More specifically, Ilwrath refugees from one of civil wars, maybe even overthrown priests of Dogar & Kazon. Even this name gets along with the "translated Ilwrath" phonetics. And then it will be only natural than they:
- have excellent cloaks — as a branch of the infamous Ilwrath tech;
- implied to be less than benevolent — they are likely to belong either to the last Religion of Evil or to one of possible alternative doctrines that lost to it in previous civil war;
- somehow interested in the Alliance remnants' cause, or at least more hostile to the Hierarchy — kin who kicked back sides of their abdomenal segments are Battle Thralls in Hierarchy;
- don't want to show themselves to Humans — it's rather obvious what reaction to expect if they're really freakin' Ilwrath...
It is also possible that they are the followers of the original Ilwrath religion - it is implied that the Ilwrath originally worshipped many gods and were very oriented to the idea of good, then they got tired of it and it backfired in the form of horrible Religion of Evil.
They were pure good. Then they tried to become little bit even more good, which resulted them going off the scale and hitting opposite end. Like traveling a ring.
Melnorme allowed Probes plague as a weapon against Ur-Quan.
So the Melnorme sold the Slylandro these self-replicating robot probes. The Slylandro screw up the programming and turn the things into an all-consuming plague of von Neumann probes that threaten to destroy all life in the galaxy, starting with mobile spacecraft and working their way down to planets and space dust. The Melnorme are clearly aware that this is happening, and yet they make no effort to prevent it. They know exactly what's wrong with the probes, but they don't do anything about them, even though they have the self-destruct code for the probes. Why? Don't they care that all their customers will get eaten by these things eventually? Aren't they worried about being attacked by angry aliens who resent their irresponsibility? The answer is surprisingly simple:
The Slylandro Probes are a Batman Gambit by the Melnorme. Based on facts you can purchase from them, the Melnorme know a lot about the Ur-QuanDoctrinal War. They expect the Kohr-Ah to win, in which case the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za will stand by and let them kill everyone who isn't Ur-Quan. Even if the Kzer-Za win, that isn't exactly a good thing for non-Ur-Quan life either, because the Kzer-Za will enslave everyone. The Melnorme are in no position to defeat the Ur-Quan directly, so they have to use an indirect solution. Their plan is to use the Slylandro as patsies to create a fleet of self-replicating robot probes that will eventually destroy every starfaring fleet in the region. That includes the two warring Ur-Quan fleets. So the Kohr-Ah may eventually win their war... but it won't matter because by that time their ships will be hopelessly outnumbered by hordes of We Come in Peace — Shoot to Kill probes.
Note that the Melnorme are presumably the Mael-Num (the escaped one-eyed race of the Sentient Milieu) and thus probably know a lot about the Ur-Quan...
When the Melnorme find out about The Captain and his operation in the region, they switch over to a new plan and decide to support the Captain (for a nominal fee).
As a general strategic rule, you can reach pretty much any position in a straight up charge if you have enough men. While the Sa-Matra may well be able to kill a trillion of these things per square inch they advance, if they have infinite resources they eventually will reach it. The question is whether they can get that many before the Sa Matra gets turned in their direction.
Hopefully, the Melnorme have a plan to destroy all the probes once the Ur-Quan fleets have been destroyed.
Presumably they would use the self-destruct code, like you and the Slylandro can during the game.
The only problem is that however mayhem probes can cause, they still cannot stop Sa-Matra.
It's a serious flaw in their plan, but they may not know that. There's no evidence that the Melnorme are aware of the Sa-Matra's existence. They never mention it to you, even though it is clearly in their interests for you to find and destroy it. You have to learn about it from some other source to win the game. And the Melnorme plan probably would work to destroy the Ur-Quan fleets if the Sa-Matra isn't considered.
If the Melnorme are the "one-eyed Mael-num," and the Kzer-Za were using the Sa-Matra in the first Doctrinal Conflict, there's a good bet that the Melnorme know about it. (Although if they don't sell you any information about it, that might be evidence that they don't.)
No they don't. Doctrional War begun when both fleets appeared on the orbit of Mael-num homeworld. During the initial battle, Mael-num escaped. Sa-Matra was was found much later, so it should be somewhat suprise even to Mael-num (unless they got good spies, which isn't that much far off).
A nigh-infinite number of probes might not be able to destroy the Sa-Matra, but they might just be able to disable it. In the game, you can attack the Sa-Matra with conventional ships and render it unable to launch any effective attacks- in fact, you more or less have to do this before you can deliver the finishing blow with the Precursor Bomb. With a big enough fleet of Slylandro probes, you could at least cause enough superficial damage to make the Sa-Matra useless as a weapon of planetary destruction.
You aren't really fighting the Sa-Matra, just its auto-defense systems. The Dynarri paralyzed its crew, remember? The way the Chenjesu talked about the Sa-Matra, and how its "annihilation toroids" could destroy you from across a solar system, it seems doubtful that any number of any non-Precursor ship could disable it.
No omnicide, just one big no-fly zone. 2418-B seems to be safe for anything shielded by an atmosphere. Even if they has safe reentry routine (and they don't), they won't try anything but "approach and zap", so — "Look, funny meteors!".
That's the thing about von Neumann machines. Once you get them started, they can take out almost anything by attrition. Imagine what would happen to an Earthlike planet if hordes of Probes descended on it after taking apart the local asteroid belts and moons. Even if each individual probe just burns up on reentry, the cumulative effect would be like a nuclear winter, with massive clouds of burnt-up Probe smoke choking the atmosphere.
All this might've made a lot of sense... If Kohr-Ah ships weren't the best possible choice for obliterating probes with. A plot to take out the Khor-Ah with 2418-B Probes is analogous to taking out the Wehrmacht with a horde of berserk and horny bunny rabbits.
Quoth Uncle Joe, "Quantity has a quality all its own." The Kohr-Ah ships may be the BEST choice to take out probes, but even they aren't perfect and can in fact be defeated (if you have ever pitted those ships against each other in the instant battle setup). The Wehrmacht would be able to take out vast numbers of berserk and horny bunnies, perhaps even a hundred to a person, but if the enemy has nearly infinite resources and attack in swarms to maximize their numerical superiority, they WILL eventually win. By the time the Kohr-Ah get finished with the Kzer-Za, they'll have taken pretty nasty losses in any event, Sa-Matra or no (particularly if you did things like send the Thraddash after both of them). The probes will have a several YEAR headstart to multiply into swarms large enough to hold out against the Kohr-Ah, and considering that they can probably partially recycle their own losses and the wreckage from their kills, it's quite possible that it MAY have worked.
The problem with this is thus: WHY would the Melnorme wait until the Sylandro buy the probes in order to get the damned plan in motion? Von Neuman machines by definition take time to "heat up" and get into stride, and the longer they delay, the less time there is for the probes to multiply enough to take on the Ur-Quan fleets.
It's possible that they have to let someone else buy the probes just because they can't do anything benevolent.
It's their culture. In their culture, giving (in this case healing the galaxy) without receiving something in return is considered vulgar and barbaric. Since the galaxy is not excatly in position to actualy pay anything and propably never would be, they use proxies.
How were the Melnorme supposed to know that the Slylandro would turn the dial up to "999"? The Slylandro don't say anything about the Melnorme helping them program it. And if part of the Melnorme gambit was to have the Captain defeat the Kohr-Ah — and given the way they seem to be pinning their hopes on you, it was — why would they knowingly unleash something that has a good chance of killing you while you're still vulnerable?
It could be probes were first plan, but after Captain appers and starts kicking ass, they might consider they get more out of helping Captain(for nominal fee). Let's see... they can get into contact in natural way, their goal(defeat of Ur-Quan race) is achieved, they get to establish trade relations AND they get cash from it. Compare to probe gambit: Ur-Quans are defearted. I think Melrome thought "Capain > Probes" and ditched the probe plan.
That doesn't track. If the Melnorme intended the probes for use as weapons, they wouldn't be attacking ships with their replication systems. Each probe is equipped with a battery of missiles; if they wanted the probes to destroy any ship they came across, they'd be programmed to use those instead. Then again, perhaps the replication lightning is EXACTLY what's needed to break down the Sa-Matra into component materials...
Alternately, the probes were a desperation ploy, before the Captain came along, and the Melnorme wanted to work through a proxy so as to keep a degree of separation between them and the probes. Better to be the harmless vagabond traders than Enemy Number One. Maybe their plan involved finding a powerful enough transmitter to take down all the probes at once after the Ur Quan were (hopefully) daelt with, or at the very least, that it was be the perfect problem to figure out after they dealt with the omnicidal and omni-enslaving alien races currently rampaging across the galaxy. Then this young human comes along with a Precursor starship...
The Eldritch Abomination that is the Orz can't exist on our plane, so it converted the Androsynth into the Orz so that it can have an avatar in this plane. It now wants to do the same to other races, the *parties* it mentions constantly.
Possible. There are no Androsynth bodies anywhere, only ruins.
They encouraged the Captain to use it even before he knew about it, with that "enemy of your enemy" line. They saved it in the first place, when they've been willing to abandon non-humans to get killed before (see also: abandoning the old Alliance. Sure, they wouldn't have been exterminated, but since they weren't about to surrender a lot of bloodshed first was inevitable).
Why help Earth win its freedom, when they said they were pleased about the shield? Well, either they were lying about that— otherwise, why help them fight against it in the first place?— or they knew about the New Alliance and figured that Earthlings running loose was better than Earthlings getting decimated for defiance or roasted by the Kohr-Ah.
Maybe they first planned to see which one wins and then evacuate Humans if needed. Then they see a rogue human actualy beating Hierarchy left and right, they took the opportunity. Think about it, they get rid of threats against humans AND they don't need to pull some incredably unbelievable excuse as WHY they would rescue them. Just tell them "We wanted to help you".
The substitutions used when the Orz talk aren't random, but actually mean something. The idea came to me in chemistry class—the teacher showed a molecule on a projector screen, and I noted its resemblance to a collection of bubbles. "Orz are not made of *bubbles*"—so they're non-molecular in structure! Presumably, other words have similar substitutes.
Pretty much confirmed in the game, the translation is closest thing the system can produce.
Except why would the Orz word/concept for "molecules" be untranslatable? Furthermore, if they, or at least their manifestations in Truespace are not made of molecules, what are they made of? They and their ship certainly seem to react to enemy weapons fire in exactly the same ways as regular molecular matter. It seems more likely that when the Orz say that they "are not made of *bubbles*," they are saying they are not individual, discrete entities as are the lifeforms native to Truespace. Rather, they are all connected manifestations of a single, extraspatial entity.
At one point they say "I am Orz. I am the one with many *fingers*." I once read somewhere a metaphor that when a hand rises up from water, at first the fingertips look like separate objects, but they are revealed to be connected.
That was my interpretation. "Orz are not *many bubbles*... I am Orz. I am one with many *fingers*. My *fingers* reach through into *heavy space* and you *see* *Orz bubbles* but it is really *fingers*." Seems pretty clear to me. (Which may be a bad sign, come to think of it. Where is that damned buzzing coming from??)
Except we also get "camper", "happy cows" etc. System produces closest thing it can. Of course, Orz way of saying "molecule" could be so alien that system just picks closest it can, which in this case becomes "bubble". Civilization becomes "campers". Battle becomes "dance". They all mean something but their original words are so weird that the system just picks the best translation it can.
Actually I think *many bubbles* might actually mean multicellular organism, not molecular structure. To an Energy Being type Eldritch Abominationcells in DNA-based life would look like bubbles. If you don't believe me search on The Other Wiki or Google up somewhere learning about cells, you might see at the appearance of cells that they might look like bubbles to a particularly strange extradimensional being that has no prior concept of cellular life (likely from an 11-dimension universe, and considering the Orz, I'd think one probably like the hell-dimension in Event Horizon), as likely the only other beings they knew of prior to the Androsynth were refugee Taalo, who were likely silicon or sulphur-based. I don't think the Orz mean molecules as *bubbles*.
I was always under the impression that *many bubbles* meant something along the lines of individual minds or souls which if Orz are all part of the same being(which most indications indicate this is so) then they do not have the concept of individual minds and thus they do not have a word for it, hence *many bubbles*. Also I thought *campers* referred to the fact that, from their inter-dimensional perceptive, most True Space beings don't really go anywhere and thus are camping out. Also I do not think *dancing* means just combat, as the computer could translate that. I think it is a more encompassing concept of maneuvering, fighting, dying, living and probably more interdimensional stuff we have no words for(I always make note that they say *IT IS DANCING* not Orz or *campers*, it without any real indication of what it meant). That is the thing about having things humans writing about things humans have not experienced or even hypothesized is that it makes it hard for humans to discuss...
The damage to their cities is in fact the results of the 'Reckoning' and the resulting hail of meteorites.
The crazy ghost shit? They discovered the Furthest Ring and may have pissed off the Noble Circle of Horrorterrors or someone lower than them on that hierarchy.
The 'They' which the Arilou refer to are the intellects which are behind Sburb. The Orz are either servants of that power or members of the continuum of beings of which The Noble Circle of Horrorterrors represent the apex. The *Time Jokes* which the Orz refer to are in fact the Weird Time Shit inherent in every session observed to date.
Perhaps the Taalo escaped into a session of Sburb when the Dynarri's puppeteered minions came for them and now play the role of the Trolls to the Androsynth's Kids.
The Taalo may have become the villains in Star Control III if Toys For Bob's predecessors had made it rather than Accolade reps
Remember that the Orz referred to *playing* with the Taalo in *Pretty Space*? Given the nature of the Orz *Pretty Space* very well could have been a dimension that was some kind of Fire and Brimstone HellRecycled IN SPACE! (think the hell-dimension in the movie Event Horizon and you have the idea). Somehow, maybe the Taalo would return even more traumatised than the Ur-Quan for that, changed from (likely) peaceful-looking rockmen into jagged demon-like things similar to the Pyroviles from that Pompeii episode of Doctor Who, except with some weird, dark, likely sickly green Hellfire type energy liked to Pretty Space animating them, and looking very much in their shape like demons due to both their forced adaptation to *Pretty Space* and its hazards such as the Orz and others? Most likely agenda would be to pull a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum first by escaping back to True Space and then pulling at least a Class X-3 if not a Class X-4 or even trying for a Class Z on the Apocalypse How scale, due to having basically had to avoid extinction by in a sense fleeing down to hell. Even if the Orz later abandoned the New Alliance, the Taalo would find out, and then decide on a Fate Worse than Death for humanity for the Captain having blindly thrown his lot in with the Orz. Oh, and did I mention the Taalo would have abandoned their pacifism in order to survive and they've got weapons all the way from simple tools of destruction (energy weapons etc) to weaponised Brown Note things like that tentacle effect the Suul'ka from Sword of the Stars used at the nastiest. Even if not, feel free to run with the idea if you like. Still, if that were the case, talk about Nice Job Breaking It, Hero...
The Pkunk reproduce by blowing up their own ships
Whenever a Pkunk Fury is destroyed, it has a 50% chance of being reincarnated with 8 crew members. So a Fury that sets off with just 1 crew member and is destroyed GAINS seven new crew members. Where did these seven new crew members come from? What memories do they have? Are they even Pkunk... or something else? (On average, they gain 3 crewmembers per solo-piloted Fury destroyed)
The answer is clear: This is how the Pkunk reproduce. All that the Pkunk will say about how they split off from the Yehat is that the first Pkunk "sat on the mystical egg of Icelike Temperature and gave the Original Squawk". This can only refer to one thing: the incident that prompted the first Pkunk to give up conventional reproduction.
I can't help but read that explanation as "Weeny Wikki Beeki Birdi froze her cloaca off, giving the Pkunk a really odd evolutionary course."
The Orz are the Androsynth, who have achieved transhumanism.
According to Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III, the Androsynth were 'snagged' by an entity that stretched its fingers into our dimension. Now, it is easy to deduce from the above guessings that, when talking about this entity that stretched fingers, he was talking about the Orz, the one with the *many fingers*. He also said that the Orz are part of 'Them', the projection of 'Them' into TrueSpace (That is, our dimension). Now, many imply that the Orz annihilated the Androsynth when they started making experiments with HyperSpace. But if that's the case, why there is no Androsynth corpses in the ruins of their cities? Some people will say that this is because the Orz ate them...
I bet for a more enterprising answer. During their experiments with HyperSpace, the Androsynth found 'Them'. 'They' offered the Androsynth the chance to be something greater, be the part of something so grand, so powerful, it transcended the comprehension of every single sentient race in TrueSpace. The Androsynth, eager to become something more than mere genetic alterations of the humans that created them, agreed. And so, 'They' altered the Androsynth, possibly via entering their bodies through some sort of Alien Possession or The Virus (Which would be a possible explanation for the 'snagging' part). And so, now the Androsynth are part of 'Them'. They are Orz.
Why do the Orz go bonkers when asked about the Androsynth? Because the Androsynth are an Old Shame. Something they think is best forgotten. And in order to make everyone forget about their past selves, the Orz are willing to *dissolve* everyone who remembers them and talks about them.
Accept it, It Makes Sense in Context, right?
The Taalo are still alive in another dimension.
There are many signs that point to this. First, the Taalo were immune to Dynarri's psychic compulsion. The Ur Quan sort of explain this as due to their 'unique biology' but this can be better explained if you come to the conclusion that they originated from another dimension. You can send the Arilou, who originate in Quasispace, to investigate the Umgah once you approach them and find them 'acting funny', and the Arilou are not compelled by the Dynarri. Second, when you meet the Orz above the 'Taalo Playground,' the Orz say it is okay if the captain visits because the captain is a *camper* and that the Taalo went to *pretty space* from *heavy space*. This means the Taalo were, like the Orz and the Arilou, from another dimension, and that's why they could not be compelled mentally by the dynarri and had to be 'destroyed'. (The Ur Quan mention they didn't resist, probably because they didn't need to and just retreated into their own dimension?) Presumably, the Orz would be immune to the Dynarri too if this theory was correct. Taking this into account, you can deduce from the Orz's interactions and their presence at the Taalo *playground* to mean the Orz have contact with the Taalo there... just not in the normal dimension.
The unnamed planet in the Jak and Daxter trilogy is littered with ancient ruins and artifacts left by a long gone ancient race referred to as the precursors. Though the precursor revelation in Jak 3 may cloud this.
The problem with the above is that many works of science fiction refer to an ancient ancestral race as "The Precursors" (which literally means something/someone who came before) not just Jak and Daxter and Star Control.