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YMMV / Syphon Filter

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  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • You're up against Rhoemer at the final level of the original Syphon Filter and he's armed with an M-79 which can kill you in one hit. There are two details that make what should've been a epic gunfight into a let-down: First, Rhoemer is standing in defilade between the mainframes with no line of fire unless you give it to him. And second, the game is scripted to have Rhoemer die from a Gas Grenade, meaning that he goes out with a whimper instead of a bang.
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    • Shi Hao was arguably the most ambitious Syphon Filter potential buyer who went rogue and led his army rebelled against PRC and Russia, yet he was easily defeated and killed by Gabe, as he wielded normal gun with mediocre accuracy, and he didn't even wear bulletproof vest. It is not an understatement to say that random Mooks in Convoy level is tougher than Shi Hao.
  • Awesome Music:
  • Broken Base:
    • The changes of gameplay between the PS1 trilogy and the PSP/PS2 continuity. One half of the fandom criticize the PS1 trilogy for keeping the stagnant gameplay and welcome the significant changes in the newer games, the other half dislike the changes in newer games such as the absence of combat roll in Dark Mirror, 'unnecessary' romantic sub plots and that they just prefer the PS1 trilogy.
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    • While big part of the fandom embrace the romantic sub plot between Gabriel Logan and Lian Xing in Logan's Shadows with I Knew It! attitude, few significant portion of the fandom find it irrelevant to the main idea of the series, and even some minor yet vocal part of the fandom downright loathe it for the fact that Lian is still married to Shen Rei and yet to officially divorce him (until Rei committed suicide, at least. Also, the fact that Gabriel Logan has a daughter with Addison does not help.
  • Complete Monster: Gabriel "Gabe" Logan and Lian Xing have faced many terrible people in their mission to stop the titular virus, with these being the worst:
    • Erich Rhoemer, from the first and third game, is the leader of the terrorist organization Black Baton, and Gabe's most personal enemy. Responsible for multiple bombings and plane hijackings before partnering with Pharcom, Rhoemer is placed in charge of creating the Syphon Filter virus. Hearing that the Agency sent men out to stop him, he captures, tortures, and holds Agent Ellis captive, then has his laboratory burned, the cure destroyed, and Ellis executed once Gabe and Lian arrive. Escaping to Washington, D.C., he detonates the city's subway system and has multiple virus-filled bombs planted in a park in an attempt to infect the entire city. When Gabe invades his hideout, Rhoemer kidnaps and infects Lian with the virus. Occupying underground catacombs, he has people captured and used as test subjects for the virus, ordering every one of them executed when Gabe is caught sneaking around. Rhoemer later decides to steal a nuclear missile, fill it with the virus, and launch it anywhere, not caring where it lands or the possibility that it might start a third World War.
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    • Vincent Hadden, the Big Bad of the original trilogy, is the traitorous Secretary of State and head of the Agency who seeks to increase his political power. Working for the corrupt Mihai Niculescu, Hadden secretly creates the Arms Consortium, an illegal black market where weapons would be sold to foreign terrorists, planning to sell the Syphon Filter virus at a high price. He plans to have terrorists use the virus to wreak havoc on American soil and step in to save the day, hoping to use that clout to become President. Selling the virus to rebellious Chinese General Shi-Hao, knowing full well that he would use it to infect China and Russia and start a war with them, he kills any of his agents aware of the conspiracy. When Gabe starts getting in the way of his plans, Hadden tries to have him and Lian arrested and blamed for the conspiracy, hoping to throw everyone working for him under the bus and escape scot-free.
    • The Omega Strain: The aforementioned Mihai Niculescu is the Greater-Scope Villain of the original trilogy, and one of the game's main threats. A psychotic banker, Mihai created the Syphon Filter virus as a bioweapon to be sold for money, using his connections to have it sold to countless terrorist and criminal groups, which he also funds with his own bank money. Using Vincent Hadden's Consortium as a way to sell the virus, Niculescu allowed Hadden to kill anybody who came close to the conspiracy and start wars to keep the virus profitable, having Mara Aramov murder him when his plans are exposed. Creating the Omega Strain virus to be more powerful than his previous Syphon Filter, Niculescu allows the rogue Ivankov to nuke Moscow, believing the missile to be filled with his own virus, and hoping to sell a vaccine to the survivors.
  • Critical Research Failure:
    • If Mara Aramov is really a Russian, her last name should actually be "Aramova", because Russian surnames have both masculine and feminine forms.
    • In Pugari levels from 3 which takes place in the "Mpumalanga Province, South Africa," in 1984, this region was actually called "Eastern Transvaal", and was renamed into "Mpumalanga" in 1995 after the fall of apartheid causing the restructuring of South Africa's provinces.
    • Convoy from the same game, which was inspired from real life Soviet-Afghan war in 1987 saw Gabe raiding an Afghan insurgent fortress that has the green/white/black tricolor Afghan flag with the gold Shahadah logo hanging on a wall. This flag was not adopted until 1992, when the communist regime collapsed.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With Tenchu, due to the similar suspenseful atmosphere and the camaraderie between Rikimaru & Ayame and Gabe & Lian.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • The air taser. It has infinite range, infinite ammo, is considered to be a stealth weapon, and can kill a helluva lot of baddies in relatively short time. Plus it's fun to hear them scream and see them catch on fire.
    • The Spyder Skorpion sub-machine gun in Syphon Filter 3. Ridiculously overpowered, this weapon can shred through enemies in split-seconds. Granted, this weapon is only available in one level.
    • The K364 in the original trilogy. It's an assault rifle that pierces through flak jackets, killing armored enemies without the need for a precision headshot.
    • In The Omega Strain, the E.P.D.D., an advanced version of the air taser, is the best weapon in the game, as it has ridiculous range, and can sometimes punch through flak jackets (usually in two hits), meaning that you can kill almost anyone you come across.
    • Possessing Explosive weapons such as M-79, MIL-15, and Grenade as well as Sniper Rifle in two players mode will make it clear which player acts as the predator and which player acts as the prey. Granted, when someone dies, they drop all their weapons (which can be collected) and respawn at random place with only a handgun and a knife.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • In the last stage of 3, Mara Aramov is hiding behind bulletproof glass with a hostage whom she'll kill if one gets too close. Normally, you'll need the gun that shoots through walls, get above her and snipe her through the floor. However, due to hardware limitations, the environment tends to get flushed out after a certain distance to save memory. This means that, if one keeps targeting Mara and slowly backs away until the bulletproof glass panel poofs out of existence, a simple pistol can do the job.
    • In The Omega Strain, enemies will sometimes appear with weapons stuck in their necks, making it impossible to shoot the player, who can run around without fear of being hit. However, it can happen to the player as well.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In 2, about halfway into the game, Lian Xing arranges a meeting with a former partner, Uri Gregorov, at a neutral meeting point: a techno dance club. But their meet-up is ruined by an attack on the club in an attempt to assassinate Lian. And the date that this happens on in the mission dossier? 09/11.
    • In 3, the first mission takes place in a Tokyo hotel called the "Fukushima Hotel". Surely a name chosen completely at random at the time, but carries a much darker association in the years since.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: A common complaint is that the original trilogy's barely changed over time, in both graphics and gameplay.
  • Les Yay: Gary Stoneman confirmed Mara Aramov and Elsa Weissinger aka Mara x Elsa as canon relationship by using his rifle scope in Syphon Filter Dark Mirror bonus mission (only in hard mode). However, their relationship reached the breaking point thanks to Mara's possessiveness and Elsa's involvement with IPCA during Syphon Filter Omega Strain events. Either Mara sinked the ship by herself, or Stoneman did it for her.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Any important figures in the games are this. Erich Rhoemer, Uri Gregorov, Mara Aramov, Thomas Markinson, Jason Chance, Mihai Niculescu, the list goes on and on.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Gabe's running animation in the first three games, due to how goofy it looks. Many like to think that he runs like that because he didn't have enough time to get to the bathroom.
    • Some missions in the PS1 trilogy feature super-secret military base with advanced technology hidden in a rather ordinary, if not remote village in real life. This did not escape the fans who actually lived in said area.
    OK. I live in Uzhhorod, and I don't remember this shit.
    Lol, I live in Rozovka, it's just a village.
  • Most Annoying Sound: Imani Gray when she's constantly yelling/whining at you in The Omega Strain:
    • "Cobra is down! I repeat, Cobra is down!"
    • "You're runnin/almost outta time! PICK UP THE PACE!"
    • "Gabe! <*cough cough*>"
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Mara's laugh in the first game is this for some.
  • Narm Charm: For some, the voice acting in the original trilogy.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Rhoemer has the future voice of both Specs and Augustus Sinclair.
  • The Scrappy: Imani thinks she is Jack Bauer but ends up being a lot bitchier, constantly harassing and putting down the player, only to end up killed early in the game.
  • Special Effects Failure: The intro cutscene of the PHARCOM Warehouses level has flashing lights happening around the map to simulate battles being fought between Phagan's men and Rhoemer's men. But they forgot to put the character models in, making the entire cutscene look like the warehouses are being attacked by ghosts. Granted, the idea might be that they're too small to see from the height Gabe and co. are flying, saving the developers some trouble.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The song playing 2's Club 32 sounds like a techno version of "Dancing Queen".
  • That One Level:
    • Syphon Filter:
      • In the Washington Park level, you have to make precise silenced-night vision sniper shots at the tennis courts.
      • The Expo Center Reception level relies on evading or shooting multiple mooks.
      • In the Rhoemer’s Base level, you have to plant C4 on each of the base's fuel tanks while remaining unseen by the mooks.
      • The Base Tower level requires you to have enough ammo to fend off a helicopter whose pilot shoots automatic rounds at you.
      • The Rhoemer’s Stronghold, Stronghold Lower Level, and Stronghold Catacombs levels are sprawling. Fun to play, but extremely open world for its time.
      • The PHARCOM Warehouses level has infinite spawning mooks and a very confusing layout. Also, you have to use the infrared-style device to get what you need to advance, which are not at all easy to find, and you are not at all told that you needed to use them.
      • The Missile Silo level requires you to navigate a series of catwalks and metal beams to disarm the missile and escape before it launches.
    • Syphon Filter 2:
      • I-70 Mountain Bridge level requires you to assassinate the enemy commander and disable all of the bombs scattered under the bridge while remain stealthy for first half of the level. At the beginning of the level, you don't have any silenced weapons other than a knife and you need to obtain more silenced weapons to kill your way to the tunnel undetected.
      • The New York Sewers level features narrow passages, almost no cover, and infinitely respawning Agency Elite Mooks randomly appearing both in front and behind you.
    • Syphon Filter 3:
      • The Convoy level features almost no cover and you have to protect both your teammate Ellis and the already damaged truck from rebel gunmen, grenadiers, and snipers. The enemy guards are already aware of your presence, making stealth nonexistent and forcing you to confront enemies head on. It's regarded by fans as one of the hardest levels in the original trilogy.
    • The Omega Strain:
      • The bonus missions have you playing characters from the earlier games (Gabriel "Gabe" Logan, Teresa Lipan, Lawrence Mujari, etc.). Sounds cool, right? The problem is that these bonus missions can be quite long, have multiple objectives, are all stealth based, and if you get spotted, it's an instant game over. And because there are no checkpoints, if you fail, you have to start all over again from the beginning.note  This is especially problematic in Mujari's mission, where you have to sneak through a bombed-out village that has plenty of places for enemy soldiers to hide, and you can't kill any of them. The general consensus among Syphon Filter fans is that this is the most frustrating mission in the entire series.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Ellis is often bashed by many fans due to his mediocre combat skills in 3's Convoy level, making him The Load most of the time.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Syphon Filter 2 is still considered by majority, if not all fans of the series as the best Syphon Filter game ever for many reasons. The challenging difficulty setting of enemies can do head shots, the availability of Player Versus Player mode, background soundtracks that emphasized both suspenseful atmosphere and high adrenaline action better than other SF games, 'Realpolitik' based plot, and the fact that the game developers are not afraid of criticizing their own government policies, you name it.
    • The third game attempted to follow the second game's success formula but fell short in both storyline and music category.note 
    • The newer games in PS 2/PSP platform got even worse flaks as they became generic Third-Person Shooter game by giving the Player Character fancy gadgets (such as infrared/thermal googles) from the beginning instead of requiring them to explore the terrain and find said gadgets like in the first trilogy.

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