When he was younger, Won-Ho was involved in a car accident that killed both his parents. He was then put into an orphanage. Won-Ho was constantly bullied at school and mocked by other students for being an orphan. He eventually dropped out of school because life was too hard for him. He got a job working at the till of convenience store and started to earn a little money, which he eventually lost at a casino.
Falling into Debt
He spent his early 20s on gambling and got himself into a debt of $40,000, which put him at odds with Mr. Kim, who constantly had him beaten up and promised to throw him off a building if he did not pay back his debt. At some point when walking on the street, picked up a phone on the street that contained Lucid Adventure and gave it a shot.
Three years before the start of the series, President Kim's goons were about to throw Won-Ho off a building when President Kim gave Won-Ho the option of working for him in his 'workshop' in Lucid Adventure in order to repay his debt. Won-Ho then signed a contract promising to pay his debt of $40,000 plus interest.
Newbie Leveling Warrior
Having been starved by Chairman Kim for not being able to pay up on his debt, Gong Won-Ho logged into Lucid Adventure as a then level 12 Hardcore Leveling Warrior, spawning in the Northern Kingdom. He is relieved to finally get some fresh air and proceeds to eat some food, remarking on it's realism. He spotted a Mama Queen Rabbit and got excited at the prospect of it dropping rare items.
Suddenly, Lightning Sword came out of nowhere, claiming he called dibs on the named monster, boasting that he would show Hardcore Leveling Warrior "what a real hunting looks like". Lighting Sword is then immediately killed when he is stomped on by the Mama Queen Rabbit, dropping the Random Sword which Hardcore Leveling Warrior equips.
Hardcore Leveling Warrior then proceeds to attack Mama Queen Rabbit and escapes her stump when Lucky Man is activated, tripping on a rock. He then kills her babies. As Mama Queen charges at him in rage, she is trapped by a Magic Trap set by Hardcore Leveling Warrior. He then stabs her with his steel sword, but Mama Queen breaks it into pieces with her teeth and breaks the trap. Hardcore Leveling Warrior then used the Depressed Cat Sword drawn from the Random Sword, tricking her into thinking her babies were still alive. He then kills her while she is mentally vulnerable.
He gleefully goes through the reward chest, believing that he could fill up his monthly quota owed to Chairman Kim from the Mama Rabbit.
Two years ago in the early days of Lucid Adventure, the #88 ranked Hardcore Leveling Warrior had a fight with the #3 ranker, Master Swordsman, near Cobalt Castle and lost. Master Swordsman wanted him to join the Zara Guild but did not want to force him to do so, so opted for a gold coin as a reward. Hardcore Leveling Warrior went towards the North Gate of Cobalt Castle to join the Zara Guild and met for the very first time.
After joining the Zara Guild, he proceeded to lose to Swordsman 113 times with no wins. At some point the Zara Guild base was attacked by an undead army and Hardcore Leveling Warrior went back and helped defeat them.
During a raid by the Zara Guild on the Tete Guild, Hardcore Leveling Warrior defeated the Tete Guild Master Radish Kimchi, who proceeded to use Nightmarization but was cut down by Master Swordsman.
During a raid on Cobalt Castle where he defeated a Cobalt Golem, he was then infected with Nightmarization for the first time when Giga and Sad Smile set up the Zara Guild. Hardcore Leveling Warrior and Master Swordsman could not get to Armes in time to prevent her being captured by Giga. They were told by Constant that Nightmare captured Armes, which made them spend the next few months fighting Nightmare too look for her.
The Very First War
One year before the start of the series, the #3 ranked Hardcore Leveling Warrior saved Sora during The Very First War and told her to become stronger. Around the same time he suppressed the Nightmare attack on Castle Ideizeu single handedly.
"Fuck off. I'm a solo-player. And why would I need your permission to kill a monster in a game you dipshits?"Just after becoming #1, he hunted a field boss in Yopi Land's territory without getting permission from Yopi Land. Yopi said he would let it slide if HCLW joined his guild. HCLW gave him 'the finger' and told him he could do whatever he wanted as it's a game.
"Lucid Adventure! In that world, I am...'The Best'"
Gong Won-Ho is in an apartment located at the top floor of Miso Tower feeling smug and getting excited about the fact that he is the only player on the whole server with The Golden Armor, which he paid for with money borrowed from Heart Heater. He is then interrupted by a message from Heart Heater on his mobile phone urging him to pay his debt.
Won-Ho logs into the Western Kingdom of Lucid Adventure as 'Hardcore Leveling Warrior' and encounters a crowd of people that hold various grudges against him but are powerless to do anything, as he is the number one ranked player in the game, he prances around saying they are all jealous of his armour. A newbie called Choco Flavoured Potato Soup naively begs Hardcore Leveling Warrior for 10 Gold, Hardcore Leveling Warrior pretends to give him a bag of 1,000 Gold before using the bag to PK the unfortunate noob. Hardcore Leveling Warrior then successfully bribes the Guard NPC that was about to arrest him for the PK before sneaking away to the dismay of the onlooking crowd.
Hardcore Leveling Warrior heads to Quest House to obtain a quest from Heart Heater to pay back the money he owes. Heart Heater gives him and SS-Level quest and gives him a contract whilst urging him to pay back all the money he owes, but it doesn't even phase Hardcore Leveling Warrior and he asks for the quests and signs the contract without reading the terms.
Hardcore Leveling Warrior heads to the Cobalt Castle Plain and where he easily defeats the Imoogi. He is then attacked by a group of people who use a 20 chain magic skill on him. Hardcore Leveling Warrior is unharmed and wipes out the group's frontline with Hell Fire and then finishes of the rest of them with One Sword Skill - Moonlight Slash.
"Oh, and I heard that...your stats go back to one once you die...am I right?" ― ZeroThe quest is not completed as the Imugi is resurrected as a Zombie Dragon. As Hardcore Leveling Warrior is about to engage it, Choco Pork Stew emerges from underneath the dead bodies and attempts a surprise attack. Hardcore Leveling Warrior notices him and says his attack "won't work". To his surprise, his palm is pierced by the dagger and a red lightning effect is created which leaves him paralyzed. Choco Pork Stew then transforms into a mysterious woman who then proceeds to severely beat the paralyzed Hardcore Leveling Warrior and disarms him of all his items. She then departs and the resurrected Zombie Dragon bites off Hardcore Leveling Warrior's head, killing him.
"Until yesterday, I was the strongest...and now I'm nothing." ― Hardcore Leveling Warrior
He was then found by Heart Heater and Rim and was picked up by Rim before being saved by Sora. General Guan Yu tried attacking him but missed and then proceeded to engage the weakened Hardcore Leveling Warrior in combat before being saved by Heart Heater and escaping in the mouth of Grabert.
Grabert drops the party off at a Hut on Dragon Mountain, where Hardcore Leveling Warrior, along with Sora is introduced to Dark. Dark wants Hardcore Leveling Warrior to help him level up and Hardcore Leveling Warrior agrees to help him for $3 million.
Hardcore Leveling Warrior returns to Yopi Land with Sora and Dark to get items for their Dungeon Quest. Dark, unconvinced of Hardcore Leveling Warrior's fighting prowess, asks him to prove it by fighting Scallion Head. Even at Level 1, Hardcore Leveling agrees.
Hardcore Leveling Warrior manages to goad Scallion Head into a Formal PK. Scallion Head beats Hardcore Leveling Warrior and heals him repeatedly in order to prolong his suffering and as he's about to finish him off, he is stabbed with the 100th strike of the Paralyzing Dagger and defeated. Hardcore Leveling Warrior then gets his stats as a reward.
Hardcore Leveling Warrior is killed and his subconscious is sent back to the real world. Before his subconscious can reach the real world, it is stopped by the soul of Han Gun-Jae in the The Subconscious World . Han Gun-Jae explains the Subconscious World to the confused Hardcore Leveling Warrior. God of Combat comes into the subconscious realm and apologies to Hardcore Leveling Warrior for not stopping his death.
God of Combat gives Hardcore Leveling Warrior the option of returning back to Lucid Adventure immediately by eatiing the mushroom in his hand or going back to the real world to improve his chances of surviving. Hardcore Leveling Warrior realises that Chairman Kim is still alive and decides to go back in the game and curses his luck.
Hardcore Leveling Warrior grabs the mushroom from God of Combats hand declares that he will win the finals and hurry back to the real world. He returns to Lucid Adventure with his level reset back to level 1.
Team Dark are informed that they have one minute till the final. Hardcore Leveling Warrior tells the worried Dark that he has a plan, but tells the team to remove his armour as it is now to heavy for him. Before the team leave for the final, Hardcore Leveling Warrior asks Sora for the Lucky Coin he gave her before the Siege Round.
"It doesn't matter what my level is!...I'll kick your asses in less than a minute."
Team Dark enters God's Arena and the spectators are shocked by Hardcore Leveling Warrior's Beginner items and the fact that he is dressed like a complete noob. The stats reveal shows that Hardcore Leveling Warrior is now at Level 1. While grinning, Hardcore Leveling Warrior declares that he would beat Team Light in less than a minute. The final begisn and Team Light immediately attacks Team Dark with powerful skills.
While Heart Heater and Sora buy Hardcore Leveling Warrior five seconds, Hardcore Leveling Warrior brings out the Itemised Lucky Coin Sora gave back to him and activates it. Hungry Ghost noticies it the Lucky Coin and tries to stop Hardcore Leveling Warrior from activating Hardcore Leveling Warrior with January - Cry of The Crane.
The attack is blocked by Le. Rajie's Demonic Barrier. The Lucky Coin is successfully activated by Dark, which makes the rate of success for all Dark's skills 100% temporarily. Dark uses Wind Up on Hardcore Leveling Warrior. A powerful red aura surrounds Hardcore Leveling Warrior that causes the spectators in the arena observe in awe and deep instinctive fear. Once the aura dissipated, Hardcore Leveling Warrior returned back to his Rank No.1 Self.
Light attempts to see Hardcore Leveling Warrior's stats with Majin Eyes, but it is deflected by Hardcore Leveling Warrior's Auto-Reflector. Hardcore Lveling Warrio suddenly appears in front of Light and critically injures him with a flick of his finger. Secretary Park pins Hardcore Leveling Warrior with the Lasso of Yin and Yang and attempts to strike Hardcore Leveling Warrior with the Demonic Sword - Thricapo.
Hardcore Leveling Warrior easily breaks his restraint and kills Secretary Park with a single unskilled sword slash. Hardcore Leveling Warrior engages Secretary Kim in the air and kills her by slamming her in the arena. Hardcore Leveling Warrioor is trapped in Hungry Ghost's Seotda Field and they both play a game of Seotda. Hardcore Leveling Warrior gets a better hand and kills Hungry Ghost. He defeated Team Light in less than 10 seconds as he promised earlier on.
"It was a dumb move to challenge me to a gamble"
Light is revived by Secretary Kim's Angelic Cradle and transforms into his Majinized Form. Light blasts Hardcore Leveling Warrior with a Mana Storm, but Hardcore Leveling Warrior is completely unaffected. Light then fires a Dragon Blast Wave at Hardcore Leveling Warrior which is once again neutralised by Hardcore Leveling Warrior's Magic Immunity. Hardcore Levling Warrior fires a Blazing Tiger which Light dispels. Light then sends Multi Holy Light at Hardcore Leveling Warrior, which Hardcore Leveling Warrior deflects. The deflected spells home in on Hardcore Leveling Warrior once again but are still deflected. Light creates 4 clones and uses Dolce to disable Hardcore Leveling Warrior's Magic Immunity. Light then blasts Hardcore Leveling Warrior with his ultimate spell, Madō - Destruction.
"The look on your face..."How can he still be alive after my attack hit him?" Well...my resilience stats is about a 100 times stronger than most players. That kind of attack is cute. A little better than some Imoogis?"
Hardcore Leveling Warrior survives the blast and instantly recovers. He mocks Light and and calls his attack "cute" while his golden items automatically get repaired. Light began to fear for the first time in his life and started sweating. Hardcore Leveling Warrior says that instead of killing Light he will try to show the crowd his true fighting style to entertain them and asked Light not too die too quickly. The grinning Hardcore Leveling Warrior instantly fires 100 Spells at Light. Light tries to disable the spells but his own spells are disabled by Hardcore Leveling Warrior's Anti-Magic Disable Trap Spell.
"At first I was gonna just finish you off with a few hits. Because I didn't like your arrogant face, but I'm only human after all. All this attention is getting my hyped. I have fans to entertain, so I've decided to show them how I really fight."Light is critically injured and Hardcore Leveling Warrior catches him and tells him to get up. The enraged Light shoves Hardcore Leveling Warrior off and Hardcore Leveling Warrior restores Light's condition with Perfect Cure and continues to mock him. Light's mind snapped and he was enshrouded by a powerful black Nightmare aura.
"So I'll ask you one thing. Even if I'm not good at controlling my power...don't die so fast that it's no fun."
Light is completely transformed into a Nightmare. While mocking the newly transformed Light, Hardcore Leveling Warrior is caught off-guard by Light's sword attack. His Golden Armour is destroyed. Hardcore Leveling Warrior thinks that Light feels just like Zero. Light sends a powerful unavoidable Nightmare blast at Hardcore Leveling Warrior which Hardcore Leveling Warrior parries with his hands.
"This bastard...!! He's just like...Zero!!"
Light's attacks and blasts pierced through Hardcore Leveling Warrior's stats and items and even negated Hardcore Leveling Warrior's recovery. Light then flies high up in the air and sends a powerful Nightmare Dragon Blast at the Arena. Hardcore Leveling Warrior rushes to protect his team with his 100 Fold Barrier. Most of the arena is destroyed by Light's Nightmare blast. Hardcore Leveling Warrior managed to protect his team from the blast but his armour Golden items are completely damaged.
"Last but not least. A super deadly collab with my cuties!!!.. And with this awesome skill...I'll finish it!!!"
"The last is the ultimate - collaboration of my cuties-!!! And- I'll end you with a really dope and cool skill-!!!"
Light charges at Hardcore Leveling Warrior from the sky and Hardcore Leveling responds by equipping the Sword of the Knights - The 7 Truths and the +16 Hero's Sword. He charges at Light and they clash high above the Tomb of Swords. A black Nightmare aura encases the sky, but it is eventually deposed by a gigantic red cross slash as Hardcore Leveling Warrior uses Lacerate(節).
When Lila met up with Sora, she told Sora that she was a part of the Underground Workshop. She also said that it was Gong Won-Ho that saved her for the second time. Gong Won-Ho was seen helping her out of her barrel.
The Ranking System Limit
As the God of Combat perished, the ranking system was reestablished by Lucid Ball, which emerged when the divine power was absorbed into the world. Lucid Ball ranked each user based on the power of the world itself, with the power shown by the Hardcore Leveling Warrior, who had reached the humanly limit, set as the limit.
Hardcore Leveling Warrior's karma spread round Lucid Adventure in the form of his broken Lucky Coin pieces. It ended up in the hands of some Nightmares and in the new divine dungeons that included Tower of Abstinence and Crosswalk of Moon.
Trapped in the Demon World
At some point, Hardcore Leveling Warrior's character became trapped in the demon world. His character is floating upside down and naked in a dark reddish water where it keeps breathing out bubbles and flinching.
After Dark collects all of Hardcore Leveling Warrior's Lucky Coin Pieces and his personal attribute takes him to find Hardcore Leveling Warrior. They go through The Realm of the Soul and pass the boundary between the human world and the demon world. Dark's soul then goes into what looks like a giant red brain like structure. As Dark approached it he was amazed as he could feel the "pain, malice and resentment" emanating from it.
As Dark goes inside the structure and the inside is filled with dark red water. Dark could see white lights and they felt somewhat familiar. Dark then sees the naked Rank No.1 Hardcore Leveling Warrior's avatar floating upside down. Dark cries out and his soul takes the form of his younger character avatar.He screams and tells Hardcore Leveling Warrior to open his eyes.
As soon as Dark grans Hardcore Leveling Warrior's arm, Hardcore Leveling Warrior's body flinches and giant black entity comes out and aks if Dark came to see Hardcore Leveling Warrior. Dark's personal attribute senses the danger and tells them they need to go back. Dark then screams at the giant black entity and proclaims that he will defeat the it and save Hardcore Leveling Warrior. He grabs Hardcore Leveling Warrior's arm and told him to wait for him and he would save him no matter what. Dark then disappears and Hardcore Leveling Warrior's body is left floating in the desolate red sea.