- "You've decimated the bandit fleet in this area, and Mad Mel must respond or his men will take it as a sign of weakness. Seek him out in the Dahl Headland and end him. Be careful. He is a lethal weapon in any vehicle. After he's dead, you can continue on your way to New Haven. Talk to the Claptrap at the gate."
Mad Mel leads the bandits who plague the Dahl Headlands and he must be killed in order to open the way to New Haven. He will be encountered driving a truck in an arena to the south-east of Lucky's Last Chance Watering Hole. A New-U station and a Catch-A-Ride terminal are located just outside of the arena, providing a quick re-entry to the fight if a character dies or a vehicle is destroyed. The New-U station may need to be approached in order to ensure that it turns green indicating that it is ready to spawn a "new you" should the need arise.
Mel's arena needs to be entered to get Mel and his minions to come out, so a character cannot just stand outside the arena and snipe at them from the outset. The first wave of enemies, including Out Riders and Psychos, will only spawn once a character has passed very close to the structure in the centre of the circular arena.
Entrance to the arena is via driving or walking over a ramp which is high enough off the ground at the top end that there is no immediate way back, however several methods of returning over the ramp are available.
Mad Mel does not enter the fight until after at least one Out Rider has been destroyed. His truck is larger than the other vehicles in the arena and carries the rocket variant of a vehicular turret. As with the Out Riders, the truck will also achieve a near-instantaneous kill if it collides with a character, so fighting it as a pedestrian inside the arena is not recommended.
The primary strategy is to spawn a vehicle and whittle down the enemies until Mel appears. Outrunner with a machine gun turret is preferred over the one with a launcher turret, as this can track the fast moving targets more readily than rockets can. This is then locked onto a vehicle and fired constantly while other enemy vehicles in the arena provide an additional hazard.
Ramming into other vehicles can flip them upside-down. Although an Outrunner can be quickly flipped back onto its wheels, even that length of exposure can be fatal. Mad Mel will eventually enter the fight after a vehicle has been destroyed, at which point the strategy of locking on and gunning while driving around in circles can be repeated on his truck.
After Mad Mel appears, driving along the periphery of the arena reduces the chance of being hit by enemy fire and it will also cause the AI to stay around the center of the arena, which will make them easier targets.
The Out Riders and Mad Mel's vehicle are susceptible to corrosive weapons. Eridian guns fired directly at Mad Mel's truck while not in a vehicle are also effective, especially at close range.
If a character should die there is no requirement to re-enter the arena to complete the mission. Mel and his bandits can be killed from the relative safety of the ramp instead. He will continue firing at his attackers, but there is also room to retreat and regenerate a shield when it gets depleted. Soldier and Hunter characters will also find their action skills to be useful additions to toss in from the ramp.
Characters are easy targets on the ramp. If the difficulty of fighting on the ramp itself proves to be too great, then it is also possible to fire into the arena from on top of some pipes beyond the Catch-a-Ride terminal without sustaining heavy damage in the process.
This battle is extremely difficult when in the arena on foot. There are numerous enemies in the arena and being struck by an outrider results in immediate death. There are also launcher rounds being fired from the holes in the wall and they cannot be eliminated, so be careful of those as they will continue to fire, even on dismounted characters.
Should a character wind up on foot in the arena, survival might be achieved by staying on the run and avoiding enemy vehicles. The spawns will stop after Mel is killed, so his truck will be a high priority.
A safer strategy is to trigger the encounter with Mad Mel and hop back over the ramp. It is possible to leave an Outrunner's back wheels on the edge of the ramp and use the vehicle as a return ramp to jump on and back over, although this can be a difficult stunt to achieve at times. Another return method is to ease the front wheels over the top of the ramp and then the front of the vehicle will drop to a position just low enough to use the "Enter Vehicle" function from the floor of the arena. The vehicle can then usually be exited safely at the top of the ramp, although sometimes a switch to the gunnery seat might be needed first to avoid dropping back into the arena. Alternatively, the vehicle can be parked below the ramp parallel to it, and then used as a stepping stone to jump over the ramp.
After Mel is killed, a new ramp will be added, which allows for a return path back through the entry gate, and the gate on the opposite side will also open. Take that exit and take the right fork, then talk to the Claptrap there to get into New Haven.
Once in New Haven, Helena Pierce can be found in a building in the south-east corner of the settlement and will be waiting to offer the mission reward.
- "Finally, payback against that Mad Mel! It's great to see someone with a brave heart willing to go out there and live dangerously. Well done! With Mad Mel no longer a concern, I will happily open the gate to New Haven for you."
- "Okay, this Mad Mel guy, I know him. He's the one that's been stealing all my runners and puttin' them in the hands of those jaggoffs. Hey, you say hello from Scooter... and by that, I mean you just go murder the crap out of him, alright?"
- "Well ho-freakin'-rah! Mad Mel is gone, bless his worthless piece-o-crap soul. You've become quite the useful little go-getter out there. Drop by my shop when you get to New Haven, I'd quite like to meet ya in person."