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Kingdom Hearts is an intriguing concept, combining the world of with the world of Disney in one of the most bizarre yet brilliant ways. We could tell you all about the elevator ride where and Disney executives dreamt up the idea, and we could scoff about how this even came to be. However, the gaming journalism world as a collective has drummed that narrative into our heads over the years already, so let’s skip it and move on to the topic at hand, the amazing characters within this series. It was a steep task for to match the level of depth and whimsy that ‘s character roster has offered over the years, but against that odds, the characters in KH shine brighter than their Disney and FF counterparts, and arguably no more so than the twisted firestarter himself, Axel. Got it memorized?
Axel, the seventh member of the nefarious nobody group, Organisation XIII, is a big fan favorite within the Kingdom Hearts community, and rightfully so. Axel has one of the most gripping storylines outside of the main storyline in 358/2 Days; they play a vital role in the main storyline itself, particularly in Chain of Memories. Plus, in later iterations under the new/old name of Lea, they go on to be a in training, putting their spotted past behind them in a bid to be a good guy. His relationship with Roxas and Xion is touching, and how can you not love those uber-cool chakrams?
Overall, Axel is a masterfully written character, and for that, we can only thank Tetsuya Nomura. However, you may be new to the series and may be wondering who this character is, why they are so important within the series, and what role they played in each iteration of the KH series. Well, that’s what we are here for. So join us as we give you all the Axel-related info you could ever need. Here is our extensive
Who is Axel in Kingdom Hearts?
Axel began his life within the Kingdom hearts series as an antagonist aiming to keep Sora and the gang trapped inside of during the events of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. However, he would grow as a character and become much more than just some plain old bad guy. He is the seventh member of Organisation XIII and the nobody of his former self, Lea. Axel is a pyro character that uses the power of to assert his dominance over anyone who stands in his way, and if that doesn’t work, his twin chakrams are pretty handy at cutting the field of enemies down to size. He is also in control of the Assassin nobodies, as every Organisation member has their own unique set of minions.
As far as Axel’s general demeanor goes, Axel is usually calm and assertive under pressure. Amongst a lot of strong characters within the Organisation, he always seems like the old head and a leader. This is most likely due to his close relationship with Siax during the events before . If you played 358/2 Days, you might disagree with this, as you may remember Axel as a fun-loving, funny, and sarcastic guy. However, after the heartache of losing his friends, this becomes a distant memory, and his demeanor changes to that of an Organisation drone.. Axel is also calculated and devious. His actions are usually hard to anticipate, he always seems one step ahead of others around him, and he has an inherent ability to lie and manipulate others, which is perhaps why he was able to con the members of Organisation XIII during the events of
As for Axel’s appearance, he is a character that is loosely based on Reno from the series, right down to the fiery red hair. This was a conscious decision by Tetsuya Nomura, but don’t get it twisted. These characters, while similar are unique, have completely separate storylines, and aside from looks and a few traits, couldn’t be more different. Axel has spiky red hair, makeup below his eyes, piercing green eyes, a slim figure which is ultimately hidden under his signature black coat, and he can often be seen wielding red and silver chakrams.
Axel’s Story in Kingdom Hearts?
Axel is one of the most complex characters within Kingdom Hearts, not only because he has a lot of relationships across the series, and he is a key figure in so many major events, but also because he changes allegiances so many times throughout the run of the series, keeping fans guessing. However, we will do our best to give you a full breakdown and keep it as succinct as possible. Check it out:
Chain of Memories
Axel was first introduced to the KH faithful in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, a title made initially for the Boy Advance, which was later made into a fully-fledged PS2 release in Asian regions, and then later ported in the recent remastered collections. This seen Sora, Donald, and Goofy travel to in search of The King and Riku. However, they were lured there by Marluxia in an attempt to wipe their memories clean, which naturally does to its inhabitants the longer they stay. In this , Axel serves as one of the antagonists, or at least an undercover antagonist, keeping a watchful eye over proceedings, and ultimately, Axel serves as the ace in the hole and brings down the rebel operation from the inside, working as a mole for the loyal members of the Organisation.
Axel’s story continued in the Nintendo DS exclusive 358/2 Days, where we were treated to a softer, dare I say, human side of Axel. This Kingdom Hearts I when Sora loses his in the clash with Riku at . The essentially sees you take on odd jobs for the Organisation, but the plot revolves around the relationship between these three and their exchanges when off the clock in . Axel serves as a guide and a makeshift older sibling for these two characters, but in the end, this relationship can never be in the emotionless, cold clutches of Organisation XIII, and this leads to the demise of Xion and the disappearance of Roxas, leaving Axel alone and in search of answers and a purpose. puts the spotlight on the Sea Salt Trio, Roxas, Axel, and Xion. The protagonist of this is Roxas, a newly formed nobody that appears after the events in
After the events of 358/2 Days, Axel was essentially acting as a rogue. He was no longer true to the Organisation after what had happened to Roxas and Xion, and he was on the hunt to find Roxas to try to restore some semblance to what he had before. He was ordered by the organization to destroy him, but that was never an option in his mind. However, he never revealed his true intentions to the Organisation as he wanted to remain in their good graces while he searched. Luckily, his deeds at had bought him some time. Axel confronts Roxas, now trapped in Diz’s recreation of , and after trying in vain to help Roxas remember his past, he is defeated. According to Nomura, this is where Axel’s story was supposed to end, but due to his adoration by the fans, he became central to the plot involving Sora. The rest of the would see Axel try and lure Sora to him by kidnapping Kairi so he could steal his and therefore allow Roxas, Sora’s nobody, to be reborn. In the end, though, Axel gives his life in Betwixt and Between to save Sora from the hordes of Dusks that . You would think this would be the end for |Axel, and in a way, it was, as Lea was reborn.
When Axel was finally released from his Nobody form, and his soul returned to his body, kick-starting his and bringing Lea back to life, it also kick-started Lea’s desire to do good. Upon his revival in Radiant Gardens, he decides to train alongside Kairi and become a certified Keyblade wielder. Admittedly, his role in the third mainline title is less significant than the entries above, but he and Kairi develop a strange but touching relationship, he becomes a in his own right, and he serves as a vital part of the final battle, reuniting with Roxas and Xion, completing his arc to redemption.
Axel’s Key Relationships
Axel plays a relationship with a wide variety of characters within the . He is the thorn in the Organisation Rebel’s side, and then the Organization as a whole later on. Plus, he plays the role of hero and antagonist in equal measure. However, you may be wondering who he is closest to. Well, check it out below:
There is no character more important to Axel than Roxas, Sora’s nobody. When Axel takes Roxas under his wing when he is indoctrinated into Organisation XIII, he becomes a role model to Roxas, offering him help, companionship, and a shoulder to lead on as he deals with this new and alien lifestyle. Roxas has a unique effect on Axel; he makes him feel emotions that are said to be impossible for a nobody. Roxas reminded him what it was like to have a and gave him hope for the future. Then when he was reunited with Sora, Axel eventually began to care for Sora, as he felt the same way around him. Roxas is the reason that Axel strives to be better and why Axel eventually finds peace and redemption as Lea.
Xion is the other member of the Sea Salt trio and was another lost, quiet soul when she became a member of the Organisation. However, much like Roxas, Axel took her under his wing, serving as a guide in the darkness and helping them navigate their first jobs and life in the Organisation in general. Xion becomes a trusted friend of Axel, and when Axel must reprimand her when she learns of her true origin and purpose, this treatment acts as the seed that would eventually see Axel turn on the Organisation altogether.
Although this relationship is a strange one, it is perhaps one of Axel’s strongest partnerships, or should we say Lea’s. In , Axel decides to kidnap Kairi in an attempt to lure Sora to him and then take his . However, thanks to his interactions with Kairi and her likeness to Xion, not to mention his fondness for Sora, thanks to his direct connection to Roxas, he decides to switch allegiances. So it feels slightly strange in KH3 when Lea, Kairi’s former captor, becomes her training partner in a bid to become keyblade masters and take on . However, this relationship soon blossoms into a genuine friendship.
What are Axel’s Abilities in Kingdom Hearts?
Axel is a brilliant character, not only due to his role in the overall story but also because he is a formidable foe and a very powerful ally. He has a stack of powers and abilities in his arsenal, but we want to focus on his go-to abilities. Here is a quick rundown:
As we have briefly touched on, Axel is a member of Organisation XIII that relies on the power of to get the job done. There are plenty of moments throughout the series that showcase his pyro abilities, such as the moment where he mercilessly incinerates Vexen outside the mansion in . Or alternatively, the time where he corners Roxas in the Simulated for a final battle to bring him back to the Organisation, igniting the room and encircling the pair in a ring of . In short, he’s a dangerous arsonist.
Alongside Axel’s uncanny ability to harness and bend to his will, he also has a set of twin Chakrams that he uses to deal powerful melee attacks. So if the heat of his pyrotechnics doesn’t get you, you can bet his circular blades will get you.
Master of the Assasin Nobodies
While in good favor with the organization Axel, much like the other members of the Organisation, Axel has access to a band of Nobodies, the Organisations answer to the Heartless. Axel’s own brand of nobodies is known as the Assasin Nobodies. These enemies are humanoid-shaped enemies with long drooping protrusions that run down each side of their bodies. Each protrusion has a series of long, piercing spikes.
As for their behavior, they burrow under the ground and then pop up behind the player to deliver a devastating blow. So if the player wants to take them out effectively, they must predict and parry their attacks, leaving them stunned and above ground. Then you can go to town on them.
Then lastly, when Lea leaves his Organisation days behind them, they train to become a Kingdom Hearts , but this was later changed. This is also not to be mistaken with the Keyblade known as Bond of Flames, which the player earns after Axel sacrifices himself in KH2., and in a fashion that speaks to Lea’s determined and disciplined nature, they do so. The keyblade that Lea wields is known as the Bond of the Blaze and has a handle that is shaped like a chakram, the weapon that Axel used to use. Then rising out of that, there is a key formation that is formed to look like . This keyblade was initially known as Flame Liberator in
Is Axel a Boss Within Kingdom Hearts?
As you would imagine, considering how many times Axel flip-flops and changes allegiance, he does serve as a roadblock for Sora and the gang on more than one occasion. However, you may be wondering when, so here is every occasion where you battle Axel in Kingdom Hearts:
Chain of Memories Boss Fight
The player will battle Axel on two occasions in this title. The first is a pretty routine fight so long as you have access to a good deck structure that makes use of Blizzard cards, as they deal added to Axel. The same cannot be said about the second battle that precedes the fight with Marluxia at the very end of the . This battle is a very tough one and one that will require you to have complete mastery of the mechanics of this card-based system.
The key strategies to survive this battle are as follows:
- Be sure to stack your deck with as many Blizzard cards as you can
- Be sure to use the Vexen card early, as this will act as a revive if you happen to get killed, which can happen very easily due to Axel’s ability to stun the player.
- Use the as this makes you immune to all of Axel’s flights.
- Stack Blizzard cards for added
- Use sleights freely as waiting for longer; riskier strategies will usually lead to Axel using zero cards and ruining your best-laid plans.
- Be sure to watch out for the Wall of Flame and the Firetooth attacks, as even if one of these lands, you will be on the back foot.
The player will also fight Axel on two occasions in the main . The first is a rather easy battle where the player will briefly tussle with Axel during the Struggle Tournament. However, the second battle has a little bit more substance. In this battle, the player will take on Axel as Roxas and will be wielding the twin keyblades Oathkeeper and Oblivion. Here are some strategies to use:
- Move fast. Axel has turned the floor to magma. So you are on the clock.
- Try to stay airborne to avoid environmental .
- Get good at parrying and try to block any oncoming chakram attacks. Otherwise, you’ll get locked into a sequence and be sprayed with a jet of .
- Be ready to use , as they are key in this battle.
Data Form Boss Fight
This is a battle that the player can seek out in the KH2 end content. If the player travels through the Cavern of Remembrance, they will gain access to the Data Battles, which are extremely difficult versions of each final battle with each Organisation XIII member. Axel’s battle is a replica of the battle in the basement of the mansion listed above, and all of the same tips hold true. The key difference with this battle is that Axel hits much harder, you don’t have access to twin keyblades unless you opt to use drive forms, and the magma floor is much more of a concern.
Got it Memorized?
As you can see from the information provided, Axel is a character that embodies friendship, loyalty, strength, and resilience, which not so coincidentally are some of the central themes within the KH series as a whole. Axel is a fan favorite as he represents everything that the series stands for. He is a reformed character battling against the darkness within to become a better person. He goes through strive and genuine heartache, but he never gives up on his friends, and in the end, he is reunited with his pals. We hope that this guide has given you everything that you were looking for and as always, thank you for reading RPG Informer.
Question: Who Are All The Members of Organization XIII?
Answer: As you may have gathered from the information above, Axel is not the only member of the Organisation. As you would expect, there are thirteen members of this union, or fourteen if you count the late entry, Xion, and each has their own traits, skills, backstory, and plot points within the KH franchise. However, you may be wondering who these nobodies are. Well, wonder no more, here is a quick list below:
• I: Xemnas
• II: Xigbar
• III: Xaldin
• IV: Vexen
• V: Lexaeus
• VI: Zexion
• VII: Siax
• VIII: Axel
• IX: Demyx
• X: Luxord
• XI: Marluxia
• XII: Larxene
• XIII: Roxas
• XIV: Xion
Question: Are Chakrams Real?
Answer: Yes, this was surprisingly a real-world weapon of Indian descent. This was mainly used as a throwing weapon. A circular structure with a sharpened outer blade that was used to dismember and disarm enemies from a distance. However, this weapon would also be used in hand-to-hand combat, although this was not its primary use. There were also smaller variants called Chakrais that were worn on the wrist to provide added cuts and wounds when battling enemies at close quarters. This would also be used as a piece of armor, often being worn around the circumference of the head to protect against sword attacks.
Question: How Did Axel Get His Name?
Answer: As you might have noticed, if you perused the names above within Organisation XIII, each name has a common theme. You’ll notice that each name has an X included, and this is to indicate that these characters are Nobodies who have lost their human form and their heart. However, they do retain some semblance of their former selves as these names are all anagrams of their human name. Take Axel, for example. Their former name was Lea, so scramble it a little and pop an ‘X’ in there, and Axel is born.