Warning: This article includes major spoilers for Returnal. Proceed with caution.
Returnal’s ending isn’t really the end. I uncovered this secret after checking the game’s trophies; as soon as the credits roll, players will unlock an achievement for completing Act II. However, there is an Act III trophy that will cause fans to scratch their heads.
It took a while to figure out how to unlock this mysterious third act, but the journey is an exciting one. It felt as if I had to unravel some sort of mystery, and if you want a similar thrill, I recommend attempting to discover it on your own. However, if you need help, then here’s a guide on how to reach Returnal’s third act.
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How to reach Act III in Returnal
When you reach the end credits for the first time, re-explore either forest biome (The Overgrown Ruins works fine) to experience the next house sequence. After this, the house will remain inaccessible and will show the word “DARK” written in red letters. You will only be able to experience the final house sequence after you've collected all six Sunface Fragments.
There are six Sunface Fragments and six biomes in the game, so you must explore each biome until you find a fragment within. And since the game’s layout is randomly generated, you cannot rely on a guide for assistance.
However, there is one hint I can provide: the Crimson Wastes Sunface Fragment only spawns before you start ascending the mountain. This means you can freely restart your run if you don’t find it by the time you get out of the desert portion.
There’s also no guarantee that a Sunface Fragment will spawn within a biome, even if you explore every nook and cranny. I had to run through the Crimson Wastes four times after beating the game just to find the area’s Sunface Fragment.
Sunface Fragments aren’t named based on which area they’re attached to, but thankfully, there’s an easy way to find out where to get each one. The Overgrown Ruins is where you'll find the southeast piece, while the Crimson Wastes is where the east piece hides. This continues clockwise throughout the rest of the biomes in chronological order, making it less difficult to track where you need to go next.
Once all six Sunface Fragments have been discovered, Selene will comment on returning to the house. Go back and experience the final house sequence. Once you do so, you will receive a key. This key can be used to unlock the car found at the very end of the game. Go to that point again and unlock the car. You have now reached Act III.