Dead Space Wiki

"Great, bullets. Now we can kill each other before we freeze to death."
—Sam to Tim Caufman after finding ammunition.

Private Samuel Ackerman was a soldier of the Sovereign Colonies Armed Forces who was present during the Necromorph outbreak on Tau Volantis in 2314.[1]

Sam served as the Co-Op partner to Tim Caufman in the prologue of Dead Space 3.


Events of 2314[]

"This is Private Sam Ackerman, 41st Engineering. I told them not to eat the infected. Then they started changing. They became sensitive to bright lights. Just shining my flashlight would send them into a violent rage! I disabled the elevator to trap them down there. God rest their souls."
—Sam about the SCAF soldiers who transformed into Feeders.

Sam Ackerman was assigned to the 41st Engineering Unit located on the S.C.A.F. colony of Tau Volantis in 2311 in support of the archaeological and research operations there.[2] During the events of the Necromorph outbreak across the colony, Sam and the other survivors set up a defensive perimeter up in Facility RS-9 as they were convinced that they could wait the outbreak out within the safety of the bunker.

After Sam and his unit cleared the bunker of the Necromorphs, they piled the bodies and began to prepare defenses. It was not long until Sam noticed that the group's rations were spoiled, leaving them with no source of food.[2] It was suggested by one of the other survivors that they should eat the Necromorph flesh that was left over from the fighting in order to keep them alive. Sam knew that it was not a good idea and decided to stay away from the rest of the group while they ate the tainted meat.[2] While the soldiers began to transform into emaciated Necromorphs from consuming the infected flesh, Sam hid and avoided them for three days despite the infected sniffing him out at least once.[3]

Sam managed to barricade himself into a communications room near the bunker's elevator while his former comrades begged him to let them in so they could eat him. Sam desperately sent a distress call out by looking for anyone that was still alive in the colony. His transmission was responded to by Dr. Earl Serrano, who asked him to link up with Private Tim Caufman on his mission to retrieve the Codex.[4] Sam then disabled the elevator to trap his infected comrades in the bunker.

Tim and Sam

Sam and Tim Caufman set off to retrieve the Codex for Dr. Earl Serrano.

Sam met up with Tim before they both pressed forward to collect the Codex for the doctor. When their search turned up nothing after 3 hours, Sam expressed his lack of faith in the mission and thought that nothing that they did would really stop the outbreak. Despite his constant complaining, Caufman pressed forward. Caufman and Sam followed Serrano's waypoint up a mountain to a crashed ship, The Mule. Despite being attacked by the infected members of the ship, they managed to locate and secure the Codex.

Sam Death

Sam is killed by debris from The Mule.

Immediately after acquiring the Codex, The Mule began to explode from the damage that it had sustained during its crash, forcing Tim and Sam to rappel down the cliff from the ship. The ship broke apart by causing the debris to rain down on the two soldiers before also severing their rappel lines, sending them tumbling down the mountainside and dodging the falling debris. Despite initially dodging most of the flaming wreckage including a piece of the ship's engines, Sam was eventually killed by the falling debris near the bottom of the cliff.

Tim was executed by General Spencer Mahad moments later, who also purged the Codex's information and killed himself as part of Scenario Five.


Sam: "I can't see a goddamn thing! How the hell did we get roped into this mess?"
Tim: "The Doc needs us, Sam."
Sam: "Oh come on, Caufman! We're not seasoned soldiers! Christ! You don't even know how to hold your rifle!"
—Sam and Tim Caufman while searching for the Codex.
DS3 Sam and Tim

Sam (left) and Tim wearing Legionary Suits on Tau Volantis.

Sam was foremost a cynical soldier. He claimed that the mission for the Codex was hopeless, that both he and Tim Caufman were too inexperienced for the mission and, when they found ammo, he snarked that at least they could shoot one another before they froze to death. He also appeared to be very resourceful and determined as he managed to survive at least 3 days trapped in a confined bunker, hiding from his infected comrades who were turning into Feeders while having little to no food before embarking on the mission to find the Codex.


  • Both Sam and Tim Caufman were equipped with Legionary Suits and S.C.A.F. Bullpup Rifles. Unlike Isaac Clarke and John Carver, Sam's Legionary Suit is visually identical to Tim's except for the red visor glow and the blue health line.
  • Though Tim does not curse when stomping for an extended period, Sam does. His cursing voice is similar to that of Carver and is quieter, as if he is mumbling to himself.
  • Despite the introduction scene showing Ackerman (if playing Co-Op) with his helmet down in the middle of a snowstorm, his body temperature does not decrease and a meter does not appear behind his back.
  • Outside Co-Op Mode, Sam is never physically seen unlike Tim and Carver, though his audio logs and history can still be found by the player.
  • As Sam was from the 41st Core Engineering unit, he most likely had fairly extensive engineering training, making him the 2nd playable engineer in the trilogy and the 4th in the series.