- "That look in his eyes... Reminded me of a kid that went crazy last week. He was just an engineer, but something in him snapped."
- —Nathan McNeill
Little was known about Sam Caldwell's early life though he eventually joined the Concordance Extraction Corporation. At some point in his career with the C.E.C., Sam was assigned to Aegis 7 where he met and he began a relationship with Lexine Murdoch.
This powerful emission disrupted some of the Colony's equipment by deactivating the life support systems, impairing the communications and damaging one of the gravity tethers. Sam's crew[note 2] separated from the extraction team to repair the tether.[note 3] En route, they encountered several miners and engineers who are in a highly violent state of dementia. They are forced to kill several colonists like Zochenko.
As they descended into the Megavent, Sam began to see a strange Unitology-related script that was appearing before him only to disappear. He also began to hear voices including that of his Lexine.[note 4]
Upon reaching the desired level, Sterling separated from the crew to assist someone that he heard. Sam and Egan continued toward Gravity Tether 16. Egan showed signs of dementia, eventually attacking Sam which forced him to shoot his friend. Sam reached the tether on his own and he managed to repair it through the use of an appropriated Stasis Module.
Shortly thereafter, he managed to reach Lexine via the colony's somewhat less impaired communications system. When he was informed that the colony's life support systems are inactive, Sam located and he successfully reactivated it. Afterward, Sam made his way toward the lift by fighting through the numerous attackers. Near the lift, Sam had a chilling revelation after taking a sole attacker down. He recognized the attacker as Sterling.
He continued to fight his way through as he was desperate to reach Lexine. He moved toward the descending lift,only to see more deranged attackers. Before he could take any action, one of them shot him. Fatally injured, Sam saw them advance only to resolve into P-Sec officers.
Shortly after learning that he was in a state of hallucination and he killed his entire team, Sam died from his injuries.
- "That thing's gotta be man-made..."
- "Why'd you do it, son? All these people never did anything to hurt you."
- —Detective McNeill
- "Is this even real? ...No, they're not real!"
- —Sam Caldwell
- Of all of the four playable characters in the game, he was the only one that never faced a Necromorph. He only faced the illusions.
- Disconsidering Stefan from No Known Survivors, of all of the protagonists in the game series, Sam Caldwell was the only one who never came into an encounter with a real Necromorph.
- Although the process which someone suffered from the Red Marker's effects are not explicitly detailed, Sam seemed to suffer from the full effects of the Marker instantaneously as he was being stunned by a flash of symbols right before entering the Megavents to repair the gravity tether. It was only after Sam began hallucinating the attacks, provided that the attacks on Sam, Sterling and Egan prior to entering the corridors to the Megavents are by the other crazed miners and not hallucinations.
- Sam's team was not affected by the Red Marker as excessively, but when Egan attacked, Sam was hallucinating and he was actually maddened from the Red Marker's effects by killing his sane team members.
- Dead Space: Extraction takes place three years before the events of Dead Space 2.
- The Extraction Dig Team appears to have been made from two smaller crews: one crew consisting of Sterling, Sam Caldwell, and Egan, and the other consisting of Cooper, Banks, and Bear. Cooper and Sterling appear to be crew leaders, respectively.
- Caldwell was notified of the life support problems by Lexine Murdoch after he repaired the gravity tether.
- It is unknown exactly when Sam Caldwell entered a state of heightened delusion; therefore, it is currently unknown how many of his "attackers" were really attacking him, or if they were even anything more than illusions.
- Dead Space: Extraction: Chapter 2: Another Day At The Office
- Dead Space: Extraction: Chapter 1: Worlds Apart
- Dead Space: The Red Marker - "The device, when activated, began to emit a highly complicated rhythmic pattern across a wide band of frequencies - from actual sound waves through the electromagnetic spectrum to alpha, delta, and theta brain waves."