Mara Aramov: "You could have ended it here. As Secretary of State, when the Administration falls you will have the power!"
Vince Hadden: "No. I have other plans for Gabriel Logan. Hearings have been scheduled and I need someone to blame..."
Vincent "Vince" Hadden (also known as the Man in Shadow) is a character in Syphon Filter, Syphon Filter 2 and Syphon Filter 3. He is the former Secretary of State in the United States of America; he functioned as the second-in-command of The Consortium, which was an international organization responsible for supervising and funding the black-box group known as The Agency.
One of the primary antagonists in the original trilogy, he was believed to be the man behind the conspiracy to spread and control the Syphon Filter Virus. This was proven false in The Omega Strain when it transpired Mihai Niculescu was orchestrating everything from behind the scenes while Hadden was merely his second-in-command and right-hand man. Hadden appeared in the original game as a man shrouded in shadow and made his first named appearance in the second game. It wasn't until the third game that he made himself known.
Hadden is a Caucasian male in his late 50's that has changed appearance between each title.
In the first game, he's concealed in shadow only revealing that he's wearing a full black suit and tie with dress shoes, while his face is completely black though revealing the outline of a receding hairline. At the end of the game, he is shown from behind with what appears to be dark grey or brown hair.
In the second game, he is shown at the beginning of the game speaking to the press about the Kazakhstan incident. He is shown as a man with a wrinkled face and a receding hairline, leading to just the back of his head having white hair, combing around to each ear. When he's concealed in shadow, he's shown wearing a pair of shades with some of his facial features still visible. He's still shown wearing a suit, however this time it's grey (in all of his appearances, shadowed or revealed).
In Syphon Filter 3, he has gone completely bald though he still wears a suit. Unlike his two appearances beforehand, he is never in shadow during the events of this game and is primarily shown questioning Gabriel Logan as well as his "accomplices".
Personality and traits
"Perhaps I'm not being clear. Success is everything. Is it not, Mr Cochrane?"
Hadden makes it clear that he does not tolerate failure during the Secret Council in Syphon Filter 2
Hadden is a cold, calculating individual that funds the The Agency and seeks to control the distribution of the Syphon Filter Virus, even among terrorists attacking his own country (such as Erich Rhoemer). While the U.S. Government would generally oppose dealing with foreign nations in regards to chemical weaponry, Hadden personally oversees such agreements and attempted to deal with the Chinese Rebel General Shi-Hao, appointing men like Mr. Cochran to oversee the development of the virus with Jonathan Phagan's incapacitation. He has a philosophy that "success is everything" and when someone fails him, he has them killed (in Cochran's case, he has Mara Aramov snap his neck). His views on the Agency after its downfall are dismissive, removing himself from affiliation for both his protection and that of the Consortium, as well as wishing to shift blame on Gabriel Logan to take the fall for the activities they were linked to.
His relationship with Mara Aramov suggests a close partnership, viewing her as a valuable asset. In the first Syphon Filter she acts on the Consortium's behalf as a double-agent between both the Black Baton and the Agency, implanting herself into the terrorist organization to try and keep "Rhoemer under control". Despite her failure, she is able to clean up the mess by "helping" Logan stop Rhoemer from successfully launching a missile filled with the Virus. She continues to act as his right-hand throughout the events of the next game and even as an adviser, claiming she has "proved her usefulness" and states that Lyle Stevens has to still do so. When given the opportunity to eliminate Gabriel Logan, Mara claims that when the "administration falls he would have the power" but instead of taking out Logan on the spot, he decides to pursue other plans. This over-ambitiousness and over-zealousness possibly caused Mihai Niculescu to ask that Mara Aramov kill him.
When it comes to Gabriel Logan, his views seem to shift. In the events of the first game, he seems eager to find out what Gabe can discover as he chases after Rhoemer. He does not seem to feel threatened by him either, despite Markinson pointing out he's one of their best agents. In fact, he appears to enjoy 'playing' with Logan. This carries over into the next game as Stevens warns him of the same thing and he continues to ignore this, stating to Mr. Cochran that perhaps they're "overestimating Mr. Logan's abilities". He has expectations that Logan can be taken care of without much issue and their plans can move forward, though he is made aware of just how much of a problem Gabe can be. Ultimately after the Agency falls, rather than make the decision to eliminate Gabe and the others in a surprise attack he instead decides to use Gabe as a scapegoat to protect himself (apparently, hearings were scheduled in result of the Agency's connection with the Black Baton and other terrorist activities) as well as the Consortium. In questioning Logan during these hearings, he learns first hand the type of operative Logan and his associates are and even expresses concern (and visible shock) when Teresa Lipan arrives (despite believing her dead).
Gabriel Logan and Lian Xing investigate a plantation in Guacimo, Costa Rica where they lost contact with one of their fellow Agents named Ellis, who was undercover in the Black Baton and keeping an eye on Erich Rhoemer. Edward Benton sent them in to get Ellis out but also warned Rhoemer of the duo. The protagonists were too late, as Ellis was found executed (by Mara Aramov) and the plantation growing a mysterious plant was burned to the ground (thanks to Anton Girdeux).
Back in Washington D.C., Benton enters the office stating that Logan's report was clear enough. Agency Director Thomas Markinson requests two additional teams assigned to the case and wants them to find Rhoemer, with Benton leaving the office. Vince Hadden can be seen standing behind Markinson, though concealed in shadow as he stands near the window. Markinson states that "Logan is his best agent" and asks what Hadden wants to do about this situation. He replies by stating that they do nothing, waiting to see what he can discover instead.
Hadden is not seen for the remainder of the game, until the very end after Logan tracks down and eliminates Rhoemer, while also discovering Markinson's connection to the conspiracy. He is seen standing at the window of his office, looking out across D.C. while Mara Aramov approaches from behind, whispering something into his ear before walking off. He then says "Well done my dear, well done" while the screen pans out to show several Pharcom boxes in his office. It's presumed that these boxes contain sensitive data for Pharcom, but not all of it (as data discs were present from the hard drives in the Pharcom warehouses located in Kazakhstan).
Directly after the events of the first game, a news report is shown involving the war movement in Heilongjiang with General Shi-Hao leading his men through the city. As the news reporter finishes her coverage on that story, she changes pace to reveal that Secretary of State Vince Hadden is expected to comment on the Kazakhstan Incident. He hides the fact that Erich Rhoemer launched a nuclear missile over Kazakhstan and to help cover up the mess, states that the Kazakhstan government claimed it was an "accidental launch" and was destroyed via their own safety countermeasures. After saying an investigation is under way, he dismisses any more questions and leaves the podium.
Shortly after the C-130 Hercules is shot down over the Rocky Mountains and Lian Xing is captured by The Agency, Hadden can be seen meeting in Washington D.C. at the Council of Foreign Relations with newly appointed Agency Director Lyle Stevens, Mara Aramov and a man named Mr. Cochran. Mr. Cochran can be seen trying to speak to somebody, presumably Shi-Hao, over the phone, attempting to explain their situation as his impatience grows in waiting for the shipment of the Syphon Filter Virus. After warning of a leak to the American press, he hangs up and Hadden comments on how that is "most unfortunate".
Mara and Stevens argue over Gabriel Logan as well as the recent problems caused by Erich Rhoemer and Thomas Markinson. Hadden tells them that's "enough" and states that they all have much at stake. As Markinson did, Stevens goes on to inform Hadden that Logan is one of their best agents with years of experience and the highest degree of training. However, despite two people warning him of the same thing, Hadden ignores this fact, stating that perhaps he didn't make himself clear..."Success is everything, is it not Mr. Cochran?". Cochran states that it will be impossible to get the plasma from Lian Xing as long as Logan is alive. Hadden simply laughs, feeling that they all overestimate Logan's abilities and then goes on to explain that Cochran was given Jonathan Phagan's job because he promised to have Phase 2 of the Virus ready in time.
As Cochran tries to defend himself, Hadden says that "unlike Markinson and Rhoemer, you have failed" before having Mara snap Cochran's neck. As he falls dead to the floor, he tells Stevens that Mara has proven her usefulness (whereas Cochran has not). He goes on to say that Logan will be dealt with and they will have the "female's plasma soon". After Stevens tells him that they have the girl on the way to the McKenzie Airbase with an army heading to Colorado, Hadden says "there will be no more delays".
Hadden is shown again following the incident with Uri Gregorov escaping the Aljir Prison. He speaks with Stevens over the phone about not having Lian Xing or Phase Two of the Virus, telling him that shipment dates have been missed (and soon they will not need the girl anymore). Stevens informs him that they will have her shortly and changes the subject to inform Hadden that Xing has rescued Gregorov. Hadden is surprised by this, telling Stevens that is impossible as Mara insured he was taken care of. Stevens presses on that Logan does in fact have him but it's of little significance, switching instead to the probably deal that Logan will make for Lian's vaccine.
Hadden tells Stevens he feels that he has not been as useful as he'd hoped and tells him that he's running out of time to fix this, as he walks around the room while the screen reveals that Mara is standing right there with him.
With Lyle Stevens dead and The Agency in shambles, a news report on the Agency's dealings with terrorists prompts Hadden to make a public statement to protect his position and bury the organisation. He speaks on behalf of the President at the time, stating that he is running a full investigation into this so-called "Blackbox Agency" and will fully cooperate with congressional authorities. As he did during the Kazakhstan appearance earlier, he walks off by saying he can't answer any more questions at this time.
At the Whispering Woods Mortuary, Gabriel Logan, Lian Xing and Lawrence Mujari attend the "funeral" of Teresa Lipan, after her apparent death at the hands of Agency Operative Jason Chance. Far out of view away from the location is a Consortium strike team ready to move in and attack Gabe. Hadden arrives in a Black Hawk along with Mara Aramov and an unnamed Consortium operative who asks for permission to go through with the operation. Hadden decides otherwise, telling them to get their men out immediately and Mara questions him for this decision. She states that when the Administration falls with him as Secretary of State, he would become President and have the power, but Hadden says that he has something else in mind for Gabriel Logan...
Picking up from the ending of the last game, the scene replays with Mara even more visually irritated by Hadden's decision. He reveals that his plans for Logan involve hearings that have been scheduled and to avoid being tied to the Agency, he needs someone else to blame, choosing Logan as his scapegoat.
The quickdraw political career of Vincent Hadden came as expected by Washington insiders and analysts, but not before a curveball none had expected -- after receiving his degree from Berkeley, Hadden spent several years with the Marine Corps. In wartimes, he proved not all that different from the stance he would take on the podium, a bull-headed warrior when necessary and a tempered Janus when called for.
After serving a lengthy career with the Marines, Hadden went straight for the State Department and grabbed it by the throat, working his way all the way up the food chain with ease. As his network of contacts grew larger and more prominent, few were surprised that he would eventually rise to the top of the pool, as Secretary of State.
As for covert matters, Hadden managed to get enough federal dollars together to fund The Agency. As such, although the Agency itself was started before Hadden had become a primary investor, it quickly fell under his control. He recruited a fast-rising Agency analyst named Edward Benton to be his eyes and ears, making sure things fit his agenda. Benton rose even higher as a result ultimately reaching Deputy Director. Though generally cooperative with Director Thomas Markinson, especially when the two Agency officials and Hadden agreed to provide security for the Syphon Filter project in exchange for a stake in the virus's profits and use, Benton soon became a wrench in Markinson's agenda, making decisions on behalf of Hadden that were frequently detrimental to Agency operations.
There was another, even darker, side to Hadden. Though he was a prominent public figure known equally for starting international fires and extinguishing them, he had a considerably more illegal agenda -- his own Arms Consortium, through which he would sell the Syphon Filter virus to terrorist organizations, making him both wealthy and able to rise in status when the inevitable attack on American soil allowed him to become a warrior once more and save his people from a crisis of his invention.
At the top of his Consortium was the independent investor Mihai Niculescu, president and CEO of both Niculescu Funds Ltd and its shadowy umbrella Metal Global Funds. As commander and mastermind of the Syphon Filter fiasco, he sent an emissary in the form of Mara Aramov to supervise PharCom CEO Jonathon Phagan, Markinson, and Black Baton leader Erich Rhoemer, keeping their egos in check. Simultaneously, she also acted as Hadden's lieutenant, and a mouthpiece to Niculescu, keeping him updated about Hadden's exact movements.
Hadden's primary focus was the sale of the Syphon Filter virus to Chinese General Shi-Hao, who would use the virus to force independence of his province from the greater People's Republic of China. Hadden's next move, be it peaceful or armed resolution to the Shi-Hao conflict, would remain unknown, as disavowed Agent Gabriel Logan assassinated Shi-Hao. It is possible Hadden's ultimate choice would be based on image, as his ultimate goal was the Oval Office -- President of the United States of America.
However, when Hadden's Consortium was exposed by the investigation of disavowed Agent Teresa Lipan, he became useless to Niculescu -- exposed as a power-hungry madman, he would never be able to reach the Presidential seat, nor would he be able to successfully try and convict Logan, Lawrence Mujari, or Lian Xing. As a result, Niculescu sent Aramov to assassinate him, which she easily managed. Hadden's Consortium and corrupt Agency quickly crumpled in the wake of his death.
- Vince Hadden, like Mara Aramov, has had three different voice actors over his three appearances in the games. In addition, he too had a visual change in character model each time.
- Hadden is never seen in-gameplay during Syphon Filter 3, only during the FMV cutscenes.
- This trait carried over across all games, as he was never physically in the player's gamespace during missions. Even the mission in which he's killed, you start outside of that room and have no access to the hearings chamber. This makes him one of the few antagonists to be exclusive to cutscenes only in all of his appearances, aside from Thomas Markinson, and Mr. Cochran.
- He is the only primary antagonist of the original trilogy not killed by Gabriel Logan or any other protagonist.
- In this same light, he is the second antagonist to be killed by Mara Aramov that had direct involvement with the Syphon Filter conspiracy.
- Hadden is present in the Congratulations! Party Time! hidden cutscene in Syphon Filter 2, on the dance floor with other characters.
- Hadden is credited as "MIS" (Man in Shadow) in SF3's manual and ending credits.