The Taalo Shield is an incredibly valuable, experimental, defensive weapon and the last known artifact of the ancient Taalo race. Alone of all members of the Sentient Milieu, the Taalo were somehow (usually attributed to their unique, mineral-like biology) immune to psychic compulsion from the Dnyarri conquerors. The pacifistic Taalo, unwilling to take up arms against their former friends, worked desperately to find an artificial method of imbuing this immunity into the minds of non-Taalo. Unfortunately, they were unable to complete development of such a device in time to stop the Dnyarri conquest, and when hordes of Dnyarri-controlled Ur-Quan attacked the Taalo homeworld, only one Shield (complete or not) had been constructed before the Taalo's final disappearance. The Captain's research on the ancient Taalo allows him to recover this device from the Taalo homeworld 20,000 years later, at which time it plays a crucial role in the events of Star Control II.
The Taalo used technology similar to their own biology to build the heavy Shield, which appears to the naked eye as a huge, glowing boulder. The subtlety and complexity of their engineering is staggering, surpassing even the genius of the Chenjesu. All Human attempts to analyze the Shield show it to be nothing more than a naturally fluorescing, igneous dike constantly radiating energy across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, especially in the red-infrared band. Its anti-psi abilities were discovered by accident; even in its quiescent state, any esper-capable Humans who approach it are plagued by headaches and mental confusion. Experimentation discovers that running even a small electric current anywhere on the Shield's surface greatly multiplied this effect until all psychon interaction in the Shield's vicinity is completely canceled, at least to the limits of measurements available by Human methods.
The device confers almost complete psychic immunity to beings within a certain range. However, since the immunity is not impenetrable, the neo-Dnyarri is still able to compel The Captain to perform minor actions against his will (such as talking about flowers or not killing him), as well as to read the crew members' minds, though only when in (relatively) close proximity.
Sources of information
The Melnorme sell information that intimates that the Taalo had created a psionic nullifier device just before they were wiped out.
There are three ways to deal with the Orz presence guarding Delta Vulpeculae II-C (372.2 : 261.8) in order to retrieve the Taalo Shield on the moon's surface:
- Establishing a diplomatic alliance with the Orz, who then freely allow access to the surface.
- Fighting the battle group of Orz guarding the moon and then sending a lander to retrieve the Shield.
- Waiting for the Kohr-Ah to "cleanse" the Orz, which leaves the moon unguarded.
The Shield is automatically "on" once it is in the ship's manifest.
Relevance to the plot
The Taalo Shield is useful for completing the game — it is impossible to obtain the Talking Pet without it, until the Kohr-Ah cleanse the Umgah. Once the Umgah are gone, The Captain can acquire the Talking Pet without this Shield; however, all dialogue will still reference the Shield.
Game objectives - required items
|Sa-Matra||Deep Child Egg Case Fragments - Syreen Shuttle - Sun Device - HyperWave Broadcaster|
|Clear Spindle - Aqua Helix - Rosy Sphere - Ultron - Utwig Bomb|
|Taalo Shield - Talking Pet (device)|
|Yehat Rebellion||VUX Beast - Shofixti Maidens|
|QuasiSpace||Ur-Quan Warp Pod - QuasiSpace Portal Spawner|