The Melnorme Trader is a large ship with a moderate turning rate and average speed. Mostly designed for long range travel and storage to support the Melnorme trade system, the Trader is not a ship of war. Given that, it is still quite capable of defending itself due to a recently acquired Keel-Verezy weapon system.
As stated previously, the Trader is not a very agile craft, but neither is it ponderously slow. Combined with its various weapon systems, the Trader's maneuverability becomes more than sufficient.
The primary weapon mounted on a Trader is a chargeable, long-range blaster weapon. The Melnorme Captain can prepare the projectile without releasing it. Doing so moves the weapon through several distinct (and colorful) stages. When it is finally released the projectile travels extremely fast, and will do considerably more damage the longer it has been charging. It has a very long range, and at full power it can do as much damage as a Shofixti glory device at point-blank range. It is also able to absorb a Dreadnought's fusion blast and other projectiles when at full power (red), with a notable exception being the Kohr-Ah Marauder's F.R.I.E.D.
The order of the main weapon's colors as it charges is green, blue, purple, then red. These colors correspond to the amount of damage that the weapon can inflict; the corresponding damages are two, four, eight and sixteen, respectively.
The ship's secondary weapon is a confusion ray — an elecromagnetic cannon that disrupts the enemy ship's control systems.1 A stunned enemy cannot activate their secondary weapon systems or control their attitude jets, but they are able to operate their primary weapon and thrusters normally. An enemy under the effect of the elecromagnetic confusion ray will spin helplessly, and become easy prey for the Trader. If this weapon is employed near the planet, then its effects can be quite perilous.
While charging the primary weapon, all energy generation systems are diverted into the the containment field. This means that Trader pilots should watch their fuel gauges closely, and not begin charging the weapon until they have enough energy left over for a Confusion Ray, or successive non-charged shots.
Mycon Podship: If the Trader can evade the Podship long enough to charge a blast into red, then it will be able to absorb all Plasmoids that the Podship sends. Once the Podship uses up all its batteries firing Plasmoids, the Trader can approach, fire the blast, and then fire two uncharged shots to destroy the ship.
Notes and references
- 1In the Star Control II PC manual (pg. 94), the secondary weapon is referred to as a "confusion ray". The 3DO ship information video refers to it as an "electromagnetic cannon".