Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Monochroma

Go To
Monochroma is a 2.5D Puzzle Platformer / Cinematic Platform Game, developed by the Turkish Nowhere Studios. It was funded on Kickstarter in 2013, and released on PC in 2014, with Xbox One version following in 2016.

It is a story about two brothers, which begins with the two of them in the countryside, simply following a kite they've launched. Then, however, your little brother falls and gets injured, forcing the player character to carry them. From then on, the mood starts to get progressively darker.

Tropes present in Monochroma:

  • Bittersweet Ending: You save your brother from being captured by the corporation by causing their airship to crash, though it happens at the cost of your own life.
  • Building Swing: You'll be regularly doing such swings on the various chains and ropes around the levels. Often, you'll first jump on it alone, and use your weight to swing it back and forth enough to then be able to drop back to where your brother is, place him back on your shoulders, and then jump on it together.
  • Cardboard Prison: At one point, you end in a prison cell. All you need to do to escape it is jump on the cable hanging from the grate that has the burly guard standing atop it. The combined weight of you and the guard is too much, and the grate comes loose at one end, sending the guard straight down, and letting you escape.
  • Advertisement:
  • Contrived Coincidence: Early on, a windmill gets struck by lighting and collapses (in spite of being seemingly metal) right as you pass by it.
  • Convection Schmonvection: After the burly guard finally captures your brother and set the rest of the floor on fire to get rid of you, you'll pass unharmed through the flames by simply riding one of the company's robots. Notably, those flames are hot enough that the robot eventually starts shaking, and collapses after you leave it to jump onto the ladder.
  • Cool Airship: The leaders of the "M" corporation have one, and the final level is set there. You also bring it down in the end, at the cost of your own life.
  • Cool Shades: Your brother seems to wear aviator glasses. These also have red lenses.
  • Crate Expectations: Crates are present from the opening onwards, where they presumably store farming supplies or equipment. The earliest puzzles are about pushing them into the right position to make the jump.
  • Advertisement:
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: One of the earliest ways to die is to fall into a woodchipper.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: The game auto-saves near pretty much every place you can get killed in, so you are barely thrown back.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: As expected from the title. The only colors are black, white, shades of grey and red, which acts as spot colour. Often, the only coloured object is the player character's red scarf, along with the red lenses in his brother's shades.
    • The red-shirted man's inner sanctum on board the airship suddenly bursts back to colour, with the vivid greens of the trees and grass, blue petals of the flowers, and more. Moreover, you suddenly see your own character in color for the first time.
    • Dying tints the entire screen in red.
  • Driven to Suicide: The prison cell you are thrown in at the start of chapter 8 has the dead body of another boy hanging in the background.
  • Ethereal Choir: This is the sound that accompanies the process of small robots being created.
  • Exposed to the Elements: You and your brother spend pretty much the entire game under the rain while wearing very light clothing. Neither of you ever get even remotely sick as a result. At one point, you must even set your brother down in a stormwater drain, where he's ankle-deep in water that's slowly pushing him down the screen (and will eventually push him into the deep water of a reservoir if you take too much time solving the puzzle). He doesn't appear to be the least bit inconvenienced by this.
  • Evolving Title Screen: Here, it's the loading screens that evolve from chapter to chapter, with each portraying an ad from the titular corporation.
    • Chapter 1: Simply the red "M" sigil.
    • Chapter 2: A well-fed child on top of the company's signature mobility robot.
    • Chapter 3: Same as Chapter 2, but the robot is now in motion, with child signalling the way for it with a really creepy animation.
    • Chapter 4: A family of that child, his brother and their mother standing in wonder around an "M"-branded box from which a robot emerges.
    • Chapter 5: A cool airship with the "M" logo is ascending past a typical grey highrise of that city.
    • Chapter 6: A bunch of workers are assembling stuff in the factory. They all look the same except for a mustachio-ed one in the center, who is visibly sweating.
    • Chapter 7: The kid from the earlier ads is back, and is hugging the same robot.
    • Chapter 8: A male and female worker are hugging the benevolently smiling head of the corporation.
  • Fade to Black: The way the chapter transitions occur.
  • Force-Choke: A huge red robotic eye on a mechanical arm, but with a very human-looking iris accomplishes this if it spots you. Somehow. Apparently, it needs to fully focus in before it manages this, though.
  • Ground Pound: A non-player example: when you get spotted and chased by the second red-shirted guard you encounter, he's so bulky that when he jumps down from a platform onto a car roof below, all of the car's windows are smashed from the force of impact, while the guy is completely unhurt.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: This trope is in play with the head of the "M" company, who has the lower body of the octopus.
  • Heroic Mime: The protagonist, and his brother. Then again, the only time anyone in the game speaks is [[spoiler:
  • High-Class Glass: The boss of the "M" corporation wears one in all of the company's promo material he appears in.
  • Hope Spot: There's one at the end of Chapter 7, when you manage to free your brother from the vat he was stored in, you have an emotional reunion, and seemingly escape. Then, you soon arrive at a dead-end with nowhere to run or jump to safety, as the red-suited man slowly and triumphantly walks towards you.
  • Human Popsicle: You discover a place with children's bodies placed in vats of fluid, whether to be grown or kept in stasis by the end of chapter 1. They reappear a few chapters later. Your brother is placed into one after he's finally captured. You quickly break him out of it, however.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted, given the numerous ways the player character and/or his brother can die in.
  • Ironic Fear: Your brother is afraid of the dark, and so you can only set him down under light sources. Your brother would even rather be under the light bulb right under a large crate you'll have to bring down in order for you two to advance then to be a mere meter away, but in a safe place. Thus, you are forced to first push the right switch, and then frantically race back to get your brother out from beneath a lowering crate.
  • Mega-Corp: The corporation with the red "M" logo seems to basically control that whole world. Late in the game, there's a presentation in the background. It shows a pie chart, where said corporation seems to control about 80-90% of whatever was being measured.
  • Mood Whiplash: The opening has the player character simply follow a kite at their own pace, giving them time to get used to the controls and the first of the puzzles, and everything is accompanied by the nice background music. Then, once the player reaches the brother and they go on top of a barn roof, the tile collapses under their combined weight, leaving the brother injured and forcing you to carry him. The background music is immediately cut, leaving you to deal with the mess in silence.
    • Another example much later on: after your brother is carried off by the guard and his attempt to kill you through setting the floor on fire fails genuinely sad music plays to highlight the gravity of the moment. Yet, the actual gameplay of the scene, which involves sliding from one sloped rooftop to another, about a dozen of times, before landing onto a giant metal barrel and sliding on it through a series of ramps, is the most exciting the game has been up to this point.
  • Neck Snap: The half-octopus boss of the corporation kills you in this manner if he catches you.
  • Puzzle Boss: The head of the corporation cannot be fought normally. Instead, he needs to be tricked into attacking, but missing you, and striking the pipes you are both on instead, several times in a row, until they collapse.
  • Red Shirt: The first guards of the "M" company you encounter, and have to flee from, are these. The fourth one has a striped red-and-gray shirt. Alternatively, it's the same person who changed his clothing a little.
  • Rise to the Challenge: There are several instances where the only way to advance is to trigger the flooding of the room you are in, so that the rising waterline will push up a crate present in the room, and allow you to jump off it to whatever ledge was previously out of reach.
  • Schmuck Bait: Just try pulling that switch controlling a platform will a lit barrel of oil is standing on top of it. What's the worst that can happen? It falls right into the pool of oil below, causing the entire structure to be set ablaze in seconds and killing you two. The solution is to push it into the rain first so that the fire goes out, and only then to place it back, so that you don't drown in the very same oil.
  • Sigil Spam: "M" corporation doesn't place their logo on the levels as oten as in most examples of the trope. However, the chapter 6 loading screen, which is an ad where woman's shopping cart passes by dozens of clothing items all bearing their logo, definitely qualifies.
  • Super Drowning Skills: The player character and his brother drown immediately after ending up in the water.
  • Super Window Jump: The player character does this pretty early on to escape the child cloning/vatting center, his brother on his back. Strangely, neither of them is even remotely injured by the shards of glass, even though a fall of similar height (with no glass involved) is what injured your brother in the first place.
    • In a later chase, you do it again, jumping through a sun roof this time. Even though the resultant shards of glass are really large, the two of you are again unhurt.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: On one level, moving a robot out of the way and to a safe place before activating a platform that would have otherwise crushed it unlocks "Conscience" achievement.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Chases with the red-shirted guards end on a couple of occasions with them dropping down offscreen, potentially to their deaths, which prompts no reaction from either of you. Then again, it's possible it's been the same person all along.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Getting caught by the red-shirted guard is a Game Over, but it's not clear at first whether you die or just get imprisoned somewhere. Later scene clarifies this, however, as after the guard finally captures your brother, he drags him off, but not before choosing to set the rest of the floor on fire in an attempt to get rid of you.
  • You All Look Familiar: The red-shirted guards all look exactly the same. Then again, it might be the same person all along, who somehow always predicted your movements and where you would go next. It's never made clear either way.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: