Trade Master Greenish
The Melnorme (pronounced /'mɛlnɔːmeɪ/), as far as we know, are a race of traveling traders in information and technology. They appear as several orange 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 offer to buy from The Captain new information about alien life-forms and the strange Precursor Rainbow Worlds, without specifying how they use the data, though it is probably safe to assume that they simply sell it to someone else. They claim that they have "a thousand secret sources in space and time" and that their charge for revealing even one of them would indebt the whole Human species for centuries.
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 pays enough credits the Melnorme offer to sell the information about turning purple1). A blue bridge signifies a response to an unexpected threat and emotional distress, also having the effect to permit the Melnorme Trade Master see his weapon consoles more clearly.
The Melnorme possess a large amount of knowledge and technology, including a device called the MetaChron that can predict its own destruction. They also claim that they can predict The Captain's arrival using Tzo crystals.
The similarity in name between "Melnorme" and "Mael-Num", combined with the fact that the Mael-Num are being described as one-eyed creatures by the Kohr-Ah, 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 "potentially ominous" long-term plans.
The Melnorme are never found in HyperSpace (unless The Captain calls them or they come offering to rescue him if he runs out of fuel), but they can be encountered around supergiant star systems. A Melnorme Trader is always located in every supergiant star in our region of space.
The Melnorme's Trader ship, while not designed as a warship, is still capable of defending itself, possessing a weapon system which Greenish claims he had bought from the Keel-Verezy just one month before his first meeting with The Captain. Its variable power blaster is 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, seeing their prices as "unreasonably low" (though, curiously, they do not mention anything about Druuge slave trading, piracy or unfair deals); the Druuge also hate the Melnorme, invoking instead that their prices are high, that they "charge fees for common knowledge" and that their rescue service is piracy.
Trading with the Melnorme
- See also: List of Melnorme trade goods
In Star Control II, the Melnorme have the following goods for sale:
- Fuel: 1 Credit per unit.
- Information: 75 Credits per piece of information
- Technology: 150 Credits per piece of technology
The Melnorme are also willing to pay for certain things:
Notes and references
- 1In the original PC version, this information costs 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.