"Good night, sweetheart."
-Stone as his scope settles on Mara's headMara Aramov is a major antagonist in the Syphon Filter Franchise and has appeared in almost game except Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow. She was a former KGB Operative and Professional Assassin, who inserted herself directly in the Syphon Filter Conspiracy while acting as one of the Main Antagonists for the series. As such, she is one of the first introduced members of The Consortium and has the most involvement in the series of that organization.
Initially paid by Yavlinsky to terminate the latter's rivals, she was a triple agent working for The Consortium; she acted first as a "hired assassin" in the terrorist group Black Baton then as a resource of The Agency during the events of Syphon Filter 2, all while at the behest of The Consortium and more specifically, Mihai Niculescu. Gabriel Logan first met Mara during the Washington D.C. attack and he (along with Lian Xing and Teresa Lipan) have worked to capture her since that point until her eventual assassination by Gary Stoneman (at Logan's request).
Despite her antagonistic role in the storyline, she often helped Gabe and the rest depending on the situation that either benefited her or averted a crisis. Such instances include aiding Gabe in finding the Pharcom Warehouses while the Black Baton attempted to secure the location as well as launch a R-9 Devyatka. In addition, she also seemed to aid Lian Xing in rescuing Uri Gregorov by eliminating the guards situated in the facility during the time of his execution, and informed Gabe Logan of the location of Ivankov's base. As such, her motivations seemed to always be mysterious and her actions often conflicted with later decisions that she made.
Mara is a Caucasian woman in her 30's with mid-length blonde hair. Her appearance vastly changes from each game she appears in.
In the first title, she is shown with blue eyes and auburn hair, long enough to be tied into a ponytail; this was later retconned to always being blonde) Her wardrobe, unlike every other character in the game, actually changes multiple times in the course of the game. First she is shown wearing a militant outfit with dark-green camouflage pants designed based on the Costa Rican jungle. She's equipped with black combat boots. She wears a green-matching camouflage top (fashioned like a bra) which is positioned to reveal her cleavage and is the only item worn on her upper body.. During her part in the Washington D.C. Attack she changes the style of camouflage pants she wears (though they remain dark green) and keeps the combat boots she wore before (while losing the gloves). She is shown wearing a Flak Jacket over a light green shirt, sleeveless shirt. At the Pharcom reception levels and at the very end of the game, she is shown wearing a more formal attire, though still wears it in a "revealing" fashion. She is shown wearing a black skirt that ends at her knees with black leggings underneath complete with high-heels. Her top this time is an open-chested longsleeved shirt that starts just below her bust.
In Syphon Filter 2, she is shown to have mid-length blonde hair and a heavy application of makeup. This time she is only wears one outfit in all of her appearances, being a longsleeved leather jacket worn over a brown patterned skirt featured with pantyhose and black high-heels.
In Syphon Filter 3, she changes yet again with a more leen and feline structure given to her face however she retains mid-length blonde hair (though it's parted at the side, rather than the center). Her first outfit is similar to the outfit warn in the previous game, however instead of a leather jacket she is shown wearing a corporate-casual black suit-jacket with a white collar and a white-leopard skirt over pantyhose with high heels. In the flashback during Costa Rica, she is shown to have blonde hair rather than the auburn first shown in Syphon Filter 1. The outfit is practically the same as what she wore in Syphon Filter, except her chest is not nearly as exposed with the top she's wearing.
'They're all the same in the end.'
-Aramov upon apparently killing Phagan in Rhoemer's catacombs.Mara is a intelligent woman and murderous nihilistic sociopath whom manipulates her way out of any situation. Behind this, she is a cold-blooded assassin whom will ally herself with anyone to survive, and shows little to no remorse for her fallen comrades. However, it can be assumed that she does care about Elsa Weissenger, her hometown Moscow, and the Syphon Filter virus itself. It can be assumed that Mara's involvement in the Consortium was to get her hands on the virus.
Mara is able to shrug off multiple headshots due to the bullets grazing her skull. She is also infamous for always breaking free although she was earlier seen to have been captured, and is a skilled weapons master, from pistols to submachine guns. In Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror, Stone attributes this remarkable survival rate to a metal plate in Mara's head, though this could just be a sarcastic comment.
In Costa Rica, Aramov personally executes undercover agent Ellis by shooting him in the head. During the Washington D.C. attack, Gabriel Logan chases her through the Washington subway tunnels trying to get answers from her - he succeeds after shooting her head (although in a cutscene, he merely wounded her). She tells him there are viral bombs in the Washington Park and the main one is in the Freedom Memorial building. Mara is later seen at a PHARCOM reception party. She takes Jonathan Phagan, PHARCOM CEO and founder, hostage. When Logan gets to a dinosaur exhibit, Aramov has Phagan at gunpoint. Logan knocks her out with a taser and saves Phagan. Mara is taken into custody but somehow escapes once again.
Aramov later appears in Erich Rhoemer's Stronghold after Logan has just rescued Jonathan Phagan and Lian Xing. Mara shoots Phagan in the head and informs Logan of Pharcom warehouses that contain Syphon Filter virus body carriers. She states that she will assist him and Lian as she has nowhere to go, she also tells them information about which warehouse has an elevator to a hidden missile silo is. After Thomas Markinson's ambitions are revealed, the launched missile is destroyed and Rhoemer is killed. Mara is arrested, yet she once again flees. We later see her with an unknown man and with boxes of the Syphon Filter virus in the background. The man says "Well done, my dear"; she then walks off and laughs.
Mara Aramov's intentions remain the same in Syphon Filter 2: she is seen in a cutscene talking to the new PHARCOM CEO, who she then kills for making excuses about failing to complete phase 2 of the virus. She hires an imposter for Uri Gregorov and sends him to a nightclub in Moscow because Lian Xing is meeting him there. Mara's henchmen start a firefight at the club, she then tries to kill the imposter because he knows too much. She is later seen in a prison who is in the process of executing the real Gregorov but Lian Xing interrupts and Mara escapes, Mara is last seen with the Secretary of State Vincent Hadden who has called off the hunt for Lian and Gabe. Mara is angry with Hadden; she again walks off and laughs just as the screen goes black.
In Syphon Filter 3 Mara Aramov is seen in the recreation of the SF2 ending and is only really seen in flashbacks. Nonetheless, just after Teresa Lipan gives her testimony and Logan orders Hadden to be taken away because of his involvement with Aramov, she comes in, kills Hadden and wounds two federal agents on the orders of Mihai Niculescu. Logan chases her to a subway train and attempts to stop her before she releases the Syphon Filter virus. He again shoots her head but she is only wounded and escapes once again. In the ending of SF3 we see her in a submarine collecting sunken Syphon Filter virus cargo. She then laughs yet again.
In Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain Mara's ties of Mara's involvement with the consortium leader lead to her working with a man named Mihai Niculescu. Mara continues to work with him until he reveals he's going to bomb Moscow, Mara's home. Mara, compelled to save her country, attempts to stop him, but a drink she just had was drugged rendering her powerless. Niculescu orders Mara to be executed, but she is saved by Logan. However, Mara still refused to assist Logan in finding Niculescu, although she did inform him of Ivankov's base, thus allowing Gabe to stop the missile launch. As a reward for assisting him, Logan offers to let Mara live peacefully for the rest of her life, leaving her alone. Mara accepts the offer and leaves. At the end of the game Mara receives a letter from Logan in her new residence; Gabe had changed his mind about letting her live peacefully. Gary Stoneman, with orders from Logan, sets up a sniper rifle in an apartment opposite Mara's residence; the scope is aimed at her then the game ends.
Technically speaking, Mara Aramov lastly appears in Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror, but she and Dr. Elsa Weissenger are assassinated by Gary Stoneman in a flashback mission before the main game itself. Gabe Logan, at the end of The Omega Strain, ordered that the treacherous duo be neutralised once and for all. In the bonus level, it is revealed that Aramov and Weissenger had a secret love affair. It is also implied that Elsa had cheated on Aramov by sleeping with Niculescu.
She is also mentioned in a hidden evidence, where Gabe Logan mentions how Yavlinsky paid her half a million US dollars to kill all his chief rivals in Kaliningrad. She shot six men in three casinos, killing them with headshots when they were at home in bed, and did it all in one night, on Christmas Eve. She left the bullet casings inside the kid's stockings, an incident which would be known as the Saint Nicholas Eve Massacre. Another hidden evidence reveals that Mara stole paintings from Niculescu Funds Industries and sold them to the Russian Mafia until her death.
- Shot once in the head by Gabe Logan during the events of the assault on Washington DC in a subway pursuit.
- Shot again in the head by Gabe Logan during the chase in the Washington Metro, after she intervenes in the public inquiry held by Hadden, attempting to accuse Logan of the shootout in New York.
Upon deciding that Mara could no longer live on in retirement following her manipulative role in the previous games, Gabe Logan issues a Discrete Personnel Elimination command on her and sends Stone to complete it. The CIA veteran sets up in an apartment opposite Aramov's safehouse, and, after killing her bodyguards, recoils in horror as Dr E embraces Mara, which is a shock to him since he never guessed they would be secret lovers. Regardless, Stone kills Mara and Elsa (the method in which this is accomplished is left to the player's discretion).
Escapes upon being captured
- Flees the scene after Gabe Logan first subdues her inside the Washington Metro main subway line; reappears in the Expo Centre.
- Flees again after Logan stops her from killing Phagan in the PHARCOM Expo Centre; reappears and shoots Phagan inside Rhoemer's catacombs.
- Taken into 'custody' after Gabe's final battle with Rhoemer but appears at the Agency headquarters in the post-credits cutscene.
- Shot by Logan and captured again after killing Hadden and escaping to the DC Subway but appears in a mini-sub in the post-credits cutscene.
- Meets Mihai Niculescu in the latter's estate and almost killed but Logan intervenes and she is later seen in her safehouse.
There's no real walk through that can be given. Just remember you can't use explosives. Charge out from the start, roll under the beam when the train's passed and headshot Mara once to end the level. If you can't do that, keep following her down the tunnel until you have a clear shot, then fire on her. Watch out for enemies and the trains (the latter will come on alternate sides of the track, so keep switching over). At a certain point, after progressing through the tunnel close to its boundary, Mara will duck into an alcove near the tracks and usually stops moving. If you have trouble making the shot before this point, this is the easiest place to do it.
You can also defeat her by shooting her legs, but it is much easier to go for the headshot as you will almost certainly have an M-16 by this point in the game and most of Mara's guards carry them as well, ensuring you have an adequate supply of ammo.
Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror
This being the final boss fight with Mara, you may want to equip Stone with whatever heavy weapons you have unlocked. The SMAW launcher will kill her in a few hits if you're accurate enough. Also suggested are the Desert pistols.
Start the mission by neutralizing her bodyguards - doing so via stealth kills will unlock two pieces of hidden evidence for the level (and episode) on Hard Mode. Here comes the tough part. Killing her requires perfect timing if you want to avoid an intense firefight. Elsa will stand stationery, but Mara moves from the left to the right. To eliminate her using stealth, you have to zoom in on your sight (make sure you have Stone's Rifle), go prone (this reduces scope idling) and activate the thermal goggles to make things easier. Wait until Mara walks adjacent to Elsa, then fire a split second before their heads are aligned. A few tries might be required.
Supposing you fail to do so but kill Elsa or miss either, Mara herself will battle you (or kill Elsa herself and then proceed into a boss fight). She's armed with a heavy duty pistol and constantly strafes, so watch out that she doesn't drain your armour. She will kill you in 3 hits on Hard mode- 2 shots destroy your armour and 1 more will nail Stone. If you need it, there's a flak jacket crate inside the apartment and a MedKit within the bathroom. Be careful with the SMAW - using it at close range kills you. Always keep behind cover to avoid being counter-sniped and be patient - you should win this battle if you're cautious.
If you kill Mara before Elsa, you can opt to shoot Elsa. If you don't, she will run into the streets and get hit by a car, awarding you the level's only environment kill.
Quotes during battle
- "It seems your aim still sucks Logan!" (said during the last mission of Syphon Filter 3)
- "One wrong move and I'll kill the woman!"
- "Logan, put the gun down and let's work together! I will make you rich!"
- "I've been looking forward to putting a bullet in your head."
- "Show yourself, or I'll kill the hostage!"
- "Where did you go?"
- "You will never stop me, Logan! I've got one bomb left and a train full of hostages!"
- "Aren't you tired of being Logan's stooge?" (said to Stone)
- "Stone! I am going to kill you!"
- "You can't kill me Stone, I'm immortal!"
- "You're gonna pay for this with your life, old man!"
- "Do you know how many times Logan has tried?"
List of known victims
- Ellis (killed with a headshot)
- Jonathan Phagan (she fatally shoots him in the head and Morgan later switches off his life support)
- Mr Cochran (neck snapped)
- Vincent Hadden (shot with HK-5)
- Sanzo Murukawa (indirectly; she convinces him to commit suicide due to his trusting Kim, and to prevent the IPCA from capturing him)
- Imani Grey (indirectly; she orders that the plane she is on be shot down)
- Yong-jun Kim (indirectly; she orders that the plane he is on be shot down)
- Elsa Weissenger (if Stone does not kill her)
- Yavlinsky's rivals (shot in the head)
- Aramov is one of only two boss characters to refer to Logan as "Gabriel." The other is Anton Girdeux.
- Aramov originally was shown with long auburn colored hair tied in a ponytail however subsequent releases changed her hairstyle to blonde. In the first cutscene of Syphon Filter 3, parts of her hair on the back of her head are shown to be auburn, suggesting that she dyed her hair. However, during the Costa Rica mission Mara sports complete blonde hair despite having Auburn originally.
- Mara's accent remains the same, however her voice actor does not. She is always portrayed with a Russian accent and in all of her appearances in the games, she is given a different voice actor and shares this trait with Vince Hadden. The Russian accent "fails" a little bit, however, when voiced by Corina Harmon, reminding a rather German pronounciation.
- In the first three games, Aramov always laughs at the end. In addition, she also laughs at the end of the Dark Mirror mission where Gary Stoneman assassinates her (despite being dead, though likely a reference to the first three games).
- In Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain. Mara shares her voice actor, Jennifer Hale, with Maggie Powers in the same game.
- She is shown to be wearing three different outfits in the first Syphon Filter and is the only character to change wardrobe during the course of the game.
- Strangely, her outfit changes back to previous versions at various times. An example is when she leads Gabe and Lian into enemy territory then she is shown taken away by Agency Operatives wearing her outfit from the D.C. attack.
- She, like all of the other recurring characters featured in the instruction booklets, somehow "aged" one year between Syphon Filter and Syphon Filter 2 despite the games taking place within days of each other.
- Despite being seen on the balcony when Stone lines a shot on her head in Omega Strain, she is seen indoors during the actual assassination in Dark Mirror. The bodyguards are also absent in Syphon Filter 4, but there are a trio of patrols in Syphon Filter 5.
- Mara's last name should actually be the feminine "Aramova," because last names in Russian have masculine and feminine forms.
- It is ironic that Gabe confronts her on the Washington Metro once in SF1, but fails to kill her despite a headshot; and is later forced to hunt her in the same location in SF3, only for her to again somehow survive.
- She has a knack for cheating death numerous times, a trait she shares with Teresa Lipan and Addison Hargrove. She also seems to be 'captured' but always escapes.
- She is one of the few bosses who players must encounter multiple times, something Erich Rhoemer also has in common.
- She is the third antagonist who must be protected. The others are Jonathan Phagan and Jason Chance.
- Despite seemingly working for Phagan and Vince Hadden, she eventually later plays a vital role in killing them. She also executed Ellis at Rhoemer's behest but later helped to defeat the terrorist. In Syphon Filter 2, she refrains from killing Gabe in Moscow and helps Lian take down prison guards during the rescue of Uri Gregorav; in The Omega Strain, she tells Gabe where Ivankov's base is, again helping him. As such, Gabe Logan refers to her as a puzzle, an enigma. However, it is possible she would turn against her employer if the situation benefited her or if she wanted to stop a major disaster.
- She shares her birthday with Jean Fournier and Dimitri Alexopolous, which is 27 August 1967.
- According to Gabe Logan, she funded her retirement by stealing paintings from Niculescu and selling them via the Russian Mafia.
- In Syphon Filter 3's mulitplayer, she's prone to taunting her enemies; some of these are really suggestive:
- Insects like you deserve a slow death.
- Stop fantasizing about me!
- So I see you like to play rough...
- Do you prefer me, or the real thing?
- Killing you is always fun!
- My name is Aramov. Prepare to die!
- Welcome to your funeral.
- I hope you've prepared your body bag.
- Let's dance.
- Why don't you go outside and play with a ball?
- Victory is mine.
Syphon Filter 1
Syphon Filter 2
Syphon Filter 3
- ↑ Syphon Filter 1
- ↑ Syphon Filter 2
- ↑ Syphon Filter 3 and Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain
- ↑ Syphon Filter The Omega Strain ending and a secret mission in Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror
- ↑ Syphon Filter, near the end of the game
- ↑ Syphon Filter 2, Aljir Prison missions
- ↑ Syphon Filter 3, Costa Rica mission
- ↑ Costa Rica attire and for some reason, at Rhoemer's Stronghold
- ↑ Main Subway Line mission and when "taken into custody" by the Agency
- ↑ Pharcom Reception levels and end of Syphon Filter 1
- ↑ Syphon Filter 3 beginning and ending
- ↑ Syphon Filter 3, Costa Rica missions