|“||I'll make it back to Megumi. No matter what. That's the promise I made. To myself!||”|
–Axl Low, Guilty Gear XX
Axl Low is a recurring character in the Guilty Gear series. Axl is a gang leader from the 20th century who, due to a twist of fate, got caught into a time slip that bounces him around irregularly through time and space. He wishes to return to his own time period so as to see his girlfriend, Megumi, once again.
Axl has blue eyes and straight blond hair below the shoulder, always covered by a red bandana; from Xrd onwards, it has a white saltire on it. He is quite muscular and of a fair complexion, and always wears brown boots. In the original Guilty Gear, he wore a tied white tank top, denim vest and shorts, and boots with the Union Jack on their toe boxes. His next outfit—coupled with a slimmer build—consists of a Union Jack long-sleeved T-shirt, another denim vest, and blue jeans.
In Xrd, Axl returns to wearing denim shorts, with two sashes hanging from his belt: one with the Union Jack, the other blue. He also wears a collared white shirt with a black tie, and a rolled-up denim jacket with a white hood. In -STRIVE-, Axl sports a dark-grey trouser, and a sleeveless blue shirt with three zipper teeth below a letter jacket. The jacket's body is red with a tartan pattern, while the sleeves are mostly white. His bandana is now black.
Despite his troubles, Axl retains an optimistic and amiable nature, being a relentlessly "glass half full" sort of person. He rarely thinks about anything very hard, and is generally content to just get the gist of things or go with the flow. He is not especially good at constructing logical arguments, so other people tend not to take him very seriously.
While he enjoys flirting with other women (especially I-No), he still loves Megumi. Axl wants to return to her side no matter what, but he has proven that he will do the right thing if he has to choose. If someone is in trouble, he cannot ignore them. He has twice the compassion of the average person, resulting in an inability to willingly leave someone behind. Axl hates even the idea of death, and refuses to take a life regardless of circumstances.
Axl was born sometime in 20th century England, in one of the worst parts of London's East End, and lived in Cotswold Street. During this period, he fell in love with Megumi. Axl grew up desensitized to violence, seeing it every day as a warring gang factions fought for control of the town. However, he abhorred it deeply and was determined to end the assault on his neighborhood peacefully. Within half a year, Axl successfully cleaned up his neighborhood without a single casualty, friend or foe.
However, in May 14, 1998, at the very moment he was sure the peace would last, he was caught in a "time slip"—a random disturbance in the space-time continuum—and was hurtled 200 years into the future. Unbeknowst to Axl, he had just become a tenuous lifeform, a "possibility" spun out of a broken future, who survived due to the fact that his ID and I-No's overlapped through a freak miracle. As such, all the irregular time laws applied to her were also applied to him.
He arrived in 2178, three years after the Crusades ended. Axl searched for a way back home to no avail, and two years passed since his arrival in the 22nd century. Just as he began to give up hope, he heard of a rumor about a fighting tournament in which the champion got whatever they could wish for.
Guilty Gear Edit
In Axl's ending, Axl's heart remains heavy as his only clue about getting home has turned out to be a lie. He thinks of his friends, filled with grief, until the crowd appear to thank him. The cries of jubilation get to Axl, who reflects that the new world isn't so bad and that he can make new friends. But when Axl is about to reach the crowd, he is once again hurtled through time.
Guilty Gear X Edit
In Guilty Gear Xtra, Axl is to meet with Mito Anji, when Tyr and Mizuha teleport in front of him. Axl subsequenly befriends the duo, buying Mizuha new clothes and treating them to lunch. However, they are attacked by Geena. Axl subdues her until she blows apart a bell tower, which will land on a child. Axl releases her and rescues the child in time, and Geena wounds Axl from behind. Axl begins to time slip, but is relieved to know that Anji has arrived and will help Mizuha and Tyr before he is sent hurtling through time once again.
Having learned of That Man as a "time traveler", Axl joins the incident with the Gear to investigate. In X Plus, Axl is looking for Faust in hopes of being cured by a doctor of such skill. In one ending, Axl fights Kliff Undersn and Justice, and then realizes that he has been thrown back in time once again. In the other (more likely) ending, Faust diagnosed him with "involuntary timeslipping". Faust blames this on there being an identical existence to Axl that occupies the same timeframe as himself.
Guilty Gear XX Edit
Axl meets up with I-No, among other people, while wandering about. As is the case with many other characters, she is the catalyst that causes the events that follow. In the first ending (which is non-canonical), he meets up with That Man and finds out that Raven is the cause of his timeslipping; it is implied that Raven is the other existence Axl that was diagnosed by Faust, as Axl slips again. In another ending, Axl fights with Zappa, and afterward wonders how Megumi is faring. In his third ending, Axl ends up fighting a future version of himself, who says he will get his happy ending as long as he doesn't give up; he asks "himself" if he will see Megumi again, but receives no answer.
In Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus, Axl asks I-No to let him meet That Man. Depending on the method of victory against her, Axl may continue travelling, or he will be forced through time to the Crusades. Eventually, Axl is confronted by Crow and a copy of Justice, Crow expressing intent to capture Axl. Axl has two choices: flee the scene, or stay and fight. If Axl picks the second choice, he slips through time again into a veritable warzone, running for his life from an army (Path 2).
Picking the first option has Axl battle the Justice copy, only to slip through time again, this time to his own timeline. Jubilant, Axl sees Megumi and is about to greet her, only to be cruelly flung through time yet again. Axl then reacts with frustration as he tries to get Megumi's attention (Path 1).
Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- Edit
Wandering about, Axl ends up once again in a desolate future: Babylon in October 22, 2192. A voice calling himself The Original tells him that, if he wishes to progress further, he must deliver a message to That Man. Axl wonders how he can do that, but shortly slips to October 25, 2187, to Bedman's Nightmare Theater. He yells for the old man, but only Bedman shows up and almost kills him. Axl is saved by I-No, who calls him back to 2192 to kill him for knowing about the Original. Axl says he was only told to deliver a message, which I-No agrees to do as it may change this dull future.
Axl realizes she could send him back to 1998, but she sends him to the Integration Point in October 29, 2187 for now. There, I-No takes him to That Man and Axl lets off a string of gibberish (represented with PlayStation button symbols) that neither he nor I-No understand. However, That Man acknowledges his message.
Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR- Edit
A week later, Axl decides to find I-No to have her send him back to 1998. Axl finds her days later at Heaven's Edge, when she is tracking down Jack-O' Valentine, but I-No says the past Axl wants to return to "has no recollection of [the current] world". Jack-O' then reveals to Axl and I-No the origin of their powers, and if Axl returns to "his" world, the current one will become another possibility—essentially destroyed.
Depressed due to the unlikelihood of ever finding home, Axl contemplates what to do as both his options feel like discarding something. I-No, shockingly, comforts him, reminiscing about her own past in which she used her powers to change things, but reality became little more than "fiction" she wrote. She tells Axl if he ever feels like leading a more dishonest life, he is free to join her. Sometime later, Sol asks for his help in locating Elphelt Valentine, but Axl refuses, afraid of his own powers. Axl subsequently meets up with I-No again, and she asks whether he has decided how to use his powers; when he says he is afraid, I-No tells Axl to find his own perspective. To do so, he also asks Bedman his reasons for wanting power.
In the end, Axl chooses to help, trying to be a man that Megumi could be proud of. He uses his powers to compress time itself, and gives Sol enough time to activate his Dragon Install and amplify the Saint Oratorio that will fuse Jack-O' with Justice, before the cannons of Daryl's fleet destroy them.
Guilty Gear -STRIVE- Edit
To be added...
Ever since childhood, Axl has had unusual martial arts prowess, and with his favorite weapon, the dual chain sickle, it is said that even bullets are not a threat to him. He taught himself fire-elemental magic, although it is unknown when he acquired this skill prior to the original Guilty Gear, and is exceptionally agile.
A reluctant time-traveler, Axl thought of his "time-slipping" affliction as traveling through the space-time continuum via random accidents, but it was his subconscious controlling them. In fact, Axl has the same abilities as I-No regarding meddling with causality, as all the irregular laws applied to her were also applied to him after their IDs overlapped. He has no past or future, and has been presumably rendered ageless.
Only after he learns the truth in -REVELATOR-, Axl gains some semblance of control over them. Theoretically, he can travel to "any" world he wishes, but choosing timelines can turn others into possibilities, thus destroying them. At will, Axl can exit to and from the Backyard's Integrated Point, or even Bedman's dream realm. He can also call people to any time he wishes, but he has yet to demonstrate this. Axl has, though, shown the ability to compress time in a given area, in which everything that occurs there happens in an instant for the rest of the world.
As the resident zoner of the cast, Axl relies on his various long-ranged normals involving his chain sickle, allowing to effectively control space from various angles better than other characters can (especially since the speed of the sickles' reach far outstrips most standard fireball-style projectiles). This gives him solid counter-zoning and the tools to effectively punish careless air-teching.
His iconic Rensen Geki move is a projectile in a sense in that it's a solid ranged energy attack that can negate other standard projectiles, along with having other gimmicky moves such as Axl Bomber (a flying fire dive attack), Rai'ei Sageki (2 differing flying overhead attacks). Even when under pressure, he possesses a pair of unique counter-attacking/reversal moves, the Tenhouseki which has a high/mid or low-countering variation, as well as the auto-guard attack in the form of Hachisubako.
Of course, his more consistent weakness is that at the cost of such long-range normals, they are rather slow with each one having very specific angles they cover (leaving him with very committal pokes in the neutral). Even then, he has little ways to enforce offense (standard or on wakeup alike) with safe high-low mixups (despite having a variety of overheads) or anything outside of average frame traps, and tends to require resources to inflict solid damage. Coupled with both below-average defense modifiers and mediocre mobility stats, Axl can easily be left at the mercy of someone who can easily get in on him.
Musical themes Edit
- March of the Wicked King - Guilty Gear
- Make Oneself - Guilty Gear X
- Dogs On the Run - Guilty Gear XX ♯Reload Korean OST
- Drunkard Does Make Wise Remarks - Guilty Gear Isuka
- A Slow Walker - Guilty Gear Xrd
- Axl owes his name and look to Guns N' Roses lead singer, Axl Rose. Even more, it is said they have a similar outlook, and both of them are sort of playboys (Rose once said: "It is a really bad thing to put your girlfriend or your wife into your music video, because when you break up - and you will - they will still be in your video"). Considering Axl's friendship with Sol, Axl Rose is also known to be a big fan of Queen and starred at The Freddy Mercury Tribute Concert in London 1992, whom he honors as a major influence to the band's music and his style.
- Axl's surname may originate from Testament's album "Low".
- "March of the Wicked King" is named suspiciously similar to Queen's "March of the Black Queen" song, and seems to have been inspired by "You're Crazy" by Guns N' Roses.
- Axl's theme "Make Oneself" could be an allusion to Incubus' album "Make Yourself". The vocals for its vocal version sounds very akin to "Even Flow" by Pearl Jam.
- When Axl performs either Bentei Gari or Byakue Renshou, inside the energy/fire circle his chain sickles create, for a split-second the image of a woman playing a guitar can be seen. This woman could be Benzaiten, Benten for short, a Japanese deity of music and wisdom.
- Axl, as a British time-traveller, alludes—likely by coincidence—to the BBC series Doctor Who, in which its protagonist travels through time and space but can rarely control his destination.
- The day that Axl desperately wants to return to (May 14, 1998) is the same day that the original Guilty Gear was first released in Japan.
- Daisuke Ishiwatari said that Axl was "created assuming that Mr. Nanba would voice him".
- It is unclear how Raven and Axl are connected in Guilty Gear XX. The notion that they are the same person has been dismissed, but it was hinted by That Man and Raven that it is Axl's actions in the future that link his existence with Raven's, and an interview with Daisuke Ishiwatari in the Material Collection book indicates that a relationship between them is present. However, given that -SIGN- shows Axl meeting That Man for the first time, this is one of the many XX endings that should not be taken seriously.
- In his third ending in Guilty Gear XX, Axl will accidentally go back in time to fight with I-No and Sol again. If Axl cannot finish Sol using his Instant Kill, the match will be rewinded forever.
- Axl shares the same birthday as Dizzy and Elphelt Valentine.
- Axl's theme in Guilty Gear Xrd, "A Slow Waker", contains a few nods to his original theme, "March of The Wicked King".
- Axl's English voice actor also voices Ky Kiske, in Guilty Gear 2: Overture, and Johnny.