Shalebridge is a location in the Capital Wasteland in 2277. It is located due north of Broadcast tower KT8 and slightly southwest of the Abandoned car fort. It consists of a broken relay tower, the Shalebridge tunnels, and Shalebridge Hill. The latter two are home to rival ant colonies.
- There are two seperate tunnel systems here; Shalebridge Tunnels, marked by green mushrooms (passive ant colony) and Shalebridge Hill (aggressive ant colony) surrounded by a golden type fungus.
- To the east of Shalebridge tunnel entrance (due south of the train wreckage, across the irradiated mud hole), there is an ant egg clutch (on the other side of the rocky hill), with a copy of D.C. Journal of Internal Medicine and a Stealth Boy underneath a dead raider. (See abandoned car fort.)
Shalebridge tunnels is a small cave system that is home to a small, friendly giant ant colony. The entrance is to the north from the broken relay station located just below the hill and resembles a circular plate or cover surrounded by glowing mushrooms.
When the player character enters, the smaller friendly ants are under attack from larger, more aggressive ants. The larger invader ants will attack the player character and can be killed to protect the colony. The larger ants will not be here if the queen in Shalebridge Hill has already been killed.
Upon inspecting a nearby ant egg cluster, the option to inject a stimpak is given (70 Science or 40 Medicine required). There is an ant compost heap with some ant nectar in it, and this will replenish faster upon killing the giant ant queen in Shalebridge Hill. The compost pile is toward the back of the cave, to the right, with glowing green mushrooms around it.
Killing and then searching one of the larger ants will reveal the following message:
On the local map there are what appear to be openings to tunnels that are not found when reaching that point on the map, two of these make a complete small loop, and another appears to be a long tunnel along the outside of the cave to the left.
Climbing up on the boulders to the left of the first two pillars in the first large room near a small puddle, it is possible to walk up the boulders, staying close to the wall. One may need to crouch to get in, but once in the player character can stand up - even Fawkes can get in here. There appears to be another opening on the left, but it cannot be accessed. Straight ahead or to the right is one of these small loops, it is however a closed loop and does not lead to the long tunnel on the left. The opening to the left of this hidden entrance can be accessed partly from the opposite side. This is directly ahead of the entrance to the Shalebridge tunnels at the south end of the small loop. There is another small opening that appears to be the entrance to the long tunnel below it, on the ground level. Either opening cannot be entered, even when crouched. A similar inaccessible opening is at the very end, centered in the back wall of the last cave with the eggs and the compost pile.
This colony is just north of Shalebridge tunnels, surrounded by golden fungus. There is not much here except ant workers, ant soldiers, and a giant ant queen.
- There is metal armor in a pile of bones through a tunnel on the right immediately upon entering the caves.
- In the queen's lair, there is a lamp in one of the corners with a couple of skeletons, along with some weapons and ammunition.
- At the northeast corner of the caves is the skeleton of a raider, complete with an arc welder helmet, a couple of frag grenades, a stimpak, and a sledgehammer.
- A Big Book of Science - on a dead ant researcher in a pool of water near the egg clusters in the back of the Shalebridge tunnels. He, along with the skill book, respawns every three in-game days.
- A Stealth Boy on a dead raider near the train wreckage about halfway between the abandoned car fort and Shalebridge.
- Ant queen pheromones dropped by the Shalebridge Hill ant queen upon death.
- The "Ant Compost Heap" will continue to visually display as being [EMPTY], however it can still have ant nectar residing inside if the "Large Ant Egg Pile" has been injected with a stimpak and the appropriate number of days have passed.
- In the "friendly" ant caves, there is an extremely large Radiation King radio directly underneath the egg pile in which a stimpak is used. It is only accessible near the green mushrooms in both the Xbox 360 and the PC versions, and it does nothing. Moving the cursor over it displays the message "Activate egg pile." The radio was likely placed there for technical reasons.
- If the dead ant researcher is resurrected with console commands, he will immediately become hostile and attack the player or any nearby friendly ants. The ants will not defend themselves from him.
- The ant queen, despite her enormous size and probable weight, can be picked up and lifted as though she weighed the same as a normal giant ant.
Shalebridge appears only in Fallout 3.
- Followers can sometimes die when you enter Shalebridge. [verified]
- Pools of water will sometimes appear invisible, though if you do walk through it, the rad gauge will appear. [verified]
- The game may freeze when trying to re-enter the Shalebridge tunnels, especially when attempting to capitalize on the respawning science book. To prevent this issue: kill all of the ants, friendly and unfriendly, on your first visit. [verified]
- Attempting to pick up any of the stacks of 5.56mm ammo in the queen's chamber may cause the game to crash. [verified]