An agent to President Valentine, Axl RO attacks Hot Pants, Gyro and Johnny with his Stand in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, summoning corporeal representations of figures from their pasts in order to steal the Saint's Corpse parts. He is a Stand User, powering his Civil War with guilt.
Axl appears to be a middle-aged man of average to above-average height and medium build. Darkness (either shadow, paint or a tattoo) covers his face to just below his eyes and in mirrored, hook-like tribal marks on his cheeks; save for a scattering of dots.
Over a light, drooping rag, he wears a thick, round military helmet covered by a net. He wears a thick wide-necked top, bearing four dark rectangular patches between his shoulders and elbows on his long sleeves. His chest is overlaid with a V-shaped piece from which hang layers of squares; and he wears dark, knee-high boots.
When he was young, Axl wanted to become a musician but was enlisted to the army instead. After not being able to bear the terrors of war, he became addicted to alcohol. One time after waking up he was surprised by the enemy troops marching under his post, he was given the opportunity to sacrifice his life for the sake of many of his company but he refrained.
Axl's most characteristic trait is his desire to purify himself from his sins in order to rid himself of the ghosts of his past comrades haunting him. With his Stand ability, he is able to abandon his sin and guilt by transferring it to somebody else. This is tied to his ideology that claims people have to sacrifice something in order to progress.
Axl believes that battles should be fair as stated when he told Gyro his stand's weakness.
Most of the time Axl is shown to be composed, which was the case even back when he willingly sacrificed people for his own sake.
He does however lose temper and panic when Johnny damages the Corpse, shouting and desperately trying to stab him.
- Main article: Civil War
Axl's Stand is Civil War, constituting a system in which is he able to transfer or unload sin and guilt via the attacks of hostile, ghostly representations of people and objects he or his targets harbor as having wronged or unfairly discarded. Another part of Civil War's ability is that whenever he's killed and his killer feels even the slightest of guilt for killing him, he is brought back to life.
During his youth, Axl RO wanted to be a musician but was drafted into the army in 1863, where he was stationed in a tree to be a lookout in a remote town. Having no one to talk to, and being completely alone, Axl resorted to alcohol to relieve his despair. His job had been to light the lamp in order to warn the soldiers nearby of an incoming enemy troop. However, he did not do so in fear that the enemy would find him in the tree and would have killed him. So, he silently sat there and finished his drink as the town was burned to ashes. The people of the town and the soldiers were massacred, and that marked the beginning of continued losses for Axl's side in the war.
Axl RO is dispatched in Gettysburg. Installing himself in a building in the city, Axl lures Hot Pants in. Because of her great guilt, she is neutralized and Axl RO takes her Corpse Parts. Johnny Joestar and Gyro Zeppeli soon follow.
Confronted by Civil War, Gyro attacks the Stand but it separates into pieces. Gyro then discovers the many Steel Balls he's discarded over his life. Overwhelmed by the amounts of stuff he's discarded over the years, Gyro is easily defeated by Civil War.
Meanwhile, Johnny interrogates Hot Pants but instead is warned of an enemy ability as she gets covered in a strange film. He cannot throw away things and must purify himself with water. Suddenly, a knife Johnny had left at the camp reappears and merges with his body. Overwhelmed by the amounts of stuff he's discarded over the years, Gyro is easily defeated by the enemy Stand, Civil War. Warned, Johnny tries to go outside to his water canteen, but is pursued by Danny, his old pet mouse, and the damning visions of Nicholas. Johnny manages to douse himself in water. The mouse then comes out of Johnny's body and escapes the water. Seeing a well nearby, Johnny shoots the ground and manages to find more water. Johnny then crawls back inside the garbage dump, where he too starts to see random objects he's discarded over the years. He's attacked by Danny and his father George Joestar. But, Gyro has been listening to the ground and tells Johnny the location of Axl RO. Johnny shoots Axl in the throat, which kills him.
However, this is what Axl RO was waiting for. The power of Civil War brings Axl back and transfers the specters of Axl's own victims to Johnny and Axl is happy to let Johnny bear the burden of his sins. Swarmed by specters that tear him apart, Johnny sees Jesus again telling him not to shoot if his heart is wavering, and Johnny takes the hint. He shoots himself and unlocks Tusk ACT3. With his newfound ability, he can move his hand into unusual places, allowing him to shoot from unexpected angles too. Taken by surprise, Axl hides in the mob and is still hit by Johnny's attacks. Nonetheless, Johnny cannot harm Axl in the building. The ghosts take Johnny's part of the Spine, and Axl is able to assemble the Saint's Corpse minus the Skull and leaves the dump, leaving Johnny at the mercy of the ghosts. Using Tusk ACT3, Johnny manages to catch up and with his hand, drags the Corpse towards the hole. Axl is shocked because the hole destroys everything save Johnny and it could endanger the Corpse. Axl desperately stabs Johnny in the throat, killing him. Thus, all of Johnny' sins are transferred to him. Axl Ro is cornered. However, someone then shoots Axl from outside. It is Funny Valentine, who has come to collect the pieces of the Saint's Corpse, and leaves. Axl then bleeds to death from his injuries. Because Valentine felt no remorse of killing Axl, Axl did not get revived and therefore died for good.
- “Let’s play it fair. A Stand battle requires a degree of fairness, even if that means you have to to divulge your weakness. In order to draw on you Stand power to its fullest. Cowardice doesn’t equate with strength. My weakness, Gyro Zeppeli, is being purified with water.”
- “The fight is just beginning. My Stand Civil War’s attack will be complete. (本番はここからだ 我がスタンド「シビル・ウォー」の攻撃はこれの完成されれるHonban wa koko kara da. Waga Sutando 'Shibiru Wō' no kōgeki wa kore no kansei sareru)”
- “You… Johnny… You’ve sacrificed me in order to advance. Since you’ve shot me… this is what you’ve done. You’ve finally killed me. You sacrificed me… do you understand. And that’s why you, Johnny Joestar, will bear the burden of everything I’ve discarded!”
- “This is... the sin you took on. (これが⋯⋯⋯おまえがおっかぶった罪だKore ga... omae ga okkabutta tsumi da)”
- “I’ve returned purified. And now I have the right to claim those Corpse Legs.”
- “I live within your sins! And that’s why you’ll never be able to kill me!”
- “I have been completely purified. (わたしは完全に「清め」られたWatashi wa kanzeni 'kiyome' rareta)”
- “You fucking piece of ignorant trash!”
Axl RO appears as a support character in the form of his Stand Civil War, who speaks one voice line performed by Taku Yashiro. He says, "'People must abandon something in order to move forward.' Or would you rather 'pick up something and return?'" (「人は何カヲ捨テテ前へ進ム」ソレトモ「拾ッテ帰ルカ」？ "Hito wa nani kawo sutete mae e Suzumu" soretomo "Hirotte kae Ruka?"). When used during battle, it prevents the enemy team from acquiring items or using stage objects.
- His helmet is an M1 combat helmet, which is rather anachronistic, as it was adopted in 1941, 50 years after his death.
- The fact that his side in the war experienced constant losses after he failed to light the beacon implies that he fought on the side of the Confederacy and that he was likely stationed somewhere close to Gettysburg, where the most decisive battle of the US Civil War was fought.
- This is also supported in the colored scan by Axl's fatigues, as Valentine - who fought for the Union during the Civil War - wore a set of blue fatigues, as opposed to Axl's green uniform shown in the flashbacks.