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Video Game: SIN

SiN is a First-Person Shooter action game for the PC developed by Ritual Entertainment and published by Activision in 1998.

Set in 2037, the games follow Colonel John Blade, the commander of an elite private security force, HardCorps, in the fictional Freeport City. A number of private security forces have taken the place of traditional police - one of these being SinTEK, a biotechnology firm owned by Elexis Sinclaire, a charismatic and dangerous leader who plans to reinvent mankind in her own image using mutated humans. The original game begins with Blade investigating reports of a robbery at the Freeport City Bank. As he digs deeper into the case, she soon discovers that Sinclaire will stop at nothing to carry out her plan, and that he is the only person standing between her and global domination...

Throughout the game, Blade is aided via radio link by a computer hacker at HardCorps named JC, who assists him with hacking networks and discovering more information. To survive in his quest, Blade must travel through a wide variety of levels, battling SinTEK forces and scavenging health packs and armor off their bodies as he progresses, along with collecting a variety of weapons.

Currently, the SiN universe includes the original game (released in 1998), an expansion park called SiN: Wages of Sin (which introduced a mob boss villain named Gianni Manero, who is attempting to produce genetically-mutated creatures under secret supervision) and the first installment of a currently-defunct episodic series, SiN Episodes: Emergence, which sees Blade once again take on Sinclaire after she returns to continue her plans of domination.

The original game (which was released in the wake of Half-Life) was criticized for buggy and somewhat generic gameplay, but sold well enough to receive several follow-ups, including the aforementioned SiN Episodes. An anime film titled SiN: The Movie was also released in 2000, and contained several changes from the original game. It was intended to be a sequel (until Emergence was released, leading to the film's Canon Discontinuity status).

The original SiN and its expansion pack can be purchased together for $9.99 on GOG.com.


The original game and Emergence include examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: In the original, Freeport's sewer system not only has a long network of interconnected rooms, but pipes and passageways wide enough for a large man to swim through comfortably.
  • Achilles' Heel: On the backs of smaller mutants in Emergence, although this is a substitute for making head shots on normal mooks.
  • Action Girl: Jessica in Emergence, who (despite being a rookie) assaults the SinTEK offices in the beginning of the game by herself to rescue Blade, and proves to be a very capable fighter.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Blade. In spades.
  • Badass Normal: Blade is capable of sustaining multiple gunshot wounds and injuries (which would kill any other person in the game), and is not opposed to swimming in sewers, engaging attack helicopters and going hand-to-hand with massive monsters. He even handles his own transformation into a brute with relative nonchalance!
  • Bag of Spilling: An in-game example. At several points in the original, Blade will start a series of missions without bringing over the ammo and weapons from the previous levels. Most notable when Blade goes from HardCorps HQ to the SinTEK offices wielding nothing more than his handgun and fists (even though the previous level had him using four different weapons).
  • Bank Robbery: Elexis was upset that it became a full-scale bank heist rather than just grabbing a single deposit box, because the full robbery was taking too long.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Averted with the endboss, the mutated Thrall Sinclair. If you look closely there are clear signs his genitals were surgically excised (ouch!).
  • Bare Your Midriff: Whatever Elexis wears will usually be a two-piece outfit that emphasizes her toned stomach.
  • Body Horror: The test subjects ["Bachrodai"] in Xenomorphic Laboratory levels from the original: one arm longer than the other, pale skin, mutated features and a disturbing battle cry.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Elexis captures Blade at two different points (both in the original and Emergence). In the first instance, she leads him into a trap and assumes that her genetically-mutated father will finish Blade off (which doesn't work). In the second instance, she captures Blade at the beginning of Emergence, and attempts to change him into a mutated brute. (Elexis' accomplice Radek lampshades this, asking why they couldn't just kill him in the first place.)
  • Braids of Action: Blade is one of the few (and perhaps the only) male video game characters to have his hair done in braids (as seen in the cutscenes during the original).
  • Canon Immigrant: Jessica Cannon in Emergence is very similar to Jennifer Carmack from the Sin: the Movie anime. Not a 100% direct version, but pretty close.
  • Cherry Tapping: In Emergence, you can kill SinTEK troops by pistol-whipping them in the face.
  • Collection Sidequest: In the original, Blade can collect pieces for a Quantum Destablizer that can rip through any enemy in the game. The only downside is that the final piece is only found in the fourth-to-last level in the game.
    • The expansion has two minors ones: a set of four different calendars can be found. If Blade gets all four of them, an extra cutscene plays during the ending. The second are an item ["Cheesy Poofs"] that if enough are found, a background detail in the ending is replaced with a giant spinning bag of Cheesy Poofs.
  • Controllable Helplessness: The opening of Emergence, seen through Blade's perspective as he's strapped to a table in a SinTEK office.
  • Cool Bike: In the Mountain Gorge level of the original, Blade must use an incredibly fast motorbike to traverse broken roads and bridges while lava floods the region.
    • The multiplayer levels of Wages of Si N introduce a hoverbike which also is armed with lasers, missiles and hovering mines. In many of the levels are different checkpoints for doing races.
  • Critical Existence Failure: You can be knocked down to a couple hitpoints of health and still run and move just as well as if you were still at full strength.
  • Disconnected Side Area: In one of the strangest applications of this trope, it's possible to find (via searching in some levels) areas that appear to be part of the level, but are actually a sneak preview of a level later on in the game.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Plot-relevant in the original. In the final cutscene, Blade is distracted long enough by Elexis making sexually suggestive movements that she manages to escape using a hidden trigger-button in her chair.
  • Dual Boss: The finale of Emergence, which pairs the land-based mutant you fought earlier with a helicopter.
  • Dynamic Difficulty: The Personal Challenge System in Emergence is designed to adapt itself to the player's skill level and varies the numbers and toughness of enemies faced in accordance with the player's performance.
  • Easter Egg: Tons, especially in the first level where you can find a quarter in a fountain and call various humorous other soundclips on the payphones.
    • Emergence seems to have multiple secrets involving the Dopefish from Commander Keen.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: There is an entire complex located underneath Elexis' house in the original (which is only accessible from an elevator in her main living room).
  • Emergency Weapon: Blade's fists, should you run out of ammo for all your weapons. With Emergence, the fists are replaced by a quick melee button. Enemies likewise use a melee attack, such as headbutting the player.
  • Enemy Chatter: The SinTek troops in Emergence will call out orders to each other as you engage them, and will noticably freak out (to the point of calling in reports that they're taking heavy casualties) when you kill many of them.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: In Emergence, the SinTEK tower, which Jessica says looks down upon the city. It is first visible when you manage to escape the pit, and if you are at the position where you see explosions from the U4 Lab (and no-clip outside), you can see said tower to the right. Compare this visiblity to the chapter where you enter the U4 Lab, where the SiNTEK tower isn't visible. As everything is practically in walking distance, it would appear as if the tower undergone Ridiculously Fast Construction during the time Blade was underground.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Blade goes swimming at several points in the game (including deep below the sea, where temperatures drop rapidly) in nothing more than a standard-issue Hardcorps Police uniform. Later on, he can stand directly beside a pool of lava without being burned in any way (jumping into lava will cause smoke to rise and the player to start shouting, along with a decrease in health, but this is played as a temporary inconvenience).
  • Fate Worse Than Death: In the original, Blade finds a homeless man being tied down and experimented on in Elexis' secret research laboratory. The player can either give him medicine to stop the pain or end his suffering.
  • Gag Boobs: Elexis' boobs are just so silly in their size.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Many players were never able to see an extra level accessed through the Freeport Dam, as the game would automatically crash if the player happened to just walk down the only hallway leading to the alternate exit in the level.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In the original, Blade is a beast during regular gameplay, mowing down enemies with all sorts of insane weapons. This doesn't extend to the cutscenes, where he gets knocked out by a single blow to the back of the head from a mook. Also qualifies as Cutscene Incompetence.
  • Half-Human Hybrid
  • Heroic Mime: While Blade is a chatterbox in the original and the expansion pack, he is practically silent in Emergence (speaking only when acknowledging the optional comm radio request).
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Blade can carry several different weapons, hundreds of rounds of ammo and several miscellaneous items on him at any one time. At one point, Blade (who has been turned into a brute) undergoes a painful transformation process that reverts back to his human form, and he immediately gets his armor, weapons and ammo back (even though he was previously seen having nothing on him but a pair of shorts)!
  • Incompetence, Inc.: In several points of the game, important security computers are locked by passwords. To crack them, you need only find the really big computer and type in the name of the guy whose password you want. And this big computer, housing every password and controlling every camera, alarm, and security system in a whole level? It has no password.
  • In-Vehicle Invulnerability: In Emergence, there's a section where you take fire while in a car. You can lean out to attack, but there's no purpose to make yourself vulnerable to return attacks (aside from having to leave the vehicle to open a gate.)
  • It's Up to You
  • Jiggle Physics
  • Limited Wardrobe: Blade has worn the exact same uniform throughout the entire game series. The only costume change he has is when he dons a worker disguise to infiltrate the SinTEK offices (which is just put over his uniform) in the original.
    • Wages of Si N also has a part in the final three levels of the game where you can find a worker's uniform stashed in a vent which will help you past a few security checkpoints early on. Even when Blade has to fight the penultimate boss fight of the game, the cutscene still shows him wearing the uniform.
  • Magic Pants: What the transfomed Blade has to wear during the laboratory missions in the original. The pants disappear when he's transformed back into a regular human.
  • Male Gaze
  • Mega Corp.: SinTEK Enterprises, run by Elexis Sinclaire.
  • No-Gear Level: Blade has to do this in one level (with an additional secret level) in the original because he's been transformed into a monster. However, Blade immediately gets his entire inventory back (along with his clothing) the moment you change back into your human form.
  • No One Could Survive That: What Blade says at the end of the game after the missile launch (supposedly containing Sinclaire's transported body) is aborted.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The Jungle and Mountain Gorge levels in the original are all subject to this.
  • Offscreen Start Bonus: There's an Easter Egg ATM located just back from the start point of the bank level in the original game that (if you obtain the codes later in the level) allows you to transfer Elexis' entire savings account to Blade, thus making him a very rich man. It's not even apparent that you can access the machine until you stand directly in front of it.
  • One-Man Army: By the time any of the games (or the anime film) ends, Blade will have killed several dozen (or several hundred) SinTEK Mooks by himself.
  • One-Winged Angel: Thrall Sinclaire in the original game. This instance is unique, as he is in that form when you reach him (meaning that he either experimented on himself beforehand, causing the transformation, or his own daughter experimented on him without his permission).
  • Orphaned Series: After releasing Sin Episodes: Emergence, Ritual Entertainment was acquired by Mumbo Jumbo and re-tasked towards making casual games, effectively killing the franchise just as it was attempting to make a revival.
  • Oxygen Meter: Blade starts taking damage if he remains underwater for too long. This meter is only made visible in Emergence.
  • Oxygenated Underwater Bubbles: If you skipped collecting the rebreather (or if it disappeared from inventory), you can still use these as a source of air.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: The general consensus is that the original Sin was a very innovative evolution of the FPS genre at the time it was released, but had the bad fortune of coming out at the exact same time as the revolutionary Half-Life. As a result, the game is remembered as more of a footnote in the evolution of FPS games rather than the historical milestone Half Life ended up becoming.
  • Playing Possum: Thrall does this after you beat him in his first form.
  • Plethora of Mistakes: Mancini royally botches the opening bank robbery in the original game. The police surround the bank after the alarm is tripped (forcing him to stall for time), it takes much longer than he expected to get into the bank's vault, and when he does get in, he doesn't even find what he's looking for!
  • Press X to Die: Some valves and buttons have warning signs, and they cause a lethal explosion when used. On easy difficulty, some of them give a warning, before triggering the lethal effect on the second use.
  • Rail Shooter: In the original, the opening bank assault level, where Blade must sit in an attack helicopter and shoot the mooks on the roof of the Freeport Bank and several adjoining buildings.
  • Secret Level: Several in the original game, including the Silo and several extra Jungle stages (to wit; the player can complete only one, or journey through three extra jungle-themed levels if they get caught in an undercurrent during the beginning of the first stage).
  • Shooting Gallery: There are four shooting galleries in the original game's training stage: a sniper range, a skeet range, and the lineup and city ranges found in Hogan's Alley. However, the skeet range uses an inaccurate shotgun, and the lineup shooting range used a slow-firing pistol when you needed to hit three targets quickly. In all four galleries, reaching the score limit wraps the score to zero.
  • Sinister Subway: The fourth level of the original game, set in an abandoned subway featuring flickering lights, cracking floors, thugs that try to kill you and a monstrous, mutated brute that stalks you throughout the level.
    • The first couple of levels of the Wages of Si N expansion will throw Blade from the surface, into the sewers, and then into the subways multiple times. In fact, hidden in a bathroom is an abandoned bag of money assumed to have been taken during Mancini's original robbery in Si N.
  • Spy Catsuit: Jessica wears this throughout Emergence.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: The SinTEK office in the original game. Note that being spotted will not result in a game over, but it will make the level (and the ones after it) much more difficult.
  • Storming the Castle: Done unwittingly by Blade in the original. He doesn't realize he's reached her base until he's within sight of it, and by that point, there's no going back.
  • Story-Driven Invulnerability: It is possible (if you're quick enough) to shoot Mancini during several points in the initial levels of the original. Of course, he won't die until he gets into the abandoned subway station to transform, and only during the climatic battle in an active subway station.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Blade can find a Rebreather in the first game that allows him to swim ad infinitum without the need to breathe. If you forget to take it, you can still complete the necessary level by using air bubbles.
  • Supervillain Lair: Estate Sinclaire/Munt Phoenix, which is so big that it takes three separate levels to explore.
    • Manero Tower in Wages of Si N. It's both a casino, but add a penthouse which the Big Bad uses, as well as the tram system that links to his secret mutangenic facility, and it pretty much fits the bill.
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity: In the final level of the original, you'll be dumped from a meat cart into a seemingly empty level featuring a giant cache of ammo, weapons and health packs...then you walk outside and see Elexis Sinclair's several-foot high mutated father stalking towards you with a tri-projectile rocket launcher, and you'll suddenly realize the door to the supply room just locked behind you.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Taking the time to swim against a current of water during the underwater level (something which most players are unwilling to try) will lead you into a secret room filled with inactive submarines and a message telling you that you're not supposed to be there, along with the advice underneath to start playing the game again.
    • In Elexis' estate, it's possible to find a secret janitor closet that has a camera feed showing Elexis sitting in a hottub (which wouldn't be glimpsed until the next level). Although it's impossible to see what she's doing normally in regular gameplay, clipping out of the level will allow you to find the jacuzzi area before you exit, and you'll subsequently realize that the developers put a very special animation of Elexis (fully animated and all) for those who discover it.
  • Theme Song Reveal: In Emergence, variants of the main characters' themes will play shortly before they appear.
  • There Was a Door: The mini-Manumit found in the Estate Sinclaire level bursts through a thick wall right after you enter a large testing area.
  • Transformation Sequence: Mancini's transformation into the first of the brutish Manumits in a cutscene during the original game.
  • Under the Sea: A long level in the original takes place as Blade swims from the underwater research facility beneath an oilrig to a secret jungle facility.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: In the original, you could shoot, cripple and/or kill hostages and homeless people.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: JC.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Staring at Jessica's...assets will cause her to chastize you for ogling.
  • You ALL Look Familiar: There are only a handful of enemy types in the game, and you'll often end up fighting many mook soldiers who have the exact same facial pattern.
  • You Have Failed Me: Elexis says this to Mancini in the original when he screws up the opening bank robbery and gets Blade on his trail. She then douses him with a chemical that transforms him into a nightmarish monster.


The film includes examples of:

  • Badass Longcoat
  • Canon Discontinuity: The release of Emergence makes the film an Alternate Continuity to the series.
  • Death Course: The assault on the SinTEK plays out like this, as JC and Blade are dropped midway up the tower, and have to fight their way through floor after floor of enemies (and a miniboss).
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: The SinTEK tower, used as Elexis' base of operations.
  • In Their Own Image: Elexis' plan is to turn her army of mutated creatures into the dominant lifeform on the planet, with her being the leader.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Much like the game series, Blade's police uniform is the only thing he wears.
  • Mercy Kill: Blade does this to JC after he begins his monstrous transformation.
  • Start of Darkness: Turns out Elexis was actually a pretty normal, well-adjusted girl until she witnessed her family gunned down by government-sponsored mobsters right in front of her.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: JC, the most prominent supporting character from the original game and Blade's right-hand man, is killed off minutes into the film when he touches an unknown substance and begins transforming into a mindless abomination, which leads to Blade having to put him down for good.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: After JC dies, his sister Jennifer (who is also nicknamed JC, and wears similar glasses as her brother) joins the Hardcorps police force in order to find out who killed her brother.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: In a flashback, Blade and his father are gunned down, and he's barely holding on after sustaining serious injuries. He ends up being rebuilt with cybernetic parts.
  • Villain Exit Stage Left: Averted. Unlike in the game, Elexis receives a throughly well-deserved death at the end of the film. Sure, it's a Disney Villain Death, but this is anime and such deaths are usually definitively fatal.
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