Hardcore Leveling Warrior is an ongoing action webcomic drawn and written by Sehun Kimset, and was first published on Webtoons on November 7th, 2017. The series takes place in a real world that has become revolved around playing within the virtual game-world of Lucid Adventure.
The story centers around Gong Won-Ho (translated as Ethan on Webtoon), a Korean boy who's been stuck in the unfortunate situation of being in debt and held prisoner to a man named President Kim. Ethan goes about paying off the debt through Lucid Adventure where his efforts as a solo player led to him eventually becoming the undisputed #1 ranked player in the game as the Hardcore Leveling Warrior. With maxed out levels and stats to match, there's no one alive that posed a challenge to Ethan. That is until a mysterious woman from inside the game manages to kill him; resulting in Hardcore Leveling Warrior losing his gear, and dropping back down to level one. At that same time in real life, Ethan was living in one of Kim's high-end jail suites thanks to his reputation as the Hardcore Leveling Warrior, but as a result of his game character dying, Ethan gets thrown back into the lowest dungeon until he's worked his way back up again.
From here, Ethan begins a new adventure to one day escape his real world imprisonment, and to reclaim his title as the #1 player of Lucid Adventure. Only this time around, the Hardcore Leveling Warrior is hired to join a team with two other players looking to get stronger, Dark and Sora.
Hardcore Leveling Warrior contains examples of:
- Absurd Cutting Power: More than one sword in this world is capable of splitting mountains, given the right skill.
- Absurdly High-Stakes Game: If Hardcore Leveling Warrior can't pay back his debt in time by collecting money in-game, he'll have his organs removed.
- If Hardcore Leveling Warrior dies in-game for any reason, including in what is effectively a mini-game with multiple lives, his stats and level are reset to 1. Considering that Death Is a Slap on the Wrist for all other players we've seen...
- Alternate Universe: A spin-of is made that follows up to Chapter 50, but then diverges to one where the game involves tanks instead during the Combat Tournament. Known as Hardcore Leveling Warrior : World of Tanks.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: All higher-ups at Giga are explicitly good in a fight.
- Awesome Mc Coolname: Hardcore Leveling Warrior, case-in-point.
- Badass Boast: Hardcore Leveling Warrior tends to do this when he's in a fight, or after he's just won.
- Balloon Belly: Played for Laughs when Sora gets one in episode 96.
- Boobs of Steel: Sora has large breasts, and she's also the tank of Dark's Party.
- Dragon Knight: Heart Heater is one of these.
- Evil Former Friend: Constant and Hardcore Leveling Warrior used to be friends, and work in the same guild, before Constant betrayed them for Giga.
- Heads or Tails?: Hardcore Leveling Warrior has a skill which lets him flip a coin for the chance to get a stat boost to any stat of his choice.
- Professional Gambler: Hardcore Leveling Warrior and Demon, both.
- Winds of Destiny, Change!: Hardcore Leveling Warrior's personal attribute is Absolute Luck, he is nearly guaranteed to win in any game of chance.