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"Oh fuck, he's- he's circling the room. It's not like Clifton. It's like he's... hunting? Does he see me? No, the vents! He's going for the vents!"
—An Aegis VII Colony doctor observing a Leaper.[1]

Leapers are Necromorphs with the ability to leap long distances toward their prey. Sporting razor-sharp fangs along with a long scythe-tipped tail made from the victim's intestines and legs, they are extremely deadly foes.

Overview[]

"The... um, spatter on the glass is making observation difficult. I missed that Dr. Hogan is also transforming, but it's not the... His legs are elongating, somehow flaying themselves? And they're twisting with a m-mixture of his own... internal organs. Into a single appendage. It's like some sort of tail. His face is... contorting. His jaw is clenching and unclenching, it's... it's crunching on itself, and... Shit, several, ah, jaw-like appendages are... emerging from his... his mouth, but it can't, uh, accommodate the- Oh shit, his head is splitting open too, like Clifton's- I can't-"
—An Aegis VII Colony doctor describing the creation of a Leaper by the Marker signal.[1]
DSR Leaper Concept

Concept art of the Leaper in Dead Space (2023).

DS3 SCAF Leaper Study

A Leaper under study by the SCAF on Tau Volantis.

Leapers appear to be made from a single human corpse, with the host body's modifications serving to give the Necromorph vastly increased mobility. The musculature of the upper arm becomes more developed, and the fingers grow bladed claws for climbing and slashing with the hands becoming dislocated along with the thumbs moved to the back to create animal-like paws.

There is a slight lengthening of the vertebral ridges, and the flexibility of the spinal column is increased to help in locomotion. The legs are completely re-shaped: the muscle and bone is flayed, fused together, and lengthened into a single limb tipped with a sharp blade of considerable weight and durability. This tail is highly flexible, able to contract and coil into about a third of its original length. The Leaper uses its powerful tail to quickly launch the creature toward its victims or uses it to stab into its enemies in a similar fashion as a scorpion, as seen with Warren Eckhardt.

The cranial and sinus areas of the skull appear to have been dis-articulated from the neck, and the jaws have become heavily mutated. The upper sets of teeth are completely gone, along with most of the palate reaching back into the throat. In their place is a pair of multi-jointed appendages that bear sharp, bony fangs. The lower jaw is split into two curved mandibles ending in knife-like fangs.

Leaper tau volantis

A Leaper variant on Tau Volantis.

Another Leaper variant on Tau Volantis.

In Dead Space 3, the mummified Leapers—like most of the mummified Necromorphs—bear unique and bizarre mutations not seen in their “fresher” peers. Instead of massive fangs, a multitude of fingers have sprouted from around their mouths; similar supernumerary limbs and digits have grown seemingly at random from their bodies. They also retain scraps of the clothing they wore in life. The mummified variants of the Leaper that are seen in the events of Dead Space 3 seem to be a fusion of multiple corpses, rather than the being composed of a singular corpse.

Leapers have frequently been encountered in all known major Necromorph outbreaks (with the possible exception of the one which befell the Tau Volantis aliens millions of years ago). They are able to navigate Zero-G environments, crawling swiftly across surfaces or jumping between them to pursue prey.

Leapers appear to scout their possible victims by quickly flashing through open vents and rattlings in an attempt to scare its target and suddenly jump out of nowhere with its high speed and agility.

Deadspaceremake officialgameplaytrailer1 3

An Enhanced Leaper attacking Isaac Clarke.

Leapers also have an Enhanced form that are encountered later in the games. Enhanced Leapers are darker in color and possess glowing eyes. They are much tougher than normal Leapers, sometimes taking 2-3 shots from the Plasma Cutter (depending on which difficulty you chose) just to sever a limb. They are also capable of doing more damage than a normal Leaper.

Strategy[]

  • Cutting off just one arm will rob a Leaper of the ability to sprint and leap. If you cut off their tail, they will slow down but will still be able to jump, albeit a very short distance. Decapitation is ineffective.
    • In Dead Space: Extraction, the Leaper dies upon the severing of its tail, removing the need to cut off two or more limbs.
  • Stasis the Leaper, then move up to it and stomp. Depending on how close Isaac is to the creature, his attack may snap off an arm or even both, if standing right on top of it. Rarely on difficulties lesser than Zealot/Impossible will a Leaper ever survive such a stomp.
    • This is much less effective in Dead Space (2023), where even on Normal they will require many stomps and may not lose limbs at all before dying.
  • In Zero-Gravity environments, the Leaper moves more slowly because it must use its arms to anchor itself firmly to the deck. However, it also has an extended jump attack and can engage you from any direction. Since Leapers often travel with Lurkers in Zero-G, keep moving to dodge the Lurker barbs while you defend yourself from Leapers.
  • A reasonably upgraded Force Gun can stop a Leaper in the middle of a pounce, knocking them to the ground and stunning them; however, keep in mind that it can take several shots from primary fire to kill one depending on difficulty.
  • Any Leaper that has their arm cut off while not grounded (i.e. on a wall or leaping) is guaranteed to die immediately, regardless of how many limbs it still has intact.
    • You can take advantage of this if you know when a Leaper is entering the room from a vent; patiently wait for it to finish exiting the vent, then Stasis and quickly sever an arm for an easy kill.
  • A direct hit from a Force Grenade to a leaping Leaper can kill the beast in one shot and divert its trajectory away from you.
  • Stasis is much more valuable on Leapers from Dead Space 2, as those Leapers can move much faster and jump much further than they could in the original Dead Space, often jumping right on Isaac from across a large distance. They also have combo attacks, as they will jump on Isaac, staggering him, then immediately swinging their tail.

Trivia[]

  • The creation of a Leaper is detailed in a text log.
  • In the original Dead Space, there are rare instances where a Leaper may live if both its head and tail are dismembered, though it can still attack by clawing at Isaac.
  • The Enhanced Leaper is the only Necromorph to retain its full appearance throughout all 3 of the original games.
  • Despite being sharp and lethal, the Leaper's tail couldn't be used as a TK projectile in the first Dead Space. This is fixed in Dead Space 2 onward.
  • Visceral Games held a "Get Dismembered in Dead Space 2" contest, in which users submitted ideas for ways Isaac could dispatch an enemy as it grappled him. The winning entry would have their kill used in the game for Isaac and be featured as an NPC. The winning entry was a way to kill the Leaper, dubbed the "Meat Cello".
    • The Meat Cello grapple break was intended to cause the Leaper's head to be crushed as Isaac rips its tail off, resulting in its death; however, in the game Isaac will simply boot its head to pieces and then toss the (otherwise unharmed) creature over his shoulder, dazing it. This is most likely for balancing reasons, as a move capable of instantly killing an attacker the size of a leaper would most likely be spammed on higher difficulties.
  • In Dead Space 3, both Leaper variants can sometimes survive having both arms dismembered; they will drag their bodies towards their targets and slash with their tails. This is more frequent on higher difficulties.
  • Leapers have some similarities to scorpions and snakes, specifically their similar tails and the way their heads and mouth have mutated with 4 long, sharp teeth.

Errors[]

  • There is a glitch at the end of Chapter 11 of the original Dead Space that causes one of the Enhanced Leapers dismembered arms to become mysteriously elongated upon death. It usually happens when the player kills a Leaper right in front of the door that leads to the Hangar Bay, but it is unknown if there are any other factors that may cause it.
  • In Dead Space 3, Leapers sometimes will glitch, causing them to run in place or in circles, making them easy to kill.

Death Scenes[]

Leaper_Death_Scene_-_Dead_Space_Remake

Leaper Death Scene - Dead Space Remake

  • If Isaac fails to escape from the Leaper's mauling, it pins his arms to the floor, bites his head, and decapitates him. If Isaac succeeds, he will kick the Leaper off of him.
  • If Isaac is in low health when the Leaper strikes him, Isaac will simply get dismembered and collapse on the ground.
  • In Dead Space 2 and Dead Space 3, if Isaac is grabbed by a Leaper and succeeds in getting it off, he will throw the Leaper to the floor and pull on its tail while crushing its head under his boot. This was intended to cause the Leapers head to be crushed and its tail torn off, resulting in its death. This death was the winning entry of the "Get Dismembered in Dead Space 2" contest, however the Leaper's head just gets crushed, then Isaac throws the Leaper over his shoulder, where it will continue to attack without a head.
    • Dead_Space_2_-_Leaper_melee

      Dead Space 2 - Leaper melee

      It is possible to get around this. If Isaac pulls off the move in a narrow area with unaccessable "Death pits" like on the catwalks in Chapter 9, he will often throw the Leaper right over the edge where it will plummet to its death.
  • If Isaac is grabbed by an Enhanced Leaper and succeeds in getting it off, he will simply kick the Leaper off of him, similarly to Dead Space. This holds true for the Enhanced Leapers in Dead Space 3 as well.

Gallery[]

Concept Art[]

Screenshots[]

Videos[]

Dead_Space_1-3_-_Leaper_Sound_Effects_HD

Dead Space 1-3 - Leaper Sound Effects HD

Sources[]

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