Carthage, Michigan: Carthage Mall is the third mission of Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain. Players fight to rescue the shopping center by diffusing viral bombs and rescuing SWAT personnel; eventually, they must neutralise the head of the ALA, Soren Masson himself.


  • "Cobra" (playable)
  • Soren Masson (K.I.A.)
  • SWAT officers (player determined)
  • Dr. Elsa Weissenger (seen in cutscene)
  • Imani Grey (seen in cutscene)
  • Mihai Niculescu (seen in cutscene)
  • Mara Aramov (seen in cutscene)
  • Mikhas Ivankov (mentioned)
  • Teresa Lipan (seen in cutscene)
  • Alima Haddad (seen in cutscene)
  • Lawrence Mujari (mentioned)
  • Gabe Logan (mentioned)
  • Gary Stoneman (mentioned)
  • William Crusher (mentioned)

Plot synopsis

SWAT officers gathering outside the Carthage shopping center are alerted by the loss of 4 men, and a team leader insists there is a good sniper somewhere inside. His superior, however, counter-acts these orders; the team leader tells him men are getting massacred. The superior reacts by telling him to use smoke grenades, and orders the leader's team to move in as soon as possible.

Inside the mall, Masson orders his men to prepare the viral explosives, while others accompany him to the third level. Anybody who comes in, he says, will be given a Carthage welcome. Smoke grenades fall through the roof and blind the terrorists, but they don gas masks. Masson brags about the number of rabbits the hawk (ie, him) can kill.

When the mission starts, the player is tasked with locking down the four mall entrances, and diffusing the viral explosives. A tough enemy will confront one from the top floor; it is beneficial for the player to kill him with head-shots. Upon finishing these objectives, Masson will emerge from his hiding position and begin sniping the player. Due to his elevated vantage point, one should use thermal scopes. If these weapons are unavailable to the player, they can be acquired from the snipers roaming the mall. As soon as Masson is killed, the mission ends.

In the ending cutscene, we see that Dr. E is attempting to assure Imani that Mujari is fine; they are at the Langley Air Force Base somewhere in Hampton, Virginia. Imani leaves, the player following her. Teresa makes a comment that Lawrene was lucky, and that Alima's good luck charm must have been the source. The latter replies that it was only superstition, but it worked for her. Imani is assigned to an investigation in Brazil; according to Teresa, she is sent to somewhere in the Amazon. Imani tells Teresa she loves babysitting Agency researchers. Before leaving, the former tells the player that she will write a good report.

The scene switches to Zurich, Switzerland. Niculescu, from his funds tower, contacts Mara and tells her time is running out. Gabe Logan was seen in Uganda asking questions. Aramov seems not to be surprised: the Agency is searching for Ivankov, as are Niculescu and her. Niculescu is impatient: Mara is taking many risks, but the latter is not fazed in the least, in fact, she is supposed to do just that. She reports that Ivankov is in Belarus, and she is meeting him. Before the conversation continues, she cuts the line and says she knows what Niculescu wants, but it isn't always about what he wants.



This will probably be the easiest mission to achieve par at least for the first episode (set in Carthage). As long as you have smoke grenades and the AU300 Mod-R, you will be fine.

Weapon sets

Weapon slot Likely Moderate Best
Back Combat shotgun AU300 Mod-R* AU300 Mod-R*
Sidearm G-17 Jerico-41 Desert Express .50
Auxiliary Scorpion* Biz-9 SSP 90
Grenade Smoke grenade Smoke grenade Smoke grenade
Melee Stun Jack E.D.T. E.P.D.D.

*Primary weapon

1) Hug the right side of the mall - you'll soon see an door off to your right. Lock it down.

2) Do a 180 (make note of the escalator ahead). Run straight, going past the escalator. Again, make note of the short stairs on your right leading to a "depressed" area.

3) Run along the left wall now. Make note of the other "depressed" area you see. Also make note of the 2nd escalator. You'll see another door, lock it.

4) Do a 180 and head straight, but don't go up the escalator. Instead, go just a bit past it, and then go right. You're headed for the 2 "depressed" areas with the stairs you passed earlier (it's accessible from all sides).

5) You'll see the viral bomb down here, but don't disarm it yet. Use your auto-aim to try and find a guy on the floor above throwing grenades. Pop him fast if you find him! He'll make it tough for you to get par/0 deaths since he has armour. 

(*) This guy can sometimes be a nuisance to reach because you may your

auto-aim will probably be focusing on guys downstairs, and this guy

also likes to hide.

6) Now you can disarm the viral container. Facing it, turn left and keep headed straight (sidetracking by all the debris if you set the bomb off).

7) Go all the way to the next "depression" we passed earlier with the 2nd viral bomb - disarm it as fast as you can.

> Objective Complete: Disarm both viral explosives

8) Facing the bomb, turn left and head straight for the escalator/stairs. You'll have to head to the left side to go up, hugging the left wall.

9) Eventually, you'll come by the next door on your left (near a couple of water fountains). Lock it down!

10) Leave here and go back towards the stairs/escalator you took to get here. When you pass them (on your left), keep heading straight and hugging the wall.

(*) As you circle around, keep note of this area and the landmarks like

the trashcan. We're returning here shortly.

11) Keep hugging the wall - eventually you'll come to the next door that you have to lock down. It is in the alcove on the right, by some phones. Lock it.

> Objective Complete: Lock down mall entrances

12) Again, go back the way you came, near where I noted earlier (as you pass by the traschans). Masson will make his way out onto the THIRD floor of the mall (which you can't access) and will keep passing by the walkway near here.

13) Auto-aim to reach Masson (you'll have to wait for him to shut up first).

(*) You'll know it's him when your character locks on to someone up 

above you.

(*) He usually comes from the left side and runs back and forth.

14) Zoom in and snipe Masson. Voila!

> Objective Complete: Complete DPE order on Masson


Normal mode

Cobra:  SWAT team members

Python: 2 doors upstairs

Viper:  2 doors downstairs, viral bombs

Dragon: Go wild...  And kill Masson.

Cobra:  At the start, just blow up the overpass and use the far escalator to reach the SWAT guy upstairs.  Lift him up, and walk off of the sharp edge of the blown up overpass - You'll land on the debris; if you fail to land on it, you'll die. Carry the guy to safety and then carry the SWAT guy downstairs to safety.  Note that it's best to carry the guy UPSTAIRS to safety first, since carrying the guy downstairs will trigger enemies to spawn.

Python: Lock down the 2 doors upstairs.  Make sure you use the escalators to reach the doors; for the door on the left, you can also climb up from the blown up overpass.  Running around the entire mall takes more time (waste of time).  And, make sure you have smoke grenades.

Viper:  Surprisingly, you do NOT necessarily need smoke grenades, since the enemies tend to keep their distance from you (still, can't hurt). Make sure that you get out of the way fast after you disable the viral bombs - Enemies will be throwing grenades your way, and smoke grenades do NOT seem to help in such a situation.

Dragon: If you want, you can hang with Viper for a while.  Just make sure you position yourself for Masson before the last door (or viral bomb) gets locked down (or disarmed).  He'll appear in the area between the far escalator and the walkway to the right of it.  Just flood the 3rd level between the two points with sarin gas.

Team (Speed)

Cobra: Door (right) Upstairs, SWAT (upstairs) (Hardest)

Python: 1st Bomb, Door (left) Downstairs, SWAT (downstairs) (Second hardest)

Viper: 2nd Bomb, Masson (Moderate)

Dragon: Door (right) Downstairs, Door (left) Upstairs (Moderate)

Cobra: How the run will go can be determined within the first few seconds.  As the limiting factor, you MUST get off to a good start at the beginning.  The idea here is to go up the escalator and cross the overpass quickly, so your teammates can blow it up quickly.  Taking too long will shorten the time you have to get the SWAT guy to safety, as well as give Python less time to get the other SWAT guy to safety.  Anyway...  cross it as fast as you can, and lock down the door.  After you lock it down, grab the SWAT guy, drop down, and carry him to safety.  You do NOT have to take the SWAT officers all the way into the safe zone; as long as their entire body is at least in between the store window, you're good... But be warned, the bad news is that like the recorder in Carthage 2, the SWAT officers CANNOT be a last-minute event.

Python: Unlike Cobra, you do NOT have to get off to a good start. There's PLENTY of time after disarming the first viral bomb to allowing Cobra to cross the overpass.  Just make sure you DON'T get nailed by a grenade while waiting.  You SHOULD be able to get your SWAT guy to safety before Cobra reaches the safe zone.  Because of that, you need to go SLIGHTLY further into the safe zone so you won't be an obstruction to Cobra.

Viper: A fairly short assignment here.  Just wait until Cobra is safely across the overpass, blow it, disarm the viral bomb and kill Masson.  What makes this job slightly difficult is that Masson MUST be killed as soon as he APPEARS. In fact, he should be killed so fast that the music SHOULDN'T even change... So, you need Sarin grenades, and make sure you get a good feel for what area to target.

Dragon: This is the easiest job for this mission, but also one that requires focus.  The second door that Dragon locks down is what will trigger Masson to appear.  So, as long as Viper eliminates Masson as soon as he appears, the team can control when the whole mission ends.  From the start of the door lock down to the end of the stage, there is a passage of 22 seconds.  Therefore, if Dragon starts locking down the door at 48 seconds, and Viper manages to kill Masson right AFTER the spawn, the stage will end at a time of 1:10


  • It is possible to rescue the SWAT officers without a teammate.
  • The 'Carthage battle theme' plays during the starting cutscene of this mission when the SWAT officers argue about pulling out, but it cuts off halfway when the camera transits to the mall's interior.
  • As soon as Masson spawns, there are an infinite amount of enemy snipers that also appear on the building's second floor.
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