Released in January 1999, Syphon Filter was one of a dozen stealth games that came out after Metal Gear Solid. Gabriel Logan and Lian Xing are trying to stop international terrorist Erich Rhoemer.
Best time on the European version: 1:09:31 by Martin 'J.Y' Söderhäll on 2012-08-08, done in 20 segments.
Get Flash to see this player.
This is the first speedrun I have ever done. I've always liked to play through games fast but I didn't think about actually recording a run an submitting it before in found the SDA.
Syphon Filter is one of my favorite games of all time and it's a shame that it hasn't got more attention. Even though it sold a lot back in the day, few people seem to remember it. A lot of people like to compare this with Metal Gear Solid, but I think that they are 2 completely different games and should not be compared with each other, since Syphon Filter is more of a action game where you have to shoot your way though the levels rather than a stealth game like MGS.
This run was done on a PAL-version of PS2 with Texture Smoothing on. I started recording late June and finished in early August.
I would like to say thanks and hello to:
Individual level comments:
Level 1: Georgia Street
The first level in the game is also one of the best. Georgia Street has been a favorite of mine since the first time I played the game over ten years ago. The level itself is easy but fun, and it gives you a good chance to get used to the controls when you play the game for the first time.
In order to finish the level as quickly as possible you have to make the CBDC agent to defuse the bomb fast. One can assume that you can just run in and kill a couple of guards at let the CBDC agent defuse the bomb on his own, but you'll need to kill at least 4 guards in the big hall and make sure that you stay close enough the agent so he doesn't disappear on the radar, otherwise the mission will be a failure. Other than that it's pretty straight forward and easy.
Apart from being a little bit slow at the computer, and the embarrassing miss where I fail to shoot open the fence (I missed the button!), I'm pretty satisfied with the run. All the manual aiming is harder to do when recording onto the DVD since there is some latency. This is the fastest run I've done on this level, but it's improvable with at least a couple seconds.
Level 2: Destroyed Subway
Although Gabe catches fire very easily, there are some places where you can actually roll through the flames without dying. This is one of them. The shortcut I found at the beginning of the level saves a lot of time for such a short level. It's possible to come out on the other side of the fire and still have some armor left, but the timing has to be perfect and with a little bit latency it's hard to get a really good roll. I get burned pretty badly but I have enough health left to complete the mission. I tend to move a little bit slow during the climbing, other than that I'm pretty satisfied with the run.
Level 3: Main Subway Line
Mara Amarov is probably one of the easiest bosses in a game that I have played. That is, as long as line up really quick in the beginning so you can get the headshot before she runs of like hell down the subway tracks. Wasted more shots than necessary , but since the level is so incredible short I didn't feel like doing another try, just to save a couple of M16 rounds.
Level 4: Washington Park
In my opinion this is one of the hardest levels to speedrun in the entire game. There is a lot of guards to kill and a lot of CBDC agents to defend while defusing bombs. I was also low on both ammo and health, making the run a bit more difficult than expected.
When defending the first CBDC agent, I miss a headshot on a guard. This is somewhat on purpose since it doesn't matter if you hit him or not. If you watch closely you can see that he crouches after I fire at him, which gives the CBDC just enough time to defuse the bomb without having to be protected by Gabe. I always go for the bomb in the big park with the Nightvision rifle-equipped enemies before doing the one near the statue of the cop, because I often have most problems with that one.
I'm taking a little bit longer time than necessary on the tennis court, but believe it or not, this was the first time I ran to the right side and onto the court, rather than running on the left side and shooting through the fence which I've always done before. In most tries, I didn't even get this far without doing any mistakes so I was a little bit more cautious than normally.
I was VERY lucky in the maze, since I kill Marcos on the last shot with the M16. I was so excited that I almost got stuck in the maze while trying to switch weapons.
This level went OK but a perfect run would be at least 10-20 seconds faster.
Level 5: Freedom Memorial
The second boss in the game is the flamelovin' frenchman Anton Guardiux. This one is also very easy once you figure out how to kill him. Normally this takes just a few attempts, but the manual aim is always set to Invert Aim when you start the game, and I didn't feel like changing it yet so I had to play with controls that I'm not used to.
This is probably the fastest you can kill him. You may notice that the third shot actually hits the tank on his back but does no damage, due to me firing too fast, and therefore another shot is required. I did take him out with 3 shots , but due to the fact that you have to wait a short amount of time between them it ended up being just as fast as my previous attempt, and I ended up using the first one.
Level 6: Expo Center Reception
As I stated earlier, for some stupid reason the manual aim is set to Invert when you start the game. The previous levels doesn't require that much manual aiming, but from this level and forward I needed to have it the "regular" way. That's why I pause the game and change it at the beginning of the level.
I did a lot of attempts at the first part of the level, where you have to sneak behind Phagan for a couple of minutes. I got the idea of sneaking in front of him just before the video sequence with Benton starts after seeing the finish duo Loopadict and Kopeekka doing a similar thing in one of their speedruns on Syphon Filter 2, thanks guys!
Taking out Benton fast is a lot harder than it looks like, since you have to line up fast, peak out behind the wall and kill him before he starts to run, otherwise the whole run is ruined and you have to start all over again.
I'm a bit unlucky when trying to make the headshot on the guard at the bottom of the temple, other than that I think the run is pretty good. Notice how close I am to fall down from the platform at the end that would have sent me to the death!
Level 7: Expo Center Dinorama
A lot of K3G4 usage here. Since you start with a new mission after this one, you don't have to save any ammo, therefore you can just blast the flack jacket-equipped guards with the super effective teflon covered bullets.
Everything goes more or less like planned until I try to taser Mara. Even though she is visible on the screen, she doesn't appear on the radar until the very moment when I fire, which causes Gabe to aim at a guard far away. The game tend to do this quite often, and it can be a real pain in the ass.
Level 8: Rhoemer's Base
This is one of my favorite levels in the game. I remember how proud I was the first time I completed the level without being detected. My best time without being detected was around 4:50, but when I changed tactics from sneaking to just running at full speed I completely crushed my old record, making it to the end over 1:30 minutes faster. I would never imagine that you can run through the whole base this fast after being detected.
As in many cases with this game, I came up with the strategy of running through base on alert mode by accident. During one of many attempts I was discovered by the guards just after planting the second bomb. Usually I'd restart the level, but in the frustration that followed I just said "F**k it" and continued the level. To my very surprise I didn't stumble on that many enemies, which made me believe that you could actually run through the base on alert mode.
There are some parts which needs to be perfectly executed (more or less) in order to complete the mission. First off, I make the alarm go off by shooting on the guard upon the bridge at the beginning. You can run past him without being detected, but if you watch closely you can see that when the spotlights go off the game doesn't lag as much as when they are on. Also, if you get past him without being seen, there will be 3 or 4 guards near the first tank, which doesn't happen if you're already set the base on alert mode.
Running over the bridge always causes some lag issues, it's just a matter of how much depending on how fast the 2 guards on the left to you in the beginning catches up on you.
I found it necessary to pick up the box with Combat Shotgun since I'm very low on ammo for the PK-102 and I need those shots to take out Gabrek.
Speaking about Gabrek: This is the most crucial point of the level. Sometimes he comes walking alone (like in the video), other times he runs to the gate and hides behind a lot of guards. I haven't figured out what triggers him to do this, but it's probably based on how many guards you've killed or how many you have seen.
I get hit quite a lot when opening the first locked gate, but after that the worst part is over. From here on it's mostly a matter of surviving. At the very end 3-4 guards comes rushing from the right. You could stop and try to kill them, but if you just do some rolling and stick to the left side of the entrance of the bunker, you will most likely survive.
All in all, I have to say I'm very satisfied with this run. Shaving off that much time but just changing the approach on the level is far more than I ever hoped for. A 100 % perfect run would be as most 5 seconds faster.
Fun fact: You can actually go through the fence where you'll find Gabrek from the other side and come out right behind him! You can also climb up on a ledge right next to the fence (which is a lot easier). This means that you can do about half the level backwards which is really cool. I found this by accident and I can't believe that the programmers missed this.
Level 9: Base Bunker
I trained quite a lot when trying to optimize this level. As you'll see in the beginning, you can actually shoot the "buttons" without aiming in first person view, but it's hard to do it consistently. I saved some time by avoiding some guards after triggering the first 2 missiles by simply rolling past them, making 2 other guards not appear. This level went pretty good, had some problems about 1 min in the run, but other than that it's pretty solid.
Level 10: Base Tower
The Heli-boss is interesting. You think that you'll die instantly if you don't hide behind the radar or the ladder but that's not true. Instead of hiding from it, you can just run up to the fence and shoot it while strafing. This is probably the most effective strategy, at least to my knowledge. I'm quite satisfied with the battle, but I think that it could be possible to destroy the Heli in 2 attempts instead of 3.
Level 11: Base Escape
You just run as fast as possible to the end of the level and that's basically it.
Level 12: Rhoemer's Stronghold
This level can be very frustrating in its ways, but still fun to play. I use mostly the same strategy as Aaron here since he did this level very good, especially the part when you go through the library where he simply just runs past all the guards instead of getting in a firefight with them.
I had a great deal of problems with the manual aim when trying to shoot the crystal chandelier due to some latency (It sounds silly since they are so big, but sometimes I would shoot right through it without making it fall down which never occurred to me before).
Around the 6:10 mark is one of the most annoying parts in the whole game. Usually you have to break the glass, land on the edge, turn to the left and run over a "slope" in order to climb up on the ledge which takes you to the building in the middle. This is a place where you often get stuck a couple of seconds, or strafe to much which causes you to fall down and die. But there's a much easier way to do this, as seen in the video. Props goes to my brother Dan for showing me this simple but effective shortcut.
Level 13: Stronghold Lower Level
As you get closer to the catacombs, the guards get tougher, and a lot of them wears flack jackets. The K3G4 and the G-18 comes in handy a lot on this level. You still have the same objectives as earlier, kill scientists and administer antigen to the test subjects that has been infected with the virus.
I take on a little bit different approach in the beginning by throwing a gas grenade at the scientist that runs towards you, and take the other way around instead of continuing forward, which would be the "normal" way. By turning and climbing up from the other side you can save a little bit of time, and it's easier (at least for me) to kill the scientist that carries a .45 when you don't have to climb down first.
I have some trouble around the 3:30. I missed a shot at the guard standing on top of the ledge, fail to switch to the right weapon right after and then comes the target-issues again, but I think handled it pretty well. Notice how I just run past the guards at 4:20 without taking a single hit, like a boss ;) Also, if you wonder why I press target at 4:48 it's because sometimes a enemy stands on the overpass to the left. Not this time though.
After jumping through the giant window everything goes pretty smooth until I kill the last remaining scientist. The guard that come out from the right just before the scientist dies is something I have never seen before. Another example of Syphon Filter's strange behavior when it comes to the enemies spawning positions.
Level 14: Stronghold Catacombs
The longest and most irritating level in the game. You start off by sneaking for 2½ minutes and then the action starts off. This level is very frustrating and hard to speedrun. Again, credit goes to Aaron Haynes on this one since I used the same strategy as he did on this level. Shooting at Lian makes her run like crazy, and it's very helpful when you try to make it to the end as fast as possible.
Level 15: Pharcom Warehouse
The last section in the game starts off at the Warehouse where you have to locate and plant a beacon at 3 bodies that are infected with the virus . Meanwhile, Rhoemer's men are attacking Phagan's so you get thrown right into a battlefield from the very beginning. Since they are so busy shooting at each other you can often take advantaged from this and slip past them without getting hit that much.
I skip the viral scanner at Ericsson's office since you don't need it when you know where all of the bodies are. There are also boxes with M79 and Biz-2 which you can find in the first area of the level, but you don't really need them in order to complete the mission.
After planting the first beacon and doing a fast roll out the window I get stuck for a little while when a guards are blocking my way. The same thing happens right after I've planted the second beacon. It's a bit annoying but I don't lose more than a second or two.
Getting past the climbing part over to the power switch for the electric fences is somewhat of a lottery. If Rhoemer's men doesn't come out from underneath and starts attacking Phagan's men, they will shoot you down. It seems as they spot you easier when you are closer to the edge of the container (or whatever it is you're standing on).
I think this level went great. The only major improvable part that I know of is if you do a roll of the ledge where the power switch is and land on a guards head. This is possible but extremely difficult to do and it will probably save about 3-5 seconds only. Still, if I ever redo this run I would go for it.
Level 16: Pharcom Elite Guards
This is one of the toughest levels in the game, both in a speedruning sense and generally speaking. With all enemies wearing flack jackets, the only way to go is by getting those headshots or use the K3G4.
I try to manipulate the guards spawning points as much as possible here. By running on the far side of the container at 0:48 I manage to get past the guards that comes from behind to the left without being hit. As you can see there's only one guard standing in front of me, most of the time it's two. It's important that he's alone, otherwise the guard who's standing behind a fence and throwing grenades at you doesn't appear when I want him to (meaning that he must appear right after I kill the guard).
After planting the first beacon I run up to the fence and kill the guard that throws grenades. This makes it a lot easier when you have to plant the last beacon since he's already dead by then. I had to restart multiple times in order to make him appear this early. Still haven't figured out what causes him to appear or not. After planting the second beacon I take a little shortcut upon the roof. This one I actually found the first time I played the game more than 10 years ago. It saves probably about 15-20 seconds, roughly estimated.
The last part of the level where you have to face a whole bunch of enemies is quite hard. I know that Aaron just runs past a lot of them, but no matter how many attempts I did I would end up dead before reaching the entrance of Warehouse 76, so I had to use some K3G4 instead. I'm very pleased with the last 5 headshots. They all went really quick and if you watch closely you can see that I make sort of a "double headshot" at 2:28. At bit lucky but nevertheless cool ;)
Level 17: Warehouse 76
Here's another level where you can skip big sections of the level by rolling through the fire. I've managed to get through the first wall of flames by doing the "pause glitch" (when you caught fire, you can sometimes survive of you pause the game and quickly un-pause it again), but skychase2rebirth was the one who found a way of doing this consistently without having to pause the game. He also found the ridiculous shortcut at the end where you can roll onto the elevator so he deserves a lot of credit!
Level 18: Silo Access Tunnel
I did numerous attempts at this level, probably more than double the amount than on any other in the game. Actually I got a pretty good run in just a few tries, but it had some small but irritating faults that I wanted to get rid of. The fun thing is that this in the one you're watching is the one I tried to redo so many times. I think I got 1 attempt that was as fast as this one, but the lack of ammo for the Biz-2 made me discard it and keep the first one.
The beginning of the level went great. I got a really good roll down to the tunnel below at 0:47, it's amazing how far I get. At the 1:28 mark comes the only real mistake and the main reason I wanted to redo the level. I know that I only lose a second or two, but still to this day it pisses me off that I missed the headshot.
After turning the power to the elevator on comes the hardest part of the level. I have to give credit to Aaron again here, that roll down to the lower section is very useful. The game starts to lag incredibly here and making that headshot as fast as I did is so much harder than it looks.
After making those 3 headshots on the first group of guards in the tunnel below, and skipping the second group, the level is almost complete. I was so happy when I activated the last button I forgot that there were 3 guards right behind me, therefore getting hit pretty badly.
Level 19: Tunnel Blackout
Running through a tunnel in complete darkness is not that fun. This is the second most frustrating level in the game, but thankfully it's a short one.
I didn't turn up the brightness in the game because I figured that you should be able to learn where the dangerous places are (the edges where you can fall of and die in particular), even if you can't see them. I don't think that I even messed with the brightness on my TV either, but I had to play this level with the blinds closed or during the night.
Had to strafe on step while climbing in the beginning, a little bit unnecessary but no big deal. The first part of the tunnel was hardest to memorize because I had trouble to orient myself after I've dropped down through the shaft. You have to strafe just a little bit to the left when landing, otherwise you'll run into a wall. Too much strafing and you'll end up running in a circle.
The drop at 1:05 went really fast, I'm a little bummed out that I get stuck for a second though.
I like how the guard at 1:20 doesn't kill me even though the Danger Meter is flashing in red. Had a good laugh the first time I saw it.
At the end I skip the 3 guards that stands in front of the elevator. This method saves a little bit of time but I got hit a bit to. This is maybe not the best way to do it but with only 1 level left in the game I decided to continue.
Level 20: Missile Silo
The final level of the game proved to be more of a challenge than expected. I had to grab a flack jacket in the beginning because the guards hit me quite a lot at the end of Tunnel Blackout. Getting past both guards at the bottom and deactivating the missile without dying is a fun challenge. I'm facing the guards with my back when going down the elevator because I can do a fast roll of it, which takes me a little bit faster compared to just running as usual. Also, it allows me to stand more to the left on the elevator, making the guard that's runnin' around also go to the left, giving me more time to climb up to the missile without getting hit.
I do take a lot of damage when the rocket is about to launch, but it's enough since you pick up some flack jackets later on. I don't know why I take the longer way around to the elevator switch after the missile is launched. I didn't think about it when I was doing the run but seeing it afterwards I realize that I would save a second or two by going to the right instead.
I was lucky to have some bullets left in the K3G4 so I could take out the 2 guards guarding the gas grenades. I take the gas grenades before activating the missiles detonator because you can actually kill Rhoemer as soon as he appear right after the video sequence. I almost missed him and threw the grenade into the wall right next to me, but I managed to adjust the angle enough to kill him and roll away to safety.
And there you have it! Thanks for watching the run and reading my comments.
Return to the Game List, the FAQ, or the Home Page.