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You corrupt her, steal her from the People's Republic, but you know nothing of her, do you? Lian is her maiden name. Shen is her married name.

Trinidad, Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow

Lian Xing is a special operations field agent who is the former second-in-command to Gabriel Logan in the IPCA and former operative working in the shadowy Agency under Edward Benton. Lian is Gabe's closest ally throughout the entire series, serving as either his combat teammate or tactical advisor via radio.


Lian Xing was a former agent of the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) until her defection to the Agency in the 90s. While working for China, she was married to the scientist Shen Rei, and Lian also trained under the assassin codenamed Trinidad. By become a career operative, Lian stayed with the country until events in Afghanistan led her to consider other paths. Her defection to the USA tarnished Trinidad's reputation, and her mentor fruitlessly attempted to regain trust with the MSS, an act that did not come to fruition until she was sent to investigate the disappearance of Xing and Rei.

The MSS dispatched her to investigate the troop movements of Soviet Commander Uri Gregorov. Lian aided an American soldier named Gabriel Logan, and then became a captive by the Soviets. A developing trust with Gregorov allowed for her release, and in the nineties she left Shen to defect. The Agency gave her a false background while putting in training with Thomas Holman until she could serve as Logan's partner.

Lian was Gabe's radio backup throughout the early Syphon Filter mission, but after Erich Rhoemer's men caught her in Kazakhstan and made her one of the test subjects for the virus. Gabe found her to learn that the vaccine he carried, supplied by Markinson, was ineffective, and Lian's analysis later showed it to be a chemical used in lethal injections. Lian followed Gabe to PharCom's warehouses in hopes of securing a real vaccine, but they were unsuccessful, and Lian was captured again after the arrival of Dillon Morgan.

The Agency tried to extract her plasma for the incubating virus, but she escaped and aided Logan's departure from Colorado. As the effects of Syphon Filter grew, she was unable to help and nearly died until Gabe returned with the vaccine from New York City. Lian would then support Gabe through the trials orchestrated by conspirator Vincent Hadden, and afterward she became second in command of the Agency.

She accompanied Logan on several searches related to the Omega Strain outbreaks, diverting to track other criminals that tried to obtain the virus. Agency personnel reported seeing visible concern of the behavior displayed by Logan as he became more determined to stop the Syphon Filter conspiracy. Lian continued to aid Gabe after an Agency suspension by Alex Birchim, and together they brought down the final threats.

Lian would remain Logan's partner through the Dark Mirror and X-Z-2 assignments, often assisting him personally or via radio. She was instrumental in the recovery of his daughter, Blake, and the defeat of Red Section. Lian was forced to return to Shen when his X-Z-2 device was stolen by terrorists, but Shen eventually killed himself rather than risk her life and his own. With the mission complete, Lian learned that Gabe Logan planned on retiring, but Trinidad appeared again and targeted her, only to die in a gunfight with Logan. He sustained critical injuries, and Lian was left to try and revive him.

Personality and characteristics

"She was always, let's say, emotionally detached. Isn't she still?"

- Trinidad describes Lian to Gabe.

Lian seems to be calm and lucid, despite being infected with Syphon Filter. She is also a vicious aggressor, especially with bladed weapons.


Gabe Logan

Shen Rei

We're trying to stop a war. Shen knew this would happen. Cordell, Kudrenko, Bitar, MI6, Trinidad, look at them. They all want the same thing. What will they do if they get Shen's technology? Any of them? Well, Shen won't give it to them. He asked me for help. I said yes. He still needs my help. Our help. You saw what his device can do. If Bitar charges another device...

Lian harboured a deep passion to be with Shen, despite defecting to the United States for fifteen years.


Syphon Filter

Syphon Filter 2

Syphon Filter 3

Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain

Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror

Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow

Retroactive continuities

  • The first Syphon Filter instruction manual lists Lian as being born in California and having obtained several degrees from U.S. Universities. However, this is retconned in the Syphon Filter 2 manual in the following quotation - "Originally an agent for the Chinese MSS, she was recruited in 1996 by the Agency and given a new identity as an American citizen including fake biographical information".
  • There are some conflicting dates in the instruction manuals and a mission in Logan's Shadow regarding Lian's background. Excluding the first Syphon Filter's manual, Syphon Filter 2 and 3 list her as being in the Agency from 1995-2000 (though SF2 says "Present", as they were still Operatives at the time). However, both Backgrounds describe her as being recruited in 1996 rather than 1995.
    • In addition, both books list her as being in the Chinese MSS starting in 1989. However, she was already on a mission for the MSS as early as 1987 when she first met Gabe in Kabul, Afghanistan. The manual from Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror states that she was appointed to her first government job at the age of seventeen and began working for the MSS, Chinese secret service, before she was twenty. However she states in her testimony to Vince Hadden that she was on an assignment for the MSS.  In Logan's Shadow, the briefing for a bonus mission says Lian completed her first mission for the MSS in 1992, completely contradicting SF3.


  • Lian is the only lead protagonist with over three different voice actors. She is also one of several characters to have a different voice actor since the first game, with Mara Aramov holding the record of a different voice actor for each of her appearances in the series until The Omega Strain. The same could be said for Vince Hadden, whose voice actor changed in each title of the original trilogy.
  • Unlike Gabe, whose hair often changes between titles, Lian has always had her hair parted in the center and cut mid-length down to her jaw. In the second game it appears however that some strands are divided along the center of her forehead.
  • Lian's missions are mostly based around stealth, though can develop into action sequences depending on the level. Gabe on the other hand is given more action sequences, with only some stealth.
  • Lian, with the exception of Teresa (who was absent in the first title), is the only female character to live through all of the games.
  • In Omega Strain, Dark Mirror and Logan's Shadow, Lian was voiced by Kim Mai Guest, who voices Mei Ling from the Metal Gear Solid series.
  • As with Mara Aramov, she shares the trait of almost always being captured. She is first caught by Black Baton (Syphon Filter), then the Agency (Syphon Filter 2), Jimmy Zhou (Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror) and lastly al-Jamil (Logan's Shadow).
  • Lian is also the only lead protagonist out of the original four who is not potentially dead (where as two of the other three are left unknown while the third is shown to be dead, due to a cliffhanger ending in the last title).
  • Unlike Stone, who prefers explosive weapons, she is a combat knife expert.
  • In SF3's multiplayer game, Lian tends to taunt her enemy with her sharp tone:
  • "Get on your knees and beg!"
  • "You don't want to make me angry."
  • "What are you aiming at?"
  • "Are we having fun yet?"
  • "Surrender yourself!"
  • "How dare you shoot a lady?!"
  • "How many times do I have to kill you?"
  • "You're going down!"
  • "Go outside and soak some sun!"
  • "Oh, I'm so scared!" (sarcasm)
Main Characters Anton Girdeux  · Edward Benton  · Erich Rhoemer  · Gabriel Logan  · Jonathan Phagan  · Lian Xing  · Mara Aramov  · Thomas Markinson
Minor Characters Alec Kabanov  · Ellis  · Jenkins  · Jorge Marcos  · Pavel Kravitch  · Richard Erikson  · Vince Hadden  · Vladislav Gabrek
Enemies Georgia Street Terrorists  · Flaming Enemy  · Girdeux's Terrorists  · Pharcom Bodyguards
Organizations Black Baton  · CBDC  · Pharcom  · The Agency
Missions Georgia Street  · Destroyed Subway  · Main Subway Line  · Washington Park  · Freedom Memorial  · Expo Center Reception  · Expo Center Dinorama  · Rhoemer's Base  · Base Bunker  · Base Tower  · Base Escape  · Rhoemer's Stronghold  · Stronghold Lower Level  · Stronghold Catacombs  · Pharcom Warehouses  · Pharcom Elite Guards  · Warehouse 76  · Silo Access Tunnels  · Tunnel Blackout  · Missile Silo
Weaponry 9mm  · .45  · Air Taser  · BIZ-2  · C4 Explosive  · Combat shotgun · G-18  · Gas Grenade Grenade  · HK-5  · K3G4 Assault Rifle  · M-16  · M-79  · Nightvision rifle  · PK-102  · Shotgun  · Sniper Rifle
Gadgets Card Key  · Flak Jacket  · Flashlight  · Viral Antigen  · Viral Scanner
Vehicles UH-60 Blackhawk
Conflicts Washington D.C. Attack  · First Investigation of PHARCOM  · Destruction of Rhoemer's Base  · Sabotage of Rhoemer's Cathedral  · Kazakhstan Missile Incident
Transcipts Georgia Street  · Destroyed Subway  · Main Subway Line  · Washington Park  · Freedom Memorial  · Expo Center Reception  · Expo Center Dinorama  · Rhoemer's Base  · Base Bunker  · Base Tower  · Base Escape  · Rhoemer's Stronghold  · Stronghold Lower Level  · Stronghold Catacombs  · Pharcom Warehouses  · Pharcom Elite Guards  · Warehouse 76  · Silo Access Tunnels  · Tunnel Blackout  · Missile Silo
Main Characters Dillon Morgan  · Elsa Weissinger  · Gabriel Logan  · Jason Chance  · Lawrence Mujari  · Lian Xing  · Lyle Stevens  · Mara Aramov  · Steven Archer  · Teresa Lipan  · Thomas Holman  · Thomas Markinson  · Uri Gregorov
Minor Characters Carter  · Colorado Bridge Bombing Commander  · Davies  · Derek Falkan  · Dobson  · Eschelman  · Ferguson  · Gershon  · Imposter Gregorov  · John Ramirez  · Jonathan Phagan  · Kowalski  · Mr. Cochran  · Shi-Hao  · Thompson  · Unnamed Airman  · Unnamed Doctor  · Vince Hadden  · Vladimir Nedobryi
Missions Colorado Mountains  · McKenzie Airbase Interior  · Colorado Interstate 70  · I-70 Mountain Bridge  · McKenzie Airbase Exterior  · Colorado Train Ride  · Colorado Train Race  · C-130 Wreck Site  · Pharcom Expo Center  · Morgan  · Moscow Club 32  · Moscow Streets  · Volkov Park  · Gregorov  · Aljir Prison Break-In  · Aljir Prison Escape  · Agency Bio-Lab  · Agency Bio-Lab Escape  · New York Slums  · New York Sewer  · Finale
Locations Club 32  · McKenzie Airbase  · Rocky Mountains, Colorado
Terrorists Spooks  · Unit one
Multiplayer Abandoned Bank  · Catacombs  · Kazakhstan Warehouses  · New York Garage  · New York Slums  · Park Hedge Maze  · Park Jungle Gym  · Pharcom Expo Center (multiplayer)  · Rooftops (multiplayer)  · Small Village (multiplayer)
Weaponry .45  · 9mm  · 12 Gauge  · Air Taser  · BIZ-2  · C-4 Explosive  · Combat Knife  · Crossbow  · G-18  · H11  · Hand Taser  · HK-5  · Incendiary Grenade  · K3G4 Assault Rifle  · M-16  · M-79  · Nerve Gas Grenade  · Nightvision rifle  · PK-102  · Sniper Rifle  · Tear Gas Launcher  · The Flame-Thrower  · UAS-12  ·
Gadgets Binoculars  · Camera Scrambler  · Cellular Modem  · Flak Jacket  · Flashlight  · Nightvision Goggles  · Transponder Locator
Vehicles C-130 Hercules  · F-22 Raptor
Conflicts Raid on the C-130 Wreckage  · Escape from Mackenzie Air Force Base  · Second Investigation of PHARCOM  · Meeting with Uri Gregorav imposter  · Rescue of Uri Gregorav  · Search for Syphon Filter antidote  · Escape from New York City
Main Characters Gabriel Logan  · Lian Xing
Minor Characters Ellis  · Nigel Cummings  · Silvers
Missions Hotel Fukushima  · Costa Rican Plantation  · C5 Galaxy Transport  · Pugari Gold Mine  · Pugari Complex  · Kabul Afghanistan  · S.S. Lorelei  · Aztec Ruins  · Waterfront  · Docks Final Assault  · Convoy  · The Beast  · Australian Outback  · St. George Australia  · Paradise Ridge  · Militia Compound  · Underground Bunker  · Senate Building  · DC Subway
Weaponry .45  · 9mm  · Air Taser  · AU300 Heavy Barrel  · BIZ-2  · Combat Knife  · Crossbow  · Falcon  · G-18  · H11  · HK-5  · K3G4  · M-16  · M-79  · MARS  · Nightvision rifle  · PK-102  · Shotgun  · Spyder  · Tear Gas Launcher  · UAS-12
Multiplayer maps Afghanistan  · Computer center  · Izmalavio Park  · McKenzie Air Force Base  · Paradise Ridge  · Rhoemer's Stronghold  · S.S. Lorelei  · Training Simulator  ·
Multiplayer characters Agency operative  · Anton Girdeux  · Bag Lady  · CBDC operative  · Corpse  · Elsa Weissinger  · Erich Rhoemer  · Evil scientist  · Gabe Logan  · John Ramirez  · Jonathan Phagan  · Jorge Marcos  · Lawrence Mujari  · Lian Xing  · Mara Aramov  · Military Police  · Monk  · Ninja Gabe  · Russian Bodyguard  · Spook  · SWAT Officer  · Teresa Lipan  · Terrorist  · Unit One  · Uri Gregorov  · Virtual test subject  · Vladislav Gabrek
Minigame types Assassination  · Biathlon  · Demolition  · Elimination  · Thief
Minigame maps China Exhibit  · Colorado Bridge  · D.C. Subway  · Military Base  · New York Slums  · Phagan's Warehouse  · Rhoemer's Fortress  · Washington Park  · Whispering Woods Mortuary
Conflicts Assassination of Shi Hao  · Costa Rican Incident  · Investigation of Pugari Complex  · Soviet-Afghan War  · First Destruction of the SS Lorelei  · Investigation of Erich Rhoemer  · Abduction of Elsa Weissenger  · Assassination of Commander Silvers  · Paradise Ridge Incident  · Attempted Apprehension of Mara Aramov
Main Characters Gabriel Logan  · Lawrence Mujari  · Lian Xing  · Mara Aramov  · Teresa Lipan
Minor Characters Alima Haddad  · Andre Proust  · Elsa Weissinger  · Gary Stoneman  · Gina Hunter  · Imani Gray  ·Jean Fournier  · Maggie Powers  · Mikhail Pulikovsky  · Mikhas Ivankhov  · Oleg Petrenko  · Rodion Ushakov  · Soren Masson  · Vladik Savin  · Vladimir Zhidkov  · William Crusher  · Yegor Leonov  · Yuschenko
Missions IPCA European Command: Training Centre  · Carthage, Michigan: Quarantine Zone  · Carthage, Michigan: Warehouse District  · Carthage, Michigan: Carthage Mall  · Pescara, Italy: St Cetteo's Square  · Mazyr, Belarus: Krivorozhstal Mill  · Mazyr, Belarus: Belaya Vezha  · Tash, Kumyr, Kyrgysztan: Saydahmat's Village  · Sana'a, Yemen: Arms Bazaar  · Sana'a, Yemen: Taherir Palace  · Minsk, Belarus: International University  · Samaschki, Chechnya: Ivankov's Home  · North Atlantic: Lorelei Salvage Rig  · Tokyo, Japan: Murukawa Tower  · Taguang, Myanmar: Irawaddy Basin  · Zurich, Switzerland: Niculescu Funds Tower  · Budva, Montenegro: Niculescu's Villa Estate  · Kiev, Ukraine: Chechen Terrorist Base
Organizations IPCA
Weaponry Beta Weapons  · C11  · China Type 56  · Combat shotgun  · FAL  · FAMAS  · G 33E  · GAWS 12 gauge  · K-BAR  · M1 Super 90  · Riot shotgun  · Shot Defender  · ShotHammer  · Silenced . 44  · Slug Defender  · SlugHammer  · SPA-12 shotgun  · SPA-15 shotgun  · Stava M70 B1  · SSG 550  · Sweeper 12 gauge
Conflicts ALA Assault on Carthage  · Assassination of Dimitri  · Sabotage of CDP Operations  · Transaction on Kyrgysztan  · Assault on Yemen  · Raid on Jandran's Labs  · Investigation of Chechen Genocide  · Second Destruction of the SS Lorelei  · Assault on Murukawa Industries  · Recovery of Imani Grey  · Raid on Meta Global Headquarters  · Raid on Niculescu's Estate  · Showdown with the CDP  · Assassination of Mara Aramov and Elsa Weissenger
Main Characters Gabriel Logan
Minor Characters Engineer  · Goran Zivmović
Weaponry FAMAS  · K-BAR  · Silenced . 44  · SSP 90
Act I. Fire and Ice Insertion Point Alpha  · Red Jack  · Finding Freeman  · A Man Without Power  · Freeman's Files
Act II. Blood and Oil Under NORAD's Nose  · Security Section D  · Kreisler's Garden  · Freeman's Answer
Act III. Ancient History Old Friends  · Memories
Act IV. Saving Private Janzen Forged Under Fire  · Traitor in our Midst  · The Ultimate Sacrifice  · The Trojan Horse
Act V. Root of All Evil Fist Full of Rubles  · Blood Money
Act VI. Touchstone Meeting with Fate  · Into the Abyss
Act VII. Singularity Red Section  · Drowning  · Event Horizon  · Matter's End
Bonus missions Goodnight Sweetheart  · KemSynth Tower  · Sana Yemen  · Birds of a Feather  · Jimmy Zhou's Army
Multiplayer maps Canyon  · Detroit  · Refinery  · Shanty town  · Weapons plant
Multiplayer modes Free for all  · Objective  · Rogue agent  · Team deathmatch
Conflicts Red Section Assault on KemSynth Petroleum  · Investigation of KemSynth Botanics  · United Nations Assault on Tuzla Munitions  · Investigation of Yavlinsky  · Transaction on Germany  · Red Section Takedown  · Assassination of Mara Aramov and Elsa Weissenger  · Faceoff with Jimmy Zhou
Main Characters Gabriel Logan  · Lawrence Mujari  · Lian Xing  · Teresa Lipan
Weaponry K-BAR  · SG-10 Bolt Pistol  · Silenced . 44  · SSP 90
Act I. Cargo Hold 5 Pirates of Somalia  · Going Under  · Ocean's Five  · Sea of Darkness
Act II. Terminal Drift What Lies Below  · Depths of Darkness  · Dead Currents  · Drowning
Act III. Crimson Flood Missing Friends  · Found Enemies  · Nowhere To Run
Act IV. Tyorma Redemption Trinidad  · Into The Cold  · Deadly Cargo
Act V. Shifting Sands Operation Canyon Storm  · Our Hidden Past  · Desert Flames
Act VI. Shattered Destiny The Long Descent  · Powerless  · Disintegration  · Leading The Blind  · With Violent Intent
Bonus missions Killing Time  · Lian's First Time  · Shadowed  · Behind The Scenes  · Left Behind
Multiplayer maps Canyon  · Casino  · Depot  · Detroit  · SRefinery  · Shanty town  · Village
Multiplayer modes Free for all  · Retrieval  · Rogue agent  · Team deathmatch  · Sabotage
Conflicts Assault on the St. Helens  · Raid on the St. Helens' Wreckage  · Spetsnaz Incursion on Azerbaijan  · Escape from Gebel Tyorma  · Raid on Bitar's Bunker  · Faceoff with al-Jamil  · Assassination of Qwan Tak