We Happy Few Wiki

Main Characters who are Downers (left to right): Sally Boyle, Arthur Hastings and Oliver Starkey.

A "Downer" is the name given to anyone who can, but chooses not to take Joy. The three main playable characters of We Happy Few are all Downers, although the player can meet other Downers in the game as well.

Buff TechFriendly.png Overview[]

There are two ways the term Downer is used. The most common usage is by Wellies who accuse another Wellie of not being on Joy. Whether the person is choosing to not take Joy or is unable to take it anymore doesn't matter, they are considered to be a Downer until they're chased into the Garden District, in which they become a Wastrel.

The difference between Downers and Wastrels is that Wastrels are immune to the effects of Joy and are therefore forced to live in the Garden District, they do not have the choice to move back into Hamlyn Village and blend into that society like Downers can. Downers can choose to live in either Hamlyn Village or the Garden District, but they also have to conform in order to not be caught.

Wellies despise Downers because of their desire to keep their terrible past forgotten, and because Downers are able to remember the past, they have the ability to expose the truth and remind them of it, turning them into Downers as well. Recently turned Downers are so distraught by the memories of the past and the situation around them that they're often too disoriented to flee, resulting in their deaths.


"Skippers" are Downers who attempt to escape Wellington Wells, or rather, "skip town." This means that Arthur, Sally and Ollie all technically Skippers by the end of the game.

On Britannia Bridge are posters that have rules on for the Constables to follow when they catch Skippers.

  • Any unauthorized person is attempting to leave Wellington Wells
  • It's a clear sign of mental derangement
  • Skippers complain of hunger, it's evidence of psychosis induced from Joy Withdrawal.
  • After subduing skippers, they should be brought to Dr. Verloc, as they are now custody of him.

While not documented as much as the other groups, Arthur, Sally, Ollie, and Prudence Holmes are clear Skippers. It can also be assumed that Mr. Kite is a Skipper.

Buff PureBliss.png Events of We Happy Few[]

All three of the main characters, Arthur, Sally and Ollie, are Downers.

Though they are Downers for different reasons, they all have one thing in common: they need to escape Wellington Wells by any means necessary. A mechanic in the game for each of the characters is picking up forgotten memories that are scattered across Wellington Wells. While the memories don't reveal major secrets, they allude to many major events of the character's past, most of which hint at the truth that comes up later in the Act, or reveal information regarding certain character's personalities and traits.

Sometimes memories may come up during scripted events after progressing to a certain point in the game, e.g Arthur fully remembering what happened between him and his brother by the end of his Act.

Buff SluggerAgain.png Gameplay[]

The playable characters can be impaired from taking too much Joy, affecting their skills and abilities to do things. Ollie Starkey is a special case, as he gets sick from taking Joy at all.

Joy Doctors will know that the player isn't on Joy due to being able to smell it, and eventually become hostile towards them. In addition to avoiding raising suspicion with people, Wellington Wells contains Downer Detectors, Spankers, and Headmistresses who will detect and immediately know if the player is not on Joy. Taking Sunshine can fool the detectors as well as the Doctors.

Buff Conformist.png Trivia[]

  • Ollie Starkey represents a more severe version of a Downer, for while he can take Joy and will experience the highs, he also becomes sick from it.
  • Many characters mentioned and met in the game exhibit symptoms of being a Downer, though it's never directly stated.
    • Prudence Holmes, who tried to escape Wellington Wells before Arthur did.
    • Gemma Olsen, a reporter who attempted to expose Anton Verloc's crimes only to be captured and used for human experimentation, before eventually escaping.
    • Margaret Oliphant, the editor-in-chief of The Hamlyn "O" Courant who attempts to expose the truth through newspaper articles, though she disappears before she's able to do so.