I actually had an idea for this, but even though I tried for multiple hours over a few days, the necessary depth simply couldn't fit into a single screen.
It was going to be "the downward spiral." At first I wanted it to work with dungeon tiles, since some of mine get darker as they go deeper. There would have been some waterfalls pouring out of the walls (perhaps the snake-faces like in Z3 dark world level 2), falling down the ledges, and ending in a small central water pit with a whirlpool in the center. It also would have worked with DoR outdoors if this had been a full 2x2 screen contest, using the LttP-styled mountains with the large waterfalls and a larger central pond with a 2x2 whirlpool in the center.
The submissions turned out better than I expected. At first, I thought the challenge would have been a bit difficult to express, but all of you lovely people nailed it.
My thoughts as well.
NJF's is certainly the most true of the bunch. The split arrows and the 20 enemies in a room with a 10-enemy limit are beyond accurate.
Moosh's makes me think of this thing my "writing fiction" teacher was always pushing, about how sometimes you can make a big impact with a load of words, but an even bigger impact with only a few select words - and this is essentially the visual equivalent. While all the other shots show exactly what's going on, this is the only one that makes me wonder what's next. The door brings much uncertainty to the picture. It's probably best to keep it closed though, because honestly, anybody who opened the door would probably end up in NJF's room anyway.
I pretty much agree with Eddy and Naru as far as Maikeru's goes, though I don't recognize level vs. sprite palettes for that tileset, so it looks fine to me in that regard.
Joel - hate to love, love to hate?