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The Medusans are a race of intelligent non-humanoids native to the planet Visalayan in the Xi Hydrae star system, whose outward appearance will drive a Human insane if they look at one directly without a protective visor. (TOS video game: Starfleet Academy: Strategic Command)
They were noted as a race of highly intelligent nonphysical beings that were composed of electromagnetic energy. The Medusans demonstrated highly advanced scientific capabilities and had telepathic powers that were more advanced than any other race within the United Federation of Planets. Should it be necessary, a Medusan was capable of travelling onboard a Federation starship though this required them to be within highly specialized electromagnetic containers. There was a great deal of danger in such cases as whilst their mental thoughts were sublime, their physical appearance was so hideous to humanoid eyes that they drove a subject insane. Special viewers were required by individuals who sought to see a Medusan outside their protective containers as they filtered out the dangerous frequencies from the eye lids thus lessening the potential damage. (TOS episode: "Is There in Truth No Beauty?")
The Medusans were noted as expert starship navigators and had developed interstellar navigation into a fine art which was attributed to their unique sensory system. One theory suggested that the race were capable of electromagnetically identifying as well as locking onto guide stars, even those that were beyond deep sensor range. They were noted as having a distinct form of beauty and were delighted by the many forms of art available to them since their entry into the Federation. (ST reference: The Worlds of the Federation) It was known that their physics and mathematics were among the most advanced of the different cultures within the Federation. (FASA RPG module: The Federation) Medusan starships were known to be equipped with specialist feeding chambers. (TOS novel: Spectre)
At a distant point in their history, the Medusans were known to had been a corporeal Humanoid species until they reached a point where they evolved beyond their physical form. (FASA RPG module: The Federation) This current appearance/form of the species was achieved 600,000 years earlier. Around 150,000 years ago, the Medusans were known to had engaged in space exploration. (Last Unicorn RPG module: All Our Yesterdays: The Time Travel Sourcebook) Contact with later era Humanoid races led to such species suffering from severe psychological damage or even permanent brain damage as well as madness. Thus, to avoid accidental exposure, the Medusans seldom left their home system and even when they did it was under the strictest of conditions. (FASA RPG module: The Federation)
Contact between them and the Federation was extremely limited. (ST reference: The Worlds of the Federation) Despite this being the case, it was known that they eventually joined the United Federation of Planets where they held the position as one of the oldest species within their ranks by the 23rd century. (FASA RPG module: The Federation) It was known that in the 24th century that Galaxy class starships possessed an Interactive Navigational Control System for use by Medusan Specialists who were stationed on the ship. (FASA RPG module: Star Trek: The Next Generation Officer's Manual)