- The following article is based on a subject that has not been officially named in any official Square Enix material; the current title is merely a placeholder.
I got a hunch that once we go on ahead, there's no turning back.
- —Rikku, Final Fantasy X-2.
The Point of No Return refers to the in-game point a little before the final boss from where it is impossible to turn back, and, as such, the only way to go is to complete the game by defeating the final boss. Usually, a save point can be found right before it.
A message, usually spoken by the main player, will often question if the party should continue. In several remakes there is no point of no return because once the final boss is defeated, the player can save their game and return to the world map where they can access version-exclusive bonus dungeons.
The point of no return should not be confused with unrevisitable locations or with missable things, although strictly speaking nearly everything in the game becomes unrevisitable once the point of no return is crossed.
While entering the Chaos Shrine of the past can be considered as the point of no return: as the player cannot walk out of the dungeon—the party can still return to the world map by casting Exit. Assuming they have a party member with that spell, the player only passes the Point of No Return when they speak with Garland at the end of the dungeon.
Similarly to the original Final Fantasy, in the original version entering Pandaemonium may be considered the point of no return as the portals only allow the player to enter, but do not allow the party to escape the castle. The party can still return to Jade Passage by casting Exit, and from there to the world map. The true point of no return is initiating the final battle. There is no point of no return in the remakes of Final Fantasy II since PlayStation release. After the party defeats Emperor Mateus on the top level of Castle Pandaemonium, the player is returned to the world map. All progress is saved and the player can fight the Emperor again.
The point of no return is the top of the Crystal Tower where the party walks in front of the center mirror right before fighting Xande. Following that battle, the party cannot leave the room, and must enter the World of Darkness to battle the final boss, the Cloud of Darkness.
The point of no return is after climbing the stairs and confronting Zemus on the final floor of the Lunar Subterrane in the Red Moon core. This will lead to the final confrontation with Zeromus. In the Advance remake, there is no true point of no return, as after the party kills Zeromus, an all-clear file can be saved and the bonus dungeon, Lunar Ruins, can be accessed.
The game is entirely linear: after being flown to a new location the previous region and nearby locations are inaccessible.
After traveling to the True Moon in the final Tale, the player cannot return to Earth. Within the Depths and Bottommost Depths of the True Moon however, the player can turn back any time they wish up until the final boss battle.
Earlier Tales have individual points of no return. In Rydia's Tale, after going to Agart the player cannot return to the Underworld. In Yang's Tale, after boarding the ship to Baron the player cannot return to Fabul, but when the Tale is reloaded after completion they will be back at Fabul to explore Yang's Challenge Dungeon. Likewise in Edward's Tale, the ship to Baron is the end point of the Tale, but reloading it after it is completed puts the player at Kaipo before boarding the ship. In Kain's Tale, the point of no return is Damcyan; after the events there, the player flies to Baron.
Porom's Tale is divided into three parts over different periods of time, and the player can only proceed through the first two points once. Similarly, Edge's Tale is divided into five parts, and the player can only explore each area once. The last area in both storylines can be explored freely as the player wishes.
Palom's Tale and the Lunarian's Tale have no points of no return.
The point of no return is in the narrow path between the party and Exdeath's tree form at the final area of the Interdimensional Rift. After the Warriors of Dawn break the player party out of the Void, if the narrow path is approached, Bartz will leap towards Exdeath and start the final battle.
If the player exits the zone just after the cutscene before the final battle and returns to the zone where Exdeath is fought, the music changes from "Ahead on our Way" to "In Search of Light." This could be considered an error in the game due to the music event being switched off when the player leaves. This could have been fixed if the developers removed the event that allowed the player to leave the zone.
In the Game Boy Advance and smartphone versions, after the ending credits, the game will return the player to the world map. The player can continue playing the game, the Sealed Temple will be unlocked, and Exdeath can be fought again.
In the mobile version, exiting the Interdimensional Rift immediately before the point of no return earns the "Forget Something" achievement.
The point of no return is in Kefka's Tower, at the latest possible point before triggering the final boss fight by stepping on the switches behind the Warring Triad. This point of no return is removed in the Game Boy Advance and smartphone remakes, where defeating Kefka allows the player to save the game and resume outside the tower.
Once the player approaches the Warring Triad on the Floating Continent after defeating Ultima Weapon, the player can no longer return to the World of Balance—the player must play through the end of the world and proceed to the World of Ruin. At a point before Ultima Weapon, the player can return to the Blackjack to continue to explore the World of Balance.
The point of no return is within the Northern Cave right above the Planet's Core. The exact spot is the room where the party regroups after splitting up.
The room of the Northern Cave where the party first splits up can also become a point of no return due to the Save Crystal Glitch.
The point of no return is a large door in the Banora Underground, which requires seven Goddess Materia to open. Beyond that, there is only the final battles.
Since the game is largely linear, once a player completes a chapter they can never return to that location, and any treasures found there are lost. Once the player finishes Chapter 8 and proceeds to Nibelheim in Chapter 9, Midgar and all missions unlocked by doing sidequests in Midgar cannot be revisited. Up until this point, most of these sidequests carry over between chapters and can be done at any time until the player leaves for Nibelheim. The final chapters, like the rest of the game, take the player to areas that cannot be revisited once left.
The game is entirely linear, so there is no special point of no return. Old battles can be replayed by returning to that chapter and selecting the point at which one wants to start the game up again.
The fight with Seifer within Lunatic Pandora is considered a point of no return, as once he is defeated the player must fight Adel next, and time compression happens after she is defeated. While the player can still access the world map in the time compressed world, nearly all locations are inaccessible, with only Chocobo Forests and dungeons containing Guardian Forces free to explore. The point of no return to the final battle is when the party enter the Master's Room of Ultimecia Castle.
The passage to Terra can be considered a point of no return, as many areas will be inaccessible once the party returns to Gaia. The point of no return to the final battle is after the party defeats Deathguise. The player will be given an opportunity to save outside the portal, but a second trip in will start the boss fight with Trance Kuja.
The player passes the point of no return when they approach the Tower of the Dead and enter the Nucleus Inside Sin by examining a glyph on the side of the tower.
The point of no return occurs right after crossing the portal in the Farplane to fight Vegnagun and Shuyin. The player is forced onwards right after Rikku warns of the point of no return, yet it is possible to backtrack to the save point even after defeating the lesser parts of Vegnagun.
The point of no return is when the party enters the Sky Fortress Bahamut, though many of the areas in the game become inaccessible after leaving them. The game helpfully warns the player while saving in locations they cannot leave before defeating a boss, such as the Dreadnought Leviathan.
The point of no return is in the Narthex of Orphan's Cradle. At the end of the Narthex is a door; upon approaching it, Lightning will announce, "Let's do this", and the door will open. Upon passing through the doorway, the party will have passed the point of no return into Orphan's Chamber for the boss fight with Barthandelus. During the post-game, the door will always be open and Lightning will give no warning prior to entering it.
The point of no return occurs is after the player reaches the final platform and approaches the Academy's headquarters in Academia at 500 AF. The following cutscene will mean the player has passed the point of no return. However, after the ending credits the game will bring the player back to Historia Crux menu and the player can continue playing the game.
The point of no return occurs when Lightning enters the distortion formed at the middle of the fifth corridor within God's Sanctum in the Luxerion cathedral, where she saw Bhunivelze disguised as Hope take her friends' souls. After arguing with Bhunivelze, Lightning enters the Cosmogenesis, and the god awaits in the Sanct of Theogenesis.
The final point of no return is the Orbonne Monastery at the end of Chapter 4. In Final Fantasy Tactics, if a location is home to a series of battles, the player can never leave until those battles are completed. Since the Orbonne battles lead directly to the final confrontation in the Necrohol of Mullonde, the player can never return to the world map again.
The point of no return is advancing to Mission Day for the Capturing the Imperial Capital mission in Chapter 7, as the player will be forced to accept the mission and transition to Chapter 8, which leaves many locations in Orience unrevisitable and is a very linear sequence leading to the final mission.
Like all dungeons, the player can leave Mount Vellenge and return to the world map by traveling back through the entrance. Thus, the real point of no return is when the player confronts the Meteor Parasite as the first of the game's final battles.
Following the cutscenes at Victory Monument Hill and Cid's Workshop in Bridge Town, Layle must return to Alfitaria Capital City and board a shuttle to see Althea and obtain the third Crystal Idol. Boarding the shuttle (which carries a warning of there being no return) will begin the cutscenes leading to the final battle against Jegran.
The point of no return is the bridge at the top of Dime Tower. When the player defeats Garude at the top they can no longer exit it and return to the world map. Attempting to do so will have Marcie inform the player that they can't leave while the tower is unstable. If they save the game beyond this point they may no longer visit the world map again.
Venturing through the Temple of Mana and reaching the Mana Shrine is the second point of no return where saving means one can no longer return to the Temple of Mana and revisit prior sections of the area. The player should always bring plenty of keys to this section, because not having enough means they'll be permanently stuck, since they can't turn around and buy more.
Depending on the player's current situation, there can be a point of no return. When the player enters Paradise there won't be an exit point, but if the player happens to have the Door item, or a monster with the Telepor ability, they may warp out of the area and to another floor of the Tower itself. The player will be out of luck if they do not have the item or ability, and saved their game while in Paradise.
The point of no return is the battle with Apollo inside the Central Shrine, after which the player is forced to descend into the Shrine and the battle with the two Arsenals. However, simply entering the Final World can be hazardous, as Apollo will strip the party of its MAGI after the battle with Minion. This will permanently hamper the party's combat abilities and access to the Pillar of Sky.
There are two points of no return in the game. The first is when the player defeats Maitreya on Floatland, whereupon the entire Floatland will no longer be accessible. The second one is after the player warps to Pureland at which point the player will not be able to warp back to the original world, nor explore the Past, Present, and Future of that world any longer.
Dissidia Final Fantasy does not have a point of no return. During encounters in a board system it is impossible to escape the battle, use any skills, etc. However, the player can still quit the current progression.
Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy does not have a point of no return as the player can quit a gateway at any point. During Chapter 8 of "Main Scenario 012: Treachery of the Gods" at Floor 3 in the Last Gateway, some of the back stones for the player to walk on disappear, giving the impression of a point of no return, but the player may still exit the gateway.
The point of no return is the point beyond which one must continue on his or her current course of action because turning back is physically impossible, prohibitively expensive or dangerous.