One ugly Esper. Those that meet its magic glare turn to stone.Final Fantasy VI PlayStation esper section
Catoblepas is a dark green, quadrupedal creature with a single red eye and several tusks.
Catoblepas was one of several espers captured by the Gestahlian Empire during their first raid on the esper world. The captive espers were taken back to the Magitek Research Facility at Vector, and for sixteen years they were experimented on and had their magic drained to develop the Empire's Magitek army.
When the Returners infiltrated the facility and shut down the machinery draining the espers, they were too late to save them. With too much of their energy drained, they transformed into magicite and entrusted themselves to the Returners.
Catoblepas is a fairly useful esper in the World of Balance if confronting enemies vulnerable to Petrify, but its utility tapers off in the World of Ruin when the player acquires Fenrir which teaches Banish, which has a similar effect as Catoblepas in practice but works on all enemies vulnerable to Instant Death without concern for vulnerability to Petrify.
All of Catoblepas' spells are useful throughout the game, and it is the only way to learn all three of them. However this demands a hefty investment of time to master them, particularly Death.
Catoblepas (from the Greek expression καταβλέπω katablépō meaning "to look downwards") is a legendary creature from Ethiopia, described first by Pliny the Elder and later by Claudius Aelianus. It is said to have the body of a buffalo and the head of a wild boar. Its back has scales that protect the beast, and its head is always pointing downwards due to its head being heavy. Its stare or breath could either turn people into stone, or kill them.
Shoat is a word of unknown origin. Perhaps cognate with West Flemish schote "young piglet".