When first entering We Happy Few, the indie survival title from Compulsion Games that just went into Early Access, you’re greeted with the words “Happy is the country with no past”. Purging unpleasant memories and staying jovial is paramount for citizens of Wellington Wells, and this kind of behavior is accomplished primarily through one thing: Joy.
The earliest mention of Joy we’ve discovered is in an article from March 3, 1952 – nearly twelve years prior to when you start in the game. From the article, we learn that Dr. Alexander Gross had been testing an anti-melancholic medication on despondent rats. In his tests, twenty-eight of the thirty despondent rats became happier over a twenty-day period. We also learned that the drug was being tested on human volunteers, and there was a long line of citizens interested in trying the medication. We can only assume that this medication is the beginnings of Joy.
“When life annoys, top off your Joy!”
This motto is what Arthur Hastings mumbles after discovering an article featuring his brother Percival and himself. The article brings back unpleasant memories, and he must decide if he'd rather take his Joy or remember his dark past. In the game, you're prompted with making this decision for Arthur.
Joy does more than create happy feelings and make it easier to forget things, though. From the state of City Hall in Wellington Wells, it’s clear that Joy reduces productivity and a general care for surroundings.
As Arthur passes by stacks of overdue work and piles of trash on the floor, he notes the office’s chaotic environment. Since Arthur is off his Joy, it’s safe to say he wouldn’t have noticed or cared about his unpleasant surroundings if he was drugged.
Lastly, we also notice that citizens of Wellington Wells don’t take kindly to those that are off their Joy. “Downers” are those that refuse to take their Joy, and they’re immediately reported to authorities.
If you’re interested in trying out We Happy Few, the game is now in Early Access. You can grab it on Steam, GOG.com, and Xbox One Game Preview. For more information on the game or beginner tips, check out the Official We Happy Few Wiki on Gamepedia.
Learn More on the We Happy Few Wiki
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