The game’s universe takes place within an alternative timeline, in a form of World War II in which the United States did not help the Allies, leaving the United Kingdom to defend from the German forces alone. The Battle of Britain was lost to Germany, allowing the Germans to occupy the entire country. Most of the volunteer forces of the Home Guard became complicit in helping the Germans, with only a few attempting to resist.At some point during the occupation, the population of the island town of Wellington Wells did what they considered to be a “Very Bad Thing” that caused the German occupation to voluntarily leave their island, allowing the British citizens there to live free. However, the repercussions of the Very Bad Thing left the citizens with immense anguish and guilt over their actions, leading to the invention of a new hallucinogenic drug called “Joy”, which suppresses all unhappy memories and leaves its user in a chemically-induced euphoria, while also brightening how they perceive their environment. However, its many negative side-effects include addiction, short-term memory loss, loss of appetite, nightmarish hallucinations, and being susceptible to manipulation.