Research lab

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The research lab is a location on board Mothership Zeta.


The vaguely-named Research Lab is an area of Mothership Zeta accessible via the cargo hold. It is unnecessary to visit the research lab to gain access to the Bridge and further the main questline. However, the area becomes inaccessible after leaving the engineering core and all chance of retrieving captive recordings towards the Alien Archivist goal will be permanently lost if not explored before taking the teleporter to the Bridge. You should enter the research lab via the door in the southwest of the cargo hold (Note: the door leading to the Research Lab next to where you first enter the cargo hold will be initially locked. It can be unlocked by pressing the button on the other side of the door - this requires accessing the research lab through the southwest door in the cargo hold.)

At first glance, the research lab appears to be where the aliens analyze Earth's vehicular technology. Displays of cars, motorcycles, and a named command module from a USSA spacecraft.

Deeper in the labs however, one discovers a warehouse-scale collection of Giddyup Buttercups and related memorabilia in various states of storage. It appears that the aliens are unhealthily fascinated with the pre-War toy. One room houses a lone Giddyup Buttercup surrounded by dead test subjects with observation rooms on either side. If you shoot at the lone Giddyup its eyes glow blue. A workbench can be found with a disassembled Buttercup and some pulse grenades.


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Notable loot

In the first section (vehicular study) you will find:

In the second section (Buttercup warehouse):

In the larger Buttercup warehouse, South West corner:

  • Buttercup toy (across from a work table, second level—requires jumping to get)


  • This is one of many areas of the ship that will not be accessible after the player has completed the main This Galaxy Ain't Big Enough... quest.
  • If you tour this area with Elliot Tercorien, he makes observations about Giddyup Buttercup, posters, etc. (He also makes an observation about the Nuka-Cola machine in the cargo hold).
  • Paulson mentions that he would lose all respect if he was to ride into town on one of them. Inside the slaughter room he will mention that his horse will never do something like that.
  • If you look at the Buttercup in the slaughter room, head-on, its eyes will flash red at you three times.
  • There are 114 Giddyup Buttercups in the area.


Research lab only appears in the Fallout 3 add-on Mothership Zeta.


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