Catoblepas, also known as Shoat, is an optional boss in Final Fantasy V found at a large island forest covered in mountains in the northwest, which is only accessible by submarine in Galuf's World. It appears as a random encounter, just like Ramuh in Bartz's World. Defeating it in battle grants the Catoblepas summon. The player obtains the spell in the inventory as an item, and needs to use it for it to be listed in the summon section.
One of the strategies to defeat Catoblepas quickly is by catching an Ironback near or in the cave at the Northern Lake and then releasing it, dealing over 5,000 HP damage that will kill the Catoblepas instantly. On the now defunct mobile and Steam versions, two Ironback releases are required as they deal less damage.
Fighting it normally is difficult unless the attackers have immunity to petrification (e.g, Aegis Shield). Missing that, the player should have plenty of Gold Needles before engaging, or have a White Magic-user ready to cast Esuna.
An alternative strategy is to have a Black Magic-user cast Poison at the start of the battle, then simply survive and recover from Catoblepas's attacks. Because the poison damage ticks will not cause the Demon Eye counter attack response, the party does not need to worry about being petrified.
While Stop duration is very short, Catoblepas will not counter if attacked while stopped. The player can time every attack they do immediately after successfully applying Stop to avoid the petrification response. Stop abilities at this point include:
- Beastmaster's Calm ability, as Catoblepas is a Magic Beast
- Singing Romeo's Ballad
- Time Magic's Stop spell
It is a good idea to Haste any Stop-users. Note that Stop does not work together well with Poison status, as poison damage does not occur while Catoblepas is stopped.
Behind the scenes
The enemy ability known as Resploder in the PS version and Chain Detonation in the GBA version, is named ゆうばく in Japanese. It may have been intended to be a special attack (as it appears in the attack lists for Ramuh, Catoblepas, Sekhmet, Sandworm, Exdeath's normal and tree forms, Archeoaevis, Gilgamesh, and Wendigo), but it is just a normal physical attack. Crystal Dragon has it as a Catch/Release ability, but when used as a Release it acts the same as a normal Attack. The ability was removed (at least from Crystal Dragon) in the iOS version.
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".
- This ability is a normal physical attack, but appears to be intended to be a special attack. See Behind the scenes for details.