Hardcore Leveling Warrior.
(AfroGamers.com) Hardcore Leveling Warrior or HCLW is a manhwa by Sehoon Kim about a gambling addict indebted to loan sharks. Our hero begins paying off his loan by playing Lucid Adventure.
The World of Lucid Adventure
Yes, I know: another comic about entering an MMORPG world and how its better than the real world. In this case, the game world has become a bigger sensation than the in-game world of Sword Art Online and .hack. The in-game economy influences the real world economy. Characters who reach the upper ranks in this fantasy world become superstars in the real world. This is how Hardcore Leveling Warrior–or Ethan Gong–plans to repay his debt. Quests payout to some degree, especially high rank quests, and there are many interested parties in-game who will pay actual currency for HCLW’s services.
The Rise and Fall of Hardcore Leveling Warrior
While he has a change of personality throughout the series as a result of his relationship with his teammates, from chapter one it is shown that HCLW is a true jerk. After some time playing Lucid Adventure, young Ethan reached level 99 and had all his stats maxed out at 999. He knew all about different dungeons, high ranked players, groups, teams, monsters, and rare loot. His time in-game served him very well.
Unfortunately, that same time in-game made him a huge jerk. He became cocky and would kill players without a care since he could pay off guards easily. Up until his downfall, no one dared to take HCLW on alone because of his power. Like his actual self, his character was guided by luck–only his character had tremendous luck. Also like his real self, he would take out loans from NPC (non-playable characters) and not pay up.
His downfall comes after he fends off a large ambush by other players he wronged in the past. A player capable of knocking him down 98 pegs disguised themselves as a player HCLW killed in the first chapter. This player not only booted HCLW down to level 1, they also took his ultra rare, one-of-a-kind armor and weaponry leaving him a newbie.
Allies and Enemies
Since he has to make back the money he borrowed from the loan sharks, Hardcore Leveling Warrior is quick to seek out opportunities for gold and leveling. Luckily, he is saved by player named Sora–whom he saved a year prior but forgot about–and was brought into the service of a player named Dark.
As it turns out, Dark is a relative of the game’s creator and is willing to pay generously for HCLW to level him up. Ethan takes the job and his adventures in leveling up him, Dark, and teaching Sora more about the advanced in and outs of Lucid Adventure make up the story going forward.
During all of this, Team Dark is targeted by several groups. The King of Yopi Land becomes an ally while the Empire of Giga–Dark’s family and the company that owns Lucid Adventure–are enemies throughout.
In short, this is another series worth checking out. It’s been around for a while now and can be read translated on Webtoon (either the site or the app). Honestly, if there was a series that should make the jump to an animated series Hardcore Leveling Warrior is one of them.
It has the leveling-gaming theme going for it which would make it extremely easy to get into and while HCLW is selfish and at times detestable, his craftiness and willingness to keep fighting makes him somewhat likeable. Of the Team Dark members, only Sora is truly likeable (Dark is dry early on but interacts well with HCLW).
With that said, check out Hardcore Leveling Warrior.
Staff Writer; M. Swift
This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.