Axel Stone (アクセル・ストーン) is one of the main protagonists of the Streets of Rage series, having appeared in every game as a playable character alongside Blaze Fielding. He is a former member of the Wood Oak City Police Department.
Axel is physically built caucasian man with blonde hair and blue eyes. He wears a white shirt and blue jeans pants throughout the series (with few exceptions). A blue headband keeps his long bangs out of his eyes, and red fingerless gloves bedeck his fists.
This attire changed throughout the series, going from a muscle shirt with blue and gold gauntlets, to a standard t-shirt with red gauntlets, to a sleeveless shirt, and a red gauntlet. Despite the changes, Axel is always featured in a white shirt and sneakers with blue jeans and headband (except for Streets of Rage 3, where he is depicted with a yellow shirt and black jeans, with a color scheme reminiscent of Adam Hunter).
His Streets of Rage 4 design reverts him back to his classic color palette, as well adding a denim jacket and a cuffed formal shirt tied about his waist. Axel also sports a full beard, reflecting his time in isolation as well to portray an older and more mature character. He's also bulked up considerably in the 10 years since Streets of Rage 3, and has become a stocky, more powerful figure, considerably broader than Adam, who used to have a similar lean build.
Axel makes his debut in 1991's Streets of Rage as one of the three cops who quit the city's corrupt police force, in order to personally hunt down the syndicate leader themselves. Along with Adam Hunter and Blaze Fielding, he manages to defeat the syndicate leader, known as Mr. X, in his own headquarters.
One year later on the anniversary of Mr. X's defeat, Axel (who has left the city to run a martial arts dojo and become a bodyguard, according to the EU/Canada manual) discovers that Adam has been kidnapped by a returned Mr. X, as a lure to bring Axel and Blaze to him in retaliation for his prior defeat. Along with Blaze, He joins up with his friend Max Thunder and Adam's kid brother "Skate" to defeat Mr. X once again and free Adam and the city.
Bare Knuckle III (Japan)
Bare Knuckle III has Axel rejoining the police force after the events of Streets of Rage 2, and aiding Blaze and newcomer Dr. Zan in trying to uncover and prevent bombs hidden throughout the city from detonating, as well as fighting off a new group called Neo-Chaos.
In this Sega of America produced version (edited to lighten the game's tone), Axel is still running a dojo outside the city, and is called on by Blaze to assist her, Skate and newcomer and ex-syndicate member Dr. Zan in shutting down a seemingly resurrected Syndicate.
After the fall of Mr. X, Axel retired from the police force and left the city, deciding to live a simple life in isolation and spend his days training and studying. However, he immediately returns to the city when Blaze calls for his help to take down the new Syndicate.
Axel is commonly considered the easiest character to use in all the games, due to his simple yet very effective multi-hit Blitz Attack and powerful Special Attacks. By Streets of Rage 3, he is still well rounded, but also quite a powerhouse in many aspects.
- Grand Upper: Axel grinds his fist through the ground and rises with a powerful uppercut. This move is the bread and butter of his combos, dealing multiple hits and inflicting significant damage. In Streets of Rage 4, this attack can hit enemies that are already down on the ground.
- Tiger Knee: the alternate Blitz attack unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4, and exclusive to Streets of Rage 2 Axel. He performs a short leap and hit his opponent with his knees, one at time. Shares the animation with the final hit of his forward pummel. Faster than Grand Upper, but deals significantly less damage. This move is inspired by Sagat's Tiger Knee from the Street Fighter series.
- Scissors Kicks: the alternate Blitz attack unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4, and exclusive to Streets of Rage 3 Axel. He performs a jumping kick, crossing his legs while facing down, slamming opponents down. This attack is notable as a second hit can be performed by repeating the input.
- Dragon Roll: the alternate Blitz attack unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4, and exclusive to Streets of Rage 4 Axel. He performs a rolling attack while enveloped by flames. This move is very fast and can be used repeatedly, in addition from being able to hit enemies that are already down on the ground; it is possible to juggle enemies infinitely.
Defensive Special Attacks
- Dragon Wing: Axel swings his fist in a circular motion, knocking down surrounding enemies. Covers a large radius around Axel, being great when surrounded by opponents.
- Tornado Kick: the alternate Defensive Special Attack unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4, and exclusive to Streets of Rage 2 Axel. He performs a hurricane kick, similar to Ryu and Ken's Tatsumaki Senpu Kyaku from the Street Fighter series. Faster than Dragon Wing, but slightly weaker and cover less radius.
- Spinning Body Blow: the alternate Defensive Special Attack unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4, and exclusive to Streets of Rage 3 Axel. He performs a spinning attack with his fist, striking opponents multiple times, and knocking them away in the last hit.
- Dragon Upper: the alternate Defensive Special Attack unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4, and exclusive to Streets of Rage 4 Axel. He performs a rising punch upwards that launches enemies away, similar to Ryu and Ken's Shoryuken from the Street Fighter series.
Offensive Special Attacks
- Dragon Smash: Axel pulls off a quick barrage of punches followed by an uppercut. In all games it appears this is often one of the most powerful Special Attacks in the game.
- Dragon Dash Blow: the alternate Offensive Special Attack unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4, and exclusive to Streets of Rage 2 Axel. He performs a quick low punch, sliding through the ground and knocking enemies away. Quick, but very weak.
- Dragon Punch: the alternate Offensive Special Attack unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4, and exclusive to Streets of Rage 3 Axel. He performs a rising punch forward and upwards that launches enemies away, similar to Ryu and Ken's Shoryuken from the Street Fighter series.
- Dragon Bite: the alternate Offensive Special Attack unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4, and exclusive to Streets of Rage 4 Axel. He performs a dashing punch that summons a dragon of fire.
Air Special Attack
- Dragon Dive: Axel's default air special attack in Streets of Rage 4. He descends with a rolling attack and finishes with a dashing punch that summons a dragon of fire.
- Dragon Crush: the alternate Air Special Attack unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4. Axel will descend and punch the ground, knocking enemies away. Axel can steet slightly to the sides while descending.
- Grand Dragon Wing: Streets of Rage 2 Axel's Star Move featured in Streets of Rage 4, where he performs his Dragon Wing multiple times, hitting all enemies in its path, finishing with a Grand Upper.
- Spinning Dragon Upper: the alternate Star Move unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4, and exclusive to Streets of Rage 2 Axel. He performs a jumping uppercut, spinning multiple times through the air. This move is inspired by Ken's Shinryuken from the Street Fighter series, although without fire effects.
- Spinning Body Smash: Streets of Rage 3 Axel's Star Move featured in Streets of Rage 4, where He performs a spinning attack with his fist, striking opponents multiple times, and finishing it with a rising uppercut.
- Spirit Blade: the alternate Star Move unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4, and exclusive to Streets of Rage 3 Axel. He conjures a blade of energy and launches a energy wave that goes through the whole screen.
- Dragon Burst: Streets of Rage 4 Axel's Star Move, where he envelops himself in flames and launches a tornado of fire.
- Ultimate Dragon Wing: Streets of Rage 4 Axel's alternate Star Move, where he performs a more powerful version of Dragon Wing that launches a short range flame dragon at the end.
Axel seems to use a mixture of boxing, karate and kickboxing moves to create his fighting style. Flames are used to give some of his moves a visual flair but are never used to actually burn or immolate his enemies until Streets of Rage 4.
Axel started in the first Streets of Rage as the typical all-rounder, with average power and speed, not excelling yet not faulting with any attribute. His main weakness is his shorter-range flying attack, being a knee strike instead of a flying kick like Adam and Blaze.
In the sequels, however, Axel is defined as a powerhouse of sorts, boasting a strong Blitz attack in the form of Grand Upper, as well a more defined moveset to reflect his improvised art style which uses many forms of martial arts. He also gains many fire-inspired moves with a dragon motif, such as Dragon Smash and Dragon Wing.
Axel Stone appears as a playable character in SEGA Heroes. He is a Blue hero and utilizes a few moves from his own games, such as punches. His design is based on his appearance in the first Streets of Rage game.
Moves and ability
- Normal attack: Axel rushes forward and attacks with a punch.
- MAX Skill - Uppercut: Axel Stone devastates his opponent with an uppercut, knocking them out cold.
- Star Skill - Home Run: Axel Stone grabs a bat and smashes his enemy out of the park.
- Passive - Brawler: Axel Stone is a tough brawler, ready for any fight!
- During the development of Streets of Rage, his name was Hawk.
- In Fighting Force for the Playstation and Nintendo 64 (which was originally conceived to be Streets of Rage 4), the protagonist is called Hawk, a possible reference to Axel's prototype name.
- Axel's shoe coloration, white with a red stripe, bears resemblance to that of fellow SEGA character Sonic the Hedgehog.
- Axel is shown sparring with Adam during the ending of the third game, suggesting they may be sparring partners.
- In Streets of Rage Mobile, which features Axel's Streets of Rage 2 sprites, his legs were slightly altered to make him appear taller than the original.
- In the Bare Knuckle II beta, Axel's moveset was quite different. His neutral jump kick attack is a knee attack, much like his jump kick from the first Streets of Rage; there is no second kick attack afterward. His Grand Upper was an uppercut, similar to Sagat's Tiger Uppercut from Street Fighter, and his Dragon Wing was instead a hurricane kick, similar to Ryu and Ken's Tatsumaki Senpukyaku.
- In Streets of Rage 4's DLC, Mr. X's Nightmare, the hurricane kick can be unlocked for Streets of Rage 2 Axel, using the same sprites and animation from the beta.
- His Grand Upper blitz attack is called Bare Knuckle in the EU/US version of Streets of Rage 3, a reference to the name of the game's Japanese title.