The Cardinal is a common summoning magic spell used as a sub-weapon by Maria Renard that involves twin cardinals being released into the air. One moves upward diagonally in one direction, while the other goes in the other direction. They then return to her.
The Cardinals are smaller forms of the Suzaku, the great Vermilion Sparrow (Vermilion is a shade of red-orange). The Cardinal's item crash releases Suzaku himself, whose effect varies by game. Suzaku was originally the Chinese constellation Zhuque, and is associated with the direction South, the season Summer, and the element of Fire. This is not to be confused with a Phoenix bird, which is also related to fire.
Game specific information
In the original Rondo of Blood, one bird is released at about 45° straight upward in one direction, then the other is released 45° in the other direction. They then return following the same path unless Maria has moved. This is the smallest amount of Hearts used by Maria for a sub-weapon and deals out a small amount of damage as well. It is found in the same locations where a Dagger is found for Richter Belmont. Its item crash involves a giant red bird grabbing Maria by the shoulders and then it proceeds to call forth a field of flaming piercing feathers from the sky in a downward-diagonal direction.
The red bird in the Sega Saturn version of Symphony of the Night is not a sub-weapon and does not resemble the bird found in Rondo of Blood. Instead, it is a spell that Maria can use at any time. Maria calls upon the spirit of Suzaku the Vermilion Bird (whose symbol flashes by) which summons an owl (Suzaku) familiar. This owl can perches on her shoulder briefly after being summoned and follows her around the castle. Whenever Maria attacks using a normal energy blast, it attacks by charging in a straight line forwards and slightly downwards. Maria can summon owls up to two.
Juste Belmont can also summon the Phoenix in Harmony of Dissonance by combining the Summoning Tome with the Dagger subweapon. When cast, a giant Phoenix will descend from the sky and unleash a rain of blade-sharp feathers to fall all over the screen.
Maria's Cardinals shoot up at a higher angle than in Rondo of Blood (about 60 degrees), and then make an arc above her head, then returning to her head at a steep angle. The two birds together trace out a heart-shape path. The difference in angles is probably due to the fact that Maria's Doves themselves travel at about a 45 degree upwards angle in this game. The birds deal fire damage to enemies. There are no item crashes in this game.
In this game, during a regular attack, Maria steps faces forwards (towards the player) with her head bowed and her legs crossed while massive flaming wings sprout from her back for several seconds, burning anything in an upwards and diagonal direction in both direction. In the item crash, after the symbol of the Vermilion Bird Suzaku appears and disappears, an armored great bird appears behind her and shoots a series of meteors in an arc above and below her that roughly meet at a point in front of her.
In the 3-D fighting game Judgment, Maria can call Suzaku's name and it imbues her owl with flames. The owl perched inside Maria's cage staff flies and spins Maria around, leaving a large trail of flames in its path.
Maria's vermilion bird is referred to by its Chinese name in this game, Zhue Que. The birds movements is altered from what it was in Portrait of Ruin. The birds are released in their normal 60 degree angle, but then loop around over her head and swoop down and away from her.
|Item Data: Cardinals|
|Image||Name - Game|
|Type / Users||Attributes / Consume||Statistics / Sell||Found||Notes|
|Consume: 1 Hearts (20 by using his Item Crash)|
|'|| Spell (Summon / Familiar / (Holy Beast)|
|Consume: 18 MP|| Find: Starts with.|| Sequence: ↑↗→↘↓ + [FIRE]|
Effect: Summons an Owl Familiar
|'|| Spell Fusion|
|Consume: 100 MP|| Create: Dagger + Summoning Tome|
| Attrib: Fire|
Consume: 14 MP
| Find: Starts with|| Effect: Sends two birds simultaneously flying in opposite directions (diagonally) which return to Maria.|
Special: Only available in Richter Mode.
|'|| Sub-Weapon (Holy Beast)|
| Attrib: Fire|
Consume: 2 Hearts (25 for crash)
| Effect: Two damaging wings appear on either side of Maria.|
Special: Item Crash.
| Attrib: Fire|| Find: starts with|| Sequence: A + B|
|Summon the Vermilion Bird and launch it upward.|| Sub-Weapon (Sacred Beast)|
| Attrib: Fire|
| ATK +|| Find: (starts with)|