It follows the story of a lost human boy named Nino, who awakens in an unfamiliar forest. Due to his amnesia, he doesn't remember why he came to the forest, or what he is doing in it.
It's up to the readers to lead him on the correct path and make the right decisions to avoid the dangers around him, while uncovering the story behind how he ended up lost in the monster's world.
Currently, the comic has its own website where users can comment command suggestions, to be used by the author to advance the story after every update. It also has a Discord server where update notifications and update discussion, theorizing, and fanworks are shared and produced.
Oceanfalls contains examples of:
- Amnesiac Hero: Nino. This is later discussed between him and Kaji when he offers advice based on his own experiences with amnesia; mainly that Nino should find the core of who he is so that no matter what happens, whether he gains his memories back or not, he won't lose himself
- Art Evolution: It's definitely noticeable as time goes on. Just look at this◊ panel from 2016 (fairly close to the start of the comic), and compare it to these◊ panels◊ from 2018 and 2021, respectively.
- Audience Participation: It uses reader submitted command suggestions to advance the story.
- Blatant Lies: Nino and Aria trying to bluff their way past the town guard.
- Blind Seer: The grave of Maya Elwyn, Aria's late mother, is engraved with "The Blind Seer of the Sacred Cenote".
- Bloody Horror: When Nino first finds Five, she is a bloody mess, described to be scratching her skin as if she's trying to peel it off. Made worse by the fact that she is only a child.
- Cast of Snowflakes: Nights has evidently put a massive amount of work into giving every single character unique designs with distinctive personalities.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Kotori remarks that monsters tend to act this way. Corona responds that the Winged are way worse in what they do to eachother.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Every single character has a RGB color that is specific to them, and is always shown when they speak. Word Of God states that colors play an important role in terms of the greater story, but leaves it vague as to how.
- Combat, Diplomacy, Stealth: These are the three battle menu options whenever Nino enters a random encounter.
- Domed Hometown: Lady Oshen ended the war between humans and monsters by creating a barrier that simultaneously divided the worlds of humans and monsters, and also sealed both worlds under a massive dome.
- Déjà Vu: A possible interpretation of what happened when Nino used his healing hands on the yellow flowers. But perhaps this is just a mere haze.
- Disneyfication: In-Universe example. Most fairytales heard within the world of Oceanfalls tend to be of the Grimm variety, but one of Aria and Kotori's old hobbies was rewriting them to have more optimistic and happier endings.
- Easy Amnesia: At the very beginning. Nino seems to have forgotten everything just by falling down and hitting his head.
- Eats Babies: While Nino is stuck in the Cave of Illusions, he comes across some crude monster propaganda claiming that humans, particularly the Human Prince, are guilty of this. It was probably aimed at...
- Fish People: The Seafolk, one of the lesser races, though, they're more on the humanoid side than most examples.
- Go Through Me: Five pulls one of these for Aria, against Kotori.
- Great Offscreen War: There is a mysterious war as part of the setting's backstory, between humans and monsters. Aria's mother died in it. It was ended by the creation of a barrier which divided the human and monster worlds; it is this same barrier that forms a massive dome which traps both worlds inside it. Nino's psychological reaction indicates that he has some dark connection to it.
- Heal the Cutie: Starts with both a literal and an actual one when Nino encounters Five, a mere child. As it turns out, Five was sickly and under the care of a number of friends, but the Evil Prince forces them to abandon her and make her undergo a horrific transformation, a fate common for monsters considered weak. By the time Nino finds her, she's a bloody mess crying and clawing her own skin off. Nino's Healing Hands patch her up and, with love and care from him and Aria, Five recovers and shows her sweet, adorable nature again. That said, it's quite clear that the world isn't quite done bringing misery, and there are a lot of hardships left ahead for her.
- Healing Hands: Nino's ability is this. He uses it to undo Five's Painful Transformation.
- Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Nino gets assaulted by all the wrong names entered by readers before his actual name is revealed.
- Horned Humanoid: Monsters are mostly human in appearance, but have red eyes and one horn on their forehead. Seemingly, they have claws which manifest under strong emotions such as anger and stress.
- Innocent Innuendo: Happens twice in the same conversation courtesy of Aria and Mei. When the party heads to bed for the night...Aria: We've all had a long day, yeah.
Meimona: It was fun, don't talk like that!
Aria: Maybe in some part, but... There were too many death scares during a single day for my liking, really. At least I can finally rest for real, though! And I can't believe I'm sleeping with other humans!!
Nino: Uhh...! Aria, that's... uhhmm...!
Reed: ...A very poor choice of words.
Aria: What? Did I say something wrong?
Nino: ...Augh... no, nevermind.
Aria: Whew, well, I'm so glad to be here right now!
Meimona: Guys, the closet has pajamas by the way!!! Also, I call dibs on the left bed! Shoo, Reed! This is my spot!
Reed: How come you get to choose.
Meimona: It's first come first serve, slowpoke! So you can just take uhh... wait. Aren't four beds not enough? Obviously, MY boyfriend sleeps with ME, so that leaves, umm...
Nino: You guys... phrasing... please.
Reed: (Why don't you just get your head outta the gutter.)
Nino: (Don't give me that, hypocrite.)
- Lemony Narrator: Hoo boy yep, but Played With, in that it's in 2nd person rather than third person.
- Madness Mantra: Kotori repeats "Whatever happens, happens" when things get tense with Suvillan.
- Magic A Is Magic A: In the world of Oceanfalls, everyone possesses an ability tied to their very existence. These abilities are formed during an awakening, usually a crucial moment in a young persons development. Diana in a flashback explains further. Abilities work by an outside input prompting the creation of an ability by the soul. The ability is then given form by the mind, which is then released through the body to create various effects. Because of this, no two abilities are ever exactly the same. Additionally, all abilities have restrictions and powers tied to them, but the only way to know these is by experimenting.
- The average power of abilities varies depending on race. Humans naturally have the weakest abilities, and Monsters are more powerful, but Winged abilities are stronger than both and can awaken more than one to boot.
- Later on, it's made clear that some people just can't awaken abilities at all, but the effects of this vary depending one's race. Humans are physically completely fine, and only lack an ability; Monsters are born weak and sickly, and usually die within a few years of being born; and Winged with no ability instantly die upon spawning. Nino points out the correlation that more power means more dependency.
- Meaningful Name: Enough to warrant its own page.
- Mood Whiplash: Just as Aria and Five are attacked by a spirit that starts mimicing Nino, we cut to Nino and Mei, exactly where they left off: Mei holding Nino in her hands while they run away from Kaji and the Sea Patrol.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: It's easily missable, but Five calling to Aria that she's about to be attacked by a spirit.Five: W-Wait! B-Behind- Behind you!!
- Our Monsters Are Different: So far all monsters seen are mostly human in appearance, except with red eyes and a single unicorn-like white horn, and dark claws. They tend to have more powerful abilities than most humans, but are much more dependent on them to live.
- Our Spirits Are Different: Spirits are a major danger in the monster world due to their illusory abilities, and mostly survive off of the negative emotions of those they torment, but can and will consume souls if they believe a great danger is coming. Thankfully, spirits can be killed by physical attacks like any other creature. They also mostly talk in Black Speech that is represented in the comic by Morse Code, but nobody In-Universe can understand.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Aria's monster disguise involves using her mirage to change her eyes red and stick a horn on her head. And that's it. Justified though, as those really are the physical differences between humans and monsters.
- Player Party: As the comic uses many RPG tropes and mechanics, this is an obvious one. Nino himself, of course, is one, and Aria becomes one later. Later, one of the remaining slots gets filled by Meimona, while the last one is filled by Reed.
- Proud Merchant Race: Nino's interactions with the monsters in Redtulip Town give the impression that all everyone cares about is money.
- Second-Person Narration: Unsurprising, due to its MS Paint Adventures influences, though, they mainly extend to this and the interactivity.
- Title Drop: Parodied when Nino falls into the Cave of Illusions.Suggestion Prompt: Nino: Did you just Ocean-fall?
WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN-
THIS IS NOT EVEN AN OCEAN-
NOW IS NOT THE TIME-
- Invoked by Nino himself later when Kaji interrogates him.Kaji: An' well, where'd you come from, weirdo?
Nino: I came from...
Suggestion Prompt: Nino: Say "THE SEA" as loud as possible.
You nearly say "THE SEA" as loud as humanly possible, but then you almost instinctively pause for a split second. You feel like the universe brought you to this very spot for a better answer than that. It would want you to answer with something thematic, something more appropriate, yes...
Nino: THE OCEAN
Yeah. Like that. That satisfies a few unknown forces out there.
- Invoked by Nino himself later when Kaji interrogates him.
- Verbal Tic: Five speaks slowly and with lots of pausing and hesitation, but she does this less over time. She also speaks exclusively in third person.
- Videogame Caring Potential: Due to the RPG-style nature of the webcomic, Nino choosing to help Five is played as this In-Universe.
- Wham Line: Just after Nino remembers that he came to the monster world to achieve something and becomes determined enough to wake up, the very next update makes it clear that he doesn't remember everything.Suggestion Prompt: Nino: ARIA! OH NO!
Who the hell is that??
- Winged Humanoid: A race known as "the Winged" exists, and is revealed to be able to awaken more than one ability.
- You Wake Up in a Room: Well, "an unfamiliar place" technically.