Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin
Image: Konami

Maria Renard is a fan favourite character who has appeared across various Castlevania games, ever since her debut in 1993's Castlevania: Rondo of Blood.

The young vampire huntress is usually a bonus or unlockable character in the Castlevania games in which she appears and has the ability to control a ferocious pack of wild animals using her magical powers. For example, in the Nintendo DS game Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, Maria appears as a playable character alongside Richter Belmont, after unlocking that game's "Richter mode" with the main protagonists Jonathan Morris and Charlotte Aulin.

As the Twitter user @CDRomance_Spike recently spotted, however, fans of Portrait of Ruin have released an exciting new hack that introduces an expanded "Maria +" mode. "Catslevania" Portrait of Ruin, as the hack is officially titled, lets players take control of Maria from the get-go and replaces Richter Belmont with Maria's cat companion Byakko.

Other changes include the ability to use all armor and accessories with both characters, the introduction of new custom weapons and attacks, and the capacity to use spells mid-air, among other tweaks.

You can download the hack here if you want to give it a try.

Have you given it a try yet? Let us know what you think!

[source, via]