The USG Ishimura is an interstellar mining ship and the primary setting of the original Dead Space game. Built by the Concordance Extraction Corporation (CEC), the ship was the first of its type: a Planet-Cracker vessel designed to conduct large scale mining operations by tearing out massive chunks of a planetary body at a time. The Ishimura was named after Japanese scientist Hideki Ishimura, the man who invented the faster-than-light travel system known as the ShockPoint Drive.
Built in 2446, the Ishimura was hailed as the saviour of Earth and the Sovereign Colonies, and a symbol of mankind's innovation. She was created for mining and smelting entire planets and moons. She was also the first ship capable of the "scan and catch technique" for harvesting mineral-rich asteroids using huge gravity tethers. The Ishimura had the ability to lock onto asteroids and pull them into her massive collection bays for smelting. Despite being designed primarily as a mining vessel, the Ishimura also functioned as a medical research vessel. She had a dedicated medical wing, where extensive research into virology, toxins and genetics was conducted.
Arrival at Aegis VII Edit
The Ishimura had been in service for 62 years prior to the Second Aegis VII Incident. The ship's final mission took it to the restricted Cygnus system where it was supposedly to conduct a planet-cracking operation for CEC. In truth, however, the Ishimura had been commissioned by the Church of Unitology to recover a relic unearthed on Aegis VII, an alien artifact known as a Marker.
Prior to the Ishimura's arrival, the colonists on Aegis VII were experiencing mass dementia as a result of a signal emanating from the Marker. This led to a series of violent incidents in which colonists went insane and began committing wanton acts of murder and even suicide. However, this was exactly what the Marker was designed for; the artifact was sentient and required dead tissue in order to fulfill its function.
Shortly after the Ishimura's arrival, the Marker was brought up to the ship along with the bodies of the deceased colonists and a no-fly order was issued immediately after. This did nothing to curb the violence taking place on the colony as the dead started to reanimate as instruments of the Marker's will: Necromorphs. As the Necromorphs slaughtered the remaining colonists, many attempted to flee on the emergency shuttles and reach the Ishimura. One shuttle made it, but was carrying an Infector aboard, and so the contagion began to spread throughout the ship.
The crew were attacked by the Necromorphs while on their daily routines. There were only a few reported incidents at first, but word of the danger quickly spread throughout the Ishimura. Some men and women had jobs that they were forced to continue, despite the obvious danger, in order to keep the ship stabilized, but these stalwart crew members did not last long, and the ship slowly began to malfunction as an effect of nobody monitoring it. It finally became obvious that the entire crew was in danger, as order around the ship vanished. Decks that the creatures did not reach yet barricaded themselves off and made stopgaps to hold back the creatures when they attacked.
Unfortunately, most of the decks were caught unprepared, simply presenting easy kills for the Necromorphs (due to the ventilation system) and leaving said decks utterly devoid of life. The bridge, as well as the Medical and Mining decks, reportedly held out the longest; the Medical deck was completely overwhelmed with badly injured survivors, to the point where the medical staff barricaded the injured outside. The injured personnel were killed by the Necromorphs, and the creatures eventually breached the barricades and slaughtered any remaining medical staff. The Mining Deck, where wandering survivors rallied, lasted longer as a result of its endurance, but was eventually overrun by Necromorphs emerging from the ship's vent system. The Bridge was the last deck to be overrun; the remaining bridge crew, security, and officers made a last stand with their weapons, but, like the Mining Deck, the Bridge survivors were undone by the vent system, which provided easy access for the Necromorph hordes.
To make matters worse, an unknown force jettisoned the ship's complement of escape shuttles, possibly caused after Captain Mathius's death, leaving the remaining crew trapped on board the Ishimura with no way out. As a last desperate resort, Dr. Terrence Kyne disengaged the ship's engines, causing the ship to begin a slow descent towards the planet, in the vain hopes that it would burn up in the atmosphere and kill everything inside. Chief Security Officer Alissa Vincent intercepted him and tried to stabilize the engines in a bid to rescue the remaining survivors, but failed and instead sacrificed herself to launch a distress signal into space.
Isaac Clarke Edit
Some time later, the CEC shuttle USG Kellion arrived in the Cygnus system to conduct emergency maintenance on the Ishimura and determine the cause of its communications blackout. Shortly after docking, two of the Kellion's five-man crew were killed by Necromorphs in the flight lounge. The remaining Kellion crew - commander Zach Hammond, computer specialist Kendra Daniels and engineer Isaac Clarke - were separated and unable to leave after their vessel was destroyed by the creatures.
Isaac Clarke began investigating the ship, trying to restore whatever systems he could whilst dispatching the attacking Necromorphs with whatever weapons he could scrounge. Over time, however, he unknowingly fell victim to the influence of the Red Marker. Isaac had originally joined the mission to find his girlfriend Nicole Brennan, the Ishimura's chief medical officer, and had supposedly encountered her several times as well as received various messages from her. The terrible truth was that Nicole was already dead, having committed suicide as the Necromorphs were overrunning the ship, though Isaac never found her body. The hallucination of Nicole that Isaac had seen was urging him to return the Marker to Aegis VII and with the help of Dr. Terrence Kyne he succeeded in repairing the Ishimura's executive shuttle and used it to take the Marker back to the planet.
When Isaac returned the Marker to its pedestal, the treacherous Kendra appeared and attempted to steal it, revealing to Isaac the truth about Nicole before she departed. However, Kendra never made it off Aegis VII as she was killed by the Hive Mind, the giant Necromorph entity that was apparently controlling the others. Isaac fought against the Hive Mind even as the planetary chunk extracted by the Ishimura during planet-crack came plummeting down as the ship's gravity tethers had been deactivated earlier. Isaac succeeded in defeating the Hive Mind and boarded the escape shuttle, fleeing the planet as the continent-sized rock came smashing down upon the colony. Aegis VII was fractured by the impact as Isaac left the system, but what he did not realize was that the Marker had not been entirely destroyed. Worse yet, he was still being haunted by the Marker-induced apparition of Nicole.
Post-Aegis VII Edit
After the destruction of Aegis VII, the Ishimura was left to drift through space. When a group known as the Magpies, led by Jessica Li and Stefan Schneider, were using a shockring to transport minerals, the Ishimura was caught by its event horizon. It was transported to the Magpie's position, destroying their Nest. They stabilized the vessel with gravity tethers and boarded the Ishimura to salvage it, finding the ship in bad shape. It had been bombarded by asteroids, destroying entire decks; oxygen was leaking out and severely depleted, the ship's ShockPoint Drive was severely damaged, and most of the power and artificial gravity was gone due to the damage sustained by the engineering deck. Only emergency power and a few auxiliaries were still functional. The destruction of the Red Marker had caused the Necromorph infestation to dissolve into a soupy sludge-like material. Despite this, quarantine lockdowns were in effect all over the ship and the Corruption, though inactive, had covered almost everything, leaving the ship a miserable shadow of its former glory.
It was apparently deserted, so the Magpies embarked on an expedition through the ship, with the intention to recover any valuable equipment. However, following the discovery of several shards of the Red Marker on the outside hull, order collapsed. One of the crew, Malyech, assaulted his fellow salvager Li and had to be confined. Another crewman, Venschiff, was apparently driven mad by the Marker and attacked fellow salvager Schneider, only to be killed in the ensuing struggle. Copland, Malyech's assistant, left the Ishimura with a shard, planning to betray them to the Earth Government in exchange for a deal.
The worst, however, was yet to come. As the Earth Defense Force and the Oracles, a group of unknown alignment, closed in on the Magpies' positions, the Necromorphs were reanimated all over the ship and attacked the Magpies, a conflict that left Schneider as the sole survivor. The E.D.F squad was tricked by him to land in the cargo bay, where they were all slaughtered by Necromorphs. Schneider attempted to escape, but the Oracles pursued him, forcing them into a confrontation outside the ship. They were interrupted by a new Hive Mind, but it was dispatched by the Oracles. Schneider escaped the fight through a hatch while the Oracles were killed by the Necromorphs. Schneider recovered their weapons and made his way to the Oracles' stealth shuttle, notifying the Earth Government of the Ishimura's location before shocking out to an unknown destination and leaving the Ishimura behind. EarthGov ships supposedly shocked in not long after and recovered the Ishimura, bringing it to the Sprawl.
The Sprawl Edit
Sometime during the three years Isaac Clarke had been interred on Titan Station, otherwise known as the Sprawl, the USG Ishimura was docked there, and EarthGov engaged in a thorough cleanup and refit operation within the ship, ostensibly to wipe out all evidence of the Necromorph infestation. It is possible that some Necromorphs made it to the Sprawl and sometime later started the outbreak. Late in Dead Space 2, Isaac reentered the Ishimura, planning to use its powerful gravity tethers to reconnect a damaged space track. Isaac learned that his mission was to journey to the engineering deck to make the gravity centrifuge operable (which had been in the process of being upgraded when the Necromorph outbreak on Titan Station began). Once that was done, Isaac headed to the bridge using a tram car.
However, due to an obstruction in the tunnel, he was forced to route through the medical deck. After fighting off numerous Necromorphs and moving through a tram tunnel without gravity, he finally arrived at the bridge. He activated the gravity tethers in order to pull the space track together. The ship was still undergoing its cleanup and refit at the time of the Sprawl outbreak, and was in a battered yet somewhat recovered state. Protective materials had been deployed over walls, ventilation ducts, and other areas.
UV lighting illuminated blood smeared within numerous hallways. Lighting and other systems were also damaged. EarthGov also reinstalled several escape pods in the Bridge section, which Isaac used to exit the ship and return to the Sprawl. Among several other reinstallations, several updated Stores were put in place, likely so that workers could supply themselves if needed while they were working on the ship.
After Isaac destroyed the Site 12 Marker, he and fellow survivor Ellie Langford escaped from the Sprawl as the station exploded. The Ishimura was still in the dock as the station exploded and was destroyed along with it.
The Ishimura was infested by the following Necromorph types.
- Slashers - Common Necromorphs formed from individual crew members.
- Lurkers - Tentacled Necromorphs formed from cloned infants.
- Leapers - Creatures that crawl through tight spaces and can leap great distances.
- Pregnants - Bloated Necromorphs that carry dozens of Swarmers within their distended bellies.
- The Corruption - Amorphous mass of necrotic flesh that functions as a habitat changer.
- Drag Tentacles - Huge appendages extending from the Corruption.
- Infectors -Responsible for converting corpses into new Necromorphs.
- Guardians - Immobile Necromorphs fused to the Corruption.
- Twitchers - Soldiers from the USM Valor that boarded the Ishimura only to become infected. Their stasis modules became fused to their flesh and their functions reversed, making the creatures extremely fast.
- Brutes - Bulky Necromorphs formed by the fusion of multiple bodies.
- Leviathan - Giant amorphous Necromorph that had taken over the Ishimura's food storage bay.
- Wheezers - Creatures that produce toxic gases within their bodies.
- Slug - Similar to the Leviathan but found latching on to the outer hull of the Ishimura.
- Hunter - A man-made Necromorph created by Challus Mercer; capable of regenerating lost limbs.