over the livelihood of himself and those who might accompany him. A solitary man, he played his emotions close to his chest, even in the company of his family. Several logs throughout Dead Space 3 suggested that Carver may be experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress and suicidal tendencies because of the things that he did as a soldier. An incident relating to the alleged abuse of his son suggested the starting point of his emotional distance from his family.[9]

After Carver was forced to kill his family following their transformation into Necromorphs on Uxor, the unresolved issues with them lowered Carver's already low opinion of himself. He thought that he was directly responsible for his wife's secrecy regarding the hidden information she unearthed about the Sovereign Colonies' research on the Markers, and his disdain for his position as a soldier revealed that he did not want his son following in his footsteps. Carver was quick to lose his temper at any given moment, which complicated both his military career and personal life, as he was quick to be standoffish, sarcastic and rude to others.

DS3 Carver Dead Inside

Carver sees a vision informing him that he is "dead inside".

Carver blamed himself for his family's death and believed that completing Damara's work and stopping the Markers was the only reason for him to stay alive. As he spent more time with Isaac and came closer to completing the mission and after confronting Damara's hallucination in his mind, he became slightly more understanding. He showed genuine sympathy for Isaac over Ellie's alleged death and entrusted him with finishing the mission should he not survive. Isaac calling him a good man seemed to brighten his spirits as well.


  • Carver is voiced by and modeled after actor Ricardo Chavira, who also voices Alejandro Borges in Dead Space: Aftermath.
  • In accordance with his military background, Carver's helmet vaguely resembles that of the Advanced Soldier RIG in appearance. Carver's armor is called the Special Forces Suit in-game. This RIG can only be worn by Carver.
  • The left side of Carver's face is noticeably damaged with large scars running down it. The origin of this facial damage is never revealed.
  • As a playable character in co-op, scripted events in Dead Space 3 change to accommodate Carver's presence and expand upon his own story with new dialogue.
  • According to producer John Calhoun, Carver's original name was "John Cooper" (a play on the term "co-op"). "Carver", a play on strategic dismemberment, was chosen instead during the last nine months of development.[28]
  • Carver's health and Stasis glows a darker shade of blue than most RIGs, and uses the original Dead Space horizontal pod-stack design as opposed to the diagonal-stack design from Dead Space 2; his visor glows red instead of emerald green as well.
  • Carver receives variations of each suit worn by Isaac Clarke. However, Carver's versions of these suits are somewhat the counterparts of Isaac's RIGs, as Carver's Legionary Suit uses the model of Isaac's Elite Suit and vice-versa. The armor values remains the same, however.
  • Carver's stance is different from Isaac's. Isaac, when walking and running, has his hands down and below his stomach. In contrast, Carver holds the butt of the gun towards his shoulder and the barrel down to his waist. Carver also holds a one-handed weapon with both hands.
  • In earlier screenshots and videos of Dead Space 3, Carver had Isaac's light blue RIG.
  • In an optional mission where Carver hallucinates, a pop-out sun appears sitting on a pile of objects inside Carver's head as a throwback to a similar moment in Dead Space 2's elementary school.
  • At a few points in the campaign, NPC Carver can be seen taking on the game's enemies. He is first seen shooting at Unitologist soldiers after Isaac meets Norton for the first time and the trio is ambushed by the fanatics. He is then seen killing several Necromorphs when Isaac rejoins the rest of the crew on Tau Volantis. Finally, he appears on a ledge, shooting at Danik and his soldiers, as Isaac chases Danik in the Research Compound's Silo down to the Alien Machine.
  • Ben Wanat, the former creative director of Dead Space, has revealed in an interview that he considered Carver as an option to be the protagonist of the canceled Dead Space 4 game, suggesting that he survived the Terra Nova crashing into one of the Brethren Moons.[29]


  • Xbox 360, PlayStation3 and PC: After falling off the cliff in Chapter 13, Carver may have Isaac's walking animation, instead of walking and running with both hands on the gun.
  • Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC: In the cinematic where Isaac, Norton, and Carver are captured and the Nexus appears, Carver may be frozen in a crouch position with no head, only the neck glove. When it comes time for Carver to throw Isaac his gun, it is will look as if it was picked up by an invisible force and thrown at Isaac.
  • Xbox 360, PC: In Chapters 17 and 18, sets of rooms may fail to load for the client playing as Carver, forcing him to fall out of the world. This also happens more frequently on the final cliff-climb sequence.
    • Another place this can happen is when Isaac or Carver descends in lifts, the character running on nothing until they reach certain parts (such as ramps or stairs) where they'll fall.
  • Xbox 360, PC: If a new game is started in Co-op, and the Carver player has a custom weapon equipped, it will not show up during the Chapter 1 introduction scene. Once the scene is over, Carver will appear as if he is holding nothing. Aiming or switching weapons causes them to appear normally.
  • In the Armory optional mission on single player, when Isaac retrieves the key to enter the last areas of the complex, Carver's dialog will suddenly appear for no reason out of nowhere as if that part of the game was never updated to single player.