Resident Evil 4 is comprised of 16 chapters, spread across three major zones. As you progress, you’ll battle enemies, collect loot, and discover secrets. However, once you have to go to the next zone, you won’t be able to return to the previous one. Here’s our Resident Evil 4 points of no return guide to help prepare you for these important sections in the campaign.
Resident Evil 4 points of no return guide
The Resident Evil 4 points of no return can be categorized into two types: soft lock and hard lock. Yes, we’re using these terms as they feel appropriate. Basically, a soft lock is when you’ll be unable to return to a specific area, but you can still freely explore the rest of the zone. A hard lock, meanwhile, will completely prevent you from returning to the previous zone.
As such, we’ve outlined these segments in our Resident Evil 4 points of no return guide. Make sure you have a manual save in case you miss out on any treasures, requests, or other notable challenges. Take note that this guide necessarily contains spoilers.
Village points of no return
- Soft lock: Quarry Bridge (Chapter 4) – This is after the first El Gigante boss fight. When you go past the arena and head to the Church, the cliffside bridge will collapse, preventing you from returning to the Lake.
- Hard lock: Villa (Chapter 5) – This is after you’ve rescued Ashley, and the game prompts you to head past the Farm to reach the Villa. When you cross the rickety bridge, a cutscene will play. Leon, Luis, and Ashley have to fend off dozens of infected villagers in a hectic encounter. When that’s done, you’ll have no choice but to proceed further past the Valley until you fight Mendez. Further onward, you’ll end up in the Castle.
Castle points of no return
- Soft lock: The Depths/Underground Tunnel (Chapter 10) – When Leon reaches the Throne Room, he’ll fall down a pit. This part where he has to go through these areas, including a fight against Verdugo, takes place in a single chapter. Once you ride the elevator, you won’t be able to return.
- Soft lock: Mines (Chapter 11) – This includes the mine cart segment, as well as the third and final El Gigante encounter. If you want to complete the challenge where the mine cart doesn’t take damage, you could just keep a backup save prior to that sequence.
- Hard lock: Clock Tower (Chapter 12) – After leaving the Mines, you’ll be back at the opposite side of the Ballroom, which happens to have a Merchant hub. There’s also a cable car that will take you to the lower portion of the Clock Tower. You can ride the cable car back and forth, so no problems there. In fact, you can backtrack and explore the other portions of the Castle, including the Throne Room. The only thing you should avoid is riding the elevator at the top of the Clock Tower. This will prevent you from revisiting the rest of the Castle.
Island points of no return
- Soft lock: Specimen Storage (Chapter 15)– Advancing further into the building will prevent you from going back outside.
- The actual point of no return: Loading Docks (Chapter 16) – This is the real point of no return in Resident Evil 4. Past this area, all that’s left is the final boss, Lord Saddler. You should keep a manual save here, and avoid accidentally overwriting it. Note that challenges are tallied per account/playthrough. Likewise, once you’ve taken out your foe, it will lead to the ending and New Game+, so make sure you’ve unlocked everything you need for subsequent runs.
Resident Evil 4 has more mechanics and secrets for you to discover. You can learn more in our guides hub.
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