Like many games these days, the Dead Space (opens in new tab) remake has a New Game+ mode that becomes available after the game is finished for the first time. It enables players to start a new game loaded up with all the weapons, suits, and upgrades they’ve already earned, ostensibly making for an easier experience, and it also adds a number of new text logs that provide additional narrative background to life aboard USG Ishimura.
One of those NG+ logs is a supposedly “indecipherable” scrawl of marker symbols—basically a Dead Space hieroglyphic. But it’s actually very translatable: It’s a straight character-for-character exchange that was decoded (opens in new tab) not long after the original Dead Space was released.
(Here’s a GameFAQs (opens in new tab) thread from 2011, if you have doubts.)
Fortunately for those of you who, like me, are curious but not especially inclined to go to the trouble of decrypting the message yourself, redditor GingyYouTube (opens in new tab) has already done the job. There are a couple mistakes in the translation, but corrections are noted in the comments below.
This is what the message looks like in the game:
And this is what it translates to:
They walk in white
Untouched by red
They order the living
They shepherd the dead
A finger’s touch—
We’re frozen still
They are the answer
They are the will
Beyond the stars
The brethren wait
Oracles, deliver us
From humanity’s fate
While the content of the message is easy to figure out, what it actually means is a different matter. Several people in the thread believe the opening lines are a reference to Oracles (opens in new tab), a mysterious group of high-ranking cultists seen in the Dead Space 2: Severed DLC whose origins and motives are unknown. “Order the living [and] shepherd the dead” is taken to mean creating necromorphs and bringing them to convergence (opens in new tab), while the second stanza is believed to be a reference to Tau Volantis (opens in new tab), a planet in Dead Space 3 that was turned into a frozen wasteland eons ago in an attempt to halt a convergence event.
It’s all very deep-lore stuff, but the general consensus is that the references to events that occurred in later Dead Space games means EA is planning to remake those games, too—or is at least open to the idea. That theory is bolstered by the earlier discovery of another NG+ text log (opens in new tab) referring to the Sprawl, a space station on Titan that served as the setting for Dead Space 2.
The success of the Dead Space remake (opens in new tab) presumably makes similar updates of Dead Space 2 and 3, and maybe even more sequels beyond that, much more likely to happen. Even so, it’s cool to know (or at least reasonably theorize) that EA was thinking about it long before this remake saw the light of day.