Posted October 12th 2008
In Halo 3 it seems that if you die quickly five times in a row, the game will usually revert you to your penultimate checkpoint, i.e. the checkpoint before your last one. Presumably your repeated rapid deaths make the game think it may have given you a checkpoint in a very nasty situation, and it's trying to help you by taking you further back so you can approach things afresh. But you can exploit this service as a method of deliberately getting back to your penultimate checkpoint, when you wish. Just kill yourself quickly five times in a row and you should get bounced back. I call it 'suicide reversion', and it's a useful technique for replaying a recent part of the game when normal reversion (to the last checkpoint) would not take you back far enough.
Killing yourself quickly five times can be quite easily done with a grenade or by firing an explosive weapon against the ground or some other nearby surface. Note also that you don't have to wait for your death animation to play out each time; you can speed the process by selecting 'REVERT TO LAST SAVE' immediately after each death.
Also quicker than reloading
In the case where your penultimate checkpoint is one you actually saved, suicide reversion is a lot quicker than the usual laborious method of quitting to the dashboard then reloading. It's just a darned shame we've never had an option for reverting to your actual saved checkpoint. The phrase 'REVERT TO LAST SAVE' is somewhat inappropriate and misleading of course. It should really say 'REVERT TO LAST CHECKPOINT'.
There seem to be places in the game where suicide reversion won't work. I've encountered at least one checkpoint which the game would not revert me back past - namely the one you get as you come back down on the lift in the third tower in level 7, The Covenant. There may well be other such checkpoints which - for whatever reason - you can't revert back past.