Syphon Filter
Syphon Filter
Developer(s) Eidetic
Publisher(s) 989 Studios
Platform(s) PlayStation, PlayStation Network
Release date(s) NA February 17, 1999
Genre(s) Stealth, third-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s) ESRB: Teen
PEGI: 18+

Syphon Filter is a stealth third-person shooter video game for the PlayStation released in 1999. It is the first game in the Syphon Filter series and was re-released on December 4, 2007, on the PlayStation Network for use on the PlayStation 3 and the PSP.

Story and missions[]

Gabriel Logan and Lian Xing are operatives of The Agency, a super-secret government organization, on the trail of Erich Rhoemer, a German-born international terrorist. The game flashes back to a prior Agency mission in Costa Rica, during which Agent Ellis attempts to infiltrate a narcotics operation that Rhoemer is running. Ellis is captured, however, and Rhoemer orders Russian assassin Mara Aramov to execute him. He also orders Anton Girdeaux, a hired French mercenary who carries a large flamethrower, to burn the evidence. By the time Gabe and Lian arrive to assist, Ellis is dead, the evidence is destroyed, and Rhoemer is gone.

In Washington, D.C., Agency Deputy Director Edward Benton is giving a report on Gabe's mission to Agency Director Thomas Markinson and a shadowy, unnamed figure. Gabe and Lian investigate a mysterious viral outbreak in the Himalayas, which leaves only a single survivor in a Nepali village, a fact that Lian describes as impossible.

Georgia Street[]

Washington, D.C. 08/23 22:45
When the game begins, Rhoemer and his terrorists have launched an assault on Washington, D.C. Gabe begins his mission near the Georgia Street Washington Metro station. His first task is to eliminate Pavel Kravitch, Rhoemer's communications expert, and destroy the communications array. Gabe assists a CBDC team by providing cover fire while viral bombs are defused by CBDC agents before he descends into the subway station. Gabe fights his way through the station with the task of tagging viral bombs for CBDC to defuse. The last bomb he comes across, however, is not viral..... Rhoemer had the entire station rigged to explode, causing ten square blocks of D.C. to sink into the ground.

Destroyed Subway[]

Washington, D.C. 08/23 23:45
Gabe survives the massive explosion but is now trapped in a demolished, burning subway station deep underground. He fights his way back to the upper level of the station where a previously tagged viral bomb lays miraculously unharmed. Gabe clears a path for CBDC to come in and provides covering fire while an agent defuses the bomb. Gabe next shuts down an oil main which clears a fire blocking the tunnel leading to the main subway line. Gabe makes his way through the tunnel, climbing over destroyed train cars and fighting Rhoemer's goons before reaching the main line.

Main Subway Line[]

Washington, D.C. 08/24 00:30

Upon reaching the main subway line, Gabe runs into international assassin Mara Aramov and pursues her through the tunnel, fighting Rhoemer's goons and dodging subway cars being used by FEMA for emergency supply shuttles. Gabe manages to wound Aramov and corner her, and learns the main viral device is located somewhere in Washington Park. Gabe leaves Mara in the subway tunnel unconscious.

Washington Park[]

Washington, D.C. 08/24 00:45
When Gabe reaches the park he is tasked with tagging three hidden viral bombs in the park and providing CBDC agents cover while they disarm the devices, with only a limited amount of time to do so. In the midst of this, Gabe also must free two CBDC agents taken hostage by terrorists. Gabe successfully frees the hostages and assists in the deactivation of the viral devices in time. Gabe then finds the communications dish used by the terrorists to coordinate the assault, which Lian Xing uses to locate Rhoemer's triggerman, Jorge Marcos. Gabe quickly finds Marcos and dispatches him. Lian informs Gabe that the main viral device is located at the Freedom Memorial building at the northern end of the park. Gabe also knows this is where he will find Anton Girdeaux, one of Rhoemer's hired mercenaries. Gabe continues to fight his way through the park and reaches the Memorial building.

Freedom Memorial[]

Washington, D.C. 08/24 01:15
Gabe confronts Girdeaux, who is dressed head-to-toe in bulletproof armor and wielding a large flamethrower. Girdaeux points out that the Freedom Memorial depicts the history of American wars and aggression, and how the terrorists are to add to it. Gabe denies Girdeaux's claim, and the two face off. Despite Girdeaux's armor and superior weapon, Gabe is able to use elusiveness and Girdeaux's slowness to his advantage. Gabe fires at the fuel tanks on Girdeaux's back, which burst into flames and eventually explode, dispatching Girdeaux in a burning heap. Gabe tells Lian to call in CBDC to deal with the viral bomb.

Lab results show that Syphon Filter is a deadly next-generation biological weapon, capable of targeting specific demographics, killing all but those chosen to survive. Gabe decides to travel to New York City, where PHARCOM CEO Jonathan Phagan is hosting a dinorama. Gabe plants a bug on Phagan so that Lian can keep track of where he goes and who he speaks with, hoping to gain information about the virus.

PHARCOM Expo Center Reception[]

New York City 08/25 19:00
Gabe notices Phagan leaving the reception and decides to follow him, wanting to be there when his meeting went down. Gabe stealthily follows Phagan through the various exhibits, quietly eliminating security patrols along the way. Eventually, Phagan is confronted by Aramov, who escaped from custody, and Benton, who turns out to be the Agency's mole. Benton discovers the bug planted on Phagan and knows he is not alone. Aramov takes Phagan away while Benton stays to fight Gabe. Gabe ends up killing Benton and continues his pursuit of Aramov and Phagan, fighting off PHARCOM's security guards along the way. Phagan's bug has been destroyed, so Gabe goes to the security control room so that Lian can use the camera feeds to find him.

PHARCOM Expo Center Dinorama[]

New York City 08/25 19:15
Lian discovers that Aramov has taken Phagan to the dinosaur exhibit. Gabe fights his way out of the security room, through several exhibits, and the lobby, before finally reaching the exhibit. He finds Aramov interrogating Phagan at gunpoint, giving him ten seconds to disclose the location of the virus' DNA files. Realizing the Agency needs both to be taken alive, Gabe quickly incapacitates Aramov with a well-placed taser shot. Gabe succeeds in capturing Aramov alive but Phagan escapes.

Upon Gabe's return to the Agency and his report of Benton's betrayal, Markinson reveals he has known about this since Gabe and Lian's botched raid in Costa Rica, saying, "We do what it takes, all of us." The Agency has located Rhoemer's secret base in Kazakhstan, and sends Gabe in with the intention of retrieving missile codes from a stockpile of SS-23 missiles in Rhoemer's bunker, in the hopes the Agency can find out where they are being supplied from, and destroying whatever other arms Rhoemer may be stockpiling.

Rhoemer's Base[]

Rozovka, Kazakhstan 09/01 21:00

Gabe infiltrates the base by hitching onto the bottom of an incoming truck. He sneaks around the base, quietly eliminating guards as to avoid alerting the base. Gabe must first disable the power to motion sensors which protect the entrance to the bunker in which the SS-23's are located. Along the way, he plants C4 explosives at strategically placed fuel tanks to be activated and detonated after Gabe completes his mission. Gabe finds and kills the base's commanding officer, Vadislav Gabrek, using Gabrek's keycard to gain access to the bunker's entrance.

Base Bunker[]

Rozovka, Kazakhstan 09/01 21:30
Upon entering the bunker, Gabe inadvertently triggers a silent alarm which blows his cover and cuts off a possible escape route. Nevertheless, Gabe continues with his mission, fighting off Rhoemer's guards and deactivating deadly laser grids in order to gain access to the missiles. Gabe catalogs ten SS-23 missiles in the bunker before fighting his way to the elevator to the roof. Lian warns Gabe that time is short and she is soon to be discovered by Rhoemer's troops.

Base Tower[]

Rozovka, Kazakhstan 09/01 21:40
By the time Gabe reaches the roof, Lian has been discovered and is under heavy fire. Gabe deactivates the base's radar dish which allows Lian to fly over the base without being shot down, and also activates the explosive charges planted on the fuel tanks. However, before Lian can reach Gabe, Rhoemer finds her first and attacks her, with Gabe listening, telling his guards to "dump the body." Rhoemer informs Gabe that Lian will not be picking him up, but that an attack helicopter has been sent instead. Gabe manages to destroy the helicopter, leaping off the roof as the chopper explodes.

Base Escape[]

Rozovka, Kazakhstan 09/01 21:45
Gabe contacts Markinson and informs him that Lian has been killed, and requests an evac. Markinson tells Gabe that his team will meet Gabe at the gate where he entered the base. With only a few minutes until the explosives detonate, Gabe races through the base, taking out any opposition in his way and reaches Markinson's chopper with seconds to spare. The ensuing cutscene shows the chopper barely escaping as Rhoemer's base is blown into a mile-wide crater.

When he returns to the Agency, Gabe learns that Syphon Filter is a fully controllable virus, capable of taking out entire demographics and even entire continents, only leaving alive those chosen to survive. The Agency has discovered that Phagan is being held prisoner at an abandoned cathedral in Uzhhorod, Ukraine, which Rhoemer is using as a stronghold for prisoners and human test subjects. Gabe tells Markinson he does not want a replacement for Lian while in the field. Markinson informs him he will not get one, but that Markinson himself will be flying Gabe to the cathedral coordinating this mission.

Rhoemer's Stronghold[]

Uzhhorod, Ukraine 09/07 06:30
Markinson drops Gabe onto the roof of the cathedral, with instructions to administer a viral antigen to all human test subjects which will counter the effects of the Syphon Filter virus, and to eliminate all of Rhoemer's medical personnel. Gabe steadily makes his way down through the cathedral, administering the antigen and eliminating the scientists, along with Rhoemer's guards. Eventually, Gabe finds an elevator that takes him down to the lower level of the stronghold.

Stronghold Lower Level[]

Uzhhorod, Ukraine 09/07 07:15

Now near ground level, Gabe's task is to find the entrance to the catacombs, while continuing to administer the antigen to test subjects and kill the scientists. Gabe notices crates with PHARCOM and World Health Organization (WHO) insignia on them, and figures Rhoemer and Phagan were up to something big, to which Markinson replies, "Don't get distracted." Gabe fights his way through the lower level of the complex, eventually reaching the Rose Chapel and the entrance to the stronghold catacombs.

Stronghold Catacombs[]

Uzhhorod, Ukraine 09/07 08:00
Upon entering the catacombs, Gabe overhears a guard informing a scientist of a security breach, and that the prisoners are to be excecuted. Markinson informs Gabe of the palmprint security system in use, meaning Gabe must follow the scientist to Phagan's cell without being discovered. Markinson also warns Gabe not to respond to any outside transmissions, not even from other Agency members. Gabe follows the scientist, silently taking out guards along the way, until reaching Phagan's cell. When the scientist enters the cell to execute Phagan, Gabe kills him and interrogates Phagan. Phagan reveals that the virus' DNA files are located at PHARCOM's warehouse complex in Kazakhstan and that Lian Xing is alive, being held in the catacombs. Phagan agrees to lead Gabe to Lian's cell if Gabe will let him go. Phagan leads Gabe through the catacombs, with Gabe fighting off Rhoemer's guards, until reaching Lian's cell. Phagan runs off, while Lian explains to Gabe that she has been infected with the virus and that....... Gabe and Lian fight their way out of the catacombs, catching up with Phagan, who is shot by Mara Aramov (who once again escaped from custody). Aramov, realizing she has nowhere to go, decides to help Gabe and Lian thwart Rhoemer's plans.

Mara reveals that the DNA codes for the Syphon Filter virus are located in the mainframe of an abandoned missile silo in Kazakhstan, accessible via PHARCOM's warehouse district. According to Mara's information, Warehouse 76 houses a secret entrance to a series of underground tunnels which lead to the silo.

PHARCOM Warehouses[]

Almaty, Kazakhstan 09/08 03:00
By the time the team reaches the PHARCOM warehouse complex, Rhoemer's men have attacked and are battling PHARCOM's security forces. Lian advises Gabe to use this to advantage; letting the two sides kill each other off and avoiding direct firefights will make it much easier for Gabe to fulfill his objectives. Gabe's first task is to find Richard Erikson, who possesses a viral scanner which Gabe needs to find viral carriers hidden in the warehouses. Gabe plants beacons on the carriers so that CBDC may contain and dispose of the bodies. Gabe makes his way through the complex, having to deactivate electric security fences to move into new areas.

PHARCOM Elite Guards[]

Almaty, Kazakhstan 09/08 03:15
Gabe finds shipping information for parts belonging to an R-9 Devyatka, a Soviet-era ICBM missile which carries a 5 megaton payload. He becomes suspicious that Rhoemer and Phagan were involved with something very big. Gabe fights his way through the area adjacent to Warehouse 76 while battling PHARCOM's elite guards, heavily equipped with PK-102 assault rifles, BIZ-2 pistol-machine guns, combat shotguns, and flak jackets. Along the way, Gabe again plants beacons on viral carriers in the warehouses, and makes his way through another underground maze, which eventually opens up to the entrance of Warehouse 76 amidst grenade-tossing foes. A group of fuel tanks located adjacent to the warehouse are blown up by the grenadiers and start a massive series of fires throughout the warehouse complex.

Warehouse 76[]

Almaty, Kazakhstan 09/08 03:45
Gabe realizes he only has a short amount of time to find the entrance to the tunnels before Warehouse 76 collapses around him. He races through the huge warehouse, dodging the out-of-control flames and a handful of PHARCOM security forces. Gabe eventually reaches an elevator with an out-of-reach panel. He shoots the panel, which calls up the elevator from the silo caves. As Gabe rides the elevator down, Warehouse 76 finally comes crashing down, collapsing the elevator shaft.

Silo Access Tunnels[]

Almaty, Kazakhstan 09/08 04:00

Having reached the access tunnels to the silo, Gabe must now fight his way through Rhoemer's forces to reach the silo. However, a series of deadly security lasers blocks the path, with Lian informing Gabe the only way to shut them down is to cut power to the whole tunnel complex. Gabe finds a service elevator, which he has to find a power relay for in order to restore power to the elevator. Once power is restored, Gabe is able to use the elevator to reach the level containing the power room. Gabe uses consoles in the power room to disable the safeties, which causes the generator to overload and explode, destroying the power room.

Tunnel Blackout[]

Almaty, Kazakhstan 09/08 04:45
Gabe manages to survive the explosion and finds and alternate way out of the destroyed power room, using metal girders to drop through a shaft into the blackened tunnels below. Gabe uses the darkness to his advantage, getting the drop on Rhoemer's men before they can see him. Gabe makes his way back to the main tunnel and follows it to the elevator at the silo entrance.

Missile Silo[]

Almaty, Kazakhstan 09/08 05:00
Gabe arrives at the missile silo to find the Devyatka missile ready for launch. He quickly descends to the lower level of the silo and climbs up to the Devyatka's access panel where he retrieves the abort codes for the missile. Gabe is then confronted by Markinson, who is revealed to have been negotiating with Rhoemer to obtain the Syphon Filter virus for the Agency since the botched raid in Costa Rica, and admits knowing Gabe, the Agency's best operative, would eventually have uncovered the truth. When Gabe demands to know the purpose of the nuclear missile, Rhoemer appears and shoots Markinson dead. Rhoemer claims the missile was his idea, and that Markinson was attempting to stop its launch. Gabe asks who the target is, but Rhoemer declines to tell and begins the launch cycle, forcing Gabe to take cover as Rhoemer escapes. Realizing he has minutes to abort the missile and avert World War III, Gabe fights through the control and mainframe rooms before sending the abort codes, successfully detonating the missile in mid-flight with seconds to spare. Enraged, Rhoemer once again appears armed with a grenade launcher and attacks Gabe in a final showdown. Gabe is able to escape the grenade blasts long enough to find a crate of nerve gas grenades and lob them at Rhoemer, finally killing him.

With Rhoemer defeated and the nuclear missile successfully destroyed, the world is saved from possible global war and the devastating effects of the Syphon Filter virus. However, after the credits finish, a scene plays showing the shadowy figure from the beginning of the game holding a sample of Syphon Filter inside of the Agency's headquarters with Aramov, who is laughing.

Equipment and weapons[]

  • Equipment and weapons in Syphon Filter


IGN ranked the game #19 on their list of the "Top 25 Games of All Time" for the first PlayStation console.[1]

  • GameSpot: 9.0
  • IGN: 9.5
  • Electronic Gaming Monthly: 7.62 out of 10
  • Official PlayStation Magazine: 4 out of 5


External links[]

Syphon Filter video games

Syphon Filter Syphon Filter 2 Syphon Filter 3 Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow