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Maximilian "Max" Howard is the captain of the Neuron task force, and the adoptive father of the protagonist and Akira Howard.


Maximilian is an older man with short, spiky greying-brown hair ending in a widow's peak and framing his face with a well-kept beard. He has a square face and bright blue eyes, with two long scars running vertically up the left side of his face, over his left eye which he keeps closed. He wears the standard Neuron uniform of a white dress shirt underneath a blue puffy jacket with two white stripes and the Neuron logo branded on the upper left arm, as well as thick black pants and tall steel-toed laced boots. He also is wearing thick white gloves. On top of his clothes he wears pale grey armor pieces over his lower arms, shoulders, back, and chest, and black armor pieces over his knees. It is worth noting that his chestpiece is notably larger than all other Neuron task force members, and does not share the same "POLICE" branding that the rest do. Max also carries a Legatus Unit on him, like all Neuron members, as well as a X-baton in Gladius mode which he is seen wielding in his official render.


The son of a police officer, Maximilian Howard aspired since his early years to save the world.

Pandemic and Fatherhood[]

In November 2058, Max was called to Zone 09 to help handle the Pandemic, the worst redshift crisis in the Ark's history. During the crisis, Max was forced to kill multiple of his colleagues after they were turned into aberrations, as well as a number of civilian aberrations. Eventually, Max received word from his captain that the UNION planned to close off the Zone to prevent the corruption from spreading.

With help expected to arrive in one hour, Max chose to head back into the Zone's lower levels and rescue anyone he could. Max's altruism would save his life, as the rest of his squad was killed during his search. He only managed to save a few civilians, including a woman who gave birth to twins before succumbing to redshift complications. Max adopted the twins as his own (one of whom he named Akira), raising them as a single father. Both decided to become police officers due to his influence.[1]


In June 2078, the twins were transferred to Neuron. Max was strongly opposed to the transfer out of concern for their safety, but was unable to undo the decision.


Max was last seen fighting the rogue Legions. As the Axe Nemesis was found with Max's Legatus still attached, it would seem he unsuccessfully attempted to reclaim his Legion. His ultimate fate remains unknown: if he was not killed by the rogue Legions, he likely succumbed to redshift in the Astral Plane, although neither can really be confirmed.

Howewer, it's worth noting that the timeline chart in the artbook in the collector's edition refers to Max as being MIA, not killed. Even more strikingly, during the final fight against Noah Prime the player is raised up by the Axe legion, having activated on its own, and Max's image appears overposed over the legion's, implying that's Max's mind somehow was transfered to his legion. Additionally, if the player chooses to finish of Noah Prime themselves the Axe legion activates to help the player deal the final blow, mirroring the earlier scene.


Despite his appearance leading people to think he is the type to act before thinking, Max shows a strong ability to judge situations and act rationally. Because of this, he is a trusted captain by the members of the Neuron task force[1]. He is also described by Jin as being "more sensitive than he looks".[2] Also despite his rough appearance, he loves cats, creating a sanctuary for stray cats he finds in Maison Forest, as animals are not allowed in HQ.

Records indicate that Max was more hot-headed in his youth, which was weathered by his experiences during the Pandemic.