Demon of the Well
Map 18 -- Monochromatic Nightmare - 97% Kills / 75% Secrets
Hey, music! Good to hear some again (actually, I tell a lie, I've mostly been IDMUSing to the inoffensive muzak from "Abusive" while playing through this). Don't recognize the tune, but it sounds like it comes out of an old sidescrolling action/platformer.
Oh, right, the map. Well, that start room sure is something. Opening up with an optical illusion lets you know from the word go that this map is going to focus most of its efforts on playing up its monochromatic theme. It's mostly black and white here--that is, solid, untextured black and solid untextured white, rather than the softer, subtly-textured newsprint tones that many previous maps have used. There's also a flat B&W brick texture, a few written messages addressed to the player, and maybe a couple of others. All of the structures are very cuboid and simplistic (though some use floor-over-floor), and in combination with the stark, depthless B&W color/texture theme, the map manages to look at least superficially striking, and more than superficially unique. There are a few hiccups in that the ground texture and the occasional liquid textures one occasionally sees are much more high-res and present a jarring contrast with the buildings and other structures, but that's a small complaint.
How does it play? Eh, well, it hardly knocked my socks off, but it wasn't broken/unreasonable. As has been noted, it's a sort of simplified DooM II E2 city-esque map, most which boils down to a keyhunt. Lots of directly-placed basic monsters in small groups, few traps (the secret Baron squad was kind of neat, I guess, but completely nonthreatening), and then your choice of short teleporter-wave survival arenas at the end, though at least there's some height variation. I also failed to find Dave's Secret Armory at the start, meaning that much of the proceedings were some basic shotgun/chaingun exercise for me, although I did find the other three secrets and thus eventually recouped most of the weapons I missed in that way. It wasn't the guns and stuff I'm disappointed I missed, though (hardly really needed them), but rather the one-time buttons that allow you to swap a lot of the white in the rest of the map for red, yellow, or blue. Actually, truth be told, I think it looks best in black & white, but it was a neat idea, all the same. Asked to choose my fate at the end, I opted for the blue door; I still got the cyberdemon at the end, but where Cannonball and Hurricyclone reportedly got nobles beforehand, I got a big 'ol pile of assorted zombies, which might've been arguably worse, except that I was heavily armed.
I encountered one non-crucial bug: On Ultraviolence, the two small ammo closets on either side of the first yellow door each contained a dormant (motionless/invulnerable) pinkie demon. No matter what I did, I simply couldn't get these dudes to wake up and attack me.
Even though the gameplay in Monochromatic Nightmare was only so-so and probably won't draw me back, I still got some entertainment out of seeing this map's take on the monochrome constraint.