Mbox cleanup
This article needs to be updated (Issue: Wastelanders information)
To meet Nukapedia's quality standards, this article or section may require updating. Please help by improving the article.
Mbox incomplete
Infobox incomplete
The infobox template in this article is missing some required data. You can help Nukapedia by filling it in.
Icon disambig
For the quest, see The Motherlode.
Gametitle-FO76Gametitle-FO76 WL
Gametitle-FO76Gametitle-FO76 WL

The Motherlode, also known as Project Motherlode, is a series of high-tech mining robots developed by Hornwright Industrial before the Great War.


A pet project of CEO Daniel Hornwright, the Motherlode was an autonomous mining platform designed to boost the efficiency of the company's mining projects by drilling and retrieving underground resources without human assistance, all part of Hornwright's automation efforts.[1] Dr. Jose Brigada created the first designs for the project,[2] and after some development, Daniel pitched a number of figures and formulas to his daughter Penny. However, he remained secretive, causing much frustration from Penny.[1]

Ms. Jackson, a young transfer from Atomic Mining Services, became involved in the secretive project, though she was greeted with skepticism from Dr. Brigada. However, in under a month, Ms. Jackson completed three of the outstanding research quandaries on the Motherlode project, including intra-mineral communication, subcrustal navigation, and an automated voice response system. She also created an in-field repair system, which was capable of connecting to a system without work interruption, shocking Dr. Brigada.[2]

After the death of his wife Evelyn, Daniel took a more involved role in the Motherlode's creation, swearing to finish it for her.[3] Dr. Brigada became uncomfortable with Daniel's increased control over the project and theorized that Daniel was becoming mentally unwell, given his obsession with the project. He believed that Daniel was looking for a distraction to avoid dealing with the loss of his wife, and in the process, was distracting everyone working on the project.[4][5] Daniel's input consisted of inconsequential and incessant demands to make the robot more "user-friendly" and "independent," while forcing the involved scientists and engineers to confirm any changes with him. Ms. Jackson became overworked and Dr. Brigada began to sympathize with her.[6] Brigada was eventually fired for his defiance, but not before he left a warning to Ms. Jackson, urging her to get out while she still could.[4]

With the project's development becoming more complicated, the Motherlode gained notoriety, and rumors swirled in the public about the project's nature. It hogged financial[1] and power resources,[7] causing delays on other projects such as their air purifier sites in the Ash Heap. Multiple testing sites for the Motherlode were established in southern West Virginia, some of which are still active as of 2102, and use of the Motherlode resulted in an increase in seismic events in the area. The official company policy was to say that they knew nothing about the Motherlode, a line that Penny Hornwright felt was uncomfortably close to the truth.[8] Bill Breyer, an investigative reporter for the Charleston Herald, went to one of the testing sites to find answers for the public's questions and encountered armed guards. A security officer on Hornwright's payroll saw the holotape recorder in Breyer's hand, thought it was a weapon and shot him, but not before he saw the robot in action.[9] Daniel fired a PR employee who suggested that they should be candid about what happened, and covered up the murder as an "accident." In the end, Daniel was actually glad that Breyer died, as it would deter any other investigators from trying to hop fences and get a closer look at the Motherlode.[10]

As protests over automation grew in Charleston, the Motherlode project continued to rapidly gain speed. Its systems were performing at peak capacity, and Daniel projected that he could soon reduce its operating staff to less than twenty. Human miners would no longer be required, as the Motherlode could retrieve minerals in record time.[11] After the Great War, the Motherlode fell into disrepair, with no one left to attend to it. In 2102, the residents of Vault 76 can repair the Motherlode through a beacon launch. Afterward, the Motherlode will respond with "Motherlode remember..." before retreating underground, showing that the robot had developed some degree of sentience.


  • System 000 - Unknown.
  • System 001 - Unknown.
  • System 002 - Unknown.
  • System 003 - Deployed as of 2102[12][13]
  • Motherlode (Captured by Chinese infiltrators)


The Motherlode appears in Fallout 76, introduced in the Wastelanders update.


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+