"How long has Rhoemer been working for you, Markinson?"
"Since your mission to Costa Rica. When you discovered the connection between Rhoemer's plantation and Phagan, I did some digging of my own through our monitor at the WHO..."
"...and decided that you wanted the virus for yourself."
"With the Agency, actually."
"And the missile?"
(Markinson is shot in the head from behind. He tumbles forward into the missile pit and is incinerated.)
"The missile was MY idea. Markinson came here to stop it. But he was too late. As are YOU."
Erich Rhoemer is a major antagonist in Syphon Filter and Syphon Filter 3. Rhoemer is a German International Terrorist that leads the Black Baton, an organization involved in terrorism and other illegal activities. He is the main antagonist of the first Syphon Filter, having arranged the Washington D.C. Attack as well as kidnapping Lian Xing and injecting her with the Syphon Filter Virus.
His organization boasts a large number of criminals and mercenaries outfitted with his stored weaponry while hidden in secret he has laboratories working on perfecting the virus, to use as a biological weapon as he pleases. He kidnapped various scientists to work on the virus, first in a plantation in Costa Rica (which he disposed of after finding an informant named Ellis in his organization) and later at his personal Stronghold. He was also in business with Pharcom and more specifically, the chief executive Jonathan Phagan where he employed their resources into developing the virus.
It's revealed in the end that he was actually working for The Agency, at least in part. His ultimate ambition was his own and it's likely he used the Agency to fund his projects. The ultimate example of his own actions is firing a R-9 Devyatka into the atmosphere above Kazakhstan, with the intention of releasing the virus on millions. The missile is destroyed and he is killed shortly thereafter by Gabriel Logan, however his actions lay groundwork for the next two titles.
Erich Rhoemer was born in Leipzig, Germany in 1964. Much of his early life is shrouded in mystery, however he eventually became a terrorist, becoming responsible for various attacks throughout the world. He gained enough power to start his own organization called the Black Baton, which would employ thousands of criminals and mercenaries to work towards his goals. The earliest recorded date to their existence is 1994 (with Mara Aramov's involvement), however it is possible that the organization has existed for longer.
As a terrorist, he was responsible for hijacking an airplane from the Gulf Airlines in Istanbul, Turkey during the year of 1995. He was later responsible for a bombing on the Comms Parks building in London, United Kingdom during the year of 1997. Apart from these attacks, he has ties to various terrorist organisations throughout the world including South America, the Middle East, Europe and the former USSR.
In 1998, Gabriel Logan and Lian Xing (as part of The Agency) were placed in the International Terrorism Unit with the goal of capturing Rhoemer. At some point in time here, Rhoemer became involved with both Pharcom and Edward Benton, however he wouldn't become involved with The Agency until after the Costa Rica Operation.
The following is taken from Page 24 of the Syphon Filter game manual.
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
Weight: 193 pounds
Eye Color: Brown
Hair Color: Black
Responsible for the bombing of the Comm. Parks building, London, U.K., 1997. Airplane hijacking, Gulf Airlines, Istanbul, Turkey, 1995. No records exist prior to 1994. Has ties with many terrorist organizations in South America, the Middle East, Europe, and the former USSR.
No formal training records or certifications exist.
AppearanceRhoemer's appearance comes out as a militant figure, wearing camoflauge pants with combat boots and a matching sleeved shirt. Overtop of this shirt is a different kind of camoflauge vest, and from this vest you can see that underneath it and the shirt is another red shirt (possibly short sleeved). He wears a signature red baret with an unknown symbol on the front, perhaps representing the Black Baton or some affiliation with other terrorist groups or perhaps even an old German military unit. In both of his ears are golden earrings, worn just at the corner of the earlobe. He also has a total of four grenades attached to his belt, two on each side of his body.
Though Rhoemer appears to be of African descent, he is indeed German but it is very possible that he still has some African in his blood. As far as other features, he stands tall with a mustache and stubble beard and short black hair.
Born in Germany but from Chechen descent, Erich Rhoemer became one of the world's top terrorists and a critical component of the Syphon Filter conspiracy. Suspected links to Mikhas Ivankov and other figures of the Russia underworld such as Mara Aramov enabled Rhoemer to create an international terrorist network across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. His group launched various attacks, initated a bombing at London's Comm Parks building, and hijacked a Gulf Airlines flight in Istanbul.
Rhoemer's terrorists established bases among former Soviet states while hiring an assortment of operatives from around the world, including Anton Girdeux, Vladislav Gabrek, Pavel Kravitch, and Jorge Marcos. PharCom and Jonathan Phagan found that the small army was valuable as a force to develop and release the virus, and Rhoemer joined the Syphon Filter project.
Mara Aramov infiltrated Rhoemer's cell to supervise his actions, and the Agency also became interested in his services. While in a Costa Rican plantation, Rhoemer began working for Director Thomas Markinson and Deputy Director Edward Benton. The latter warned him about the impending arrival of Agents Gabriel Logan and Lian Xing to the location. In response, Rhoemer ordered that Girdeaux incinerate the entire plantation, told Aramov to execute Ellis (an undercover agent) and donned impenetrable ABS armor. He boarded a C130 plane in an attempt to escape, but Gabe Logan took things into his hands, defying Benton who explicitly warned him against pursuing Rhoemer in revenge. Although threatened that his actions would not 'go unpunished', Gabe nonetheless used a USAS-12 to drive him out from the cargo bay, only for the antagonist to parachute and escape.
Logan and Xing later investigated a viral outbreak in Nepal, which was a test that Rhoemer had planned for. Though numerous victims were killed, one survivor was found, an event Lian believed to be impossible.
Rhoemer then initiated an attack on Washington, D.C. and attempted to release viral bombs upon the population. The plot was unsuccessful, and Rhoemer pursued his own goals of acquiring a missile to launch at an unspecified target. He betrayed Phagan, Mihai Niculescu and Vincent Hadden, using the former as an incubator for a new phase of the virus and forcing the latter two to send Mara Aramov after him.
Terrorists loyal to Rhoemer engaged the PharCom security force in the latter's warehouses in Kazakhstan as Rhoemer sought to fire the missile from an underground missile silo. Gabe Logan also became involved in the conflict in an attempt to stop the antagonist from launching the missile. After Logan found out Markinson was involved right from the start, Rhoemer shot the director and initiated the missile's launch, but Gabe intervened, destroying it in in midair. Furious, the Black Baton commander confronted Logan and offered to make the agent an ally, but was turned down. He then engaged his nemesis in a duel to the death. The battle with Agent Logan ended with Rhoemer inhaling lethal nerve agents from a gas grenade and succumbing to its effects.
Personality and characteristics
Rhoemer seems to be an idealist radical, and was easy to manipulate. Brash while under the watchful eye of Mara Aramov and the Agency, he tends to do things his own way. His response to most situations is mercilessly killing the people responsible. This is seen when he orders Agent Ellis's execution, when he tells Mara to shoot Phagan (although this is not seen) and when he shoots Markinson's head. Whether or not he truly cared for the Agency's true intentions is uncertain: the most probable outcome was that he seeped back to his terrorist roots and wanted things taken into his own hands.
When Gabriel Logan confronts Rhoemer as he launches missiles filled with Syphon Filter, he no longer cares about the missiles' targets.
Quotes During Battle
- "Where are you, Logan?"
- "How would it feel to watch your partner die a slow and horrible death?"
- "Are you still alive!?"
- "Heads up!"
- "Don't you know when to quit, Logan!?"
- "Think fast!"
- "I see you!"
Chronologically Erich Rhoemer's Plantation level takes place before the events of Syphon Filter, so it will be listed first.
Costa Rican Incident
Erich Rhoemer first is mentioned as part of Gabriel Logan's testimony for Vince Hadden during a hearing to decide whether or not to convict Logan of apparent "crimes" against the Government, one being the assassination of Shi-Hao. Gabe recalls his first involvement with the Syphon Filter Virus at a plantation in Guacimo, Costa Rica. Gabe and his partner, Lian Xing are sent in to investigate and find out exactly what Rhoemer is growing. They learn that he is heavily armed, having automated turrets and a vast supply of soldiers under his command, so they begin to wonder what could be so important that he is hiding it? They proceed to take out the turrets and as many soldiers possible as they make their way to rendevous with a secret informant placed into the Black Baton, agent Ellis.
Meanwhile, Rhoemer is liquidating all the incriminating evidence, after learning that Gabe and Lian have come to meet up with their informant whom he just recently discovered was relaying information to his agency. In truth, The Agency most likely informed Rhoemer about Ellis and let him deal with him as he pleased, just as long as their plans bore fruit. So, by Rhoemer's decision, he ordered Anton Girdeux to burn the plantation as well as The Serum to the Syphon Filter virus, giving his at-this-time assassin Mara Aramov the order to execute Ellis. She gladly agreed and as Gabe and Lian arrived at the coordinates Ellis sent, they heard a gunshot. Upon arrival Rhoemer and his team had already vaporised while Ellis laid dead in the grass, thus Gabe had priority to find out exactly where he was going. Eventually the pair splits up and after performing considerable mischief in Rhoemer's compound, including evading elaborately placed mines, Logan locates where Rhoemer has taken refuge: inside a C-5 Galaxy Transport
As Gabe discovers the transport, he reveals that Rhoemer's initial plan after destroying the plantation was to have his soldiers take care of the scientists that were researching the virus and then escape with crates of extract from the plants for the Agency. While Lian continues investigating into Rhoemer's activities, Gabe, determined to settle a score with Rhoemer, defied Edward Benton's warnings and took it upon himself to charge in a jeep after the transport. After making an elaborate entry (which destroys the truck in the process), he makes his way into the transport only to be greeted with an angry Benton's remarks. Gabe cuts him off short and takes out the soldiers on board, discovering an ABS Armor helmet on one of the cargo crates. Gabe calls in his questions of why there would be such equipment in Rhoemer's possession and as he proceeds towards the cockpit, Rhoemer rushes down the stairs in his new armor. Gabe takes a few shots, missing Rhoemer's head entirely and he proceeds to the back of the plane firing off his weapon. Gabe decides to head to the cockpit where the pilot, feeling threatened, informs Gabe if he dies, everyone dies. Gabe decides to let him live and spots the lever on the wall that would release the cargo hatch door in the back. He pulls it, returns to pick up a USAS-12 and goes to find Rhoemer.
Out from behind a crate he comes, ready to take out Logan first chance he gets. After a sly remark and firing off his weapon, Gabe pulls out his USAS-12 and lays round after round into his armor, each blast forcing him closer and closer to the door. Upon the final blast, Rhoemer is sent flying out the hatch and Gabe hopes that is the end for this terrorist. Much to his dismay, Rhoemer survives, escaping with a parachute and later being picked up by his allies to where he'd later mount a bombing on Washington D.C.
Washington DC Attack
Rhoemer is first shown in the intro, which is the original version of when he ordered the burning his plantation. After that, all the events follow as shown in Syphon Filter 3 but this time we learn that he had released the virus in Khumbu, Nepal in a Sherpa Village, where many people are killed, but one survivor is discovered, which leads Lian to remark this is "impossible".
Rhoemer's next move, with the possession of Syphon Filter in his hands, is an attack on Washington D.C. itself. To make things worst, he has Viral Bombs that upon explosion can spread the virus at immense rates, infecting everyone in the area. He is seen walking through the underground Subway system beneath Georgia Street, Washington DC along with Mara Aramov, Anton Girdeux and Pavel Kravitch. Though he physically doesn't appear again until the end of Syphon Filter, he is heavily mentioned throughout the entire game and is involved behind the scenes. Gabe receives an objective to kill Rhoemer in a couple of missions in Washington, yet he never actually runs into his nemesis.
In the Washington D.C. Bombing for instance, Gabe is given priority to eliminate Rhoemer and any of his associates but while Gabe is busy on the surface dealing with Kravitch and a Viral Bomb located in a bank (as well as assisting CBDC agents), Rhoemer plants 2 bombs in the subway (one of which is a true explosive) and continues into the Main Subway Line with Girdeux ahead of Mara. It is possible he ordered her to stay behind to try and stop Logan, so that he may continue further on his plans. Apparently he spends some time here as after the explosion in the subway, Lian confirms that he is moving through the Main Subway Line. From here on out his location is unconfirmed, as he disappears during the Washington Park attack led by Anton Girdeux, though Rhoemer is still listed as an objective for Gabe to kill if spotted.
Expo Centre Conference
After the tone in story changes and Gabe learns of Pharcom's involvement in everything, Rhoemer is rumored to appear for a secret meeting with Jonathan Phagan which in fact involves Edward Benton and Mara Aramov. Rhoemer sent the latter to find out the location of the Syphon Filter labs from which Phagan had the knowledge of, but was unable to find out anything useful during the incident. When she even interrogates him later to find out information nothing useful is given and Phagan escapes due to Logan's interference. Although Phagan escapes from execution by Mara, things only deteriorated for him: he was captured by Black Baton men somewhere between the PHARCOM Expo Center and Rhoemer's Stronghold. Upon being detained, he is then placed into his catacombs. The PHARCOM CEO is then infected with a strain of Syphon Filter. His escape was ironic, for it only culminated with Mara succeeding in apparently assassinating him.
When Gabe learns the location of Rhoemer's Base in Kahkaztan, it is once again assumed that Rhoemer is at this location, in which case, he actually did return here and gave Gabrek priority to watch over the base while Rhoemer found out Lian Xing's location. Capturing her and, Rhoemer deployed a chopper in to find Logan. It's revealed that Rhoemer was stockpiling missiles in his base and the Agency needed to find out exactly where he was getting them from and what he was planning to do with them. In the end however, the entire base is destroyed and Gabe must move onto his stronghold -- an almost certain location for Rhoemer to be at.
While Rhoemer is actually at the location when Gabe arrives, by the time Gabe deals with the captives and scientists, not to mention fighting his way to the catacombs, Rhoemer had already made his leave, heading towards Pharcom's Warehouses after learning the information he needed from Phagan (he brought his elite soldiers, whom fought Pharcom's security personnel). Once more Gabe finds himself steps behind his nemesis but at least he gets Lian back as well as learning some valuable information in the meanwhile. Although Lian is infected with the Syphon Filter virus, Gabe has another advantage in the form of Mara's cooperation; he is able to get to the warehouses quite easily.
The Final Showdown
During the attack on the warehouses Rhoemer takes his top men with him as he makes his way down into the Silo, finding what he desired all along...the launch codes for a missile to send into the atmosphere and cause the massive spread of Syphon Filter throughout the country. In this sense he turned against the Agency to obtain his own goals, whereas Markinson, playing the Agency's lapdog at this point, came there for his own agenda. When Gabe finally arrives in the silo and confronts Markinson, Rhoemer takes it upon himself to get rid of Markinson and lets his men handle Logan...before giving him a few parting words.
Though Gabe is unable to stop the missile launch, he does have to get the codes in order to prevent the missile's activation and save the world. Fighting through swarm after swarm of enemies he finally gets to the mainframe computer system where the codes are retrieved and given to Lian, but he's not alone. Rhoemer greets him with a hunter's desire and arms his M-79 for battle.
DeathAs soon as Rhoemer comes up on Gabe the two do battle, but according to Lian's briefing update Rhoemer is invincible to anything Gabe can fire at him due to wearing some sort of "advanced polymer armor" underneath his uniform. Although Rhomer's not wearing a visible mask, it does not seem to matter, as any headshots cause no damage to Rhoemer and he just shrugs it off, claiming he cannot be killed by Logan's weapons. That said, his weapon of choice, the M-79 grenade launcher, is the perfect weapon for this close quarters battle, as the resulting blast again, somehow, cannot harm him but will definitely kill Gabe. Gabe, left with little options but to run, finds an area of high ground and after navigating the maze to a point where Rhoemer loses track of him, he makes his way up there to find a pleasant discovery. Inside a chest is a bunch of Gas Grenades and as Rhoemer has lost mortality in a sense, this seems to be the only way. Gabe lobs gas grenade after gas grenade into the maze, creating a toxic mist that he himself is able to avoid due to his altitude but is a hellhole for Rhoemer. Unable to compete with the poison gas, it weakens his body and he is forced to the ground, yelling Gabe's last name as he dies. In the end his plans are unsuccessful, as the missile attack is thwarted and his legacy ends in death.
"ANOTHER Agency screw up! D'you have any idea how close your incompetence has come to KILLING US ALL?"
"I'm NOT responsible for the actions of my predecessor. Markinson was NOT in control."
"Markinson was YOUR man!"
"As Rhoemer was YOURS."
Mara and Stevens bicker during the Secret Council in Syphon Filter 2
After the events of the first game, many questions arose within The Agency, as well as with the contact responsible for keeping Rhoemer in check, Cochran. After losing Rhoemer to his own ideals, Cochran is killed by Mara and he falls on the floor...while the mysterious shadowy man comments on no more errors. Throughout the game several mentions of Rhoemer are brought about and it's apparent he made quite an impact on The Agency.
Physically he makes an appearance once more as a Playable character in the Multiplayer mode, unlockable after completing the C-130 Wreckage level in 3 minutes.
- Chronologically the first use of this armor by a Syphon Filter villain, it was actually first shown in Syphon Filter 2 by the special team sent by Lyle Stevens to eliminate Gabe and retrieve the lab. Later in the game Jason Chance also wears the armor in his final battle with Gabe, but in Rhoemer's case...he puts it on as soon as he gets on the C-5 Galaxy Transport but forgets to wear the mask. The armor protects against all forms of weaponry but is pushed back through the use of a UAS-12 Shotgun used by Gabe to throw him out of the plane.
- Probably the best weapon in the game (with a terrible consequence if used in close quarters), he is the first character to use it as a weapon in his boss fight. Due to his invincibility, resulting explosions have no effect on his body so he's able to fire it with fire-and-forget comfort. His proficiency with this weapon is quite well, as many gamers who started this out for the first time died instantly as he showed up (and numerous times after until they found out how to win).
You fight him in the missile silo, right beside the detonation computer. Headshots, for once, count as nothing. He has an M-79 grenade launcher, trust me, you'd be wet wallpaper before you could pull off one of those. Same with your own M-79. But there are two, count 'em, two ways to beat him, and you will laugh at him, yawn at the large extent of his weakness.
This first way takes him down before he can fire a shot. Yeah, you read that right - you won't even have to fight him. In fact, he'll die before he even sees you. (And no, I'm not on crack; it CAN indeed be done)
Now, when you get to the computer room, you need a cushion of about forty-five seconds to pull it off, and that's down to the bare two or three left. So work fast. Use the PK-102 for quick headshots and the K3G4 to pummel your way through your opponents to the computer room. If you have K3G4 left, use that. Just run headlong into enemies on Target Lock, spraying them with those Teflon bullets. Keep moving; they'll be dead before you reach them. Alternatively, just use the PK-102 for fast headshots.
The guard at the entrance to the computer room is the only one you want to fight. Take him down and make a bee-line for the computer, fighting only those that get in your way. When you get there, take cover behind the large computer. You should have at least forty seconds left, and if that's the case, you have to be fast. Get the M-79 out, step back, and blow the guards in the loft with the gas grenades. (If you'd like to save another 5-10 seconds, after you kill the first guard of the room, switch to M-79 while running and just take them out with Target Lock as you reach them).
Climb over the right side of the computer (the left side will activate the computer), and get in the loft. Take the gas grenades. Equip them. Drop down, then climb onto the computer. When you drop, some of Rhoemer's men will come. So don't drop. Instead, flood the little entryway where you came in with gas grenades (or one well-aimed one if you're short for time) and drop down. They'll run in and choke. Activate the computer.
Now comes the fun. Watch Rhoemer run straight into his death with no chance to fight back. Man, he really looks like a sissy, eh?
If you're too pressed for time to do the aforementioned strategy, use the usual tactic. Explode the guards, and activate the computer. As soon as Rhoemer comes in, strafe right, and climb over. He'll shoot at you with the M-79, but the odds are 1/20 that he'll hit you (it's happened, but not very often at all). Run off the ledge, climb up, get the gas grenades. Staying a safe distance from the edge of the loft (Rhoemer can take a cheap shot), follow Rhoemer with Target Lock, and when he comes into sight, let him have it. He's finished.
Syphon Filter 3
In general, do what you did to Jason Chance. Have the USAS-12 equipped, and standing away from the vehicles (which can kill you if they explode), use single-shots to target him. The goal is to drive him backwards, not into helicopter blades as with Chance but off the ramp thus causing him to fall into the sky. You only have 12 rounds before the shotgun is empty, so use them wisely.
Things to remember in SF1
- Rhoemer has full armour, and with his equipment, headshots are an impossible goal.
- Rhoemer is essentially a diehard terrorist fanatic with an M-79. Easy as he may be, underestimate him under no circumstances. He is never afraid to mortar a man in the back.
- Even if there's no time to use the no-fight strategy, blow up the guards in the gas grenade loft anyway. It saves you a lot of trouble. You almost definitely have enough time.
- If you seriously don't have enough time, after Rhoemer comes in, climb up, roll over, and take cover. Then blow the guards with an explosive weapon (whichever you deem fit).
- If you use the no-fight strategy, be sure not to put gas grenades too close to the computer; you'll die trying to activate it.
- Georgia Street (Intro and cutscene)
- Destroyed Subway (mentioned)
- Main Subway Line (mentioned)
- Washington Park (mentioned)
- Freedom Memorial (mentioned)
- Expo Center Reception (mentioned)
- Rhoemer's Base (mentioned)
- Base Tower (voice)
- Rhoemer's Stronghold (mentioned)
- Stronghold Lower Level (mentioned)
- Stronghold Catacombs (mentioned)
- PHARCOM Warehouses (mentioned)
- Silo Access Tunnels (mentioned)
- Missile Silo
Syphon Filter 2
- McKenzie Airbase Interior (mentioned)
Syphon Filter 3
- Erich Rhoemer is the first boss character to use an M-79 Grenade Launcher as his weapon of choice against Gabriel Logan. The second being Dillon Morgan in the Pharcom Expo Center in Syphon Filter 2. Eventually, there were bosses in Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain who used such a weapon.
- While he is one of the enemies whose weapons are inaccessible. The others include Anton Girdeaux, Dillon Morgan, Uri Gregorav, Steven Archer, Nigel Cummings, Goran Zivmovic, Surgei Kudrenko, Surgeyev, Fahid Tamer, Malak, Bitar, Jason Chance, Lyle Stevens, Mara Aramov, Black King, Red Jack, Singularity and Touchstone.
- Despite being the main boss of the game, he only appears physically twice in the story. First at the beginning then again at the end, all other times he is two steps ahead of the protagonist Gabriel Logan and only has a speaking role before the chopper battle at Rhoemer's Base. This trait can be shared with Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror's boss Singularity, whom isn't even seen until the final missions but apparently is such a big impact behind the whole story, having been mentioned a few times throughout the game. In contrast, Jason Chance is a turn-around, as his change to the final boss is unexpected and not led up to as being (it turns into a great twist that makes him a worthy final boss nonetheless).
- He is one of two bosses who must be defeated with the USAS 12 (in Syphon Filter 3). The other being Jason Chance.
- He also shares another similarity with Chance in that both use ABS armour: he is the first character to do so chronologically.
- His death is foreshadowed by Gabrek's; both are killed with gas grenades if the player wishes to maintain stealth in his base.
- Rhoemer is the only villain apart from Mara Aramov that has had a significant impact on the storyline of other games and is featured as a boss for a second time in Syphon Filter 3.
- He is designated wearing a "Flak Jacket" during the fight in the Missile Silo, however shooting him with the K3G4 Assault Rifle has no effect and is the same as shooting at a character in full body armor.
- Due to this, it's virtually impossible to kill him with anything aside from the gas grenades. He's immune to his own explosive rounds from the M-79 and every part of his body is credited a "Flak Jacket" symbol, even his head. The "jacket" never depletes, despite how many times you shoot him and it's impossible to hit him with the Air Taser.
- It's likely that the game creators wanted the final boss to wear his normal attire but didn't want to make him a pushover who could simply be killed with a headshot. So they gave him an M-79, which he instantly attacks you with and gave him immunity to everything apart from gas grenades (which you have to search the area to find).
- Rhoemer is the first antagonist that Logan has "obsessed" over, in the sense of either capturing or eliminating his opponent. However at the time it could be that he simply wanted to capture a dangerous terrorist before he could cause more harm, not wanting to let any chance slip by (such as when he disobeyed a direct order from Benton). Another example of such a villain is Mihai Niculescu, the true mastermind who orchestrated the entire Syphon Filter fiasco from behind the scenes.
- In Syphon Filter 3's Multiplayer, Rhoemer is prone to taunting his enemies:
- "Get out of my face, you ugly stain!"
- "I'm gonna murk you up!"
- "You're wrong, and I'll tell you why..."
- "Such a messy business..."
- "Hurry up and die!"