The Melnorme (pronounced /'mɛlnɔːmeɪ/), as far as we know, are a race of traveling traders in information and technology. They appear as several yellow globs piled on top of each other, with a large smile and a single eye.
The Melnorme's basic culture revolves around exchanges of items, information, and commodities. They believe that giving without receiving is barbaric. The Melnorme lustily search for new information about biological creatures and the ominous Precursor Rainbow Worlds, but to what end is unknown, although, it is probably safe to assume that they sell the information to someone else.
Melnorme are highly sensitive to color. Their bridge has a colorful background that changes to fit their mood or activities. Red is for travel, purple is generally assumed to be for trade (if one manages to find enough credits the Melnorme might even sell the information about turning purple1). When you meet a Melnorme with a blue bridge, know that he is locking his weapons systems on your ship.
The similarity in name between "Melnorme" and "Mael-Num", combined with the fact that the Mael-Num are being described as one-eyed creatures, may lead one to suspect there is a connection between the two. And indeed, Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford have confirmed that the Mael-Num are ancestors of the Melnorme. Presumably, the Melnorme would be willing to sell this information along with their full history, psychology, mental powers, their unique physiology, the exact location of homeworlds, and their ominous long-term plans. However, buying this information would indebt your whole species for centuries.
The Melnorme are never found in Hyperspace (unless you call them or they come offering to rescue you) and are generally encountered only around supergiant star systems. A Melnorme with the name Trademaster Greenish is always located in every supergiant star in the quadrant, apparently able to be at all supergiant sites at once or at least travel very quickly.
The Melnorme's Trader ship, while not designed as a warship, is still capable of defending itself. Its charging Chargeable Torpedos are known as the one thing that can actually absorb an Ur-Quan Fusion Blast and the Confusion Ray is capable of temporarily scrambling a ship's navigation and crippling its special systems.
The Melnorme have an aversion for the Druuge, who also sell fuel.
Notes and references
- 1In the original PC version, this information cost 120,000 Credits. In the 3D0 version this cost was raised to 12,000,000 Credits. Both of these amounts are unreachable in normal game play. Also, there is no response in the Melnorme conversation tree even if the player were to improperly obtain enough Credits and to try purchasing this information.