Wellington Wells is the name of the whole island and setting of We Happy Few
Wellington Wells is a microstate-sized city-state that exists largely independently from the rest of Great Britain. It is governed by the Executive Committee. The demonym for Wellington Wells is "Wellsian".
Wellington Wells is sprawling habitat, built on a small archipelago located in the Severn Estuary/Bristol Channel, in the south-west of Great Britain, just south of Wales.
Each island is a "holm" (an old English word meaning an island in a river). As of Full Release v.1.7, the currently accessible islands are Barrow Holm, Eel Pie Holm, Lud's Holm, Ravensholm, Maidenholm, St. George's Holm, Holm of Uskglass and Apple Holm.
Each island is connected to the others via Bridges. The bridges are the only way to traverse between islands, as the waters are treacherous, and you cannot swim.
In happier times, the city was linked by an underground metro system called the Wellington Underground. However, the metro has since fallen into disuse and severe disrepair, and the trains no longer run. Some stations (such as Eel Pie Holm) have been re-purposed to serve as Motilene pumping stations.
Wellington Wells is administratively divided into three districts so far; the Garden District (where Wastrels live), the Village of Hamlyn (where lower- and middle-class Wellies live), and the Parade District (where upper-class Wellies live and where the government is situated).
As Wellington Wells sits in the middle of the Bristol Channel, the player can observe vast expanses of land to the North (Wales) and the South (England). This is the fated "Mainland" (i.e. the mainland United Kingdom), to which player characters will try to escape.
Every new campaign of We Happy Few will randomly generate an entirely new version of Wellington Wells, meaning that no two playthroughs will take place in the exact same iteration of the city. This also serves as a lore mechanic. Any in-game character who overdoses on the local happy pills will completely forget the layout of the land and will have a brand new town to explore (from their point of view).
Real-life players of We Happy Few will obviously not overdose and forget, so to serve the purpose of the player suffering Joy-induced amnesia, the terrain is reshuffled and the map reset, meaning any prior knowledge the player had about the map layout will be rendered obsolete as the player will now have a wholly new map to explore.
The citizens of Wellington Wells can be divided into two main "classes". Maidenholm, St. George's Holm and Apple Holm are populated by Wellies and the main police force of the island, the Bobbies. Barrow Holm, Eel Pie Holm, and Lud's Holm are populated by Wastrels and Downers.
The Wellies can be further subdivided into two societal classes: Maidenholm and St. George's Holm are populated by Lower- and Middle-class Wellies while Apple Holm is populated by Upper-class Wellies.
In Hamlyn Village and the Parade District, there is a massive machine called The Headmistress who controls the nearby Wellies with electrical shocks into harming anyone that is either not keeping their distance from "her" or using Joy.
The main governing body and the closest thing that the city get to its own government is the mysterious Executive Committee which is in charge of everything in the Wellington Wells.
The Executive Committee operates out of the city hall of Wellington Wells which is located in the Parade District (as seen by looking out of the window in Arthur's office) and provides services such as maintenance and utility staff and is responsible for commanding the police force. One of the most well known influential (and infamous) figures of both the government and the island itself is General Byng. Another influential person is Doctor Verloc, who is responsible for mass-producing Joy and supplying it to the population.
Wellington Wells is a city haunted by the ghosts of its recent past. In 1943, this world deviated from our own, and the Germans successfully invaded and occupied England during World War II. Most of England is in ruins, as is a fair part of Wellington Wells.
However, during the Occupation, the people of Wellington Wells all had to do A Very Bad Thing, which was to give all children under the age of thirteen to the Germans. To calm their anguish and guilt - and forget what they’d done. Harry Haworth invented Joy, the miraculous happiness drug, but had serious side effects including hallucinations and severe memory loss.
They set about rebuilding their town, and along the way, got into serious technological research and development. Most of it was thanks to the brilliance of Helen Faraday.
The city of Wellington Wells is made up of several islands, divided into several districts and separated by bridges. Each of these bridges are heavily secured to restrict movement, with some bridges even being deliberately kept closed under the guise that they are "broken."
A train system known as the Wellington Underground used to connect all the islands, but it has been boarded up. The tracks can still be used by the player to quickly move about the city if they can find the access hatches.
The Garden District was the rural part of Wellington Wells, nearing the Victory gardens. The place suffered heavy bombing and was left in ruins while the rest of the city redeveloped itself. This is where Downers and Wastrels are forced to live, in order to protect the decent citizens of Wellington Wells from bad memories and negative vibes.
The Garden District is a true wasteland, with no established government or infrastructure, aside from the occasional water pump. Bombed out houses and overgrown hamlets dot the landscape. The Garden District suffers from major food shortages. Now overgrown and run-down, the Garden District is used to cast away the Wastrels, former Wellies who react badly to Joy and become Downers. Those survivors took over whichever houses were still standing and installed traps to defend themselves.
The Garden District is made up of three islands;
The first island that Arthur Hastings finds himself in after escaping from City Hall. Arthur, after the events in the prologue, is chased by bobbies all the way to Motilene Station 4 in Eel Pie Holm. After the story quest "Wellington Underground" is completed, Station 4 becomes the player's first shelter.
The game-world generation of this holm is fixed. It will, therefore, be laid out exactly the same way in any given playthrough.
The first randomly generated island of the Garden District. This is where the player is free to explore the land as they please.
The second randomly generated island of the Garden District, which the government has locked down for the purpose of quarantining victims of a rabies-like plague that has been spreading through Lud's Holm.
These plague-infected Wastrels mostly appear at night and are rabidly hostile to everyone nearby and will relentlessly start chasing after any would-be victims, trying to harm and kill them, all while ranting and raving in Old English.
The old British military camp, previously used by the occupational authorities, has now become the training area for the remaining soldiers, all preparing for when Germany returns for WWIII. It is made up of one Island.
Much like Barrow Holm, The camp is fixed and will appear the same on every playthrough.
Is the site of the Victory Memorial and the Victory Memorial Camp, where General Byng and his old soldiers of the Home Guard guard a terrible secret. Arthur and Ollie infiltrate the camp on a quest to steal some things, with Arthur sabotaging the power as a distraction.
As Arthur makes his way into the camp, he finds the old tanks the Germans used to threaten Wellington Wells into willingly giving away the children. He also discovers that they aren't real tanks at all but papier-mache lookalikes, made of wood, newspaper and glue.
Hamlyn village is the first section of Wellington Wells proper that the player will encounter. This is where the lower and middle-class Wellies live, protected by Bobbies and security systems. It has the appearance of a quaint small town, with old buildings painted in bright colors, and rainbows paving the roads.
Picturesque villages, groovy rainbow roads, and Joy dispensers can be found here, and it is here that "normal" life reigns, with the presence of a city government maintaining roads, gardens, and Motilene infrastructure.
A local uniformed police force is also present, preventing crime and investigating reports of Downers while brutally apprehending and subduing anyone present. Food is much more plentiful here but security is also much more strict.
It has also been upgraded with motilene pipes running between many of the houses, and has large gaunt buildings, which serve as important points of interest on the map. Hamlyn Village is made up of three islands.
Located next to Maidenholm. This is the second and larger island of Hamlyn, usually far more dangerous for any downers lurking as there are Joy Doctors strolling about which can detect a person who isn't using Joy.
A tiny island just off St. Georges Holm. This small island is occupied solely by Haworth Labs, where the city's supply of Joy is manufactured. The purple fumes produced by the Lab can be seen from pretty much anywhere in Wellington Wells.
The Parade District is the economic and political center of Wellington Wells and is the final main area visited by Arthur and Ollie after Hamlyn Village. This is where the wealthy upper-class Wellies live.
Arthur is chased from his job at the Department of Archives, Printing & Recycling and happy life all the way to the Garden District. The Parade District also has the Britannia Bridge, which is the final bridge and only bridge that connects back to the Mainland. Every citizen here is well dressed, and security is even more strict, with lots of Red Bobbies, Peepers, and Headmistresses. Buildings are much taller and grander, though they cannot be infiltrated.
The headquarters for many institutions and government departments are here, including the Wellington Wells Broadcasting Corporation. which is based in the Broadcasting Tower which is where Uncle Jack's shows were filmed.
The Executive Committee, the ultimate power in Wellington Wells, is based in the Parade District City Hall, which is where the Executive Committee meets. This is where the administration of Wellington Wells is performed, and it is under extreme security measures to prevent anyone from entering. Unlike the Garden or Hamlyn, the Parade is only made up of one fixed island.
The island on which the Parade District sits. It has the Apple Holm Train Station, the Broadcasting Tower, the Wellington Wells Health Institute, and the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, to name a few. Due to the risk of the plague, many of the streets around the island have been quarantined. This is the only island connected through the mainland, by the Britannia Bridge.
The game-world generation of this holm is fixed. It will, therefore, be laid out exactly the same way in any given playthrough.
An island that is not connected to any of the others by a bridge and can only be reached by using the old train tunnels. Anton Verloc once had a laboratory there, but it was abandoned due to employees quitting because they believed that the Joy Factory's waste water caused plague. Experiments still took place, with some employees experimenting on Wastrels for a cure to the growing plague.
It is currently being used as a dumping ground for Haworth Laboratory's chemical waste, which has made the island extremely toxic, though the player won't need a gas mask to venture forward. It is heavily inhabited by hoards of plague Wastrels.
A Village which is seen during the events of They Came from Below. Faraday's Workshop was once close to it. the Village consisted of a back alley with a nearby house, 2 Joy Booths, a Shop, a round circle of houses, with a Headmistress in the center of it.
There are only two people here who has had some sort of history with Roger Bacon, given his contact with them at the beginning of the DLC: Peggy Allgood, who is implied to have romantic feelings for Roger, and Vivien Eastwood, a local shop owner who is later killed by the invading alien robots. eventually, Roger finds Inis Holm to be completely and utterly obliterated, which sort of explains its absence during the events of We Happy Few.
A separate district in Wellington Wells, this is where the Waterloo House is located.
A separate district in Wellington Wells, it is here that the Pill Allocater transports Joy pills throughout the Mood Booths.
Removed Locations Edit
These islands were present, and thus part of Wellington Wells, in earlier game builds but have since been removed and no longer exist in-game.
Emerald City was the forerunner to the Parade District in Wellington Wells as it contained the escape hatch which Arthur had to get to in order to escape Wellington Wells. Emerald City was removed in later alphas and replaced by the current Parade District and the Escape Hatch was supplanted by the Britannia Bridge, located in the Parade District.
Apple Holm (Placeholder version) Edit
This island was a placeholder island which served as the semi-final area of the game in build v.27755. This island contained an abandoned mansion (now present in Mastermind) which contained an escape hatch that Arthur had to access in order to escape to Emerald City (Parade District in later builds) and finish the game. It was accessible only from Maidenholm.
The island was infested by toxic fog, and the player needed a Gas Mask to venture through.
In later builds, Apple Holm would also include several ruined houses.
Current Situation Edit
As revealed during each of the characters' journey through the city, Wellington Wells is on the brink of total collapse. This is largely due to the citizens heavy use of Joy, and the arrogant/ignorant actions done by Robert Byng and Anton Verloc. We see this collapse greatly during the DLC, We All Fall Down.
First off, Food production in the city has completely stopped, and the city no longer gets trades with any of the local farmers on the other side of Britannia Bridge. This has led to an ever worsening food shortage, with citizens finding themselves forced to resort to lower qualities and more improvised food, it's not hard to miss that many inhabitants are beginning to starve to death.
Secondly, all of the underground maintenance facilities are either in dire need of repair or have completely collapsed. The workers who keep things running have either become so drugged from Joy that they are completely unable to work, and those who still can work are oftentimes either too incompetent to fix anything or too drugged to work effectively. Many have died from work accidents caused by their own, or others', negligence.
Thirdly, a Plague has begun to spread around the city, affecting the Garden District, and later The Parade. Most, if not all, medical professionals in the city have no idea how to treat it (or any other disease for that matter) and think simply taking more Joy will help. As a result, they simply prescribe bigger doses of Joy to their patients, neglecting the problem completely and allowing the diseases to claim more lives as time passes.
Fourthly, Joy is becoming less effective with every passing day, and there are also issues with production quality as some of the newer batches are either too strong (driving the user insane), making them become resistant to the effects of Joy altogether, creating Downers, and eventually Wastrels.
This has actually led Dr. Verloc to begin development of a so-called "Permanent Solution" to the Joy problem, which consists of creating a whole new Joy formula that will make the user completely happy forever and always, experiments have already proven that this new Joy flavour destroys the user's brain function and makes them go insane.
Fifthly, The Executive Committee, the governing body in charge of all that goes on in the city, have simply chosen to take more Joy, as looking at how dire the situation in Wellington Wells has become too depressing for them to handle, which has led to severe mismanagement and neglect in the office.
Sixthly, There also seems to be a brewing power struggle between Anton Verloc and General Byng, primarily over one person, Sally Boyle, for control over the entire region. Whoever has Sally also has control over the Bobbies, this is becasue Sally herself is the creator of Blackberry Joy, the flavour that the Bobbies take. And since the Bobbies are the only functional armed force upholding order in Wellington Wells, they control the whole region.
Currently, Byng has control over her. But because Verloc has gained control over the Joy Doctors and is trying to punch back with stronger Joy and his "Permanent Solution" in order to drive Sally out of business, it's only a matter of time before she'd lose her job or die, which would result in the Bobbies going mad.
Seventhly, the defenses of Wellington Wells are very weak. There is no official army and the only thing even remotely resembling an army present in Wellington Wells is the Home Guard, whose soldiers are all old and out of shape due to no new recruits having been drafted in years, due to the fact that they are overconfident in their ability to fight to the point where they have deluded themselves into believing that they do not need help. They have almost no ammo for their guns and they are outdated. In addition, they lack any sort of heavy firepower and the only military mind they have is Robert Byng.
If someone actually tried to invade and/or take over Wellington Wells, they'd most likely have no trouble doing so.
Eighthly, anarchy reigns in the Garden District. In addition to street criminals and gangs like the Plough Boys in Hamlyn Village and the Headboys in the Garden District, there are at least two serial killers plaguing the town. The first one touches on spoiler territory, and is therefore best experienced through gameplay.
The other one, however, is the mysterious Foggy Jack, who is said to kill people in the fog, something even the Bobbies can't seem to be able to deal with. The identity of FJ is still a mystery, and it's questionable if he even actually exists.
However, he does appear in the Lightbearer DLC and is actually defeated by Nick Lightbearer himself, though because the whole campaigne takes place after Nick's unfortunate events, it's still questionable if FJ in the DLC is but a mere imagination.
And Lastly, in addition to the above mentioned gangs, the severe food shortage in the Garden District has forced some Wastrels to consume Histoplasma Mushrooms, which are highly psychoactive. This has driven many of the users insane and, in other cases, resulting in the emergence of religious cults, which perpetrate theft and murder. Some perform human sacrifices while others attempt mass suicide, as evidenced by the "Mysterious Chest", "Hallucinogenic Salad", "Mystery House", "Millihelen" and "Reservations" quests.
- The city shares its name with John Wellington Wells, a character from the Gilbert and Sullivan opera The Sorcerer, John Wells is the eponymous sorcerer who doses an entire English village with a love potion, not unlike the Executive Committee supplying Joy to the citizens of Wellington Wells.
- The motto of the city is "In Posterum Cum Gaudio" which translates roughly from Latin as "Into The Future With Joy", which could be taken temporally.
- This motto can be found on the Wellington Wells emblem.
- It's been hinted in earlier builds of the game that Wellington Wells is placed on the river of Avon (where they used to get their water from before it got polluted), though this could have possibly been changed over the course of development.
- There is also a place called Wellington that is located in Britain, although it is not an island.
- In the quest "Moon Juice Leech", one of the bobbies says that half of the Wellington Wells Fire Brigade are gone on holiday, which means that if a major fire breaks out in Wellington Wells, it could cause major damage to the city, assuming that the city cannot marshal in replacement manpower.
- As to the above, there appear to be no real emergency services in town, which means that unless the Bobbies collectively handle all such services, (which they most likely do not) there is nothing to aid people in the event of an emergency or natural disaster, such as a major storm.