Cat (also known as Byakko or Bai Hu) is a summoning magic spell ability used as a sub-weapon by Maria Renard in Castlevania: Rondo of Blood and Portrait of Ruin, and by Soma Cruz in Castlevania: Aria or Sorrow and Dawn of Sorrow with a Student Witch's soul. The ability summons a cat that runs along the floor damaging any enemy that gets in its way, until it hits a wall or exits the screen. This cat is a miniature version of Bai Hu, a white tiger with black stripes from Chinese mythology. The item crash for the cat unleashes the great Byakko himself, which has different incarnations depending on the game.
A white black striped cat leaps from Maria's arms and runs along the ground, charging at any enemies in its path. If it strikes an enemy, it is stunned for a second, then leaps a little and continues moving forward. After a while it disappears. If it runs into a ledge, it will be stunned and then try to jump over it if it is small enough. It is found at the same locations where Richter would find an Axe.
Its item crash involves Maria riding Byakko, the giant white tiger. The tiger starts on ground level, then turns around at the end of the screen and races mid-screen, then reaches the end again, turns around, and races at the top of the screen.
When defeated, a Witch will turn into a small black cat and scurry away at full speed along the floor, inflicting minimal damage to the player if they stand on its path. This ability would return in later incarnations, such as in Aria of Sorrow, although in those cases the cat would merely appear for aesthetics and not deal any damage at all.
Wearing the Cat-Eye Circlet allows Alucard to restore some HP by being hit by these small critters. However, other feline enemies, such as the Lion or the Black Panther, will still deal full damage, nonetheless.
The Cat in the Sega Saturn version of Symphony of the Night is not a sub-weapon and does not resemble the Cat found in Rondo of Blood. Instead, it's a spell that Maria can use at any time. Maria calls upon the spirit of Byakko, the white tiger, which allows her to cast a great spell of flames that come out of her hands. Maria is invulnerable while the spell is being cast.
Student Witches can toss purple cats at Soma. When absorbing their souls he can duplicate this ability, which is similar to Maria's Cat sub-weapon. However, it is blue (to match Soma's color), unlike Maria's white-striped tiger cat.
Soma has ⅛ chance to throw a kitten instead of an adult cat. This is merely an aesthetic change, however, as it doesn't change its attack power.
Maria's black and white cat is released and charges at enemies. In this game, it keeps on running through enemies instead of bouncing off of them. It also deals Electric damage, causing massive damage to armor type enemies, which are vulnerable to its ground based attack. The cat stops moving once it hits a wall and then disappears. It also disappears once its time has run out.
In The Dracula X Chronicles version of Symphony of the Night, Maria's cat behaves more like it did in the original Rondo of Blood and its 2.5D remake. It tries to jump over ledges and attacks enemies multiple times if they get in its way. For its Item Crash, a giant symbol for Byakko, the white tiger, appears and then the tiger appears behind Maria. For a time, whenever she attacks using her owls, tiger's claw swipe marks appear at various distances in front of her.
Maria's Cat appears as it does in Portrait of Ruin and deals out Thunder damage.
|Item Data: Cat|
|Image||Name - Game|
|Type / Users||Attributes / Consume||Statistics / Sell||Found||Notes|
|Consume: 3 Hearts (20 by using his Item Crash)|
|'|| Spell (Summon / (Holy Beast))|
|Consume: 30 MP|| Find: Starts with.|| Sequence: ↑↓↘→ + [FIRE]|
Effect: flame attack
|Releases a lethal cat that runs full-speed at enemies.|| Bullet Soul|
|Consume: 20 MP|| 65 AP|| Rarity: 20|
Drop: Student Witch
|Summon a cat.|| Bullet Soul|
|Consume: 12 MP|| Rarity: **|
Drop: Student Witch
| Attrib: Electric|
Consume: 14 MP
| Find: Starts with|| Effect: Sends Byakko running toward the direction Maria is currently facing.|
Special: Only available in Richter Mode.
|'|| Sub-Weapon (Holy Beast)|
| Attrib: Thunder|
Consume: 1 Heart
| Effect: Can run forward.|
Special: Item Crash (15 Hearts).
| Find: Starts with|
|Summon the White Tiger and let it run free.|| Sub-Weapon (Sacred Beast)|
| Attrib: Lightning|
| ATK +|| Find: (starts with)|
- Byakko was originally a Chinese constellation known as Bái Hǔ the White Tiger. It was one of the "Four Symbols" and represented the West and the Autumn season.