Axel has the most standard design among the main characters, wearing a white shirt and blue jeans pants as well as a blue bandanna on his head and red fingerless gloves. In Streets of Rage 4 his design was changed to reflect his time in isolation, as he now sports a beard and wears a jacket along with his traditional attire.
Axel is a very experienced and skilled martial artist, due to his prominence, all-around skills, and "classic beat-em-up look". In SOR3, he plays the role of a slow-but-powerful character, succeeding Max from SOR2 as well as Adam from SOR1.
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 (later named 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/become a bodyguard in 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 Max Thunder and Adam's kid brother "Skate" to defeat Mr. X once again and free Adam and the city.
Bare Knuckle III (Japan)
BKIII has Axel rejoining the police force after the events of Streets of Rage 2, and aiding Blaze and newcomer 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.
Streets of Rage 3 (US)
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 to use due to his simple multiple hit special attacks. By SOR3, he is still well-rounded, but also quite a powerhouse in many aspects.
Axel seems to use a mixture of boxing, karate, kickboxing and street fighting 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/immolate his enemies until SOR 4.
Axel in Streets of Rage (much like Blaze) is vastly different than the Axel character in Streets of Rage 2/3. SOR1 Axel lacks any special moves, like the Grand Upper, and most of his standard moves are different than in 2/3 (Flying Knee instead of Jump Kick, Suplex instead of Body Slam, Roundhouse Kick instead of Double Kick, etc.)
His attire also changes throughout the series, going from a muscle shirt with blue/gold gauntlets, to a standard t-shirt with red gauntlets, to a sleeveless shirt, red gauntlet look. Despite the changes, Axel is always featured in a white shirt and sneakers with blue jeans and headband (except for SOR3, where he is depicted with a yellow shirt and black jeans, aka the Adam Hunter look).
In SOR4, Axel is the most visibly changed of his friends. His rural living has left him unkempt, with shaggy blonde hair held back with his headband, a full beard, and worn clothes--blue jeans too short for him and a denim vest hanging open over one of his white shirts, now stained to a light tan. He's also bulked up considerably in the 10 years since SOR3, and has become a stocky, more powerful figure, considerably broader than Adam, who used to have a similar lean build.
Axel's general look closely resembles Capcom's Final Fight character, Cody Travers.
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.
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 original name was Hawk.
- Axel and Zan are the only characters named in-game by Mr. X.
- His yellow/black look in Streets of Rage 3 is most likely a homage to Adam Hunter's attire.
- In the indie game The Takeover, the main protagonist Ethan was inspired by both Axel Stone and Cody Travers from Final Fight. One of his attacks is similar to Axel's Dragon Wing, and an alternate costume that resembles both Axel and Cody. Ethan shares the name "Hawk" with Axel, but it is spelled Hawke.
- He is shown sparring with Adam during the ending of SOR3/BKIII, indicating they may be casual sparring partners.
- In Streets of Rage Mobile, Axel's legs in the sprites were fixed to make him appear taller than his sprites in SOR2.
- In the Bare Knuckle II beta, Axel's specials are quite different. His idle jump kick attack is only the knee attack, much like his jump kick from SOR1, there is no second kick attack afterward. His Grand Upper was an uppercut, similar to a Tiger Uppercut from Street Fighter, and his Dragon Wing was replaced with a Hurricane Kick, similar to Ryu or Ken's.
- The indie game "Let's Get Fiscal", which was also inspired by Streets of Rage, main protagonist Stelven the Accountant, has a combo attack that resembles Axel's combo attack in SOR2/SOR3. He has another attack that resembles Axel's Grand Smash Signature Move.
- Depending on the game, Axel's shoe tongue is either outside the pant, or inside (SOR2).
- In Fighting Force for the PSX/N64 (originally was to be SOR4), the protagonist Hawk, shares the same name as Axel's prototype name.
- In SOR4, Axel has made a drastic change in appearance compared to the first 3: Beard, Blue vest and a jacket over his torn pants. The torn pants seem to resemble that of Ryu from Street Fighter.
- SOR2 is the only game out of the three he does not have an idle animation, his signature mouth wipe.
- Shiva seems to have a personal vendetta towards Axel (shown in White House/City Hall ending), though this is gone by SOR4.
- His Grand Upper is called Bare Knuckle in the EU/US version of SOR3, the name of the game's Japanese title.
- In Project X Zone 2, Axel appears as a playable solo unit and attacks with many brawling skills, including his Dragon Smash and Dragon Wing.