Melnics (メルニクス語 Merunikusu-go?, "Melnics Language") is a fully defined written and spoken language in Tales of Eternia. This language is used as the common language of Celestia and the language of Craymels throughout Eternia. This language refers to itself in written Melnics as Nalvoks, vocalized as Muerunuikusu.
The Melnics language is very similar to English, in terms of both word order and structure. Each symbol used in written Melnics corresponds directly to a letter in the English alphabet, and the symbols themselves resemble the English capital letters turned sideways toward the left. Numerals, punctuation marks, and other symbols also have their own written characters, but they are less intuitively equated to their English counterparts. As the text can be converted into English per character, all written Melnics in the dialogue, books, and Celestian signs of Tales of Eternia can be translated directly into comprehensible English speech. Likewise, any English sentence can be converted to written Melnics with minimal modification. However, contractions do not exist, and any contractions used in English must be spelled out in full when translated into written Melnics.
Spoken Melnics diverges greatly from English, and its pronunciation rules are distinctly Japanese, in that all sounds are syllabic in nature. Each written character is associated with a specific syllable that is voiced, much like Japanese hiragana and katakana scripts, and all syllables are merely connected together to form words. Numerals are given full word names rather than syllables. To translate spoken Melnics, the syllables that are used in the word or sentence should be compared with a conversion chart with Japanese characters, so that the Japanese phonetics used in spoken Melnics can be converted to the written Melnics letters.
From there, the letters can be translated into English to determine the meaning of the word or sentence. This applies in both Japanese and localized versions of the game, since the rules remain unchanged in all releases. Therefore, Japanese meanings for spoken Melnics dialogue are derived by converting the voiced syllables into Japanese text, then to written Melnics text, then to English text, and finally translated to Japanese. This causes the written Melnics language to be especially foreign to Japanese speakers, since it requires awareness of English letters and sentence structures to facilitate translation. Conversely, voiced Melnics is more foreign to English speakers due to the required knowledge of Japanese phonetics.
Melnics was the primary language of the Melnics Civilization, an ancient country that existed in the early history of Inferia. Very little information about the Melnics Civilization survives in the present era of Inferia, although it is believed that the royal family of the Inferia Empire is directly descended from the ancient civilization's own royalty. Many of the royal heirlooms are relics that date back to that era, with other relics found in areas mostly untouched by civilization like Sylph Cavern. According to Inferian lore, the downfall of the Melnics Civilization was caused by Nereid, the Inferian god of destruction. Its lasting legacy survives through the continued use of its language.
In modern times, Melnics is used within Inferia primarily as a way for Craymel Mages to perform spell incantations, allowing them to speak to the Craymels that they consider to be sentient and spiritual entities. The precise meaning of these incantations is lost to memory, however, and few texts are available to record and teach a large range of vocabulary. Basic texts on the language do exist in libraries, and some individuals devote their lives to understanding the Craymels and reviving knowledge of the language. The leading authority on the language is Professor Mazet, one of the instructors at Mintche University who retired from academic life to live peacefully at Morle. Lack of knowledge of Melnics can be circumvented through the use of an Orz Earring, which generates a small range that enables nearby individuals to understand each other if they are on the same psychic wave. However, the language itself will not be learned through such means.
On Celestia, Melnics is merely the common language, used by all people and Craymels alike. However, the Craymels are treated as mere batteries by the population, so many Craymel Engineers do not pay attention to any whispers that the Craymels might have. When Meredy first encounters Reid Hershel and Farah Oersted, she is unable to communicate with the two of them due to the language barrier. Farah suggests that they travel to Mintche to find their childhood friend Keele Zeibel, who Farah assumes would be smart enough to know how to understand Meredy immediately, though Reid finds that to be unrealistically optimistic.
After discovering that Meredy's words could not be understood well enough by Keele, he suggests that the party travels to Morle to ask for the assistance of his former instructor. Professor Mazet grants the group a set of four Orz Earrings, which eventually facilitate an understanding between Meredy and her companions. Keele would continue to try to understand Meredy's words in Melnics, and upon reaching her home in Imen after entering Celestia, Keele demands to be taken to its library so he could study the language, history, and culture of Celestia through full immersion, with Meredy as his translator when the words prove to be difficult to decode.
- The typical incantation to manifest Craymel energies is translated to "Come on!", repeated multiple times for emphasis.
- Meredy's common catchphrases "Baiba!" and "Hweel!" are Melnics exclamations that translate to "Wow!" and "Cool!", respectively. The word hweel is actually the result of a simplified localization of the word that is spelled and pronounced as waiiru in Japanese dialogue. This directly matches with the translation of "cool" when converted to written Melnics and then to English.
- The card minigame WHIS uses the Melnics word for "one" for its name. The card game itself is a representation of the real life card game Uno, following the same rules.
- The Melnics language was intended to be used in the cancelled real time strategy game New Space Order, based primarily on Namco's Xevious series. One of the four playable interstellar nations, the "Shinsei Shuukyougoku" (神聖宗教国?, "Holy Religious Nation"), relies on Melnics as its primary language. Other nations in this game derive their languages from other past Namco franchises. The spoken lanuage is featured in the vocals for the web novel series New Space Order -link of life-.
- The language also exists in Tales of Xillia, named within its continuity as Long Dau, based on the Long Dau tribe of Auj Oule. It maintains the same mechanics as written and spoken Melnics, and one item in the game is described as a dictionary of the language.