The ending to Returnal is rather bittersweet. It’s clear there is more to Selene’s journey, with some pieces missing and the ending offering more questions. Naturally, there is another ending that, in true roguelike fashion, is behind a hidden quest. To complete the final act and achieve the true ending, Selene needs to obtain keys to enter the car at the very end. While the task is simple, getting there, not so much.
To unlock the true end in Returnal you absolutely must beat the game once. This unlocks the machine that allows Selene to switch between the Act One and Act Two. From there, all five house segments need to be completed. Act One has three, with Act Two having two. Once both are done, a new item will spawn, though there is unfortunately no indication that this has happened.
Obtain All Six Sunface Fragments
Before Selene can finally reach the conclusion, players need to revisit all six areas in Returnal and find the Sunface Fragment that area. This is kind of a mixed bag. On one hand, they’re not behind impossible new threats but finding the spot and getting to the fragment can be a rather large time sink.
To make it easier, we included the locations that had our Sunface Fragments. Please note, there is a chance these locations might differ, though they should be the same given every location we found one always spawns.
How to Swap Between Act One and Act Two
As mentioned in the requirements, Selene gains access to a new machine following the first complete run. Using the machine will swap from one version to the other. To go back, simply return to the machine and use it. There are no negatives to using it or issues doing these things in any order. Simply picking up the fragment is enough to fulfill that sections requirement.
Overgrown Ruins (Area One) Sunface Fragment
On earlier runs you might recall a location that had seemingly no use besides being a ledge. After finishing Returnal, players will now have the ability to spawn platforms allowing Selene to get to the other side. Over there players should find a brand new datacube and their first Sunface Fragment.
Crimson Wastes (Area Two) Sunface Fragment
If you’re anything like me, you might remember the laser puzzle temple at the start of Crimson Wastes. Initially it seems to be an annoying puzzle that gives poor prizes for a lot of health, though once Selene obtains the Promethean Insulators (Area 5; locked door) it’s more annoying than anything else. However, on later runs these temple houses the second Sunface Fragment.
Derelict Citadel (Area Three) Sunface Fragment
Derelict Citadel can be rather mean, especially with the wrong weapon, but Returnal was nice enough to make this the easiest to find Sunface Fragment in the game.
After crossing the bridge there is a small pool of water. For most, it’s a secondary detail that they likely overlook in favor of using the hook to explore the other side. Instead of crossing the pool, simply jump in and the Sunface Fragment will be waiting for you.
Echoing Ruins (Area Four) Sunface Fragment
Similar to Overgrown Ruins, you might recall the room that has has the red floor and leads to a locked door. While useful, if you have the key, it should also have the next Sunface Fragment waiting for you in-front of the door.
Fractured Wastes (Area Five) Sunface Fragment
Speaking for myself, Fractured Wastes was the hardest area to transverse and the prospect of finding a random item was not appealing. However, the fragment was simply waiting in the boss room. There shouldn’t be any enemies or issues, simply walk in there, shoot the orb and collect your fragment.
Abyssal Scar (Area Six) Sunface Fragment
Prior to fighting the last boss, there should be a small ledge to the side. When looking at it, the orb should be relatively well hidden and create a path to the final Sunface Fragment and more.
Obtaining the Car Key
Selene will mention she finished the Sunface decoration upon collecting the sixth fragment and suggest returning to the house. In Act Two, return to the house and finally enter the room at the end of the hallway. This will start a rather unusual scene, concluding with Selene sitting in with the statues near the house. If you’ve been watching the map, this is how you get to that area and fully explore that section.
After waking up Selene will realize she is holding car keys, complete with an astronaut keychain, unlocking the path to the true end.
Locating the Car
As you might recall, prior to completing Returnal you pass a car with its headlights on. It’s a detail so out of place it seems important and is needed to obtain the true end. Simply kill the final boss, walk up to the car, push the prompted button and enjoy the true ending.
If you’re having issues getting to the end, it is possible to run past practically everything in Echoing Ruins and going down the other path to Abyssal Scar. Once players get there, the item at the start will bring your proficiency up to 25. Simply obtain a decent weapon and run straight to the door. Blue doors will not offer progression, so follow non-colored doors until the path below is found. Typically near the boss the Reconstructor spawns. I suggest throwing some ether at it, running to the boss and, worst case, either rush back or obtain more power.