Wellington Wells is a fictional city occupying the land southwest of England and is also the setting of We Happy Few. The city is named after a man called John Wellington Wells. The city is set in 1964.
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.1.3, the currently accessible islands are Barrow Holm, Eel Pie Holm, Lud's Holm, Ravensholm, Maidenholm, St George's Holm, the Holm of Uskglass and Apple Holm.
Each island is connected to the others via bridges, some of which are heavily guarded. 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 (like 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, aka "The City" (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 lay 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 from scratch.
Wellington Wells has a population of around 65.000 inhabitants, although it is not known whether this is an accurate estimate as no efective data exists. Wellington Wells is inhabited by humans, which can be divided into two "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.
Known diseases include the rabies-like, incurable "Plague", which is rife in Lud's Holm, but is contained.
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 was 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 thirteen and under to the Germans (and all were unknowingly later killed). To calm their anguish and guilt - and forget what they’d done - the "Wellies," as they came to be known, invented Joy, the miracle happiness drug, but had serious side effects including hallucinations, memory loss (the original intended goal of the drug), and dehydration.
They set about rebuilding their town, and along the way, got into serious technological research and development.
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.
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 starter island for all new campaigns and 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.
Eel Pie Holm Edit
The first randomly generated island of the Garden District.
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 semi-legibly in Old English.
Victory Memorial Camp Edit
The old German military camp, previously used by the occupational authorities, has now been taken over by General Byng and the military of the island, the Home Army. It is made up of one Island.
Is the site of Victory Memorial site and the Vory 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 everything," 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" any present. Food is much more plentiful here but security is also much more strict.
Hamlyn Village is one of the "sane" districts of Wellington Wells. However, 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. Hamlyn Village is made up of three islands.
The first island of Hamlyn, and the first area that is Wellington Wells proper. The St. Genesis Church and the Wellington Wells Constabulary is located here. There is a pub and Doctor Faraday's lab is located on the island.
Located next to Maidenholm. This is the second and larger island of Hamlyn, usually far more dangerous for any downers lurking about as there are a lot more Bobbies patrolling the streets and this island also has Joy Doctors which can detect a person who isn't using Joy. This island can sometimes be generated connected to Lud's Holm, meaning one can avoid visiting Maidenholm altogether. Nick Lightbearer's Pad is located here as is the Thomasia House. The island has a chemist and a Downer-free park.
Holm of Uskglass Edit
A tiny little island just off St. Georges Holm. This small island is occupied solely by the Haworth Labs, where the city's supply of Joy is manufactured. The purple fumes produced by the Lab can be seen from almost 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 after Hamlyn Village and is where the wealthy upperc-class Wellies live. Arthur is chased from his job and happy life here all the way to the Garden District. The Parade District also contains the Britannia Bridge, which is the final bridge and connects to the Mainland. Everybody is VERY well dressed here, and security is EXTREMELY strict, with lots of Red Bobbies, Peepers, and Headmistresses. Buildings are much taller and much grander.
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 show is filmed.
The Executive Committee, the ultimate power in Wellington Wells, is based in the Parade District City Hal, 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 island.
Apple Holm Edit
The island on which the Parade District sits. It contains Apple Holm Train Station, the Broadcasting Tower, the Wellington Wells Hospital, 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 sealed off. 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.
Rat Holm Edit
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 the high number of plague wastrels on the island, with many of the workers having been killed. It is currently being used as a dumping ground for Haworth Laboratory's chemical waste, which has made the island extremely toxic.
Inis Holm Edit
A Village which is seen during the events of They Came from Below. Helen Faraday's Laboratory 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 Robot in the center of it. there are only 2 known residents living in Inis Holm, both of whom have had some sort of history with Roger Bacon, given his contact with them at the beginning of the DLC: Peggy, a resident living north of the village circle of houses, who is implied to have romantic feelings for Roger, and Vivian 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 explains its absence during the events of We Happy Few.
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 Edit
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.38678. This island contained an abandoned mansion, several ruined houses, a crashed V-1 rocket, a LOT of toxic fog, and it contained an escape hatch which 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.
- As revealed during each of the characters' journey through the city, Wellington Wells is on the brink of total collapse largely due to the heavy use of Joy, the fact that no baby has been born in Wellington Wells in a whopping 15 years and the arrogant actions of Robert Byng and Anton Verloc.
- Food production in the city has completely stopped, and the city no longer 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 ever lower-quality- and more improvised food and many are beginning to starve to death. The scarcity has, in some places, already gotten to the point where butchers like Reg Cutty in Maidenholm are scavenging human cadavers (Wellies and Wastrels alike) for meat to feed the population, but the heavy use of Joy makes the wellies blissfully, and completely unaware of the fact.
- 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 and many have died from work accidents caused by their own, or others' negligence.
- A Plague has begun to spread around the city, affecting the Garden District, and later even the Parade District. 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 and ignoring the problem 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.
- Joy is becoming less effective with every passing month, and there are also issues with production quality as some of the newer batches are either too strong (driving the user insane) or making them become resistant or, in some cases, immune to the effects of Joy altogether, creating Downers.
- This has actually led Doctor Verloc to begin development of a "permanent solution" to the Joy problem, which consists of a face mask which interferes with the brain's pleasure system, putting the user into a permanent state of pleasure and happiness, effectively lobotomizing them.
- 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.
- 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 controls Sally controls the Bobbies (as she makes her special Blackberry Joy for them, which keeps them in line) 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 Verloc has gained control over the Joy Doctors and is trying to push back with stronger Joy and a "permanent solution" in order to drive Sally out of business (for personal reasons). Should she lose her job or die, however, the Bobbies will revolt.
- 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), 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 have almost no trouble doing so.
- 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. One is the aforementioned Reg Cutty, who kills people (Wellies and Wastrels alike) and butchers them to make Victory Meat, which he sells to feed the populace. The other is the mysterious copy-cat of the already popular Uncle Jack, Foggy Jack, who kills people in the fog (which is often toxic), something even the Bobbies can't seem to be able to deal with. While Cutty is eventually caught thanks to Arthur's efforts, Foggy Jack remains at large.
- 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), driving many of them insane and in other cases resulting in the emergence of religious cults, which perpetrate theft and murder and perform human sacrifices while others attempt mass suicide, as evidenced by the "Mysterious Chest", Hallucinogenic Salad" and "Mystery House" quests.
- In the quest "Moon Juice Leech" one of the bobbies says that half of the Wellington Wells Fire Brigade are gone on ’’holiday’’ ("gone on holiday" means that someone is dead or missing), 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.
- The town shares its name with John Wellington Wells, a character from the Gilbert and Sullivan opera The Sorcerer. Wells is the eponymous sorcerer who doses an entire English village with a love potion.