The Pills containing the Joy are of an edible small capsule. Each capsule is colored differently depending on the flavor (chemical compound) of the Pill itself. Strawberry flavored Joy is light/dark red in color, with Vanilla being clear white and Chocolate being similar to Strawberry, with a lighter/darker tone of brown.
The primary purpose of Joy is to repress memories, preventing Wellies from remembering the Very Bad Thing (and consequentially most of their other past and present memories). It also causes the user to perceive the world in a "happier perspective," keeping them in a much better mood than they would otherwise be in. Regular Joy also acts as a contraceptive. More than one Joy pills can be taken at once, but this can lead to overdose and vomiting.
While many users of Joy claims that it's never too dangerous to use too much Joy, it's often quickly proven that the claim is indeed false. Overdosing on Joy will cause severe side effects ranging from greater memory loss to seizures and/or death. If the player takes too much Joy, it will cause the player to suffer a memory loss episode and vomiting. It's also shown that it can cause users to become very groggy, as well as erratic. Bad batches of Joy have been known to cause severe changes to the user's chemistry, preventing them from ever taking the same type of Joy ever again. In the event that they do take that type of Joy again, the user suffers paranoid delusions, vomiting, seizures, and in severe cases, death.
In 1943, during World War II, Germany successfully invaded and occupied England. Joy was created after the citizens of Wellington Wells could no longer bear the anguish and guilt from having been forced to do a Very Bad Thing during Occupation: the sending away of the children thirteen and under to Germany. According to Wellington Wells' Archive, the production of Joy started in 1953 . Some citizens experience serious side effects from the drug, such as psychosis. Wellies will often beat them on sight.
The suggestion that Joy makes one's pupils "teeny-tiny" implies that Joy has opiate-like effects. Joy might be a single pharmaceutical chemical or a polydrug. Loss of memory may indicate the presence of benzodiazepines and dissociatives. It is likely that each 'flavor' of Joy is a different chemical compound, as Wastrels can have particularly negative reactions to one 'flavor' of Joy in particular.
There are many times during gameplay that players are required to take Joy in order to accomplish specific tasks or in order to play through tougher areas. The first one is when Arthur Hastings rehabilitates himself from the garden district and Joy is required to go through the Joy detector. In the initial area, joy is only found in pill form and is unnecessary; in contrast, Joy can be found in water sources, dispensers and in particular food items in the main area of the city.
There are three different flavors of Joy: Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry. In addition to this, there is a new flavor called Coconut that is being developed by Anton Verloc. It should be noted that while there are different flavors, they are not given freely by choice and most of the citizen will often only use one flavor of the given Joy Pills. Throughout Sally's route, a flavor that is known as Blackberry Joy also exists but seems to have stronger effects than regular Joy, as people who are in withdrawal become hostile and violent. This is shown at the start of Act Two when Spud Murphy knocks Sally unconscious and trashes her house in a desperate search for Blackberry. If you ever take joy from a Mood Booth, you do not have a choice of which flavor to take; only strawberry. There was an unsuccessful attempt to make a tea flavor due to the British love for tea, but then joy was put into the water supply to 'enjoy both the medicinal effects of Joy as well a hot beverage'.
List Of Flavors (the "How To Be Happy" Guide): Edit
- Rainbow: A full-bodied bouquet of aromas. Reminiscent of a meadow after a warm rain. Suitable for all ages.
- Strawberry: Has the fruity aroma of fresh strawberries, with a slight tang on the tongue. Great for fruit-lovers and melancholics.
- Blackberry: A special formula in the development for constables and members of the Executive Committee. Blackberry Joy will take the edge off unhappiness whilst still allowing our public officials to keep a clear head.
- Coconut: To the surprise of many, coconuts are not native to Great Britain. However, Haworth Labs is hoping to create a synthetic version of this tropical treat. Ideal for those Wellies who are nostalgic for the hotter climes of the empire.
- "Tea": Haworth Labs had unexpected difficulty creating a tea-flavoured Joy pill. Happily, the Executive Committee had the brilliant solution to put Joy in the municipal water supply. That way, whenever you brew a pot of tea. You can enjoy both the medicinal effects of Joy as well a hot beverage.
- Sunshine: A replacement for joy (strawberry) and it doesn't have any drug affects and it will not give you joy withdraw. (to be honest this is a drug, not a joy pill but it takes its place as joy with no bad effects)
- Oblivion: Not much is known about oblivion, but it makes you forget everything. It is essentially a Joy pill that never wears off
Joy Pills can be found and taken by the player in all three acts, which help them to lower suspicion by not activating Downer Detectors and making Doctors passive. Joy Pills can be found in Joy Dispensers at "Mood booths" located all around in Hamlyn Village, as well as found randomly in buildings or looted from Wellies. When Arthur has to sneak into Haworth Labs on the Holm of Uskglass the workers there randomly have joy pills as loot.
- If the player takes Joy at the very beginning of the game, it will trigger an ending where Arthur Hastings continues life as usual on Joy.
- The Sunshine Pill has a similar effect to Joy. They give people the appearance of being on joy without any of the positive or negative side effects. Using them, Wastrels can get into and reside in the village without raising suspicion and downers can pass through Joy detectors without being Spanked by Spankers. This crafting formula is obtained from Sally.
- Ollie Starkey suspects (according to one of his notes) that Joy only makes a few of the bad memories go away and pretend to forget everything else and try not to think about what they did. There are also actions from certain characters on Joy that suggest that they haven't completely forgotten what they did in WWII.
- Joy was taken by all members of the city at one point.(including Wastrels, Downers, and deceased.)
- At several points in the story it is hinted at that Joy may be an advanced version of a drug used by the Germans that occupied Wellington Wells. (Some of the letters in ide rooms off the passage to the White Constable's office in Haworth labs. This could be a reference to "Pervitin" (Methamphetamine) used by the German army during WWII in order to increase performance, concentration, and self-esteem of the soldiers as well as to lower feelings of anxiety.
- It is possible that Joy took inspiration from the drug of the same name found in the LISA rpg saga.