The following article contains HEAVY SPOILERS! Read on at your own caution!

"I'm Hardcore Leveling Warrior, I'm the best.[1]"

"Hardcore Leveling Warrior" redirects here. For other uses of this name, see Hardcore Leveling Warrior (Disambiguation).

Gong Won-Ho, known as Hardcore Leveling Warrior in Lucid Adventure, is the main protagonist of the first season of the Hardcore Leveling Warrior series. He was the Rank No.1 Player in the Giga's Ranking System and the First Battalion Commander of the Zara Guild.

As the Rank No.1 Player, Hardcore Leveling Warrior was the strongest player under the heavens and one of the most powerful beings in Lucid Adventure. Due to the machinations of Zero, Hardcore Leveling Warrior's lost his items and had both his level and stats reset back to 1. His main goals were to regain his No.1 Rank and free himself from Chairman Kim's grasp by earning enough money to repay his debt. He teamed up with Dark and Sora to level up and to compete in The Combat Tournament. After going through many trials and tribulations and against all the odds, he won The last ever Combat Tournament alongside his team.

Unfortunately, Hardcore Leveling Warrior was logged out of Lucid Adventure after suffering mortal injuries in The Real World and has not logged into Lucid Adventure for two years. After the news of the 'Miso Corporation stabbing Incident' was made public[9], it is generally believed that he is dead, although, his team still believe he is alive and have not given up on finding him.[9] It is revealed by Sora that Hardcore Leveling Warrior saved Lila from being sent down to the sea (by pulling her out the barrel after he managed to escape).

After the death of God of Combat, a ranking system based on Lucid Balls was created with the limit set by Hardcore Leveling Warrior, who had reached the humanly limit when he was the Rank No.1 Player.[10]

It has been revealed that his character avatar is in the demon world in a comatose state and is being guarded by a mysterious entity.[11]


Main article: Hardcore Leveling Warrior/Image Gallery

The Real World

Won-ho has scruffy black hair, a look which he has had since his childhood[12] as well as black eyes. He often looks tired, with bags under his eyes. Won-ho mostly wears black long sleeve shirts and dark turquoise cargo pants.[1]

After playing Lucid Adventure continuously day and night, Won-ho developed a stubble that made him look even more unkempt. He has since shaved it off.[13]

Lucid Adventure

His character in Lucid Adventure looks about the same as his real life appearance with scruffy mid-length red hair that seems to stand on end, giving it a rising, flame-like appearance and red eyes. During his early years in the game, his hair was mid length and grew a bit longer just before he became the #1 Ranker.[14]

When he became the #1 Ranker, his hair became even longer and more fiery, reaching as far down as his mid back.[1] He retained this look even after his level got reset.[15]

Scallion Head used a sword attack that resulted in HCLW getting a bald patch on the top of his head.[16] This lead to people referring to him as 'baldy', which greatly frustrated him. He hid his bald patch with a grey-colored beanie hat[17] and applies ointment regularly to make his grow back.[18]

After losing his beanie hat during his duel with Akira, he is currently sporting a shorter albeit unkempt hairstyle.[19]

He was pretty skinny when he first created his character in Lucid Adventure[16] but became sturdier as his strength stat increased. After his level got reset back to 1,[15] he reverted to looking skinny once again. Since he raised his strength stat to 900+, he has regained the sturdy look he had at the start of the series.[20]

Major Battles

Other Appearances

Video Games

Playable Appearances

Other Webtoon Appearances

Translation Notes & Issues

Main Article: Line Webtoon Translation Changes

The characters real name, '공원호', means Gong Won-Ho. Line Webtoon has changed the characters original name to 'Ethan Gong'.

Dark calls Hardcore Leveling Warrior '돈벌레' which means Hireling. Line Webtoon incorrectly translates this as snob. A Hireling is a person who works solely for rewards/money.

The Best Swordsman calls Hardcore Leveling Warrior '열렙아' which means Hardcore Leveler. Line Webtoon incorrectly translates this as Hardcore, Hardcore Bro or Hardcore Leveling Warrior.

Notes & Trivia

  • Hardcore Leveling Warrior's name in Korean Hangul, 열렙전사, can also be roughly translated to 'Warrior Who Levels Up as if on Fire'.
  • His character name, Hardcore Leveling Warrior, was first revealed in Episode 1. His birth name was revealed in Episode 4.
  • Choco Pork Stew called him '고수님' (Romaja:  gosu-nim). Gosu refers to or describes someone who is highly skilled, used especially in video and computer gaming. Nim (님) is also a title of respect. Nim (님) is usually attached to professions. nim (Hangul: 님) is the highest form of honorifics and above -ssi, but is still used as a commonplace honorific for guests, customers, clients, and unfamiliar individuals. -nim is also used towards someone who is revered and admired for having a significant amount of skill, intellect, knowledge, etc. and is used for people who are of a higher rank than oneself. Examples include family members (eomeo-nim 어머님 & abeo-nim 아버님), teachers (seonsaeng-nim 선생님), holy men (e.g. pastors – moksa-nim 목사님), and a God (haneu-nim 하느님 / hana-nim 하나님). -nim will follow addressees' names on letters/emails and postal packages.
  • Dark refers to Hardcore Leveling Warrior as 돈벌레 (Romaja: donbeolle) which Webtoon translates as 'Snob'.
    • 돈벌레 literally translates to 'Hireling' or 'Pensionary', which can both mean a person who works solely for rewards/money. This translation fits the most with the usage in the Webtoon.
    • 돈벌레 (Don Bal Leh) is also the Hangul for 'Centipede'. There is Korean superstition that if you see a Centipede that money will come your way. The 돈(Don) in 돈벌레 also means money. So in literal translations centipede in Korean means 'Money Bug'. This is ironic because Hardcore Leveling Warrior is the exact opposite of this.
  • Pooh Upooh actually refers to Hardcore Leveling Warrior as a 'Snob' (Hangul: 속물, Romaja: donbeolle).
    • A 'Snob' in Korea is a person who spends all their time pursuing power and profit, fulfilling meaningless things such as vanity, sexual pleasure, and are narrow minded.
  • Hardcore Leveling Warrior is sometimes called 'The Hardcore Leveling Warrior' (열렙전사야, ''yeollebjeonsaya'') by himself and other characters. This has annoyed some English speaking fans who insist he be simply called 'Hardcore Leveling Warrior'.
  • He appears to be right-handed as he signed Heart Heater's contract in Episode 1. He fights predominantly with his left hand but is equally capable of fighting with his right hand as seen in Episode 24, where he changed his attack pattern.
  • Hardcore Leveling Warrior has been single all his life and this is apparently known by everybody. It is a very sensitive subject to him.[21]
  • After he became a Ranker, the players who lost something to Hardcore Leveling Warrior shared his information on the Internet forum and no one wanted to make a bet any more. He considered getting plastic surgery to change his appearance and even switching his character's gender to female, but in the end he chose to 'bait' players into accepting bets.[22]
  • Hardcore Leveling Warrior has a unique walking style where he folds his arm behind his head whilst walking.[23][24][25][26]
  • In Episode 167, Line Webtoon's translation made it seem like Hardcore Leveling Warrior's two favourite items where Sword of the Knights - The 7 Truths and +16 Hero's Sword. This was incorrect. Hardcore Leveling Warrior referred to them his "cuites", which he always does with his Golden Items and Weapons.
  • Hardcore Leveling Warrior managed to escape his barrel and save Lila but it is possible he had the assistance of The Witch.


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.