Part 48: Character Write-Up - AxlI always feel awkward stating that the first main, numbered Mega Man X series title I ever played was X7. My first actual Mega Man game in general was Xtreme 1 on the Gameboy color, but let's get on with talking about our new friend with the gun.
He won't be stealing any spotlights, and also doesn't mind-bendingly obnoxious voice like he did in X7. Mostly Axl's just here to shoot Axl Guns all over the Axl Place... and also turn into bosses to bully other bosses.
Weapon Type: Guns (Shot Damage)
Starting WE: 25%
WE Gain per turn: 25%
Action Trigger: DNA Change - Axl changes into a defeated boss and uses one of their attacks, chosen by controller input string. More WE = More time to input the buttons for the boss you want.
Elemental Resistances: None
Force Metal Slots: 4
Starting Immunity: 15
Hyper Mode: Stealth Mode
Hyper Mode Benefits: +100% Power, -25% Speed, cannot take damage, be healed, or receive buff effects(this includes sub weapons like Power Charge). Unlike Spider's version, Axl's is confirmed to also buff the critical hit rate of his basic attacks.
Hyper Mode Turns: 2
Axl is, effectively, the Summoner for Command Mission. Its just instead of invoking avatars of gods such as Ifrit or Shiva like what'd happen in Final Fantasy, he turns into bosses you've beaten in the story. How does he do that for ones he wasn't present for is anyone's guess, though given even if he doesn't use it here X still technically has his Weapon Copy System, it could be implied X got a scan of the bosses and passed the data on them to Axl so he could help. Pure speculation on my part there, though. As for the rest of his stuff... well, Axl's an odd duck. He's functionally another Spider, but with an actually useable Action Trigger and his basic attacks don't need a high WE threshold to do things like hit twice. He also gets some other weapons with unique properties that no other character can replicate, but apart from the ones that are 'shoot the bad guy even more times in one turn' none of them are particularly noteworthy. He's also the only character in the game without a unique Force Metal of any kind. Both Cinnamon and Zero have one, even if they're locked behind the Force Metal Generator.
His Action Trigger is probably his big saving grace, since it lets him be the only character who can effectively on command do whatever kind of elemental damage you want without switching weapons. The Wild Jango copy is kind of his 'default' option for doing damage, and I've seen claims it does a random amount of damage from 100% up to 200% of his attack power in a few places and is also the only way Axl has do deal Combat Damage. Silver Horn is pretty decent for hitting the field, and it absolutely wreaks havoc on fire enemies. Mad Nautilus certainly exists. The other options he'll get as the game progresses round out his elemental options by way of a Fire Attack, and at least one non-elemental attack so fighting a horde of enemies with different weaknesses and resistances doesn't make him even more sad. Also as Bisby noted, one of his transformations is locked behind a Bonus Boss - and it's his other major single target attack besides Jango. Yikes.
Personally I like Axl, both as a character and a party member, so I made use of him. Hell once he showed up, for quite a while my frontline was X, Axl, and Spider - mostly because the dumber, younger me thought that the melee characters didn't get to use the Ultimate Missiles when you executed a Final Strike, so I just rolled with all the Shot damage characters since I wanted to rack up a high combo on Final Strikes. He's definitely not a super great party member, but he's got enough utility that he's not completely useless.