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I'm at the very end and I'm low on ammo and no health packs. I watched a video with someone using the plasma cutter (which I've been using the whole game) and the player is getting one shot kills on Nichole and the marker. I'm assuming it's due to the special mode.

How do I activate/use the special mode? I can't find the controls to do it. I tried a few different things, but nothing worked. The plasma cutter is fully upgraded.

Update: Check again, guys: http://solidlystated.com/software/dead-space-2-plasma-cutter-special-upgrade/

The plasma cutter DOES have a special upgrade. Just need to know how to use it.

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I have played DS2 but never heard of this "special mode". Can you give any reference to this? Are you sure he isn't just playing on easy mode? Can you link to the video you mention? –  JohnoBoy Jun 6 '12 at 6:41
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@JohnoBoy see my updated question. I added a link to a screen that shows the upgrade. –  DustinDavis Jun 6 '12 at 13:20
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3 Answers

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There is no "special mode" at all. There are only 2 options with the plasma cutter. Either shoot it vertically or horizontaly. However, for the guns that have a SPC node that does add a unique attribute to that weapon. In the case of the plasma cutter it gives the gun incindiary rounds and will light anything it hits on fire.

Like @JohnoBoy said, the person could have been playing on Easy, or they may also have had the Elite Advanaced Suit which can be seen in this list. This suit adds 10% damage to all weapons.

The SPC node upgrades do not have to be activated. Once unlocked every shot taken will have that attribute applied.

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It exists as an upgrade: solidlystated.com/software/… –  DustinDavis Jun 6 '12 at 13:08
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@DustinDavis Thus my statement "... for the guns that have a SPC node that does add a unique attribute to that weapon". –  Emerica. Jun 6 '12 at 13:44
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The weapon you're talking about is not the Plasma Cutter, but the secret Hand Cannon weapon.

enter image description here

This kills all enemies with one shot and you unlock it by completing the game on Hardcore, then it appears in the shop on the next playthrough (so you won't be able to use it on your current playthrough unfortunately).

There is an article about it here with a video of it in action:

http://www.platformnation.com/2011/01/29/dead-space-2-secret-weapon/

If you are still having trouble, there are a few tricks and glitches you can use\exploit to get more power nodes and ammo, such as this infinite supply of nodes:

http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/975303-dead-space-2/57955206

EDIT: The special upgrade you are referring to is activated by upgrading the Plasma Cutter so that that nodes filled. Then it should be activated automatically and necromorphs will be slightly set on fire, but only on the part of the body that they've been shot and it is a hardly noticeable effect. It doesn't, however, kill anything with one shot and it's not that powerful. Unless perhaps they were playing on easy as @JohnBoy suggested.

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It exists as an upgrade and apparently sets the target on fire: solidlystated.com/software/… –  DustinDavis Jun 6 '12 at 13:07
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Even though w69rdy and Emerica answered your question, I don't think you're understanding it, so I'll answer in a different way.

You asked:

How do I activate/use the special mode?

The answer is simply: You don't activate it, it is a static effect that is applied all the time when you upgrade the Plasma Cutter enough.

It is not a "one-hit kill" effect, it is simply an effect that lights fire to the enemy, causing a bit of extra damage and a small fire animation on the part you shoot.

You said

The plasma cutter is fully upgraded.

Which means that, like in the picture you gave: http://solidlystated.com/software/dead-space-2-plasma-cutter-special-upgrade/, the SPC node at the far right is unlocked, correct? That means that your Plasma Cutter is ready to light up some aliens, no further upgrades or "secret activations" necessary.

So:

The plasma cutter DOES have a special upgrade. Just need to know how to use it.

You are correct, it does have an upgrade, and it is used automatically when you shoot it.

Good Luck and have fun! :)

PS- as for that vid were you saw someone killing people in one hit, you havn't let us see it yet so for now I'll assume the person in the vid was probably playing on easy, or playing some sort of mod. If you could post the vid that would be great.

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