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"We don't know how to make this thing. It is making us make it. And it's trying to get out. Desperately."
Kinner Phelps[1]

A Red Marker is a reverse-engineered copy of a Black Marker or its respective copies, created by intelligent civilizations affected by the Brethren Moons.[2]

A Red Marker's purpose is to create Necromorphs and spread the contagion by imprinting its replication instructions in suitable hosts. Red Markers can either assist a Black Marker in triggering Convergence or complete the event themselves through the death and subsequent absorption of their creators' bodies.[3][4]


"Isaac, as you can personally attest, man is naturally compelled to create Red Markers, duplicates made in the image of the original. They are as much a part of us as the planet that birthed us, perhaps even more so. We must all act our part in the natural evolution of the Universe, Isaac - something you seem rather reluctant to accept."
Jacob Arthur Danik
Marker on AEGIS VII (2)

Marker 3A on its pedestal on Aegis VII.

DSR Red Marker Pedestal

A Red Marker pedestal on Aegis VII, used to amplify the signal of smaller Markers.

Red Markers are artificially-made native copies of an original Black Marker; no matter the species, a Black Marker can influence any planet's given inhabitants (usually the apex/dominant species) to create duplicates of itself under the guise of limitless energy.[5] Unaware of the manipulation, the inhabitants' reasoning for creating duplicates is usually the harvest of a natural resource for energy purposes.[6] In reality, the duplicate Markers merely propagate the spread of the Necromorph life form and its subsequent Convergence Event.

By design, the artificially-made Red Markers resemble their precursors and are identical in function. Like all other Markers, their shape echoes the strands of a DNA helix and reflects the act of Convergence: two things entwined to become one.[7] A visible difference, however, is the red hue which they carry, likely due to the use of bismuth, a type of metal used by intelligent civilizations to replace certain unknown elements of the Black Marker during duplication.[8]

When activated, the copies emit a highly tuned frequency to their surroundings that, when coming into contact with dead organic tissue, is able to reanimate the cells, creating the Necromorphs. Even when a Marker is destroyed, unless utterly obliterated, the carrier wave will continue emitting from its shards. Once all of the fragments of a Marker are destroyed, the signal will stop and all of the Necromorphs created will be destroyed, reduced to an inanimate sludge unless brought back into the range of another Marker.[9][10] The signal also creates a dead space around the Marker that keeps the Necromorphs from approaching it, allowing it to protect living beings of interest to its plans by drawing them to its base, where they will be protected from the Necromorphs while their proximity to the Marker ensures that it can easily infect their minds and bend them to its will.[11][12]

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The Site 12 Marker on Titan Station, seemingly the largest Red Marker constructed by humanity.

The effects on living beings exposed to the Marker's signal vary. A majority of humans perceive the signal as hallucinations that cause them to become paranoid and end up hurting themselves or others, thus setting the stage for the Necromorph infection. It is hypothesized that, due to some undefined aspect of the individual's intelligence[13] or DNA, some of those affected may instead be "chosen" for a higher purpose by the signal, as they are able to better "understand" it and be guided by the Marker's visions.[12]

DSR Isaac Marker Gift

Marker 3A imprints Isaac's mind with the full wealth of knowledge and instructions for Marker creation.

As it was put by an EarthGov scientist, "smart people" are able to "see" Marker codes and blueprints which otherwise just appear as "noise" to everyone else,[14] and can be used as vessels for Marker replication. Notable examples of individuals who appear to be more compatible with the signal could be seen in Terrence Kyne, Isaac Clarke and Elizabeth Cross during the Aegis VII incident in 2508, as Marker 3A manipulated them into placing the artifact on its pedestal so it could effectively merge with their minds and use them to build more Markers.[4]


"I can't stop thinking about the formulas from Patient 4's last session. They are so clearly ordered, they keep playing back in my mind. The final configuration seems within reach, I could almost solve it myself. It's funny, I was telling Travis the other day that it's almost like it "wants" us to succeed. I've never seen anything like it. Once we finally solve this heuristic stabilization problem, we should be able to start growing the layers of the Marker from the mineral baths."
Kinner Phelps after studying Isaac Clarke.[15]
DS2 Isaac Brain Red Marker

A representation of Isaac's brain with a fully-formed Red Marker implanted in it following the events on Aegis VII.

As the creation of Red Markers by intelligent civilizations is an integral part of the larger life cycle of the Brethren Moons, the process is naturally tied to the cognitive capabilities of the current prey species, with the Markers' influence on their brains doing most of the work.[1][12][16] More compatible or "smarter" individuals who have had their minds touched by the Marker often feel an overwhelming urge to replicate the artifact in any way they can, with some patients on Titan Station using everyday items and even feces to reproduce the Marker's shape.[17][18]

0078 proppileofpapers c

Blueprints and formulas for the creation of Red Markers scribbled by Isaac in his apartment on Luna.

The creation of a Red Marker consists of "growing" the object as a fractal heuristic crystal lattice from mineral baths, using the same codes and blueprints that the signal is capable of implanting in the human brain. On Titan Station, while studying Isaac Clarke, Kinner Phelps noted that the formulas in Isaac's mind were so clear that he could not stop thinking about them, suggesting that the signal and patterns in Isaac's brain may even be capable of infecting other individuals who are exposed to them, as Phelps slowly began to obsess over Isaac's formulas as if he were being "possessed" by an external force, repeatedly hearing them in his mind "like a song" and even recording an instance where he blacked out and later awoke to find that he had unconsciously constructed a tiny Marker in one of the mineral baths all by himself.[16]

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Marker formulas for Project Telomere.

As part of Project Telomere, Kinner Phelps' team was able to "grow" the massive Site 12 Marker as a "fully expressed physical representation" of the algorithms from Isaac's mind.[19] However, Phelps soon concluded that, despite the researchers thinking they were in control of the project, they were merely puppets and their rationalizations for the experiments were illusions "planted by the forces behind the original Marker, the Black one".[1] Indeed, at the time of the first wave of Marker replication centuries prior, SCAF personnel had remarked that the Red Markers had practically "grown" themselves and remained just as mysterious as the Black Marker.[20]


Chapter 13 telomere11

The "Nicole" apparition leads Isaac, the maker of the Site 12 Marker, to his death in the last step towards Convergence.

"The makers shall precede us. They must be absorbed."
—Whispers from Marker 3A.[21]

A Convergence Event and formation of a Brethren Moon can be triggered by a single Red Marker alongside the mass of dead tissue created by the Necromorph contagion that it perpetuates; however, this requires the Red Marker's makers to be killed and their bodies to be absorbed by the Marker during the event, as "those who create must seed Convergence".[3][4]


Aliens of Tau Volantis[]

"The signs are all around me. I don't know why I didn't see it before. Everywhere we look there are Markers; red ones similar to the copies we ourselves have created back home. The Marker signal doesn't just reanimate the dead. It manipulates us into spreading the Markers. And now we too have been unwittingly spreading this galactic virus from planet to planet. The propagation of our species has only served to create a source of food and the means of finding it for these moon-sized entities."
—Dr. Earl Serrano during the S.C.A.F. expedition on Tau Volantis.[22]
Tau Volantis Red Marker

A Red Marker created by the Tau Volantis civilization.

Over two million years ago, a technologically advanced alien species inhabited the vast water-covered planet of Tau Volantis. At some point in their history, they discovered a Black Marker similar to what would later be discovered on Earth. The civilization began to recreate numerous Red Markers and, eventually, a Necromorph outbreak began and spread, converting enough of the aliens that a Convergence Event was triggered by the Black Marker.

Although Convergence on Tau Volantis was halted in its tracks by a massive alien machine that instantly froze the entire planet, the Red Markers remained buried in the ice and were eventually found in 2311 by the humans of the Sovereign Colonies Armed Forces expedition. The planet had been located by humanity following extensive research on their own Red Markers, stationed on remote planets such as Aegis VII and Aspera, with a "master signal" that controlled the Markers being discovered and seemingly pointing to Tau Volantis; in reality, this "master signal" originated from the incomplete Brethren Moon orbiting the planet.[20]

Humans of Earth[]

"The Red Markers, sequestered safely away on distant star systems such as Aegis VII, Aspera and Proxima Centauri, among others, were themselves a mystery, as they were more grown than built. As the Red Markers were studied, it became clear they were receiving the signal they broadcast, rather than creating it themselves."
S.C.A.F. report[20]
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The Luna Red Marker after Jacob Danik "freed" it from EarthGov control.

The Earth Government Colonial Alliance, despite its apparent awareness of a Red Marker's nature and of the previous disastrous attempts to control it by the Sovereign Colonies administration in the 23rd century,[23] restarted the Marker program in the 26th century and continued to manufacture the copies in the name of conducting experiments in an attempt to safely harness the Markers' power,[24] using the information stored by Marker 3A in the mind of Isaac Clarke after the Aegis VII incident in 2508. The most notable of these new Red Markers was the Site 12 Marker constructed on Titan Station as part of Project Telomere.

Years after the Titan Station incident, the number of test labs housing Red Markers behind shrouds were targeted and used against EarthGov by the likes of devout Unitologists like Jacob Arthur Danik and his Circle. Believing EarthGov's research and experiments on the captive Red Markers to be "blasphemous" and a violation of nature's course, Danik sought to "free" the replicas from government control and allow the Markers' true plan of Convergence to begin.[25]

Known Red Markers[]

Red markers

Markers 1A, 2A and 3A shown during Dr. Serrano's briefing to General Mahad.



Dead Space Marker Sound Effect

The Latin chant emitted by Marker 3A.

  • The Red Marker on Aegis VII seemed to emit what sounded like several people chanting in Latin: "Sumus hic in morte; noster sanctus est". This would approximately mean, "We are here in death; it is our saint".[26]
  • While at first glance the Site 12 Marker in Dead Space 2 appears to have a unique golden coloration, this is the result of the yellow energy field that can be seen surrounding it as it prepares for Convergence; the Marker's true color is, in fact, black with a reddish glow, with its representation inside Isaac's mind being fully red.