Returnal is a game full of secrets to discover, and its rogue-lite nature means that you probably won't have discovered all of them even after the game's credits have rolled. One such secret is the game's hidden ending, one which requires a fair amount of work to see. Fear not though, as this guide takes you through each step you need to take to conquer Returnal and finally see the true ending.
Defeat The Final Boss And Finish Act 2
To see the secret ending of Returnal, you're going to need to finish Act 2 first. To do this, you'll need to make your way across the game's sixth biome, the Abyssal Scar, and defeat Ophion, a terrifyingly massive and powerful boss that is the only thing between you and the credits. Once you've beaten him, jump down the hole that his massive body has left, start walking down the path, and you should come to a little opening that contains the wreck of a car. Remember this location as it's very important and you'll need to come back here to get the secret ending. Keep going down the path to get the "final" cutscene before the credits roll. Afterward, you'll wake up next to Helios once again and you'll finally be able to start Act 3.
Returnal Act 3 Guide — Complete All The House Sequences
Now that you're in Act 3, you'll be able to complete all of the house sequences if you haven't already done so. Over the course of your time with Returnal, you'll have noticed Selene's house as you explore the game's first and fourth biomes. Every time you enter the house you'll be treated to a short, first-person horror section that will reward you with a particular item after completion. Now that you've completed Act 2, you can now complete every available house sequence without interruption. The easiest way to do this is to restart your cycle in the Echoing Ruins, keep playing until you reach the house, complete the house sequence, and repeat. Once you've completed a sequence that has you playing as a little girl who is sucked into a TV, you've done all you can for now.
Go Find All Six Sun Face Fragments
These secrets are in fact called Sun Face Fragments, key items that will allow the player to unlock another sequence inside Selene's house on Atropos. Now that you're in Act 3, these items will have spawned across each of the game's biomes. You'll be able to find one in each biome, usually blocked by some kind of barrier that you weren't able to access the first time you passed through the area. You'll now also be able to interact with an ancient device that is stored within a black room inside Helios that will allow you to transport between the biomes in Act 1 and Act 2.
Unfortunately, due to the rogue-lite elements of Returnal, there's absolutely no way of knowing where these Sun Face Fragments are going to spawn. As far as I experienced, they always spawn in the same room, although that room could be close to the start of your run, or right at the end. These pesky little fragments could turn up anywhere, so make sure you comb each biome thoroughly and make a note of which fragments you've found so you don't get confused. Thankfully, they will spawn every time you enter a new biome, so there won't be too much RNG to have to deal with.
Complete The Final House Sequence And Return To The Car
You should now have all six Sun Face Fragments and able to enter Selene's house one final time. If Selene remarks that the house is dark when you approach, it means you're still missing fragments. All you need to do now is to enter the house and experience the joy of what lies inside. Once completed, you'll be rewarded with a new item called the car keys.
Now that you've got your keys, you can unlock your car. Remember that car you passed just before you finished Act 2? Unfortunately, to finally experience the true ending, you'll need to make your way back there and defeat Ophion again. Thankfully, you can jump into the water at the end of the Echoing Ruins to get to the Abyssal Scar a bit easier than last time.
Congratulations, you've just fully finished Returnal! If you're looking for more guides on Returnal, check out our exploration guide for some neat little tricks. If you're still stuck in the game's first few biomes, we also have some tips for beating bosses like Ixion and Nemesis.