In 1933, during a World War 2 deviated from our own, Germany successfully invaded and occupied England. Joy was created after the citizens of Wellington Wells were forced to do a 'very bad thing' during the Occupation. The anguish and guilt was too much to bear. Some NPC's had side effects that were much more serious, somewhat of an allergic reaction. They became very psychotic and dangerous. Wellies will often beat them on sight.
The in game suggestion that Joy makes one pupils "teeny-tiny" may indicate Joy has opioid like effects. Joy might be a unique single chemical or a composition of multiple ones such as opioids, benzodiazepines, stimulants, psychedelics, deliriants, and dissociatives. If Joy contains the latter three this is what is most likely responsible for the side effects of psychosis. Loss of memory may indicate the presence of benzodiazepines and dissociatives.
There will be many times during gameplay that players will need to take Joy in order to accomplish specific tasks or in order to play through tougher areas. The goal of course to to use it as little as possible. In the initial area, joy is only found in pill form and is not necessary but beyond that, especially in the main area of the city, Joy can be found in water sources and in some of the food items as well as from dispensers.
- If the player takes Joy at the very beginning of the game, it will end immediately.