- "Hmm. A gentleman after all. Thank you."
- —Maria Renard to Alucard, in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Maria Renard is a character in the Castlevania series. She is a young vampire huntress and a distant relative of the Belmont Clan. She is only twelve years old at the time she makes her first appearance in the series, yet she has already mastered the use of magic spells, animal spirits for familiars, and the four celestial beasts.
As a vampire huntress, the twelve year old Maria Renard stood up against Dracula's minions with the possession of her magical powers. However, she somehow was caught and brought to Dracula's Castle along with three other villagers: Iris, a doctor's daughter, Tera, a nun, and Annette, the fiancé of this current generation's Belmont warrior, Richter, who was a distant relative of Maria's family.
Maria was imprisoned in a dungeon near the sewage under the Main Hall. She was rescued by the vampire hunter Richter Belmont. Maria introduced herself to him, identifying herself as a vampire huntress despite her youth. Richter responded with a laugh and told her to leave the vampire hunting business to an elder man like himself, apparently because she was too young to fight, which made Maria upset.
During the final confrontation with Dracula, it is possible that Maria aided Richter by channeling all of her power to cast a powerful protection spell on him.
- "Well, we have to beat the bad man!"
- —Maria to Richter
Maria was born to aristocratic parents of the Renard Clan, which had distant blood ties to the Belmont Clan and were known to keep doves as pets for protection. It is not clear if Maria was aware of her warrior heritage, but she was born with a powerful magical potential and was very brave for a small girl.
In 1792, when she was twelve years old, the dark priest Shaft raided her village for women to offer as sacrifices to increase his lord Dracula's strength. Maria's parents were killed in the raid and she was taken off with three other villagers: Iris, a doctor's daughter, Tera, a nun, and Annette, the fiancé of this current generation's Belmont warrior, Richter. It was under these circumstances that Maria first met Annette, and they were initially brought to Dracula's Castle together. Having lost her parents, Maria and Annette formed a bond in captivity and Maria would start referring to Annette as her "big sister". Annette told her about Richter and how powerful he was and that she was sure that he would save them.
Shaft noticed that Maria had a hidden power inside of her and determined that it would be best used to serve Count Dracula. He separated Maria from Annette and brought her to a hidden ceremony room. There he cast a spell on her, which brought that power forward, but he was interrupted by Richter Belmont, who was able to find them. Shaft fled without a fight and Maria awoke to find Richter, as brave and as powerful as Annette had said he was. Richter was glad she was fine and asked her to go home to her parents, but she responded that since they were now in Heaven, she had nowhere else to go and would follow Richter.
She had a strong desire to save Annette and the other villagers, and stop the "bad man" who had captured them. When she became a little irritated by Richter's pleas for her for safety, she inadvertently summoned a dragon for the first time, which caught Richter off guard. It was now evident she was no longer a helpless girl, but had the power, will, and stubbornness to survive in the castle. Richter felt he had no choice but to allow her to help him.
Maria used newly awoken powers to gain dominion over animals, as well as the four Celestial Beasts, to protect her on her quest. Maria and Richter split up in order to search for the missing village maidens. The girls who Maria was able to save were very surprised, and perhaps a little disappointed, to be saved by a young girl instead of a strong young man, but very grateful, nonetheless. Throughout her ordeal and despite her loss, Maria remained cheerfully optimistic and confident in her abilities and her animal friends' help. They were eventually able to save all of the village maidens and Shaft was defeated.
In 1796, Richter vanished under the light of a full moon. Maria immediately set out to find her guardian and friend with no idea of where to start. After a year of searching, in 1797, Dracula's Castle reappeared as if to show her the way. While she set out to Dracula's Castle once again, unbeknown to her, Alucard, the dhampir son of Dracula who had put himself under an eternal sleep after defeating his father with Richter's ancestor, Trevor Belmont, three hundred years earlier, was mysteriously awoken from his slumber. Alucard also set out to the castle with the intent of destroying it and preventing Dracula's revival.
Maria and Alucard would meet several times while pursuing their separate goals. Maria was surprised to find another "human" in the castle, but when Alucard introduced himself at her request and explained what his goal was, she decided to trust him and both went their separate ways.
Maria had trouble getting around the castle after that, as its very form seemed different than the last time she was there. When she met up with Alucard again, she asked him about it and he explained that the castle itself was a creature of chaos and that it could take many forms. With this in mind, she continued her search.
She later witnessed a battle between Alucard and a Hippogryph and was very impressed by the strength he had shown during the battle. She decided to ask Alucard to help her find Richter, or at least let her know if he ran across him. Alucard agreed, although she did not like what he had to say about him once he did encounter him. He had told her that he was in league with Dracula and claimed to be the lord of the castle. Maria was relieved that Richter was indeed alive and in the castle, but couldn't believe what Alucard had said about him, so she left in a hurry to find out for herself. She eventually found out that what Alucard was saying was the truth, but she knew he was being controlled somehow. She was not confident in her own ability to face and defeat Richter, however, and she decided to test Alucard's strength to determine if he was up to the task. Alucard was able to defeat her and she entrusted saving Richter to him. She pleaded for him not to harm Richter, but both agreed he had to be stopped, so she gave him the Holy Glasses to enable him to see through evil illusions.
Alucard faced off against Richter in the Castle Keep, but was now able to see the mysterious orbs that allowed the dark priest, Shaft, to control Richter, and in the middle of their battle, he destroyed them, thus releasing Richter from his spell. While Alucard chased Shaft into an inverted castle in order to prevent Dracula's resurrection, Maria helped the wounded Richter escape from the castle. They went to a ridge a safe distance from the castle and waited for Alucard to finish his task. As they watched the castle crumble in the aftermath of Alucard's victory, Alucard met up with them at that ridge in order to bid them farewell. He told them that his blood was cursed and that the world would be better off to be rid of him, and he departed to return to his deep slumber. This was unacceptable to Maria, who had developed a strong affection toward Alucard and could not imagine him not being a part of her life. After Richter assured her that it was fine, she set out to convince him to stay.
Apparently, Maria succeeded in convincing Alucard to stay and the two of them are now living in a house outside town. Knowing that it would be difficult for Alucard's tormented soul to heal after killing his own father, she cared and was affectionate toward him, but despite her best efforts, he remained emotionally distant.
One day, Alucard was having a dream about his past and his meeting with a strange young man named Lyudmil, who offered his friendship on the grounds of gratitude toward Alucard's mother, Lisa. The dream was interrupted by Maria, who walked into the room to wake him up. The two ended up in an argument about Alucard not opening up to her, not telling her anything about himself. After his imp insulted her cooking and Alucard agreed, Maria headed to the market to buy food in an attempt to change their mind. There, she received a letter from Richter about certain dark rumors surrounding their town. He seemed to be especially concerned about Alucard, even though he refused to believe he was involved.
On her way back, she ran across two men, Cyril and Alexis, who claimed to be vampire hunters. The two warned her about recent reports on vampire attacks on women and urged her to go home. Soon after they were gone, she encountered an incubus named Magnus, who gleefully explained to her that Alucard was evil and thirsted for human blood. She attacked him, although he had no desire to fight back; Magnus left with a promise to meet her again.
Despite what she wanted to believe, Alucard confirmed Magnus' words and Maria, stricken with grief, stormed out. Later, she decided to go back and help Alucard, but ran into Cyril and Alexis again. The two mentioned a special "medicine", which Maria recognized as dangerous. She tried to take it away from them and in the ensuing struggle, the vial dropped to the ground. Maria, enveloped in fog, lost consciousness. She was found by Richter and taken back home, where she awakened only to discover she could no longer contact her guardian spirits. She insisted on fighting at Alucard's side, despite the circumstances, but Alucard himself dismissed her and set to face Magnus alone.
Maria followed him anyway and arrived just in time to find him losing a mental struggle against Magnus, who was using Alucard's old friendship with Lyudmil, now a vampire under the incubus' influence and the real culprit behind the attacks in the village, as a tool to bring out Alucard's vampiric instincts. Magnus attempted to kill her, but despair reconnected her with her spirits, thus turning the tide of the battle.
Witnessing Maria's brush with death, Alucard finally displayed some emotion toward her. He apologized and Maria ungrudgingly accepted it. However, despite the defeat of Magnus, Alucard still had a deeply regretful farewell to Lyudmil, whom he was unable to save.
Maria is portrayed as a cute and innocent-looking little girl with long golden blond or reddish-blond hair, depending on the game. Her eyes are blue-green colored, very big and expressive. During the events of Rondo of Blood, Maria wears a blue ribbon, a long pink dress, and small brown boots, while wearing a two piece pink outfit with a long blue sash around her waist in The Dracula X Chronicles.
In Symphony of the Night, Maria sports a short emerald green tunic with gold cuffs on its short sleeves, silver decorative linings around the edges, long brown leather gloves above her elbows, short black shorts, a thick golden sash around her waist that reaches toward her above her ankles, long white stockings with emerald green ribbons for the edges, and golden shoes.
Maria Renard appears at the age of twelve in the 1993 NEC PC Engine game Castlevania: Rondo of Blood. After being rescued by Richter, Maria can be selected as a playable character when continuing the game. Her primary weapons are doves instead of a whip, and her sub-weapons include a Cat, a Turtle, Cardinals, a Dragon, an Egg, a Book of Music, and a Key. Each of these has an Item Crash associated with it that when used unleashes a devastating attack or a special action at the cost of extra Hearts.
In addition to her normal attacks, by entering ↑, ↓, → (←), II, Maria can perform a special attack known as the Guardian Knuckle, which projects a shadow image of herself forward, attacking enemies without even approaching them.
Maria is able to perform sliding and double jumping, being the first character to introduce these actions into the series. Unlike Richter's bulky actions, her movements are smoother and quicker. All these features make Maria an easier option for novice players.
- Main article: Maria Renard/Symphony of the Night
Maria was going to be put in the 1997 game Castlevania: Symphony of the Night as a playable character, but was cut back due to time constraints. Her voice tracks were discovered to be already stored in the game's RAM on the PlayStation version, confirming her participation as a playable character.
She is shown in artwork as having an owl on her shoulder, which seems to have replaced her doves, and would be shown in action in later versions of the game. She also appeared as a boss as well in later versions.
- Main article: Maria Renard/Symphony of the Night/Saturn
Maria is a playable character selectable from the start of the game of the Sega Saturn version Symphony of the Night.
Her fighting style has changed drastically in this game as she does not use animal summons as sub-weapons. Her main attacks consist of kicking and punching. She is able to perform energy blasts from her fingertips to strike targets in the distance. She is able to equip and use the same sub-weapons that Richter is able to use, except that she cannot perform their item crashes. She has a magic meter like Alucard and can perform spells granted from the spiritual energy from the animals that appeared in Castlevania: Rondo of Blood. She can also use a bit of this magic to perform a high jump.
- Main article: Maria Renard/Symphony of the Night/DXC
She now uses some of her four traditional animal sub-weapons once again and is able to switch back and forth between two of them. Her animal friends have reached maturity too along with Maria herself and this time around, she can item crash these animals. She also has a Doll sub-weapon just like her hidden attack in Castlevania: Rondo of Blood and it can also be item crashed. Her primary attack Doves have been replaced with Owls. She can also high jump and slowly float back down, by holding one of her owls above her head.
Though Maria has no mention in the story of the game, she is a hidden character alongside Richter Belmont in the 2006 Nintendo DS game Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, which officially made this the first game in the series for international audiences outside of Japan to play as Maria.
Her primary weapon are her doves once more, although she is able to send them out very rapidly in this game. She maintains most of her four animal sub-weapons that appeared in Castlevania: Rondo of Blood and is able to select them at will. She is not able to perform item crashes in this game.
Maria is playable in the 3D remake of Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, which is included in the 2007 Sony PlayStation Portable game Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles. Her moves and abilities are essentially the same as they appeared in the original game.
An alternate version of Maria appears in the Super Famicom version of Dracula X. While still retaining her role as Annet's little sister, both have in fact been made blood relatives this time around, whereas in the original version they were not.
She is not a playable character in this game, nor does she display any fighting or magical abilities. Her participation is reduced as being just another damsel in distress that needs to be rescued. In fact, finding her is required in order to obtain the best ending.
Her physical appearance has also been drastically changed from her Rondo of Blood counterpart, this time portraying a less flamboyant outfit and fashioning a loose and shorter hairstyle.
- Main article: Maria Renard/Judgment
Maria appears as a non-playable character in story mode of Encore of the Night. She also is available as a playable character in Arcade Mode.
- Main article: Maria Renard/Harmony of Despair
- Maria Renard from Rondo of Blood makes cameo as Keychain in Tokimeki Memorial: Forever with you.
- Maria Renard from Rondo of Blood makes a brief cameo in the interactive game TwinBee PARADISE in Donburishima.
|Enemy Data: Maria Renard|
|Image||Name - Game|
|Vampire hunter looking for Richter Belmont.|| Strong: Holy, Stone (immune)|
| Castle Center|
|Vampire hunter. Uses 4 beasts of legend. Seeks Richter.|| Strong: Holy (tolerance), Stone (immune)|
| Castle Center|
- Maria's surname renard is a French word, which literally means "fox" when translated.
- Her alternate appearance in the Gekkan PC Engine magazine is apparently based on her sprite from Castlevania: Rondo of Blood. This design also appears on the Portrait of Ruin images and is used as the basis for her appearance in Harmony of Despair.
- Her sprite in Dracula X is modified from her Rondo of Blood version with a different hairstyle. However, the dress color is different from the one in the instruction booklet.
- It seems that Maria's sprite from the canceled game "Castlevania: The Bloodletting" might be modified into Salome from Symphony of the Night.
- In Dracula X Chronicles, young Maria is wearing what looks like a boy's outfit, when other designs of her have always featured more feminine dresses or skirts.
- In Symphony of the Night, Maria is referred as Richter's sister-in-law. However, after a newer version of the official timeline was released, it is stated that Maria is adopted by the Belmont family, explaining how she became Richter's adopted sister.
- Note that the Japanese term "義妹" (gimai) could refer to either "sister-in-law" and "adopted sister".
- Though the US PSX version of Symphony of the Night profile indicates that she had no relation to the Belmonts, the original Rondo of Blood instruction booklet does indicate that she did have ties to them. This was reasserted in the North American instruction booklets of Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles and Castlevania Judgment.
- In Castlevania Judgment, Maria is said to have become orphaned since her parents were killed by Dracula. This comes from the remake of Rondo of Blood, in which she says her parents were killed but never reveals by who or when.
- In addition, Maria was originally said to be prepared for a sacrificial ritual in the instruction booklet for Rondo of Blood. In the remake, this was changed to Shaft unlocking her latent abilities in an attempt to get her to serve Dracula. This revision is also apparent in Maria's Judgment appearance.
- The Judgment version of Maria Renard was not well received by fans, mostly due to her abuse in comic relief, as well as her fixation on other female characters' anatomy, which made her appear hollow and unpleasant compared to her good nature and brave personality presented in the rest of her appearances.
- Maria's voice actress, Michelle Ruff, also provided the voice of Shanoa in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Page 13 of the instruction booklet for Castlevania: Rondo of Blood
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Castlevania Timeline
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Page 6 of the Japanese instruction booklet for Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
- ↑ As depicted at the beginning of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, in Final Stage: Bloodlines, which retells the events occurred at the end of Rondo of Blood.
- ↑ Description for "doves" in Castlevania: Order of Shadows implies this.
- ↑ This only occurred in the PSP version of Symphony of the Night. In the PlayStation version, she was already convinced that Alucard was up to the task.
- ↑ Details in this paragraph are based on a fan translation from the Crystal Sanctuary blog and could be inaccurate.
- ↑ Akumajō Dracula timeline at Konami.jp
- ↑ Page 04 of the North American instruction booklet for Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Page 21 of the North American instruction booklet for Castlevania Judgment
- Maria Renard at the Castlevania Fan Wiki.
- Castlevania: Rondo of Blood instruction booklet (translated) at the Castlevania Dungeon
- Playing as Maria in Rondo of Blood from Quebec Gamers (3.7 MB)
- Playing as Maria in Nocturne in the Moonlight from Quebec Gamers (9.1 MB)
|Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin|
|Jonathan Morris - Charlotte Aulin - Wind - Vincent Dorin|
|Brauner - Stella - Loretta - Death - Dracula|
|Richter Belmont - Maria Renard - Old Axe Armor|
|Main Game Bosses|
|Dullahan - Behemoth - Keremet - Astarte - Legion - Dagon |
The Creature - Mummy Man - Werewolf - Medusa
|Nest of Evil Bosses|
|Balore - Gergoth - Zephyr - Aguni - Abaddon - Doppelganger|
Fake Trevor, Fake Sypha and Fake Grant
|Entrance - Great Stairway - Buried Chamber - Tower of Death - Master's Keep - The Throne Room|
|City of Haze - Nation of Fools - Sandy Grave - Forest of Doom|
13th Street - Burnt Paradise - Forgotten City - Dark Academy - Nest of Evil
|Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin Original Soundtrack|
|BradyGames Portrait of Ruin Official Strategy Guide - Konami Akumajō Dracula: Gallery of Labyrinth Official Guide|
|Bestiary - Inventory - Sisters Mode - Richter Mode - Old Axe Armor Mode|
|Warriors of the Light|
|Simon - Maria - Trevor - Sypha - Eric - Shanoa - Grant|
|Warriors of the Night|
|Alucard - Cornell - Carmilla - Golem - Death - Dracula - Aeon|
|Zombie - Merman - Minotaur - Iron Gladiator - Giant Squid - Giant Fish - Time Reaper|
|Abbey Ruins - Alchemy Laboratory - Castle Gate - Cathedral - Clock Tower - Crystal Cavern - Dimensional Rift|
Ghost Ship - Throne Room - Torture Chamber
|Darkness of Fear - Castlevania Judgment Original Soundtrack|
|Ultimate Judge Guidebook|
|Bestiary - Inventory - Timeline - True Story Mode|