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What Is Unitology in Dead Space? Explained

Dr. Challus Mercer
Image Source: EA Motive

What Is Unitology in Dead Space? Explained

How do you make a sci-fi horror game even creepier? Why, add in a weird cult, of course!

You may ask how can a race of alien zombies get any creepier? Why, add in a weird cult who worships these spindly horrors as the steps to some sort of divine transformation, of course! Unitology is the Dead Space religion based around the Markers, the things which turn dead bodies into Necromorphs and drive people to homicidal madness.

What are the origins of Unitology, though? What do they believe? How are key characters involved with the cult? This guide will explain what Unitology is in Dead Space.

Origins of the Religion in Dead Space

Unitology’s origins are tied up with the discovery of the Black Marker on Earth in 2214. During that incident, the genetic code used to create Necromorphs was discovered, as well as the way to replicate future markers. These pieces of information were critical to human experimentation with the Markers and the creation of Red Markers in an attempt to solve the energy crisis.

A scientist named Michael Altman studied the original Black Marker, discovering much of what we know about them, but then sank the Marker back into the sea in an attempt to prevent it from harming the world. Unfortunately, he did not succeed in preventing further Markers from being created. To make matters worse, he was killed by the original founders of Unitology, Craig Markov, Krax and Stevens, who view the Black Marker as a source of divinity. They also canonized Altman as a prophet, as he was less susceptible to the madness of the visions implanted by the markers.

This origin is detailed in the book Dead Space: Martyr, which is the story of Unitology’s origins and the recovery of the first Marker. It sets up a lot of what ends up happening in the Dead Space universe. This book also has the sad story of Michael Altman in it, who ends up as the martyr for a religion he never believed in and in fact actively tried to oppose.

Beliefs and Rituals of Unitology in Dead Space

The object of the Unitologists’ worship is The Marker, which they believe holds the key to the evolution of humanity into a deathless form. They believe that the beings who created the Markers made them with the intention that they should change humanity towards a more unified and immortal form. This end goal of oneness through death is known as Convergence, which is also the name for the final stages of a Necromorph outbreak.

The church views becoming a Necromorph as part of that Convergence process, and fundamentally a path to spiritual salvation. The Necromorph is part of the process of becoming one for the Unitologists. For them, convergence means a full melding of humanity into one singular entity, without specific individuality. Unitology is aggressively evangelical as a result, believing that those who are not part of the church are not being spiritually saved after death, and that killing these nonbelievers acts as a form of salvation.

Like real-world religions Unitology has rites and practices, like initiation rituals, though we don’t know much about them. Unitological mediation seems to involve crossing arms and entwining them to mimic the form of the markers.

We do know a bit about the Unitology approach to their member’s death. They are very particular about the preservation of dead bodies, believing that dead members can be returned to life eventually as ascended beings of sorts.

Unitology also has a hierarchy of ranks that you could climb by purchasing those ranks through donations to the church. They also have members in high-ranking positions able to use their influence to help the cult.

Isaac Clarke’s Involvement With the Cult

Key Art for Dead Space Remake
Image Source: Motive

Isaac Clarke is entangled with the cult of Unitology throughout the series from the get-go. The USG Ishimura, the ship Isaac was sent to rescue, was sent specifically to obtain one of the Red Markers that humans had created and then abandoned. After that, the knowledge of how to create markers was imprinted into Isaac’s mind, making him a high-value Cult target.

It runs even deeper than most might suspect, though, as Isaac hated the cult of Unitology even before he started stomping on Necromorphs. His mother was a Unitologist who squandered a lot of the family’s money on the purchase of Unitology ranks. As a result, he had a level of disdain for Unitologists.

You also meet members of the religion throughout the games. Captain Benjamin Mathius of the Ishimura is a member, as is the sinister scientist Dr Challus Mercer. There is also the Circle, a more fringe militant group that attacks Isaac in Dead Space 3.

That’s it for an explanation of what Unitology is in Dead Space. If you want more Dead Space guides, stick around on Twinfinite. We have guides that explain who Nicole is, how to calibrate the ADS cannons and many more.

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