- "That is what we found, in the core of the planet… Mercer calls it the Hive Mind. It's the source…controlling the Necromorphs telepathically."
- —Dr. Kyne explaining the Hive Mind to Isaac.
The Hive Mind was unwittingly created by the Sovereign Colonies, as a result of military testing of the experimental Marker 3A on Aegis VII, over two centuries prior to the events of Dead Space. When the Marker proved to be too dangerous to wield as a weapon, the SCAF aborted any further experimentation with it, and used it last time in order to suppress the massive Necromorph. The Hive Mind retreated into a massive complex cave system underneath the surface for the next 200 years. The Marker was also abandoned somewhere next to the creature's resting place.
Events of Dead Space
200 years later, the mining company called the CEC discovered the planet and found out that it was a goldmine of resources. Regardless of the restrictions for traveling to the Aegis System due to the classified information regarding the First Aegis VII Incident, the CEC decided to construct an illegal mining colony on the planet to begin tearing it apart.
Some time before the arrival of the USG Ishimura, a small team of miners found the Marker. Immediately upon its discoverance, it began the first phase of the second Necromorph outbreak by slowly driving the members of the mining colony insane. As the Ishimura arrived at the planet, the colony began the extraction of a large portion of the planet. As the piece of the planet was moved away, the Hive Mind was exposed to the surface. Not too long after the planet crack, the Marker's influence finally reached it's final potency, turning the dead into Necromorphs to set loose upon the colony. As all hell broke lose, the Hive Mind re-awoke from it's slumber with new pawns to command which began smashing and killing anything that came close to its nest and tried flying away. Some survivors managed to get a few seconds worth of footage of the massive beast before they were smashed to pieces.
As the colony was overrun, the Ishimura followed as both the Marker and the infection was brought on board the vessel. In a matter of hours, both the colony and the ship were lost. Dr. Terrence Kyne recovered footage of the Hive Mind during the outbreak, and the crazed Dr. Challus Mercer came to learn of its existence and turned to worshipping it as a divine entity. The Hive Mind appeared to be the controlling intelligence of the Necromorphs in the Aegis VII System.
After Isaac made his way to the ship, he met a slightly crazed Doctor Kyne who explained the Hive Mind to the engineer and how returning the Marker to it's original position would calm it down, ending the terror. Isaac decided to do so, but Kendra Daniels, a member of the repair team sent to the Ishimura along with Isaac, revealed herself to be an undercover agent tasked to recover the Marker, and betrayed Isaac and killed Kyne before attempting to flee with the Marker. However, due to the Marker's influence over Isaac, it made him pull the Kendra's shuttle back to the Ishimura, that forced her to flee in an escape pod that landed somewhere on the planet. Isaac successfully regained both shuttle and the Marker and landed on the colony, fighting his way through the Hive Mind's forces to the pedestal site where the Marker launched it's first EMP strike that drove the colony insane.
Finally reaching the pedestal site, the Hive Mind launched it's final attempt to stop Isaac, but was setted dormant for a brief moment as Isaac returned the Marker where it belonged. However, returning the Marker setted a similar EMP strike out from earlier that this time disabled the gravity tethers that kept the chunk of the planet in the orbit in place. With the impending doom on the way, Isaac headed back to the shuttle, but was stopped by Kendra who stole the Marker. This event re-awoke the Hive Mind that became even more aggressive, attempting to slam the colony's structure down in an attempt to retrieve the Marker. As Kendra and Isaac reached the shuttle pad, the Hive Mind ambushed the two, smashing Kendra into pieces and beginning the final fight with the engineer by putting everything that it had on him.
Isaac put it down with shots that destroyed its vulnerable points. The Necromorph emitted it's final cries of pain until slamming down on the landing site before sliding to the massive crater below. As Isaac barely escaped from the chaos, what was left of the Necromorph presumably burned into dust when the chunk of the planet fell down.
The Hive Mind resembled an enormous worm with many tentacles along it's length. It's full size was never truly shown as an unknown portion of the creature was hidden inside a crater, but it appeared to have a defined "head" and thorax. Just like any other big Necromorphs, the Hive Mind was created from multiple bodies, possibly hundreds if not even thousands. The Hive Mind had a very fleshy appearance on it's lower thorax, almost resembling the human skin with muscle tissue covering certain areas.
The head's most prominent feature was a massive circular mouth, consisting of two sets of jaws, each with their own rows of teeth. The Hive Mind was able to spit acidic pods from it's central mouth. Around the mouth, there are five eyes made from the yellow explosive fluid. The thorax featured several branched appendages serving as some sort of arms. The exact purpose of them was unknown, although they could be found on the Alien variants of the Necromorph on the back and a frontal cavity which sheltered the five more yellow sacks which served as the Necromorph's vital organs with a rib-cage serving as protection for them.
The Hive Mind was capable of utilizing it's immense tentacles for manipulation and offense. It used three of them during the fight with Isaac. However, it almost certainly had more than three. The tentacles grew from some part of the creature that was well below it's thorax area. The sizes of these tentacles varied as some are meters in thickness and tens of meters in length as some are hind and possibly even smaller in their size which the Hive Mind used mainly as grabbing objects. Meanwhile, the bigger arms served as crushing it's victims or doing other damage or blocking the victim's escape route off during Isaac and the Necromorph's encounter.
While initially thought to be a sentience and the 'command center' for the Necromorph hive-mind, it was now known that it was merely a drone. The true controlling source are the "Brethren" Moons or the Tau Volantis Moon and was one of the many other hive mind Necromorphs, similar to the Nexus on Tau Volantis.
After reawakening, the Hive Mind became aggressive and attacked Isaac and the escaping Kendra as they made it into the shuttle bay. After killing Kendra, it curled it's tentacles around Isaac, forming an inescapable enclosure, initiating the final fight. In the following fight, Isaac managed to defeat the Hive Mind by destroying what appeared to be it's vital organs and it fell off the edge of the colony. What happened to the Hive Mind afterward was unknown, but it could safely be assumed that the Hive Mind was ultimately killed, either after it's battle with Isaac when the portion of the planet initially removed by the USG Ishimura fell on top of the colony and the Hive Mind or when Aegis VII was destroyed.
The Hive Mind made a brief, but impacting appearance in Dead Space: Extraction. After making their way through the Megavents, the newly assembled group proceeded to fight their way to the last remaining shuttle on the colony. Just as the "firefight" seemed to subside, a large tentacle burst through the ground with the camera panning up as it towered overhead and slammed down near the group. Gabe Weller did his best to repel the Hive Mind as Nathan McNeill fought his way through another wave of Necromorphs, frantically trying to open the shuttle's door. The full scope of the Hive Mind was seen as it tried to swat the shuttle out of the sky after launch.
The battle with the Hive Mind took place in several stages:
- In the first phase of the battle, the Hive Mind would roar at Isaac as it smashed a tentacle down on him. Use these opportunities to aim, shoot and destroy three of it's five mouth-organs to begin the next stage of the battle.
- After the three pustules lining the mouth are destroyed, it would drag you up in the air in an attempt to devour you. In this stage, you would be hanging upside down and your aiming would be reversed. The Hive Mind would also shake you around to hinder your aiming. When the last two organs are destroyed, it would release you, beginning the final battle phase.
- At this point, there are five explosive sacks in the middle of it's chest which are now occasionally exposed. Beware of the Pregnants and the explosive projectiles that it spat out at Isaac along with the tentacle slams. Destroy all five sacks in it's chest and the Hive Mind was defeated. Interestingly, the Pregnants do not spawn if your FPS is higher than 30 on PC version due to port issues.
- One of the Hive Mind's most common methods of attacking involved smashing you with it's two tentacles one at a time. This was easy to dodge as the Hive Mind swayed backward and coiled a tentacle. Watch out for this action.
- To avoid the tentacles, move right and left to the far sides of the screen. The left tentacle always fell first so quickly move to the far right side and quickly to the left as the right one prepared to fall.
- Be wary about your position relative to the explosive canisters laying around as any canisters hit by the tentacles would detonate, injuring Isaac if he was close by. It would be a good idea to detonate the canisters before entering the boss area, unless you intend to use them as weapons by throwing them with Kinesis.
- If you intend to throw the explosive canisters by using Kinesis, aim high as the canisters' ballistic trajectory would simply cause them to miss if they are shot directly at the target.
- During the first phase of the battle, it was a good idea to equally weaken all five pustules around it's mouth to the point where they only needed one more shot in order to be destroyed. Then, eliminate the three pustules on the right side of it's mouth first as they are very difficult to shoot while in midair and initiate the second phase. This way, you would only have to land a total of two successful shots which was one on each of the remaining pustules. It was suggested to test how many shots that a single pustule would take before exploding before weakening the others as the amount changed based on any difficulty.
- While in the air, it was best to use the Plasma Cutter or Pulse Rifle to shoot it's two remaining weak points, due to the weapons' projectiles' high traveling speed and precision. Temporarily reversing the X-axis and Y-axis alignment to your controls could also be an effective method to improve your aim during this phase.
- During the third phase, the Hive Mind would only spit the Pregnants out if you do not destroy at least one sack when they are exposed.
- A well aimed mine from the Line Gun or the Force Gun would sometimes destroy more than one sack in it's chest, making it easier and faster to kill it. (Note that if the mine destroyed all, but one sac, you could not use another mine to destroy the last one.)
- The Contact Beam destroyed a sack in one shot. Use this to your advantage, but beware. It had a long charge time if it was not upgraded which may make you miss.
- When the Hive Mind was defeated, while it was swaying in the midst of it's death throes, do not stand near the edge of the platform because it fell onto that particular platform edge and you could be crushed.
- During the scripted death sequence, Isaac's RIG would still retain the same amount of health despite having both arms ripped off.
- After defeating the Hive Mind, look at the bottom of the crater: You would see the tentacles appearing occasionally making a horizontal swipe and disappearing.
- The "Mindless Prey" Achievement/Trophy could be earned after defeating the creature.
- A Hive Mind Tentacle appeared in Dead Space: Extraction while you are heading to a shuttle to get off the surface of Aegis VII. It killed the two fellow detectives and attacked the group that you are in. You did not fight it as it was merely a part of a cutscene.
- In the graphic novel, Dead Space: Salvage, another Hive Mind was seen on the Ishimura while Stefan Schneider was crossing the outside of the ship. It was swiftly defeated by the Oracles.
- The "mouth" of the Hive Mind could be seen behind the Marker's Heart in the final boss battle of Dead Space 2. During the same battle with the Gold Marker, you could hear the call of the Hive Mind echo after "Nicole" spoke to Isaac. This was easier to hear before engaging her for the first time. (Side note: This mouth could also possibly be the mouth of the Tau Volantis Moon. However, due to the lack of information, this was not speculated until the release of Dead Space 3 and was still not confirmed, although still highly likely.)
- The Hive Mind's roar was reused in Dante's Inferno, also made by Visceral Games. It could be heard when Phlegyas rose from the Styx River.
- The Hive Mind's roars could be quietly heard in the main menu of Dead Space 2, possibly as a side effect of Isaac's traumatic experiences on the Ishimura and Aegis VII which are similar to the static noises of Nicole and her gory appearance in the game.
- The roars are also used in Dead Space 2. In the main menu, that could be heard when the player moved around the sections of the menu as well as during the last boss fight when Isaac shot the giant pustule (That possibly represented the Hive Mind in Isaac's mind). They are also heard in Dead Space 3, but are more quiet.
- In Dead Space 2, there are two Necromorph types, namely the Ubermorph and multiple Slasher variants that bore the characteristics of the Hive Mind's head and face.
- In the scripted death scene, Isaac's scream was a very common scream and reused sound effect used in many movies and games.
- In Dead Space 3, an even larger Necromorph called the Nexus appeared and bore a striking resemblance to the Hive Mind, even with a similar weak spot. In fact, the achievement awarded after killing the creature described it as a Hive Mind.
- Dead Space 3 featured the first insights of the inner structure of a hive mind (Although very briefly when Isaac was swallowed by it). Inside what appeared to be it's stomach had 3 Nests that served as weak spots. Killing these Nests ejected the player and presumably killed the Nexus/Hive Mind.
- It was originally hypothesized by Dr. Terrence Kyne that the Hive Mind was the controlling intelligence of the Necromorph infestation on Aegis VII. Kyne's theory was eventually proven false when it was revealed that the Hive Mind was not a sentient Necromorph controlling the other others, but rather a pawn being controlled by a nearby Brethren Moon.
- It was possible that The Boss from Dead Space Mobile was an immature Hive Mind.
- The common sound effects of a squealing pig are distorted and used for some of the Hive Mind's roars.
- The Hive Mind greatly resembled the Gravemind from the Halo franchise. Both are incredibly large creatures composed of thousands of compiled bodies with innumerable tentacles and a large mouth for a head.
- There was a bug regarding the large unmoving tentacles of the Hive Mind: Sometimes, when the creature died and Isaac was standing close to the tentacle that blocked the exit, he would become "trapped" in it. The objective locator still stated that he had to return to the shuttle, but the only movement that he could make would be back and forth along the length of that particular tentacle until a save game was reloaded and the Hive Mind was needed to be re-defeated or unless the player killed themselves, restarting the previous checkpoint. This was effective if you do not want to re-fight the Hive Mind.
- Sometimes, the player got trapped on top of the tentacle with a similar fate.
- The model of the Hive Mind was missing it's lower piece due to the fact that the player could never see it fully in the game. The exact true size and appearance of the creature was unknown.
- If Isaac failed to destroy the remaining two pustules on the Hive Mind's head when he was grabbed, a scripted death scene followed. It would force Isaac into its mouth, chew on him for a bit and pull him out violently, ripping both of Isaac's arms off. As Isaac screamed in pain, the Hive Mind gripped him between its teeth. Another painful scream was heard from Isaac before the Hive Mind tore him in half at the waist, swallowing his upper torso and throwing his legs onto the platform.
- If Isaac got hit by a tentacle, he would be dismembered completely including his upper torso.
- Dead Space (Comic) (First appearance)
- Dead Space
•Chapter 12: Dead Space
- Dead Space: Extraction
- Dead Space: Martyr
- Dead Space: Catalyst
- Dead Space Salvage