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Syphon Filter 3 "Pre-9/11" Version


The Filtering Process
First a small confession; I was told of this item’s existence from my good buddy and fellow PSX collector PapaStu, and I didn’t believe him. That’s not to say I thought he was lying, it’s just I’m the guy who has to see the holes in a religious figure’s hands before I go walking on water after him to grab his autograph.

I ended up stumbling across this in my old ‘mom and pop’ game store a few months before they closed down. It was traded in by a Sony employee who worked at one of their warehouses. Much to say, after I removed my foot from my mouth and handed over my Credit Card, it’s been sitting on my shelf waiting for the perfect rainy day. Seeing how we’re expecting a kicker of a storm as I write this, I figured why not.

 Unlike Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro, Syphon Filter 3’s post disaster change seems purely cosmetic, and contained to just the packaging and CD artwork. The original version consists of Gabe Logan and Lian Xing posed ready to strike, but in a peculiar setting. Here’s the complete run down and differences between the two:

The Overall Image
Our two heroes are apparently trapped in some sort of high government office building (assumed to be the FBI HQ, especially taking into account the plot line), with the virus floating all around them. Both heroes are in the motion of dodging two bullets; Xian is leaping forward from the far back area, while Gabe is crouched trying to get a bearing on someone off screen. Gabe himself is actually on top of one of the desks.

Due to the government related buildings related to September 11th, and to a small degree, the anthrax scare, this image was removed and replaced with a very generic and by-the-book cover using facial shots of the lead characters.

The Back of the Packaging
More removal and rewriting fun, this time with the bullet points:

a.       Original reads: “US Federal Bureau of Investigations / Deadly force authorized” while the new version “Agency Mission Briefing / Stop Gabe Logan!”

b.       Descriptors like “Deadly Arsenal” and “Artillery” are removed.

c.        “Agency Operatives” and “Terrorists” are now replaced with “enemies.”

The Instruction Manual
As a graphic designer, I am most intrigued by the small, subtle changes in the manual and back inserts. In the original, a clipped image of the cover Gabe was sprinkled throughout. However, he was completely removed from his environment, so there was no sight of the virus, government building, or anything. Why they would go so far to even eliminate those references is beyond me. Said retail version has adjusted text to fill in the spots left behind by the missing images.

 So far no game play changes seem to have been made, but that will be a journey for another time.


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