- "Isaac, it's me. I wish I could talk to you."
- —Nicole's Message to Isaac
Nicole Brennan was a Senior Medical Officer on the USG Ishimura during the Second Aegis VII Incident and an initial survivor of the Necromorph outbreak aboard the Ishimura. Prior to being assigned to the Ishimura, she had become Isaac Clarke's girlfriend. During the last moments of her life, Nicole tried to save as many survivors as she possibly could before eventually committing suicide.
After her death, she became a hallucination manifesting from Isaac's Marker-induced dementia, which haunted him throughout his struggle against the Unitologists and the Marker's continued machinations.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Personality
- 3 Trivia
- 4 Death Scenes
- 5 Gallery
- 6 Appearances
- 7 Notes
- 8 Sources
Prior to her attachment to the USG Ishimura, Nicole lived with her boyfriend, Isaac Clarke. She was uncertain about her future career aboard the Ishimura at first, but changed her mind when she was encouraged to take the job by Isaac.
Second Aegis VII Incident
Two days after her departure from Earth on the Ishimura, Nicole deferred to Dr. Terrence Kyne on the matter of Brant Harris’ deteriorating mental state. She believed that Harris showed no signs of recovery and should be locked up. Kyne, satisfied with her opinion asked her if she heard about the “horror stories” currently circulating about Aegis VII. Nicole made an insensitive remark about the Union Square Mass Suicide and their connection to Unitologists, inadvertently displeasing Kyne with her blanket statement on hysteria and religious zealotry.
Prior to the planet crack, Nicole contacted Isaac on Earth and thanked him for pushing her to take the offer to join the ship before it was decommissioned. Their conversation was cut short by connection problems and she promised to call him back.
On the day of the planet crack, Nicole and her partner, Perry dealt with the sick crewmen aboard the Ishimura. Nicole lied to Perry about being confident that the “no-fly” order would keep the Ishimura safe from the sickness affecting the planet. Secretly, Nicole believed that the no-fly order would do little to help them deal with the crewmen already going mad aboard the ship.
Sometime after the ship lost communications with the planet, Nicole's workload was doubled when the announcement of a “small outbreak” on the Crew Deck was announced. As she tended to her patients, Perry announced that they got wounded from the Flight Deck that needed their help. Moments later, she was contacted by a P.C.S.I. Security officer, Alissa Vincent. Vincent told the Senior Medical Officer that her team arrested four colonists who snuck aboard the ship. Nicole believed that they should still remain in her jurisdiction. Vincent told her that they are already arrested, but she wanted them checked for signs of the mysterious infection spreading across the ship.
During her inspection of the four survivors for potential infection, Nicole was quick to spot unusual brain activity and blood pressure in Lexine Weller. After completing her examination, she began to release Lexine's friends one by one. When Warren Eckhardt collapsed, she failed to release Gabe Weller from his tube and triggered a quarantine lockdown. A P-Sec officer, Nathan McNeill volunteered to disable the lockdown by crawling through the vents. When his mission was completed, Nicole accompanied the survivors to the Morgue where McNeill waited for them. There, she discovered that Captain Benjamin Mathius was killed. The situation was worse than she believed. Nicole and the survivors headed for the Medical Deck where Perry was looking after the other patients. There, they are attacked by the Slashers and Perry was killed. They made a break for the barricade where she decided to remain with the other P.S.C.I officers, knowing that the other survivors would come looking for help.
Alone with the security officers, Nicole tried to examine Lexine's brainwave patterns with the security panel to no avail. When she overheard a call for help in Sick Bay 2, she was barred from leaving the barricade by a security officer. Frustrated, she continued to examine Lexine's scans until the sudden breach of the barricade drove her and the security officer to run for another safe haven. Armed with a Plasma Cutter, she and the officer made their way toward the Sick Bay. The officer was killed and Nicole barely managed to reach Sick Bay 2. The situation in the bay deteriorated quickly. Within a half-hour, they were out of medical packs to help the injured.
She recorded a frustrated log hailing for more help from anyone still alive on the ship and detailing the staff's inability to handle the injuries that are beginning to swamp them. Nicole began to regret not following Lexine and the others to the Engineering Deck. During another examination of Lexine's scans, she began to notice a pattern in brainwaves and hallucinated being attacked by a swarm of Necromorphs.
No sooner than she awoke, Sick Bay 2 was breached by a real Necromorph attack. Evans and Nicole drove them back with a defibrillator and a Plasma Cutter. They sealed up the vent using various metal objects and sheeting. Nicole, desperate to create an anti-virus for the “recombinator virus” speculated that she could have used the medical packs to spread the proposed anti-virus. However, with none at her disposal, she began to believe that her theories are merely spun from a desperate hope to survive. Evans warned her about another Necromorph attack. She managed to escape the Sick Bay to a safe place. Coming to terms with what would be her final hours, she sent a message to Isaac via a video log. She committed suicide by inducing an air embolism with an empty syringe to avoid being slaughtered and transformed by the Necromorphs. As she streamed the transmission, Lexine Murdoch and Nathan McNeill found the transmission and attempted to communicate with her, but were too late, as they could only watch her die in front of them.
Events of Dead Space
Unaware of his girlfriend's fate, Isaac journeyed through the ship in search of her. "Nicole" made her first physical appearance to Isaac from a distance when he was instructed to obtain the Mining Key in the Ishimura's Mining Deck. She offered her help to open the door for Isaac while he defended her from the Necromorphs at a distance. Successfully doing so, she promised to find a way to him and ran, remaining unseen until the penultimate level.
Isaac reunited with Nicole again after Kendra Daniels revealed herself to be a Government agent and escaped the Ishimura with the Marker. The two called the shuttle back to the Ishimura, forcing Kendra to eject from the shuttle in an escape pod. The two of them descended to the planet's surface to place the Marker back on its pedestal. In doing so, Nicole disappeared as the intense light from placing the Marker consumed her. She thanked Isaac for his efforts, declaring that they are "whole again". Shortly after this, Kendra confirmed to Isaac that Nicole was dead the entire time and the woman who spoke to him was a hallucination.
Events of Dead Space 2
On Titan Station, the Site 12 Marker fed off Isaac's dementia, using Nicole's bloodied visage as a tool against him. Throughout the course of the game, she manifested as a voice or an image on a view screen. When she made physical appearances to taunt Isaac, she was covered in blood and with an eerie light shining from her open mouth and eyes (Which was later a trait of the Waster from Dead Space 3). As Isaac progressed through the station, Nicole became more disturbing and violent, making attempts to harm and even "kill" Isaac.
Later, "Nicole" threatened to kill Isaac unless he explained why he could not "let [Her] go". Isaac revealed that if he let her go, he had "nothing left". Seemingly satisfied with this answer, "Nicole" shed her haunting visage and appeared as she did when she was alive and released Isaac. Saying that "Acceptance" was the final step in Isaac's "recovery", Nicole believed that he was ready to finish his mission.
"Nicole" continued to appear to Isaac in order to offer encouragement and advice on how to reach the Marker. However, she still displayed behavior similar to a hallucination. After Isaac sent Ellie Langford away, "Nicole" continued to plead to be "made whole" by Isaac which was something that he was afraid that he could not do. Eventually, "Nicole" led Isaac to the machine that Nolan Stross mentioned as the first step in destroying the Marker. Isaac followed her instructions to use the machine.
After Isaac dispatched Hans Tiedemann, "Nicole" suddenly dropped all of the pretenses of being anything more than a hallucination broadcasted by the Marker. She explained that Isaac, the maker of the Site 12 Marker must be killed and absorbed for Convergence. Feeling betrayed, Isaac destroyed the phantom "Nicole" inside his mind, destroying the Marker and freeing himself from its influence.
Nicole's personality in Dead Space and Dead Space: Extraction suggested that she was a strong person, but when she was pushed to the edge, she broke down in the midst of the chaos. During the events on Aegis VII and the USG Ishimura, Nicole remained dedicated to her job and to the welfare of crewmen and colonists alike. Friendly, she befriended the likes of Lexine’s party in spite of their position as stowaways who broke the no-fly order issued by Captain Mathius.
Her knowledge of the Necromorph outbreak was little. She trusted the word of the ship's commanding officer in regards to the scale of the infection until she left the ER and encountered the Necromorphs for herself. She tried to remain calm and stayed vigilant. She had a very calm posture. Convinced that the infection was no longer a “small outbreak”, she tried to use the knowledge provided by Lexine's CAT scans to concoct an anti-virus to combat the recombinant nature of the virus. In the face of her own experiences with hallucinations and dementia, Nicole maintained a great deal of her composure before her death.
Her final message to Isaac implied that there may be trouble in their relationship prior to taking the position on the Ishimura. Despite this, it was evident that she loved Isaac, particularly enough not to worry him unnecessarily over the large Unitologist presence aboard the sixty year old planet cracker. The Extraction comic further confirms that she never blamed Isaac for being on the Ishimura; she was fully aware that Isaac only coaxed her into accepting the offer because she hid from him the presence of the Unitology Church.
As a hallucination, Nicole was much more aggressive, often screaming and yelling various twisted phrases while assaulting Isaac as an attempt to evoke a sense of guilt within him and to hasten Isaac's descent into insanity. When her death became accepted, she became much like she was when she was alive and was encouraging toward Isaac as he went to destroy the new Marker. This ruse was eventually dropped at the base of the Marker and Nicole attempted to twist Isaac's mind to kill himself aggressively in order to make the Marker whole, hence the term: "Make us whole". In accordance to her state as a hallucination, Nicole's RIG health bar was empty.[note 2]
- Iyari Limon was the original voice and likeness of Nicole in the first Dead Space game and Dead Space: Extraction. In Dead Space 2, Nicole's voice and likeness was provided by Tanya Clarke.
- Nicole's message to Isaac at the beginning of Dead Space presented a chronological error to the series as the message was recorded and sent minutes before the escape of the characters of Extraction. Isaac was able to watch it many, many times before arriving at the Ishimura (The two events happened at the same time) as it was remarked by Kendra Daniels.
- However, since Extraction was released after the original game, the developers may have not intended for this to happen.
- It also made it impossible for the frightened female crew member that Alissa Vincent talked to at the end of Downfall to be Nicole as she would have sent the message and committed suicide by then.
- Nicole Brennan was named after the executive producer Glen Schofield's daughter.
- In the E3 Debut Trailer for Dead Space, Nicole appeared different from the final version. In the trailer, she had shoulder-length, brown hair.
- Throughout her appearances in Dead Space, Nicole (And Isaac's hallucinations of her) continuously apologized to Isaac for an act that she took responsibility for. While it was not directly stated what she was attempting to apologize for, she was most likely referring to her suicide.
- Oddly, in Dead Space, when you had to defend Nicole to unlock the storage room, she could somehow die, even though she was already dead which gave you a game over. This was probably meant to fool the player into thinking that Nicole was alive.
- It was possible that she was not entirely just a visual hallucination during this part, but rather a living person who Isaac imagined as being Nicole. This would explain why the Necromorphs would attack something that would not be real.
- Isaac could actually kill Nicole by shooting her in the back with any weapon that he had. The game would not end up in a failure if Nicole was being damaged by the player for as long as she did not die. Interestingly, the weapons did a very insignificant amount of damage compared to the Slashers and the Lurker which appeared.
- Occasionally during Dead Space, random voice messages from Nicole would pop up asking Isaac for help. This was a side effect of Isaac's developing dementia. Michael Altman experienced a similar event late in Dead Space: Martyr when he received a hallucinatory vidlog from his dead girlfriend, Ada, asking him where he was and begging him to find her.
- In Dead Space, the first letter in the name of each of the game's chapters spelled out in order, "N.I.C.O.L.E. I.S. D.E.A.D.".
- During Chapter 11 in Dead Space, the player may get close to Nicole in the control room to recall the shuttle. If the player looked at her RIG, it was shown to be black and empty. This was a further hint that Nicole was dead as the RIG displayed brightly colored lights until the death of its user where it turned dark.
- Prior to the release of the Dead Space: Extraction comic, there was some contention to Nicole's status as a physician. In the original game, she referred to herself only as a "Senior Medical Officer", prompting speculation regarding her professional title aboard the Ishimura. However, in the comic, she referred to herself and was referred to as Dr. Brennan.
- In the Extraction comic, Nicole first noted the anomaly with Lexine's scans. The comic depicted several patterns resembling Marker symbols appearing within her brainwaves. Whether or not these are simply an hallucination due to the Marker was unknown.
- In the animated movie, Dead Space: Downfall, Alissa Vincent met a frightened crew member that strongly resembled Nicole. She asked the crew member if she had a boyfriend, prompting the woman to nod in response.
- In the Dead Space 2 narration by Dr. Terrence Kyne, Nicole Brennan appears as she did in the first game. Her appearance changes when Isaac Clarke has flashbacks of her.
- According to Visceral, Nicole's appearance in Dead Space 2 was to serve as a look into Isaac's psyche. Her bloodied clothes represented Isaac's guilt of her dying and the eerie lights with the audio effects was to represent memories of Nicole and to reference the last video that Nicole made which was the only thing that Isaac had left about her as well as her voice which sounded as though it was spoken over an audio log or a video which was the only thing that Isaac saw her on the Ishimura.
- It was interesting to note that, even though she understood the infection, Nicole still killed herself in a way that left her vulnerable to the transformation.
- The room that Nicole committed suicide in could be accessed in Dead Space. It was unknown what happened to her body after her death. It was possible, however that Nicole's body was infected and turned into a Necromorph. However, there was no blood or any trace that she was transformed in that room which made it likely that her body was dragged away by the other Necromorphs to be absorbed by the Corruption. "Nicole" referenced this in Dead Space 2 when she mentioned that Isaac never found her body which prompted her to question whether she was transformed into a Necromorph.
- Ironically in Dead Space, she committed suicide with a syringe and in Dead Space 2 during the first Nicole event, she would try to kill Issac with a needle. If she succeeded, he was killed in a way similar to Captain Mathius in the first Dead Space.
- The second death scene in Dead Space 2 caused by Nicole suggested that hallucinations had some control over the reality that the host existed in for example being able to lift Isaac up and snap his neck.
In Dead Space 2, it was possible for the hallucination of Nicole to kill Isaac, either during one of the two dementia scenes involving the hallucination or during the final boss battle of the game:
- First Scene: During the first struggle, the hallucination lunged at Isaac as he exited a maintenance shaft and attempted to stab him in the eye with a needle (Presumably the same one that Nicole used to kill herself in the first game). If the player failed the subsequent quick-time event, the hallucination killed him. If the player survived the attack, it was revealed that Isaac was trying to stab his own eye out as a result of his dementia.
- Second Scene: During the second scene, the hallucination grabbed Isaac by the throat as he got off a freight elevator in the Sprawl's mines. It effortlessly smashed him against the walls before attempting to suffocate him, demanding that he should tell her why he could not move past her death. If the player failed the following quick-time event, Isaac refused to accept that Nicole was real and the hallucination successfully snapped Isaac's neck.
- Third Scene: During the final scene, the newly created Marker attempted to kill Isaac with the Nicole hallucination so it could "absorb" him and be "reborn." If Isaac came into contact with the hallucination during the fight within his mind or accidentally wandered too close to it, it would grab him and scream loudly in his face. In reality, the hallucination forced Isaac to shoot himself in the face with Tiedemann's Javelin Gun, presumably allowing the Marker to "absorb" him in the process. It was interesting to note that Isaac droped Tiedemann's gun before he turned to Nicole.
Dead Space: Extraction comic
Dead Space Extraction
Dead Space: Downfall
Dead Space 2
- Dead Space takes place three years before the events of Dead Space 2.
- This can be seen in Chapter 13 when she shows Isaac the way. Simply walk behind her to see this before she disappears.
- Dead Space: Extraction (comics)
- Dead Space: Extraction (comics)
- Dead Space: Chapter 1: New Arrivals: Message from Nicole
- Dead Space: Extraction (comics)
- Dead Space: Extraction (comics), page 3 Cite error: Invalid
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- Dead Space 2: Chapter 1: Where Am I?
- Dead Space: Extraction: Chapter 4: Rendezvous With Fate
- Dead Space: Extraction: Chapter 5: Emergency Care
- Dead Space Chapter 2: Intensive Care: Nicole's Report
- Dead Space: Extraction: Chapter 9: Escaping the Ishimura
- Dead Space: Chapter 12: Dead Space
- Dead Space 2: Chapter 11: Down In The Mines
- Dead Space 2: Chapter 13: Government Sector
- Dead Space 2: Chapter 14: Marker Access and a New Threat
- YouTube: Dead Space Dead Space Creator Glen Schofield: Extended Interview | Ars Technica
- YouTube: Dead Space Exclusive E3 Loved Ones Trailer HD