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Axel Gear (アクセルギア Akuseru Gia) is the main and recurring antagonist in the Rocket Knight Series, and poses as the rival of Sparkster.

Appearance

Rocket Knight Adventures

Axel Gear is mostly covered in his armor. The only parts visible are his face, ears, tail and some strands of blonde hair. His fur is a light brown and a fine scar is visible on his left cheek. His armor parts are purple and under it he wears a red flight suit. His helmet just covers the upper half of his face and the visor has a lenghtly form and covers his nose when it's lowered. The shoulder plates of his armor are broad and each of them has two pointy ends, one points upwards and the other one downwards. Axel wears gauntlets with bracers. His boots cover up everything to his knees and the ends on his feet are also pointy and point slightly upwards. His rocket pack consists of three rockets strapped on his back. They're red with grey exhaust pipes. At the end of the rockets are also openings for pressure balance. Axel Gear possesses a long sword with a thin blade. On the crossguard are three red gems, the one in the middle is the largest, and a blue one is on the pommel.

Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2

The appearance of Axel Gear doesn't change much from one game to another, most of them are just changes of his color palette and the overall art style. His rocket pack is orange and lacks the openings for pressure balance. His gauntlets are grey and his flight suit has a lighter shade of red. His sword has just two gems instead of four, one on the crossguard and the other one on the pommel.

Sparkster (SNES)

Axel Gear's appearance is not much different than his Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2 appearance. There are just a few things different:

  • His gauntlets look different and are light purple.
  • His rocket pack resembles the one in Rocket Knight Adventures.
  • His scar is missing.

Rocket Knight (2010)

Axel Gear's appearance got an overhaul in this game and looks vastly different than in the previous games. Like previously the only things which are not covered by his armor are his ears, face, tail and hair. His fur is still light brown and instead of having a scar on his left cheek he has a scar with several stitches. His armor is red and brown, although the color is flaking off, and his flight suit is black. His helmet is open on the top so his black hair is visible. The visor is flatter and shorter than his previous one. His shoulder plates are now flat and angled with one spike on each plate. There is also a spike on each of his gauntlets at the wrists. His boots cover his feet and shins. Both boots have two spikes, one on each side. His rocket pack consists of two rockets with two wings on each side. the pack is grey, but the tips of the wings are red.

The sword of Axel Gear is a broad flame-bladed sword with a light purple stint. Near the tip of the blade is a red gem. The blade is connected to the crossguard with a bigger red gem and both gems are connected with a blue streak. The grip itself is in the same purple color as the sword. At the pommel are several cabels of different color which connect the sword with his rocket pack.

Personality

Axel Gear is a ruthless figure with nothing else in mind but his own selfish goals, showing no regrets in kidnapping one of the princesses to blackmail their respective fathers for his own purposes, or killing Mifune Sanjulo to get his hands on the Secret Book of the Rocket Knights.

He is a traitorous being, not only betraying the Kingdom of Zephyrus but also planning a rebellion to overthrow the late ruler of Devotindos Empire--Emperor Devligus Devotindos. His lack of loyalty towards everyone makes him untrustworthy in all regards as he clearly only cares about himself and all the ways he could achieve his goals, even if it means to harm innocent people or teaming up with other kingdoms that want to conquer the Kingdom of Zephyrus or Eginasem. Despite his disloyal trait he is very competent in what he is doing which is the main reason why he gets hired.

His rivalry with Sparkster is not to be taken lightly. While the Black Knight was beaten several times it only fueled his desire to grow stronger and finding more and more ways to overthrow the Rocket Knight--Even if it means to use a big variety of gadgets just to have a greater advantage.

But as much as he seems to despise Sparkster he also has no shame in provoking, taunting and stealing the spotlight from him whenever he is able of doing so.

History

Prior to Rocket Knight Adventures

There is not much information about Axel Gear's past, rendering his relationship with Princess Sherry, Sparkster, and Mifune Sanjulo rather unclear/vague.

He once was a part of the Rocket Knights before he decided to betray the Kingdom of Zephyrus. During his betrayal he not only stole the Secret Book of Rocket Knights but also killed Mifune Sanjulo, Sparkster's foster-father and master. This incident resulted in his exile from Zephyrus, thus making him the Black Knight that he is known for today.

Rocket Knight Adventures

Axel Gear aids the Imperial Army of Devotindos at their attempt to conquer the Kingdom of Zephyrus. He kidnaps Princess Sherry, King Zephyrus' only daughter, and uses her to blackmail the king to hand over the "Key to the Seal" that is needed to gain control over the Pig Star, a giant space station with immense destruction power.

Throughout the events of the game Axel not only takes care of Princess Sherry to deliver her safely to the Devotindos Empire, he also challenges Sparkster on various occasions to give Emperor Devligus Devotindos, the current ruler over Devotindos Empire, enough time to reach the Pig Star.

Despite his partnership with Emperor Devligus Devotindos Axel is scheming to start a rebellion as soon as Sparkster and King Zephyrus are out of the way, but his plans get ultimately foiled during his last fight against Sparkster on the Pig Star.

Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2

5 years after the downfall of Emperor Devligus Devotindos Axel returned to cause havoc, this time siding with Gedol Empire, the magical kingdom ruled by King Gedol.

Before the main events of the game he was in search for the 7 "Keys to the Seal", powerful and mystical swords that grant great power to the one who was able to collect them all, and ran into Sparkster who was stumbling over the sword by accident. A fight between the two knights triggers, but Axel loses it.*

After Sparkster returned to the Kingdom of Zephyrus to accompany Princess Sherry and Princess Cherry to a peaceful walk outside of the kingdom the Black Knight strikes again, kidnapping Princess Cherry to hold her hostage at Gedol Castle and to blackmail the royal family of Zephyrus.

As in the previous game Axel Gear will be the standing in Sparkster's way before he has the chance to fight against King Gedol. This time, however, he uses one of the 7 "Keys to the Seal" swords. As soon as Axel is defeated he will flee the scene while leaving behind the last of the collectable swords.

  • Important Note: The fight against Axel Gear is optional. The player can skip the event and lose the battle if they decide to accept Axel's challenge, but this means that the sword won't be collected, making the 'True Ending' of the game unavailable.

Sparkster (SNES)

Important Note: This title takes place after the events of Rocket Knight Adventures and serves as an Alternate Timeline. It has no connection to the events of Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2 and its later sequel Rocket Knight. It is, however, still considered as Canon, but follows a different path for the Franchise.

A few years after the downfall of Emperor Devligus Devotindos Axel Gear joins the Wolf Army that was led by Generalissimo Lioness to start a coup d'état against the Kingdom of Eginasem. He helps kidnapping Princess Flora, the daughter of King Eginasem, to get their hands on a pendant that is known to protect the peace on Planet Elhorn.

Axel Gear greets Sparkster's arrival in Noisy Toys by playing an pipe organ before starting their battle, but the Black Knight loses it.

Before Sparkster is able to reach the Orbital Fortress he has to deal with Axel once again, this time during a fight within their Powered Gear. This battle, like the previous one, ends in Axel's defeat.

Rocket Knight (2010)

After the defeat of King Gedol 15 years ago Axel Gear returned to join forces with the Devotindos Empire, which is now led by General Sweinhart. After a truce was made with King Zephyrus most of the people of Devotindos moved into Zephyrus. At some point within the story Sparkster left Zephyrus, making way for the Black Knight to be entitled the new leader of Rocket Knights.

Sparkster, fighting through the invasion of the Wolf Kingdom, tried to gain access to the Kingdom of Zephyrus, but the gates were closed by Axel Gear to prevent him getting any further. They had a short fight above the Tree Tops which Axel was losing, forcing him to retreat for the while being. The two knights meet again deeper inside of the Zephyrian City, nearly starting another battle, but they got interrupted when the Forest Shredder made its way into the city. Though Sparkster managed to destroy it he got stuck under its head, burying him underneath it. Axel used this unlucky event for himself by acting like he was the one stopping the Forest Shredder.

Frightened by the sudden attack by the Mountain Wolves General Sweinhart declared that the Devotindos Army would aid the Zephyrian Army to protect their homeland from any kind of harm. From this event on Axel Gear stood more in the background.

Just as soon as Sparkster defeated the king of the Wolf Kingdom, Ulfgar the Merciless, Axel Gear and General Sweinhart arrived at the kingdom themselves. They captured the Rocket Knight and threw him into a deep abyss which led him to the secret laboratory of Devotindos Empire. Before leaving the laboratory, which was close to blow up, Sparkster and Axel Gear had their final fight which Axel, once again, loses.

The fate of Axel Gear is unknown since.

Game Appearances

Other Appearances

Trivia

  • Axel Gear's hair color is inconsistent between his official artworks and in-game sprites:
  • The scar placement seems to be as inconsistent as his hair color:
  • In Noisy Toys, the 6th stage of Sparkster (SNES), he was shown playing an pipe organ before the battle against him begins.
  • It is possible to unlock an Axel Gear skin for Sparkster in Rocket Knight if you were able to beat the Arcade Mode on Hard Difficulty.
  • While not being a complete translation error within the manuals Axel's name has been spelled differently from time to time, changing from "Axle Gear" to "Axel Gear" and vice-versa.
    • In Japanese "Axel", "Axle", and "Axl" are written in the exact same Katakana characters (アクセル = A Ku Se Ru), something that makes it difficult to say if "Axel", "Axle" or "Axl" was the spelling Konami was going for.
      • However, with the release of Rocket Knight in 2010 "Axel Gear" has been confirmed to be the official spelling of his name.
  • Even though the "Secret Book of Rocket Knights", other members of "Rocket Knights" and "Black Knights" were mentioned within the manuals (the latter are in the US/EU Versions only) they never played an important role within the games themselves.
    • The US/EU Manuals mention that Axel Gear "attempted" to steal the "Secret Book of Rocket Knights" and "severely wounded" Mifune Sanjulo. It is unclear if he managed to steal the book and if he really tried to kill Mifune, or if it was just an accident that led to his death.
    • The Japanese Manual, however, explains that he managed to steal the "Secret Book of Rocket Knights" and that he killed Mifune Sanjulo. This ultimately caused the rivalry between Sparkster and Axel Gear.
  • According to some Developer Blog postings back from 2009/2010 Axel Gear's design for Rocket Knight was supposed to be more pirate-like.
    • There was also the idea of Axel Gear dating Princess Cherry, but the reason behind it is unclear.