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Report back to Oberlin, he has more work he needs help with.

The Powerhouse of the Cell is a main quest in Fallout 76, introduced in the Skyline Valley update.

Quick walkthrough[]

  • Speak with Oberlin
  • Go to Shining Creek Cavern and speak with Hilda
  • Find "Henry" in the greenhouse
  • Create and apply the serum in the laboratory
  • Find the cave gate key and enter the caves
  • Find three unusual fungi
  • Give the fungi to Hilda
  • Enter the pharmacology wing and apply the second serum
  • Enter the fluids wing and apply the third serum
  • Speak with Hilda
  • Speak with Oberlin

Detailed walkthrough[]

Oberlin informs you that an emergency alert was sent from the Vault 63 organics sector. Only Hilda Stolz would have been able to set off this alarm. Oberlin tasks you with rescuing Hilda from the organics sector, even if she refuses to leave.

Travel to Shining Creek Cavern and enter the cave. Fight your way past the radscorpions and radroaches. Use the Vault 63 access key card you received from Oberlin to enter the organics sector. Simply keep going forward, fighting several Lost along the way, and cross the foyer, going through a laser grid to find the elevator leading to Hilda's office.

Speak with Hilda. With no method of persuading her to leave immediately, she will task you with finishing her current experiments into restoring the ability of Lost to communicate with others. She requires a serum from a special plant, nicknamed "Henry."

Exit Hilda's office, and take the door on the left of the foyer. Head deeper into the pharmaceutical wing until you reach the greenhouse, surrounded by rocky walls. Find "Henry" in the dirt on the left, emanating green light, and take a sample. Hilda will then ask you to create a serum from the sample. Exit the greenhouse again, and enter the hallway on the left into the laboratory. Find the equipment and create a serum, and administer the serum to the Lost bound to a bed across the hallway. Unfortunately, the serum is ineffective, and the Lost wakes up and begins to attack, and must be killed. Hilda suspects the serum lacked a stabilizing agent, and tasks you with finding one back in the greenhouse.

Return to the greenhouse, find the cave gate key in one of the planters, and use it to enter the drain pipe to the right. The pipe leads to a previously unreachable part of the shining creek cavern through which you accessed the organics sector. The various gasses in the cave cause visual and auditory hallucinations, resulting in shadows of various enemies appearing around you regularly. Shadows can attack, but have negligible HP. Additionally, directly on your left, a deathclaw emerges from the ground and begins to attack. Once dealt with, pick up the unusual fungus to your right. Head deeper into the cave, and enter a small crevice on your right with stairs leading down, where you can pick up the second unusual fungus. Head back up the stairs and take a right, and pick up the final unusual fungus next to a camper. With all unusual fungi collected, return to Hilda's office, either by backtracking, or by heading deeper into the cave, through a fence gate, and then through the organics sector's front door.

Speak with Hilda. Hilda will create a stabilizer from the fungi for you to use, and direct you to the pharmacology wing where there is another Lost for you to try the serum on. Exit Hilda's office and take a right in the foyer. Keep going deeper until you find another Lost tied to a bed, and administer the new serum. The new serum, too, fails, and the Lost must be killed.

Hilda remarks there is one more serum that can be tried, with a higher dose than the previous attempt. Exit the room, take a right, and enter the fluid handling wing. Walk past the huge vats of green goo until you reach the vats control room. Eliminate the Lost in this room, and place the final serum in the serum administrator. The room behind the glass pane starts to light up, revealing dozens if not hundreds of vats containing Lost. Hilda tells you over the intercom that the experiment succeeded, and asks you to return to her office. Do so, optionally taking a right after leaving the current room, opening the door with the terminal on the right wall, and then heading straight ahead until you reach the foyer again.

Talk with Hilda in her office. She reveals that the final Lost you experimented on was her father, and that the experiments you helped her conduct were not to help cure the Lost, but instead were merely attempts at sedating them to make other experiments safer. The many Lost stored in this facility are fellow vault dwellers who had gone feral, for which no cure has been found yet. Either way, with Hilda's experiments completed, she promises to return to the Vault 63 atrium. Return to Oberlin, and report that Hilda is now safe. Oberlin will be happy to hear so, completing the quest, leading to Double-Crossed Wires.

Quest stages[]

Quest stages
StageStatusDescriptionLog Entry
? Speak to OberlinOberlin had me running errands for the Vault 63 residents. Fixing the generator, running pest control and dealing with their friend gone feral. This earned me some of his trust and he mentioned having more work for me soon. I should check in with him.
? Go to Shining Creek CavernsOberlin believes Hilda triggered the emergency alert in the Organics Sector. He asked me to find her and bring her back. He said due to Vault cave-ins, I should enter the sector through the ventilation in a cavern to the east.
? Search for the Organics Sector entranceI found the cavern Oberlin told me about, I should look for a way into the Vault from here. If the area was used for ventilation maybe there is a maintenance door somewhere in these caverns.
? Enter the Organics SectorI've made it into the Organics Sector. I need to find Hilda, hope it's not too late. I should start with locating her office.
? Find a way to open the screening doorUsing the security terminal, I unlocked the screening door and my search for Hilda can continue. She must have had an office here, so I should check to see if she's there.
? Go to Hilda's officeSearching the Organics Sector, I found Hilda in her office. I should speak to her and convince her to return to Vault 63 like Oberlin asked me to.
? Speak to HildaSpeaking to Hilda, she won't leave the Sector until her Lost experiments are completed. She agreed to return to Vault 63 if I help her, then tasked me with first retrieving "Henry", a plant. I should find it at the Greenhouse in the Pharmaceutical Wing.
? Go to the Pharmaceutical WingI arrived at the Greenhouse to look for Hilda's plant that she needs for her experiment, however the Lost are lurking in the area. I should take care of them so I can continue my search for "Henry" the plant.
? Go to the Greenhouse
? Clear the Lost in the Greenhouse
? Search for "Henry" in the GreenhouseWith the Lost dealt with, I should resume my search for "Henry," the plant Hilda needs for her experiment. It should be somewhere in the Greenhouse.
? Listen to HildaI found "Henry" the plant, and Hilda radioed in to tell me the next steps. I should listen and find out what to do next.
? Head to the Pharmaceutical R&D LabHilda radioed in to tell me that "Henry" needs to be mixed into Serum Alpha, so it can then be tested on a Lost that she sedated in the Clinical Test Room. I should look for some special equipment to mix the serum. There must be some in their R&D lab.
? Clear the Lost from the AreaI arrived in the Pharmaceutical R&D lab as Hilda instructed, but the Lost are here too. I can't safely mix Henry the plant into a serum with them around, so I should take them out first.
? Find the lab equipment and create Serum AlphaI've dealt with the Lost in the lab, so I should now use Henry the plant to create Serum Alpha at the mixer station. Then I'll be ready to administer it to the Lost test subject.
? Administer Serum Alpha to the Sedated LostUsing "Henry" the plant and special equipment in the lab, I created Serum Alpha. I should now start the experiment by administering Serum Alpha to the sedated Lost test subject in the Clinical Trial Room.
? Defeat the Empowered Lost
? Listen to Hilda againHilda believes the test failed due to not having a stabilizing agent. For the next test she wants me to get fungi that grows in the nearby caverns. I should use the pipe in the Greenhouse she mentioned to get there.
? Return to the GreenhouseOn the way to collect fungi for Hilda's next test, I discovered the pipe entrance to the Caverns is locked. There has to be a key to it somewhere around here. I should search around the Greenhouse for it.
? Collect the cave gate keyI found the key to the pipe entrance to the Caverns in the Greenhouse. I should head in and gather the fungi for Hilda's next experiments.
? Enter the pipe in the GreenhouseI entered the Caverns, and I should collect the juvenile Unusual Fungi Hilda requested. She mentioned waste gasses were vented through here from the lab, which explains the strange things I've been seeing in there.
? Find the Unusual Fungi (<#/#>)I collected all the fungi needed for Hilda's next experiments. I should report back to her in her office next to the Foyer so she can create the serum from them. There were some locked gates around here, maybe the key I found earlier can open a shortcut?
? Return to the Organics Sector
? Report back to Hilda
? Go to the Biology WingI delivered the fungi to Hilda, she used them to create a stabilizing agent and handed me two serums. She told me to go to the Biology Wing where a Lost is sedated in the Surgery Room. I should head there and start the experiment by administering Serum Beta.
? Go to the ClinicI found the Surgery Room and dealt with the Lost that were inside. I should now start the experiment by administering Serum Beta to the sedated Lost test subject.
? Proceed to the Surgery LabHilda was disappointed with another failed experiment. We have one more serum to try - Serum Omega. I should seek out the next test subject in the Vat Storage Room. There was a room called Fluid Handling close by, maybe I can reach storage through that room.
? Clear the Lost from the Surgery LabI dealt with the Lost in the Vat Storage Room, so I should now start the experiment by administering Serum Omega to the unconscious Lost in the vat by placing the serum into the machine.
? Administer Serum Beta to the Sedated LostI administered the serum and got a reaction from the Lost in the vat. Hilda seems pleased... almost relieved? The room beyond the glass lit up revealing many bodies in vats. Hilda said she would explain everything back in her office. Maybe there is a shortcut?
? Defeat the Empowered Lost
? Listen to Hilda
? Find path towards Vat Storage Control Room
? Travel through Fluid Handling to get to Vat Storage
? Find the Vat Storage Control Room
? Clear the Lost from Vat Storage
? Place Serum Omega into the Serum Administrator
? Observe and listen to Hilda
? (Optional) Find a shortcut back to the foyer
? (Optional) Unlock the door with the terminal
? Return to Hilda's office
? Discuss the situation with Hilda
? Return to the Vault 63 Atrium
? Report to OberlinHilda said the tests were really for effective sedation for the feral residents who became Lost, and the final test patient was actually her father, hence her relief at the success. Hilda has agreed to return to Vault 63. I should report back to Oberlin.

Behind the scenes[]

The quest's name is a reference to the memetic phrase "the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell," a line commonly used in introductory biology courses and textbooks to summarize the function of the mitochondria.


  • PCPC After the hallucinations start upon entering the cave, shadows should stop appearing after re-entering the vault. However, if one leaves the cave entirely, restarts the game, and then walks into the vault again, shadows will continue to appear for the remainder of the quest, even while in dialogue with Hilda. The shadows might only continue to shapeshift and inflict melee attacks without actually incurring damage. This bug may also occur if one simply re-enters the cave after finding the key, even without switching servers.[verified]
  • PCPC Under some circumstances, one may be unable to place the third serum into the serum administrator. To resolve the issue, restart the game until the objective resets to "Take out the Lost from the vat storage," and resume the quest from that point. This may require several attempts.[verification needed]