Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Syphon Filter
aka: Syphon Filter The Omega Strain

Go To

Syphon Filter is a Third-Person Shooter and Stealth-Based Game series developed by Eidetic (later known as Sony Bend) focusing on the adventures of Gabriel "Gabe" Logan, who begins the story as an agency operative, until turning rogue, and eventually after exposing the misdeeds of said agency, forms his own, known as the International Presidential Consulting Agency (IPCA). Syphon Filter itself is a fatal virus, akin to FOXDIE, which can be made to target specific ethnicities. Throughout the first four games, one is trying to stop its distribution.

There are six games in the series:

  • Syphon Filter - The Agency is tracking the terrorist Erich Rhoemer, who is in possession of a dangerous bio weapon known as Syphon Filter. They don't need to look far because Rhoemer just launched a massive attack on the nation's capital!
  • Advertisement:
  • Syphon Filter 2 - Gabe and Lian stopped Rhoemer's evil plan, but their troubles aren't over. The Agency kidnapped Lian and Gabe is in hot pursuit, but his chase hits a snag when his plane is shot down over the Rockies.
  • Syphon Filter 3 - Gabe and his allies are interrogated by a closed Congressional hearing about their exploits and the truth about Syphon Filter.
  • Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain
  • Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror
  • Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow

In all of the above games, sans The Omega Strain, Gabe is usually the player character.


The series shows examples of:

  • A.K.A.-47: Most of the guns in the first two games.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Mara Aramov changed from a redhead to a blonde in 2 (as well as changing her hairstyle), and she kept her blonde hair in the flashbacks in 3.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Starting in 2, you could traverse these. Bizarrely enough, you moved faster in them.
  • The Alcatraz: Aljir Prison in 2. It even has a shower scene.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Earning ranks in The Omega Strain gives you new pants, shirts, hats, vests, and shoes to wear.
  • Anyone Can Die:
    • Happened to Teresa Lipan in 2, but she got better.
    • In Logan's Shadow, Alima Haddad, Lawrence Mujari, Teresa and Gabe.
  • Artifact Title: Syphon Filter itself as the virus was dealt with in The Omega Strain. Dark Mirror and Logan's Shadow deals with new threats.
  • Badass Normal: Gabe, Mara, Lian, Teresa and Mujari in his prime.
  • Beating A Dead Player: Whenever you drop dead, enemies will continue to make mincemeat out of your corpse with their bullets. If they run out of ammo, they'll even pause to reload before continuing to shoot you.
  • Berserk Button: If Gabe's friends or innocent people are hurt or killed in his presence, he will end the person that did it.
  • BFG: Anton Girdeux and Red Jack's flamethrower, which are enormous backpack-powered things. Much like in real life.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: The arms consortium and Government Conspiracy of the first four games that was known as "The Consortium". Its leadership included Mihai Niculescu, Vince Hadden, Mara Aramov, Thomas Markinson alongside (presumably) Lyle Stevens, Edward Benton, Jonathan Phagan, Sanzo Murakawa and Commander Silvers, whilst operatives such as Mr. Cochran, Dillon Morgan, Jason Chance, Steven Archer, Nigel Cummings and Alex Birchim handled the day-to-day operations. Assets that were under their control included the likes of the Agency, Pharcom Industries, Murakawa Industries, Black Baton, General Shi-Hao's rebel faction, the Provisional IRA and the Chechen Democratic Partizans.
  • Big Bad Wannabe:
    • Vince Hadden (US Secretary of State) was a legitimate threat for Gabriel Logan, until Logan manage to overturn his accusation and brought federal agents to have him arrested for being involved in The Arms Consortium. He was killed by Mara Aramov.
    • Lyle Stevens was put in charge to continue Markinson's jobs, and despite his high rank, he only succeeded in making a fool out of himself. Stevens lacked the cunning mind and enigmatic personality of Markinson, and Logan was able to move several steps ahead of his plans. No one took him seriously, not even Elsa Weissinger. As Logan had said, Stevens was "just another dead agent".
  • Big "NO!": Lian lets out one in 2 when she sees a group of political prisoners being gunned down by guards in one of the Aljir Prison levels.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • In 2, the Agency's leaders are dead and their conspiracy is exposed, but there are others who still want to possess Syphon Filter. Also, Teresa "dies".
    • Logan's Shadow: Gabe foils al-Jamil's plot, only to be killed by Trinidad.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: In the first game, you are at one point required to do this to save Phagan from Aramov at the museum.
  • Blatant Lies: From 3:
    Hadden: Have you ever assassinated a world leader?
    Gabe: No. Never.
    (a flashback is shown of Gabe getting ready to assassinate Shi-Hao, who is the leader of a rebel movement, not a world leader)
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: Found armor essentially acts as a second health meter.
  • Boom, Headshot!: A One-Hit Kill that also applies to the player character in 2 and 3.
  • Bowdlerization: In European release of 3, "IRA" was changed into "ARM" for obvious reasons.
  • Break Them by Talking: Singularity delivers this to Gabe during their final battle in Dark Mirror.
  • Bulletproof Vest: Your flak jacket only armour in the game, and it is a huge life saver.
  • Chase Scene: Several. Ranging from a helicopter constantly hunting Gabe, to having to chase an informant through the Moscow streets.
  • Clear My Name: The third game is more or less everyone who was associated with Gabe testifying on his behalf.
  • Conspiracy Redemption: From the Agency to the IPCA.
  • Corridor Cubbyhole Run: The mission in the first game where Gabe had to pursue and capture Mara through D.C.'s subway tunnels while avoiding the occasional train.
  • Critical Existence Failure: You can get shot several times without it slowing your character down appreciably, although it does deplete your armor, and your "health" stat is very, very low. All that aside, if you get somewhere near an open flame in any way at any time, you're going up like a Roman candle.
  • Crosshair Aware: The games will notify you when snipers have you lined up for a headshot.
  • Dance Party Ending: Unlockable in 2.
  • Darker and Edgier: Logan's Shadow, which is the darkest game in the series. In it, the ICPA is shut down by corrupt corporate executive Robert Cordell, the big bad of the game, Ghassan Al Bitar, is a Middle Eastern terrorist formally affiliated with al-Qaeda, Gabe is sent on a botched mission by Cordell, Lian is accused of treason by Cordell, and Gabe and Teresa may have died at the end. Ironically, this game has a Teen rating.
  • Dead Man Switch: Dillon Morgan has one that will blow up the Expo Center unless you defuse the bombs first in 2.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: In the first game, Gabe and Lian are part of a covert government agency known as the Agency.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Crossed with Abnormal Ammo. In 3, Lian, during a flashback to Chinese operations in the Soviet-Afghan War, is given a rifle that uses unique gas to penetrate walls - stone, steel, you name it. In the present, Gabe use it to take out Mara, who is using a hostage as a shield - he climbs on top of the subway car they're in and puts a bullet in her.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Steven Archer in 2 is a very literal example. Sniping him before he can escape in the helicopter is the last thing you do before having to switch discs for the remaining missions.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: In the second bonus mission, Lian disguises as a concubine to fool Yang and the outdoor guards, then dons a bikini to distract the guards at Saydahmat's suite.
  • Distressed Dude: In 2, Lian infiltrates the Aljir Prison in Siberia to rescue Gregorov before his execution.
  • The Dragon: Mara was this for many bad guys.
  • Driven to Suicide: Shen Rei does this in order to avoid being captured by the Chinese CSS agent, Trinidad.
  • Dueling Games: At the time of its release in 1999, Syphon Filter's contemporary rivals were GoldenEye 64 and Metal Gear Solid.
  • Elite Mooks:
    • The aptly named Pharcom Elite Guards.
    • The Agency's Emergency Defense Squad, which wears full body armor suits that can only be penetrated by grenades.
    • Archer's Retrieval and Elimination Team Spooks who only go for head shots if the game is played on Hard.
  • Enemy Civil War: Pharcom Elite vs. Rhoemer's goons in the first game.
  • Escort Mission: Many times.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Why Mara turned against Rhoemer.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Cars always explode spectacularly when they crash, and even a few shots to a parked car makes it go boom.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: In the ending of Logan's Shadow, almost all of the main characters are either dead or dying.
  • Everyone Can See It: See Oblivious to Love.
  • Evil Laugh: The first three games ended with Mara laughing.
  • Faking the Dead:
    • Teresa in 2.
    • Addison Hargrove in Dark Mirror.
  • Final Boss:
    • Rhoemer in the first game.
    • Chance in the second game.
    • Mara in the third game.
    • Singularity in Dark Mirror.
    • Ghassan al-Bitar in Logan's Shadow.
  • Five-Token Band: From the PS1 trilogy:
    • Gabriel Logan (Caucasian American).
    • Lian Xing (Asian - Chinese).
    • Lawrence mujari (South African).
    • Teresa Lipan (Native American).
    • Maggie Powers (British - English).
  • Flamethrower Backfire: The first game has the boss battle against Girdeux. The man is wearing body armor that makes him Immune to Bullets and Gabe can't use his explosive weapons without triggering the nearby bomb. However, Girdeux's also using a flamethrower and has a huge tank of fuel strapped to his back. Multiple well-aimed shots to his fuel tank later, and Girdeux's toast.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In 2, if Chance is fighting by your side and you die, he and the Agency mooks will stop shooting at each other.
    • In The Omega Strain, Imani Gray tells you to pick up a body and move it around during the training mission, saying that you may have to do it out in the field. Guess who's body you'll be lugging around later on?
  • For the Evulz: Rhoemer:
    Rhoemer: The missile was my idea. Markinson came here to stop it but he was too late. As are you.
    Gabe: Who's the target, Rhoemer?
    Rhoemer: Does it matter?
  • French Jerk:
    • Anton Girdeux in 1.
    • Masson and the ALA (Anachiste Libertaire Armee) in The Omega Strain.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Syphon Filter 2, Mission 9: You're not allowed to kill U.S. Army regulars because they are innocent bystanders. BUT the area to the left of the Aztec Exhibit where you plant a C4 Explosive to create a diversion has two Army regulars there that you have to incapacitate. Since you can't move their bodies to a safer area, it's assumed in the cutscene for Mission 10 that they weren't killed. Either because "no one was there" or "they're impervious to explosions".
  • Gas Mask Mooks: Encountered by Lian in 3's Australia missions. They essentially CBDC agents who wear blue.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: The Agency, and its conspiracy redemption successor, the IPCA, are of the first type. Also, MI6, SVR, MSS, and various other real life agencies are portrayed as the second type.
  • Gun Porn: There are over 60 weapons to use and unlock in The Omega Strain.
  • Harder Than Hard: The original Playstation trilogy has "Hard difficulty" via a set of inputs. They change the behavior of the enemies in each game. As if the game wasn't hard enough, this difficulty will seriously test your patience and knowledge of the levels.
    • In the first game, enemies in the first few levels are very poor shooters, they take awhile to fill up your danger meter. These Mooks get harder each set of levels. "Hard difficulty" makes it so even the first level mooks are as accurate as the enemies in the last few levels.
    • The second game ups the ante with changes in specific maps, first person-aiming mode always a few pixels off where its supposed to, no headshot indicator and shorter patrol routes in stealth missions. The most apparent ones listed are:
      • In the first level, mooks parachute down faster and spawn more often.
      • On the second part of the train ride mission, you have much less time to make it to the end of the level.
      • On the level to retrieve the data discs, every single enemy will aim for your head.
    • Third game doesn't change much aside from enemies acquiring you much quicker in earlier levels.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door:
    • Mara, sort of, in the first couple games. In one mission, you're chasing her through a subway tunnel. Later, she's helping to air drop you into the very definitely final dungeon.
    • In 3, she was shot in the head by Gabe since she was part of the evil plan instigators. However, in the ending, it is revealed that she survived. She would appear in The Omega Strain. In The Omega Strain, it is implied that she was killed by Gary "Stone" Stoneman. This was confirmed in Dark Mirror.
    • Dr. Elsa Weissinger, who starts as antagonist in 2, while a flashback in 3 shows her as an ally. The Omega Strain had her as an ally, before she swaps back to the antagonist side. A part of The Omega Strain's ending has her state via note that she enjoys destroying anything she creates, so this could be justified.
  • The Hero Dies: Gabe is fatally wounded by Trinidad at the end of Logan's Shadow. Lian tries to resuscitate him, but the game ends before we can see if she suceeded.
  • Heroic Mime: Aside from grunts of pain, the player character doesn't speak a single word in The Omega Strain.
  • How We Got Here: 3 begins like this.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The enemies you encounter in the first level of the original game are terrible shots, incapable of hitting you even when you're standing two feet away, often for several seconds. This is averted as the game goes on, however, as enemies become better shots.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Lian throughout 2.
  • In Medias Res: The series began in this way, with no thorough explanations of any character or event preceding Gabe's pursuit of Rhoemer.
  • Indy Ploy: This will happen if you were supposed to land in the Arizona desert and wind up getting shot down over the Colorado Rockies.
  • Infinite Flashlight: Although the in-game description in Syphon Filter states it's rated for 300 hours of use, the game takes an average of twenty to thirty hours to complete.
  • Joke Character: Characters in the 2 player vs. mode in 2 and 3 include a corpse, a Syphon Filter victim, and random civilians.
  • Just Following Orders: This is Chance's rather flimsy excuse for being The Mole in 2.
  • Kill Them Already:
    • Mara in the first three games. This is finally averted in Dark Mirror, where the player, as Stone, kills her and Dr. Weissinger after witnessing a lesbian make out session in their private villa.
    • Chance had his helmet off in the cutscene before the final battle in 2 (and he wasn't shown putting it back on either).
    • Rhoemer in 3. Granted, Gabe was trying to aim for his head.
  • Kill It with Fire: Girdeux. Cue karmic death.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the Senate Building level of 3, you can hear two mooks talking about a "spy game" coming out the year after.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: It's revealed in the ending of Dark Mirror that Gabe is indeed the father of Addison's daughter, Blake.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Elsa Weissinger.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The Agency was controlled by a shadowy consortium. You never really know who or what is leading them, except for fighting a few in Ireland and Australia.
  • Melodrama: Elements of this start creeping in as Gabe and Lian's backstories in Dark Mirror and Logan's Shadow are revealed.
  • The Men in Black: The Agency.
  • The Mole:
    • Edward Benton in 1 should count, but then again, the whole Agency is evil.
    • Chance in 2.
    • Nigel Cummings in 3.
  • Mutual Kill: [In the final cutscene of Logan's Shadow, Gabe and Trinidad's final confrontation ends with both of them dying.
  • My Country Tis of Thee That I Sting: The series loves to take some jabs at the U.S. government. There are many examples, but the most blatant ones are Montana based levels in the third game.
  • Neck Snap: Stone can use it in his bonus mission in The Omega Strain, and the player character can as well after the mission's completion.
  • New Old Flame:
    • Addison for Gabe in Dark Mirror.
    • Shen for Lian in Logan's Shadow.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability:
    • Girdeux is wearing full body armor and can only be defeated by attacking the tank for his flamethrower.
    • Rhoemer is supposedly wearing invulnerable armor and can only be killed with a gas grenade, even though he is obviously not wearing a helmet.
    • The shock troops in 2 are decked out in full body armor, and can only be killed with high explosives. The final boss, Chance, wears a Mk II version of the armor, which is also explosive (but not helicopter-blade) resistant. And it doesn't seem to weigh them down.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • Most of the games are fairly tough, but 2 in particular is brutal.
    • In the first three games, there is a code that will unlock the Hard Difficulty. Harder Than Hard, that is. See above for more details.
    • In The Omega Strain, every level can be nightmarishly difficult: to unlock the best guns, abilities, and ranks, the player has to complete all the objectives on every mission while on a time limit. To do this requires memorizing when and where everything happens, and praying that they don't get screwed by soldiers who magically appear out of thin air, extremely weak people you have to escort, or a completely random glitch. With very little margin for error, players should expect to replay almost every level several times, or in some of the tougher ones, dozens of times.
  • No Escape but Down: Many times.
  • No-Gear Level: In 2, The McKenzie Airbase Interior and the Agency Bio-Labs levels. The latter one is probably one of the most difficult levels of the game.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished:
    • The New York Slums level in 2 has Gabe helping a SWAT officer rescue her partner. Once that's done, she apologizes to Gabe by telling him that she's still under orders to arrest him so he runs away. If you run back to her, she'll shoot you on sight.
    • The New York Sewers of the same game, if Gabe tries to let Stevens speak his mind and not killing him outright, it will result in Stevens killing Teresa Lipan (and of course, mission failure).
    • In Paradise Ridge, Teresa will see two "FBI" operatives escorting two captured militia members. These "FBI" will warn Teresa to leave the area as they will "interrogate" their captives. If Teresa refuses to leave and decides to make sure the interrogation process "does not violate the law", the "FBI" operatives will execute the captives and immediately kill her.
    • Other than Paradise Ridge, "3" managed to avert this very trope:
      • In Hotel Fukushima, if Gabe saves the JRA member who had been tortured by Shi Hao's goon, that person will give Gabe MIL-15, arguably the most powerful weapon in the original trilogy. Reckless usage of this weapon can cause accidental deaths and mission failure, though.
      • In Costa Rican Plantation, if Gabe saves two slaves from physical abuse and kills the abuser, it will unlock Rhoemer's Labs for Player Versus Player mode.
      • In C-5 Galaxy Transport, if Gabe refrains from killing both the pilot AND the co-pilot, it will unlock Rhoemer's Computer Center for Player Versus Player mode. Depending on luck factor, Gabe may or may not take some damage in his attempt of opening the exit door without killing anyone in the cockpit.
      • In Pugari Complex, if Mujari refrains from killing Jones (an unarmed foreman who had chose to surrender) after interrogating him, it will unlock Colorado Bridge for Mini Game missions.
      • In S.S. Lorelei, if Gabe finishes the mission without harming the ship engineer and the cook, it will unlock S.S. Lorelei for Player Versus Player mode.
      • In Militia Compound, if Teresa saves as many militia members as she can, it will unlock Ismailivo Park for Player Versus Player mode.
  • No One Could Survive That!:
    • The bomb that wrecks a good part of D.C.'s subway system. Gabe was literally right next to the bomb as it went off, and doesn't get a scratch.
    • In 2, Gabe dives head first off a cliff of unknown height, then later off a significantly high bridge onto a moving train.
    • He's survived falling off high places and explosions without explaining why.
  • Nostalgia Level: The Freedom Memorial level in 1 reappears in 2 (via a cheat code) as a secret level where you can watch the game's cutscenes.
  • Not So Different: Gabe vs. Singularity in Dark Mirror.
  • Oblivious to Love: In Logan's Shadow, Teresa reveals to Gabe that Lian is in love with him. She also reveals that he was the only one who didn't notice.
  • Once an Episode: Every game from the original trilogy ended with Mara's laugh.
  • One-Book Author: John Chacon voiced Gabe in the first three games. By all accounts, he hasn't done anything since.
  • Our Hero Is Dead: Possibly implied in Logan's Shadow's epilogue.
  • The Plague: Stopping the pandemic is the ultimate optional goal in The Omega Strain, involving the collection of a number of plot coupons which provide characters insight into the Syphon Filter virus.
  • Red Shirt Army: The CBDC agents in 1, the GIs in 2 and the MI6 agents in 3.
  • Regional Riff: In The Omega Strain, each region uses a certain ethnic style of music, such as mandolins in Italy, Arabic instruments and vocals in Yemen, Mongolian-type music in Kyrgyzstan, and traditional Japanese instruments in Tokyo.
  • Remixed Level: The D.C. subway, Rhoemer's base, Rhoemer's warehouses, Pharcom Expo Center, Aljir Prison, Agency Bio Lab.
  • Respawning Enemies: Known to the fans as "Magic Guards".
  • Retcon: Teresa was obviously Killed Off for Real at the end of 2, complete with a funeral. However, in 3, possibly due to fan outcries, they changed the story so that she only faked her death.
  • Right-Wing Militia Fanatic: Averted. Teresa recounts how she, as an ATF sniper, came to assist FBI agents against a militia. It turned out that the FBI agents were actually rogue NSA agents. They were killing everybody (militia or otherwise) in order to get their hands on a satellite data that was in the militia's compound. This incident is where she first met Gabe.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • 1: Mara is revealed to be working for the Agency.
    • 2: Mara and Hadden were watching Teresa's "funeral" and decides to have Gabe and friends testify before Congress.
    • 3: Mara recovers a single shipment of Syphon Filter from the wreckage of the SS Lorelei.
    • The Omega Strain: Stone was sent to kill Mara.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The first Rhoemer's Base mission is easier if done with stealth but the next mission says Gabe tripped the silent alarm.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The base level is quite clearly a Shout Out to Metal Gear Solid's Shadow Moses Island. The enemies even dress alike.
    • After Gabe saves the hostage in the first mission of 3, he says "Come with me if you want to live".
    • Gabe sounds like Garviel Lokken from Warhammer 40,000.
    • One of the Military Police's taunts in 2 Player Vs Player mode is "You fought the law, and the law won!", a reference to a Bobby Fuller's song made famous by The Clash.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • "Aljir Prison" from Syphon Filter 2 is based on a real life place named AL Zh IR - the Akmolinsk Camp of Wives of Traitors to the Motherland (Russian: Акмолинский лагерь жён изменников Родины (А. Л. Ж. И. Р.)), a "women's gulag" which imprisoned approximately 8000 people including the wives of statesmen, politicians and public figures in the then Soviet Union.
    • The survivalist militia from Syphon Filter 3 is based on the real life organization Militia of Montana. Likewise, The Paradise Ridge Incident is based on real life events Ruby Ridge Standoff and Waco Siege, involving US Government (particularly ATF and FBI).
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism:
    • This series was never idealistic to begin with, but definitely got Darker and Edgier as the series progressed. The storyline combines the plots of The Bourne Series with Mission: Impossible with betrayal and being too late to save the day combined.
    • Gabe was more or less an idealist when he was still in US Army Ranger and managed to kept much of his idealistic attitude when he first joined the Agency. Slowly, his idealistic attitude crumbled after realizing that his organization was in cahoots with terrorist ring. The whole Colorado incident was the final straw, Gabe stopped being a "loyal agent" and admitted that he was turning into a "tired, angry fugitive whose partnernote  is dying". He managed to regain some of his idealistic views of the world after he found IPCA with his comrades, but his deep cynical scars remained until the day he died.
  • Slow Doors: The last level of the first game has one. Now, if you're quick enough, you can make it under before it's halfway closed and you need to use the unnecessary combat roll button, but let's be honest, you're not going to do that, are you?
  • Split Screen: Mostly in The Omega Strain, also in Player Versus Player mode for 2 and 3.
  • The Stinger: Every game ends with this.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge:
    • This literally happened to Girdeux. The Agency kept his corpse in their bio lab in 2.
    • Imani in The Omega Strain. You spend an entire mission retrieving her corpse and whatever it was she was working on.
  • Super Window Jump: Gabe jumps through a glass ceiling in the first game's Expo Center mission. He also does it in Rhoemer's Stronghold.
  • Tank Goodness: The T-62 in 3.
  • Taunt Button: In Player Versus Player mode of 2 and 3, except there is NO taunt button. The taunts often come out at random moments, less than half of the playable characters can do it, and that character must be played in Controller One.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: In the first three games, if the player character is killed, enemies will continue to shoot at the body.
  • Time Bomb: The terrorists in the first game loved using them. The first level was a race to disarm one. It ends badly, and you have to fight out of the wrecked subway.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: The final battle of Logan's Shadow plays like a Rail Shooter. There, you fight Bitar in an attempt to destroy his doomsday devices on a hydraulic lift.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Averted. The roll is very necessary and even allows you to dodge some bullets.
  • Unwinnable by Design: While it's certainly possible to finish The Omega Strain, if you want to get all the weapons, all the ranks, and get the best ending, you need to play the game both off-line, and online to complete certain objectives and criteria (such as completing team-based objectives you can't get in single-player mode). However, with the online servers now shut down, it's impossible to fully complete the game and unlock all the goodies.
  • Van in Black: The Agency's vans in 2.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • The air taser in the first game delivered fairly horrific deaths to those unfortunate enough to be struck with it. And they screamed the whole time. And burst into flames. Also, you have this weapon from the start, it never runs out of uses, and it's considered a silent weapon, making it one of the most useful things you carry.
      • It was fun watching goons squirm using the taser.
      • Try tasering your allies. Their screams can be quite amusing.
    • Then there's the M-90 Grenade Launcher, which for some bizarre reason, still informed you of when you lined up a headshot in first-person aiming mode. Not that you needed it since it's Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • Tired of lugging Imani's corpse around? At the end of the level, just dump it in the filthy jungle river, and leave it to rot!
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment:
    • Killing Jones (a foreman who has no weapon and surrender himself immediately as Mujari done interrogating him) in Pugari Complex would result in a truck mysteriously trying to ram Mujari who is inside the room. If Mujari managed to survive that by miracle, many guards who had become alerted by the explosive sounds would surround the place, making unnecessary gunfight inevitable. Also, there would be no new level unlocked. See No Good Deed Goes Unpunished above.
  • We Can Rule Together: In 3, Mara Aramov tries to offer Gabe into joining her side after being cornered despite still holding a hostage.
    "Logan, put the gun down and let's work together. I will make you rich!"
  • Western Terrorists: The PS1 trilogy, which mostly focused on a German terrorist and his Eastern European allies trying to spread the Syphon Filter virus, and it turned out that the Agency was in on it. Averted in the later games.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?:
    • Before the final boss fight in 2, Gabe and Chance will engage in a circling monologue in which Chance calls Gabe out for killing hundreds of agents who were just doing their job.
    • In Paradise Ridge, a militia member armed with a shotgun tried to flank two "FBI" operatives all by himself in his attempt to save "Billy" and "Randy" who were taken captive by the said "FBI". Likewise, some of the "FBI" operatives will try their hardest to kill Teresa for killing "Agent Benny". Their status as expendable enemies doesn't change the fact that they are human being with friends and families who truly care for each other.
    • This is invoked by Gary "Stone" Stoneman after the first bonus mission in The Omega Strain.
  • Where It All Began: The PS1 trilogy begins and ends in Washington, D.C.
  • With This Herring: For a secret government agency engaged in counter-terrorism, the weapons you start out with are kinda shitty. The exception is the air taser.
  • Yakuza: Present in the third game's first level and The Omega Strain.
  • You Have Failed Me / You Have Outlived Your Usefulness
  • Your Enemy Is In Another Castle: In 1, Gabe's mission from the beginning of the game is to 'eliminate Rhoemer'. However, Rhoemer has a lot of expendable Mooks to stall Gabe and he is rather good at covering his tracks. Gabe would not encounter Rhoemer until the last level of the game.

Alternative Title(s): Syphon Filter Logans Shadow, Syphon Filter 2, Syphon Filter The Omega Strain, Syphon Filter 3, Syphon Filter Dark Mirror


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: