Syphon Filter Wiki

For the series, see Syphon Filter Franchise.

252px-Syphon Filter.jpg Syphon Filter 2 ps1.jpg Syphon Filter 3.jpg Syphon Filter The Omega Strain.jpg Psp syphon filter combat ops icon.png PSP-SyphonFilterDarkMirrorUSversion-FrontCover.jpg SFLS.jpg
Syphon Filter™
Syphon Filter USA.jpg
PS1 MiniIcon.png, PlayStation Network, Android



989 Studios


Syphon Filter

Release Date(s)

 · Japan.png August 12, 1999
 · USA.png January 31, 1999
 · Europe.png July 9, 1999
PlayStation Network
 · USA.png December 4, 2006 (PSP)
 · USA.png May 3, 2007 (PS3)
 · Europe.png September 20, 2007
 · March 25, 2011

PlayStation Classic
 · December 3, 2018


Chuck Doud

For the virus, see Syphon Filter Virus.

For the theme song, see Syphon Filter Main Theme.

Syphon Filter is a third-person stealth-action shooter for the PlayStation released in 1999. It is the first game in the Syphon Filter franchise.

The playable game takes place between August 23 and September 8, 1999 and follows the efforts of operative Gabe Logan, and his partner Lian Xing, to stop a series of bioweapon attacks initiated by international terrorist Erich Rhoemer and his organization, Black Baton, who are in possession of a powerful virus known as Syphon Filter.

Plot sypnosis


In August 1999, Gabriel "Gabe" Logan and Lian Xing, agents of a secretive U.S. government organzation known as The Agency, are investigating a series of viral outbreaks caused by an unknown pathogen. They infiltrate a plantation in Guacimo, Costa Rica after losing contact with a fellow agent, Ellis, who was investigating a potential terrorist threat in the area. Ellis is being held prisoner by international terrorist Erich Rhoemer and his Black Baton squad, who are preparing to leave and destroy all evidence of their activities. Rhoemer orders Anton Girdeux to burn everything using his flamethrower and Mara Aramov to execute Ellis, who has been exposed as an informant. As Gabe and Lian approach the coordinates they were sent, they hear multiple gunshots ring out. They arrive on scene to find Ellis dead, the terrorists gone, and the area set ablaze. Gabe realizes that Rhoemer knew that they were coming. Without any evidence, he tells Lian that they will need to wait for the next viral outbreak.

At Agency headquarters in Washington, D.C. Agency director Thomas Markinson discusses the Agency's next moves. Markinson orders Deputy Director Edward Benton to put together additional teams to find Rhoemer. He then asks for guidance from an unidentified man, who tells Markinson to wait and see what Logan discovers.

Some time later, Gabe and Lian are sent to investiage a viral outbreak in Khumbu, Nepal. Gabe confirms a WHO report that the pathogen has killed everyone within 100 miles of the village. However, Lian discovers that one person is still alive. Gabe asks how this is possible - Lian replies that is is not.

Washington D.C. Attack

On August 23, Rhoemer launches an attack on Washington, D.C. with viral bombs containing the same virus that Gabe and Lian have been investigating. Gabe is sent in to help the U.S. Army Chemical and Biological Defense Command (CBDC) contain the viral threat as well as intercept and eliminate Rhoemer and his accomplices. He eliminates Pavel Kravitch, Rhoemer's communications expert and rescues several CBDC agents from an ambush before pursuing the terrorists into the Georgia Street subway station. Gabe finds and tags two viral bombs on the upper level of the station and finds another on the lower level, As he attempts to tag the final device, he realizes that it is not a viral device, but an explosive planted to cover Rhoemer's escape. As the timer is nearing zero, Gabe quickly attempts to take cover from the bomb, which explodes. Several other explosions tear through the station, destroying it and a number of subway cars that were passing through.

Gabe survives the explosion but finds himself trapped in the lower level of the station. Lian informs him that Rhoemer was last seen on the upper level making his way towards the main subway tunnel. Gabe manages to climb his way to the upper level and uses C4 explosives to blast away debris from the entry ramps so that CBDC can come in and disarm the tagged viral bombs. Gabe then shuts off a ruptured gas main and makes his way towards the main subway line, where he has his first encounter with Mara Aramov. Gabe pursues Aramov through the tunnel, dodging trains that are shuttling in emergency personnel. He is able to wound her, but is unable to gain any useful information from her before she falls unconscious.

Gabe leaves Aramov in the subway tunnel and makes his way towards Washington Park, where he believes the main viral bomb to be located with Girdeux. Lian had previously informed Gabe that a team headed by Jenkins had been sent to the park but was under heavy fire, possibly due to an Agency leak. As Gabe enters the park, Benton informs him that Jenkins' team was killed and that he is having Gabe continue their mission of assisting CBDC. Gabe is able to help CBDC agents disarm several viral bombs planted in the park, then resumes his original mission. Gabe eliminates Rhoemer's trigger man, Jorge Marcos, then makes his way to the Freedom Memorial at the northern end of the park. Inside, he finds the main viral bomb along with Girdeux, who is in full body armor and armed with his flamethrower. Girdeux criticizes the United States' history of wars and aggression as depicted in the memorial, and claims that the terrorists are about to make an addition to it, but Gabe dimisses him. Unable to engage Girdeux in a conventional manner, Gabe instead targets the exposed fuel tank on Girdeux's back while dodging his flamethrower attacks. After hitting the tank several times, it eventually ruptures and bursts into flames, burning Girdeux to death in his armor. The terrorist threat eliminated, Gabe calls for CDBC to disarm the final device.

New York City: PHARCOM Exposition Center

The next day, Lian informs Gabe and Markinson that compounds taken from the blood of Rhoemer's terrorists matches those found during the mission to Costa Rica, and were patented by Pharcom, an international pharmaceutical corporation based in New York City and headed by Jonathan Phagan. Gabe surmises that the organization may be funding Rhoemer's operations, but Markinson replies that Pharcom was previously investigated by Benton. However, Gabe casts suspicion on Benton following the botched missions in Costa Rica and Washington Park. Markinson has placed Benton on leave, but agrees that there may be a connection between Phagan and Rhoemer. Gabe is sent to a reception at the Pharcom Exposition Center to investigate.

When Phagan leaves the reception, Gabe silently tails him until he arrives in an exhibit and finds Aramov and Benton waiting for him. Gabe confirms with Lian that Benton was the source of the Agency's leak. Benton informs Phagan that plans have changed and Aramov holds him at gunpoint, demanding the location of the Syphon Filter labs. However, when Benton discovers that Phagan has a wire, Phagan makes a run for it, with Aramov in pursuit. Benton stays behind and attempts to fight, but Gabe kills him, blowing his cover in the process. Gabe fights his way through the building to the security room, where Lian discovers that Aramov is interrogating Phagan at gunpoint in the dinosaur exhibit. Gabe knows that he needs both alive, since Phagan knows where the virus is being manufactured and Aramov has the location of Rhoemer's base. Gabe fights his way to the dinosaur exhibit and incapacitates Aramov, allowing Phagan to escape unharmed.

Kazakhstan: Rhoemer's Base

One week after the Expo Center operation, Gabe informs Markinson that Benton was acting as a double agent, but Markinson reveals that he has known this for some time and chose not to disclose this knowledge to Gabe and Lian. In the meantime, Phagan has disappeared and the Agency has not yet determined the location of the virus labs from Pharcom's encrypted data. Markinson informs Gabe that Rhoemer's base has been found in Kazakhstan and that Gabe is being sent in to catalog a series of ballistic missiles before destroying the base.

Gabe is dropped outside the base's perimeter and gains access underneath a supply truck. He then works his way towards the missile bunker, planting C4 charges on fuel tanks and shutting down the bunker's motion sensing security system as well as eliminating Rhoemer's chief of security, Vadislav Gabrek. Upon entering the bunker, the base goes on alert, but Gabe is able to continue his mission and catalog a series of SS-23 ballistic missiles. He then makes his way to the roof to disable the base's anti-aircraft radar. Lian informs Gabe that she has been discovered and is coming under fire. When Gabe shuts the radar down, Lian attempts to pick him up but is captured and killed by Rhoemer, as Gabe can do nothing but listen. Rhoemer sends an attack helicopter to take Gabe out, but Gabe is able to destroy it. As he gets off the roof, Gabe triggers the timer on his C4 explosives and informs Markinson that Lian has been killed. Markinson tells Gabe that he will need to fight his way back to the front gate, where a backup chopper will pick him up. Gabe is barely able to escape the base before it is destroyed.

Ukraine: Rhoemer's Stronghold

Six days after escaping from Rhoemer's base, Gabe is given a report on the Syphon Filter virus by Markinson, which reveals its capability to kill massive populations of people, who have been "programmed" for termination, but leave certain individuals completely unharmed. Markinson tells Gabe that the Agency has found and destroyed the Pharcom labs that were producing the virus, but that only Phagan knows the location of the computers where the DNA sequencing occurs. Aramov has escaped and there is still no sign of Rhoemer, but Phagan was captured and is being held at a cathedral in Ukraine where Rhoemer keeps prisoners to be used as viral test subjects. Gabe tells Markinson that he doesn't want a replacement for Lian and Markinson tells him that he isn't getting one.

Markinson drops Gabe off on the roof of the cathedral, instructing Gabe to inject any test subjects he finds with a vaccine that the Agency labs developed, and to kill any of Rhoemer's medical personnel on site. Gabe begins making his way downward, administering the vaccine to test subjects and eliminating Rhoemer's guards and scientists. He comments on the abundance of Pharcom and WHO shipping containers as an indication of a big plan, but Markinson tells Gabe not to get distracted.

When Gabe reaches the underground catacombs, he overhears that Rhoemer has ordered the execution of the prisoners. Markinson tells Gabe that he needs to allow one of the guards to use the palm print security system to open Phagan's cell. Gabe silently tails the guard through the catacombs until he reaches the cell. The guard opens the cell and prepares to give Phagan an injection. Phagan begs for his life before Gabe shoots the guard. Gabe demands the location of the sequencing computers from Phagan at gunpoint. Phagan tells Gabe the computers are in an abandoned silo in Kazahkstan underneath a warehouse district, which Gabe relays to Markinson. Markinson tells Gabe to take Phagan with him to the designated evac point.

Phagan tells Gabe that Lian is alive and offers to take Gabe to her cell if he allows Phagan to go free. Gabe doesn't believe Phagan and tells him to prove it. Gabe covers Phagan as he shows him the way to Lian's cell. Phagan opens the cell, then runs. Gabe is shocked, but relieved to find that Lian is alive. He tells Lian that the Agency has the location of the sequencing computers and that Markinson is on the way to pick them up. Lian tells Gabe that she has been infected with Syphon Filter. Gabe tries to reassure her that the Agency has a vaccine, but Lian tells him that there is no universal vaccine as the specific lock and key for each programmed virus is required from the sequencing computers, and that they need to get there before the Agency destroys everything. Gabe also realizes that Markinson lied to him about the vaccine. Lian tells Gabe to follow her as she knows the way out. As they reach the exit, they catch up with Phagan, who is shot in the head by Aramov. Aramov tells Gabe and Lian that Rhoemer needs to be stopped or they will all die, and that she has a chopper to use to take them to Kazakhstan. Phagan is left for dead.

Kazakhstan: Pharcom Warehouse District

Gabe, Lian and Aramov arrive at the Pharcom warehouses to find that Rhoemer has also discovered their location, as his men are attacking in force, resulting in a large-scale firefight with Phagan's security forces. Aramov tells Gabe that the mainframe computer can only be accessed via mining tunnels located underneath Warehouse 76. Gabe tells Lian to try and contact Markinson, who has gone dark since they left Ukraine. Using the firefight to avoid attracting attention, Gabe first obtains the access codes to the silo computers from Richard Erickson, as well as a viral scanner to detect stored viral carriers which Gabe must tag for proper disposal. Gabe makes his way through the warehouses, tagging the viral carriers, and makes his way towards the southern end of the complex using a series of underground tunnels. He comes across shipping manifests for the R-9 Devyatka, a retired ballistic rocket that Gabe suspects may be part of Rhoemer and Phagan's plans for Syphon Filter. Lian tells Gabe that she is still unable to contact Markinson. Gabe continues through the southern section of the complex, which is guarded by Phagan's elite guards. Gabe tags additional viral carriers and then locates Warehouse 76, only accessible through another series of underground passages.

When he reaches the entrance to Warehouse 76, he is attacked by several grenadiers. Their grenades destroy a series of fuel tanks outside the entrance and start a massive fire that engulfs the entire warehouse district. Lian confirms that the serum Gabe was given to inject the test subjects in Ukraine with contained concetrated potassium chloride used in lethal injections, meaning that Markinson was knowingly having Gabe kill the test subjects. With no other options, Gabe runs into the burning warehouse and begins searching for the elevator to the mining caves. As he makes his way through, his progress is hampered by Pharcom guards and the warehouse falling apart around him. After a few minutes, Gabe is able to locate the elevator in the rear of the warehouse and begins descending into the mining caves. The elevator falls the last few feet into the cave as Warehouse 76 collapses above.

Gabe emerges into the mining cave and immediately finds himself engaged with several of Rhoemer's men. He kills them but finds his progress stopped by security lasers. Aramov says that the only way to disable them is to cut the power to the entire tunnel system. To reach the power room, Gabe must first reactivate a series of elevators that were disabled when the warehouse fires broke out. When he reaches the power room, he doesn't find a way to shut the power off and instead tries to overload the generators, triggering a massive explosion. Gabe survives the explosion and makes his way out of the destroyed power room. Using the resulting blackout to his advantage, Gabe is able to make his way past Rhoemer's guards to the silo entrance.

Upon entering the silo, Gabe finds the Devyatka missile ready for launch. He tells Lian that the launch countdown is in progress but that the codes he obtained from Erickson won't give him access to the launch computer. Lian tells Gabe he won't be able to prevent the launch, but that they can destroy the missile mid-flight if Gabe can get the self-destruct codes from the fuselage before launch. Gabe makes his way down to the lower level, then climbs the missile and retrieves the codes. When he drops back to the ground, he finds Markinson standing before him. Markinson admits that he knew Gabe would discover his involvement with Syphon Filter and asks where Rhoemer is. Realizing Markinson's deception, Gabe responds by asking how long Rhoemer has been working for him. Markinson explains that after the mission in Costa Rica, Markinson did research of his own and decided that he wanted to procure the virus for the Agency. When Gabe asks about the missile, Rhoemer appears and shoots Markinson dead, then tells Gabe that the missile was his idea and that Markinson had come to stop the launch. Gabe asks who the target is, but Rhoemer says it doesn't matter. Gabe is forced to take cover as the missile launches, then makes his way to the command computer. Lian tells Gabe that he needs to destroy the missile or a global war will likely result. Gabe reaches the mainframe and is able to trigger the missile's detonation with seconds to spare, and begins downloading the Syphon Filter DNA sequencing data. An enraged Rhoemer enters the mainframe room clad in full armor and confronts Gabe with an M-79. Gabe engages him in a final battle, in which he finds a crate of nerve gas grenades. Gabe throws the grenades at Rhoemer, who collapses and falls dead in the ensuing cloud of poison.

Gabe meets up with Lian and Aramov is taken into custody by Agency operatives as CDBC arrives to contain the scene. Lian asks Gabe what will happen now that Rhoemer and Phagan are dead and what their involvement with Markinson and Syphon Filter really means. Gabe replies that with Markinson dead, they may never know the full story.

Main Characters


Gabriel Logan.jpg Gabriel Logan is the main protagonist of the game.
Lian Xing.jpg Lian Xing is the second protagonist of the game.


Mara Aramov.jpg Mara Aramov
Anton Girdeux.gif Anton Girdeux
Erich Rhoemer.gif Erich Rhoemer
Jonathan Phagan.gif Jonathan Phagan
Thomas Markinson.gif Thomas Markinson
Edward Benton.gif Edward Benton


  1. Georgia Street
  2. Destroyed Subway
  3. Main Subway Line
  4. Washington Park
  5. Freedom Memorial
  6. Expo Center Reception
  7. Expo Center Dinorama
  8. Rhoemer's Base
  9. Base Bunker
  10. Base Tower
  11. Base Escape
  12. Rhoemer's Stronghold
  13. Stronghold Lower Level
  14. Stronghold Catacombs
  15. Pharcom Warehouses
  16. Pharcom Elite Guards
  17. Warehouse 76
  18. Silo Access Tunnels
  19. Tunnel Blackout
  20. Missile Silo



Some changes are seen in the demo, such as a different outfit and weapon for Pavel Kravitch.


The PlayStation version was released in 1999.


In March 25, 2011, an Android port was released. However, this android version is only compatible with PlayStation® Certified devices (currently the Xperia Play)[1]


Interview: Behind the Classics

Interview (expand to display)

PlayStation.Blog[2]: What was the original base concept for the game? Was it in any way a response to Metal Gear Solid, or did the idea develop in a relative vacuum?
John Garvin, Creative Director at Bend Studio: Metal Gear Solid actually had nothing to do with the genesis of Syphon Filter. We had been in development for quite a while before we had even heard of it. The idea originally came from a producer at Sony’s (then) 989 Studios who had written a one page synopsis that he called “Syphon Filter” which had zero meaning, i.e. there was no plot, no character, and no story, just an idea for settings, mechanics and gameplay. From the beginning it was to be a “stealth action” game (in the days before there was such a genre) that focused heavily on weapons, gadgets and stealth. Our goal was to make the player feel like a super spy. Our lead designer back then was pretty heavily influenced by Nintendo’s GoldenEye, which was probably the closest you could come to finding a game like Syphon in those days.
PSB: Did you know you were working on something special? What were your creative conditions as you worked on it – uncertainty, confidence, terror?
JG: Mostly terror. It was a hard project in terms of development, for a lot of reasons. There were no, or few, games that we could draw on for inspiration. Most of the team had zero experience making this kind of game: The guys at Eidetic had just made Bubsy 3D, so they had some experience with doing a third-person action game, but Bubsy was a cartoon platformer so it wasn’t much help; I was brought on after the first Syphon Filter prototype was underway (a simple shooting segment in a subway), but my experience to that point was directing strategy games like MissionForce: Cyberstorm and art directing games like Sega CD’s Bouncers. None of us knew anything about making realistic shooters set in a spy world.

The first Syphon Filter went through a few rough patches and came close to being canceled several times as we missed deadlines, revamped mechanics, swapped levels around, changed the story, and generally tried to figure out what the heck we were doing. Our producer at 989, Connie Booth, and her boss Kelly Flock, were great though showing great faith in this new “spy genre” game. Our team ended up working in crunch mode for about a year as we tried to get the game up to everyone’s standards.

We didn’t know we had something special until after we shipped and sales took off like crazy, surpassing everyone’s expectations. I think we sold over a million units that first year. It was amazing. Players seemed to really appreciate doing something new — sneaking around, fighting terrorists while dodging subway cars, shooting a taser halfway down a city block and making a terrorist burst into flame. Things players had never before experienced. This kind of thing may be common now, but back then it was still all pretty new.
PSB: Did you draw inspiration from anywhere in particular for the game’s look and feel?
JG: Mostly my own experience. A lot of games these days are going for a dark, gritty, monochromatic look, but the games I remember playing in the late 1990s were all pretty colorful and weren’t all that realistic. Look at screens from Unreal, Turok 2, or Rainbow Six, which were realistic but had a palette that seemed all over the place. I remember being really inspired by Saving Private Ryan – which came out in 1998 I think – and Half Life.
PSB: It was an ambitious title for its time. What were the biggest challenges in realizing your original vision?
JG: It wasn’t really about realizing our original vision, because we were making it up as we went. We knew we wanted a third-person action game, and we knew we wanted to deliver on the fantasy of being a super spy. For us that meant even if something was “janky,” we’d do it if it could help sell the fantasy. For example, our rendered movies were pretty low budget. We didn’t even have articulated fingers. All our characters had “box” hands, but that didn’t stop us from having rendered movies because we had a story we wanted to tell. Our motto was that “bad movies are better than no movies.” Same thing went for game play sequences. We had a set-up where Gabe, the super spy star of the game, had to wear a tuxedo and infiltrate a black-tie event to spy on someone. Today that whole sequence would be very expensive, requiring sets, extras, costumes, and lots of mocap and animation; back then we just palette swapped some of our NPCs and did some very low budget animation of them standing around drinking cocktails. Once the game started, the player could hear a looping sound of the party, but couldn’t actually go back to the room where the party was being held. This kind of thing probably wouldn’t fly today, but we did all sorts of shortcuts back then to increase the scope of the experience without worrying about how polished it was. It was all about the game.
PSB: How close to your original concept was the finished game?
JG: Syphon Filter just wasn’t developed that way. The original concept of the player becoming a super spy was adhered to pretty closely, but everything else was worked out as we developed. A crazy way to make a game, but a process we made work because our team was only about 13 people. Here’s some examples: the story for Syphon Filter when I was brought on board was all about a group of scientists who had been kidnapped and taken to a huge underground complex where they were being forced to build a time machine by an evil scientist / government. I was hired to be the art director, but I began to offer ways to improve the story to make it more current, more relevant (I had been the art director, writer and designer on my projects at Dynamix, my previous game company). The studio directors liked my ideas and midway through development I rewrote the entire thing, coming up with the idea that the phrase “Syphon Filter” actually was a code word for a deadly “programmable” virus. None of that stuff was new, science fiction and film had explored ideas like these for years, but it was new to games.

We were shuffling levels around as late as weeks before we shipped in order to help pacing and flow issues. We changed locations and concepts mid-stream: the Girdeux boss fight was originally going to happen in a parking lot near the par, but I remember thinking at the time how hard it was going to be to build all those cars, and the challenge of “fencing” the player’s movement in an open space like a parking lot…and, could our engine even pull it off? So I went home over the weekend and built the “memorial” room, including downloading and chopping up that huge mural that ringed the wall of the space. It was a pretty big hit and was something we could pull off.

It really wasn’t until the sequel that we had a vision for the game. The entire team was given a week off and the game’s co-creator, Richard Ham, and I were sent off to write up a script for Syphon Filter 2. I think I spent a weekend and wrote the entire screenplay. Rich and I got together and he helped revise the second half of the game, introducing all the Moscow stuff, making the end of the story more espionage-like and exciting. When the team came back, we spent the next year building exactly what we had written. That was the first time that we had a vision up front, which we followed until the end.
PSB: Which element of the game are you most proud of?

JG: I’m personally most proud of the story elements. In those days you didn’t see video games dealing with a lot of current topics (bio weapons, terrorism, secret government agencies working outside the law). Remember this was all pre-9/11. And we were doing some things with characters that you didn’t see often in video games: Teresa Lipan, the brains of the agency, was an American Indian female… Lawrence Mujari, the biologist, was an African-American male, Lian Xing, a Chinese female, and so on. We were making a real effort to make the characters as diverse and un-stereotypical as possible. We were also attempting to inject a higher level of realism into the game than we’d seen before. Often in game development (even today), you’ll hear “Who cares? It’s just a game!” That kind of thinking really bugged me. I wanted characters to have real motivations, level objectives to make sense and fit into a story arc, locations to feel real and have accurate details. And we did some crazy things story-wise that we might not be able to get away with now. For example (spoiler!), at one point in the game Gabe is rescuing and inoculating test subjects, only Gabe finds out later that he was actually killing them because the vaccine was really a poison. And scientists would run up to Gabe and surrender, and we sort of forced him to shoot unarmed men in the head (well, they were evil scientists after all). Having terrorists blow up a subway in Washington DC — think we could get away with that now? Again, this might all seem pretty tame by today’s standards, but in 1999 it was pretty startling to be doing this kind of stuff in a console game. Oh, and the taser. We all really loved the taser. PSB: How would you like Syphon Filter to be remembered? What did it bring to the video game medium?
JG: For what it was: the first of its kind, a mix of stealth and action, using real-world, current story elements and settings, realistic weapons and gadgets, with edgy story elements. As anyone in game development knows it’s really hard to be original, to come up with new ideas, new mechanics and new ways of playing. Syphon did all that and spawned a genre; so many games came out after us and were variations on the theme. In many ways, we were there first.

PSB: Which of the Syphon Filter characters is closest to your heart?

JG: From the first Syphon Filter, it’s gotta be the man himself, Gabe Logan. The way John Chacon read his lines is, well, unique to say the least. Gabe sort of embodied the concept of the stoic action hero… with a heart. I like Mara Aramov, too. How can you not like that laugh (which was the last thing you heard in the first three games)? In the later games, I would have chosen Teresa Lipan or maybe Stone, but yeah, there’s no one like Gabe Logan.


Provided is a comphrensive list of all the voice talents used in this game.[3]


The game was a bestseller in the UK.[4] IGN ranked the game #19 on their list of the "Top 25 Games of All Time" for the first PlayStation console.[5]

  • Electronic Gaming Monthly: 7.62 out of 10
  • Famitsu: 31 out of 40[6]
  • GameSpot: 9.0
  • IGN: 9.5
  • Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine: 4 out of 5


  • The FMV cutscenes prior to a mission start feature the level music for the following mission. Examples include:
    • while Benton is briefing to Gabe and Lian before the Georgia Street mission.
    • as Gabe is running through the streets DC before the Washington Park mission.
    • during the meetings between Gabe, Lian and Markinson prior to the Expo Center Reception and Rhoemer's Base missions.
    • While Markinson is showing Gabe information on Syphon Filter before the Rhoemer's Stronghold mission.
    • As Gabe and Lian are being debriefed by Mara before the Pharcom Warehouses mission.
  • The font used for the logo and the back cover description is a slightly modified version of the Industria font.
  • Syphon Filter is the only game in the series that features a training video.
  • Syphon Filter is the only game in the series not to feature a multiplayer mode.
  • Syphon Filter is the only game in the series not to feature Teresa Lipan or Lawrence Mujari, both of whom were introduced in the next game.
  • Syphon Filter is the only game of the PlayStation trilogy with an equippable flashlight instead of the automatic night vision googles utilized in Syphon Filter 2 and Syphon Filter 3.
  • Syphon Filter was released on the PlayStation Classic as part of the 20-game lineup for the North American release version on December 3, 2018.


Factual errors

  • Mara Aramov is Russian, but her last name would more accurately be spelled "Aramova," because real Russian surnames have both masculine and feminine forms.
  • Silenced (or suppressed) weapons are quieter than "loud" weapons (or normal weapons), but are still loud enough that hearing protection is required to prevent hearing damage at close range. In fact, it would be very difficult, if not outright impossible, to fire a silenced weapon at close or medium range without being noticed.
  • Despite the armor-piercing performance of the K3G4 in-game, Gabe is able to recover completely intact flak jackets from enemies killed with body shots from the weapon.
  • The Shotgun can fired continously while hanging, without the need to pump the weapon following each shot. In real-life, a pump-action weapon requires the user to pump after each shot.
  • The Sniper Rifle features a computerized scope that includes information such as distance to a target's appendage, features that most sniper rifle scopes do not possess. It also also lacks a stock.
  • The Nightvision Rifle is described as being equipped with an "SVDN2" night vision scope. In real life no such scope even exists, the SVDN2 name being applied to rifles which are modified to use the NSPUM (1PN58) night vision scope. The in-game model is shown with a standard PSO-1 scope and lacks the suppressor it is described as having in the description (although it functions as a silenced weapon regardless).
  • The fragmentation grenades in the game are described as using ammonium perchlorate, an oxidiser normally used in rocket fuel, and even if they were used in grenades, the only device that would ever use them is a flashbang grenade, where it is used to generate a rapid reaction from aluminium or magnesium to achieve a non-lethal effect of blinding and deafening a target. The mention of this chemical in the weapon description is perhaps a result of an individual, or individuals, on the development team recalling the PEPCON disaster of 1988.
  • The description of the G-18 declares that firing 9mm rounds at 1,200 RPM somehow makes it the "most lethal machine pistol" ever made. In later Syphon Filter games, the "pistol-machine gun" category grows to include full-size sub-machine guns, rendering this claim invalid. For example, the first magazine-fed Thompson submachine gun prototype, "Annihilator I," fired more powerful .45 ACP rounds at at a faster rate (1,500 RPM), and this is not even getting into whether lethality is best determined solely by firing rate.
  • The M-79 depicted in the game is actually a Tru Flite 37mm Super Long Range Gas Gun incorrectly shown as able to launch high-explosive grenades. The real-life M79 is a break-action grenade launcher as described in the game, but this action requires the user to manually reload after each shot, greatly reducing its effective fire rate as compared to the in-game version.

Plot holes

Retroactive continuities

  • The instruction manual establishes Erich Rhoemer as a German national, but in Omega Strain's Zeus Files, he is listed as being from Chechnya.

Continuity mistakes

  • Mara Aramov's hair is red in Syphon Filter, but becomes blonde at the beginning of Syphon Filter 2, which is a direct sequel. Other aspects of Aramov's appearance completely change between the two games as well.
  • The manuals for Syphon Filter, Syphon Filter 2 and Syphon Filter 3 indicate that the characters aged 2 or 3 years between each game. However, the second game continues directly where the first game left off and the third game picks up only a few months after the second game's conclusion.

Revealing mistakes

  • During the Base Escape mission, if Gabe shoots one of the fuel tanks rigged with C4, Lian will call him saying "Gabe, check your fire", and warn him about potentially setting one of the tanks off, even though Rhoemer caught and killed her during the previous mission.

Miscellaneous mistakes

  • Inventory images of the G-18 show the weapon with its slide locked back, indicating that it is empty.

External Links


Strategy Guide



  3. Voice Talents
  4. UK Playstation sales chart, September 1999, published in Official UK PlayStation Magazine issue 50
  6. プレイステーション - サイフォン・フィルター. Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.21. 30 June 2006.
Syphon Filter
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