|“||You fool, you are not reading it alone.||”|
In later parts of the novel, it is revealed that what was presented as his 3rd regression was actually his 1864th, and that he experienced major memory loss due to the events of his true 1863rd round.
Yoo Joonghyuk is repeatedly described as extremely handsome by various individuals, including Kim Dokja and tls123 (in the Ways of Survival text). He is stated to have wide black eyes with thin double eyelids and thick eyebrows. His right eye glows golden upon activation of the skill [Sage's Eye]. His hair is black and slightly wavy, cut short. He has tan skin, a sharp nose ridge, and a strong jawline. He is extremely muscular, in particular having well-toned biceps and thighs.
As the Punisher, Yoo Joonghyuk has waist-length hair and deep, sultry eyes beneath neat eyebrows. He is, according to Kim Dokja, thrice as beautiful in his Punisher form than his male form. He is smaller and sleeker than usual in this form, and wears a black cape to cover his usual outfit.
Generally, Yoo Joonghyuk wears a black coat and combat boots. He is implied to wear fingerless gloves. Under the jacket, covers for the novel have shown him to wear a black shirt with a silver collar and buckle, along with close-fitting black pants. He is also depicted as having at least one belt across his chest, along with a sword scabbard worn at his waist, held on by straps attached to his belt and around his thigh.
When acting as Zhu Bajie during the reenactment of Journey to the West, he dresses instead in a half-open black vest and tight black jeans.
Little is known about Yoo Joonghyuk's early life; he had no memories of his parents or his own youth, as though he simply came into existence as a young adult. He was working as an RMT gamer when he was spotted by the director of the company that hired him. This director recognized his skill in gaming and helped him become a professional gamer. However, his rapidly growing career was disrupted when a baby—supposedly his younger sister—was dropped off at his doorstep. Yoo Joonghyuk hired detectives to find out more about his family; they were unable to locate his parents, but found a house that was supposed to have belonged to them. Having been staying under the radar due to difficulties at work, he left his house to follow up on this lead, taking the subway to the address. This attempt, however, was derailed by the start of the scenarios.
In the original Ways of Survival text, Yoo Joonghyuk worked through 1863 regressions before approaching the end of the scenarios. Though the majority of these regressions are skimmed over, some regressions have been described in varying levels of detail. Throughout his time regressing, he grew more and more world-weary and exhausted at his endless life, and became bitter and angry towards his sponsor as a result. In his 1863rd round, he was said to have reached the Last Wall; due to the novel ending here, no more was known about his regressions.
Yoo Joonghyuk, at the start of Omniscient Reader's Viewpoint, is said to be on his 3rd regression. In the first scenario, after killing his entire carriage in the subway, he attempts to breach the door to Kim Dokja's carriage in order to meet Kim Namwoon and Lee Hyunsung. The survivors of said carriage escape before he can reach them, and he chases after them, finding Kim Dokja. In the ensuing conversation, Yoo Joonghyuk becomes convinced that Kim Dokja is a prophet, and throws him to an ichthyosaur as a test of his strength. He moves on from Han River after waiting three days for Kim Dokja to emerge, believing the man to have died, and spends a while in Geumho Station killing monsters for Cheon Inho's group. Soon after, he leaves Geumho and moves to Chungmuro Station, where he recruits Lee Jihye and a few others, surviving through Main Scenario 3 at night and locating hidden pieces during the day. Here, he encounters Kim Dokja once again, checking on his party's levels and noting Lee Gilyoung's sponsor before leaving with Lee Jihye.
That night, Yoo Joonghyuk is spotted occupying a green zone targeted by Kim Dokja's party; he pulls Lee Gilyoung in with him and watches Kim Dokja use the Specter's Stone to survive the night. Upon the scenario's temporary end the next morning, Yoo Joonghyuk offers Lee Gilyoung a place in his party; met with refusal, he leaves to attack the Theatre Dungeon, instructing Lee Jihye to guard its entrance.
- See also: 1863rd round
Original round (continued)
- See also: 0th round
In his 0th round (i.e. his first, original life), Yoo Joonghyuk did not choose a sponsor; instead, he was guided through the scenarios by a constellation he and the rest of the <Star Stream> knew only as the Demon King of Salvation. This round was extremely successful; under his constellation guide's watchful eye, Yoo Joonghyuk defeated the Dokkaebi King and successfully ended the scenarios with the rest of his party safe and sound. He lived a peaceful life thereafter, surviving well into his 60s; however, due to the effect of his earned attribute 'Life Lived to its Fullest', he began to age rapidly towards the end of his life. Close to his death, he accepted the sponsorship of the Demon King of Salvation and regressed in order to learn more about his own identity, the truth of his world, and the identity of his new sponsor.
- Life Lived to the Fullest (Legendary): Formerly possessed (0th round). An attribute that, at the cost of living a fixed lifespan, fully unleashes the user’s latent talents. In exchange for a little over 25 years of Yoo Joonghyuk's lifespan, this attribute allowed him to reach the end of the scenarios and defeat the Dokkaebi King in the 0th round.
- Demon King (at least Legendary): Likely formerly possessed (0th round), due to his possession of the Story 'Demon World's Spring', which (in Kim Dokja's original timeline) arose by his becoming a Demon King.
- Regressor (3rd/1863rd/1864th turn) (Myth): An attribute linked to his stigma Regression.
- Pro Gamer (Rare): Gained from his career as a pro gamer prior to the start of the scenarios. Grants him an "overwhelming advantage and adaptability in all games".
- Ruler of Amusement (Legendary): The evolved form of the Pro Gamer attribute, this boosts Yoo Joonghyuk's abilities in any game to the point where Kim Dokja compares him to a god.
- Supreme King (Hero): Gained through the King's Road scenario.
- Iron Blood Supreme King (Legend): The evolved form of the Supreme King attribute.
- Demon King Slayer (Myth): As the name suggests, gained through killing a Demon King.
- Eternal Solitude (Quasi-myth): Likely gained through being the only one to retain his memories throughout his hundreds of regressions, and therefore having technically lived an eternity alone.
- Horror of the Stars (Myth): Likely gained through having killed an unknown number of constellations.
- Sage’s Eye: A skill similar to Kim Dokja's Character List that allows the user to view the Attributes Window of another individual, along with hidden information about them. Causes the user's right eye to glow gold when activated.
- Lie Detection: A B-grade skill that, as the name suggests, allows the user to identify the veracity of statements made in their vicinity.
- Breaking the Sky Swordsmanship: A skill linked to Yoo Joonghyuk's knowledge of Breaking the Sky Swordsmanship, taught by Namgung Minyoung.
- Giant Body Transformation: A skill that temporarily expands the user's latent power in order to imitate the larger form of a giant. Taught to Yoo Joonghyuk by Briareus in the 2nd round.
- Red Phoenix Shunpo: A skill that increases the user's speed.
- Air Steps: As the name suggests, a skill that allows the user to turn the air into invisible steps that they can walk on. A skill exclusive to the strongest returnees from Murim.
- Thought Vaccine: A skill that can be used as a counter for Nirvana Moebius' Thought Infection and Eternal Prison skills. Likely nullifies any mental skills being used by a target, either defensively (to protect against the user) or offensively (to attack the user).
- Advanced Weapons Training: Evolved form of Weapons Training.
- Advanced Mental Barrier: Evolved form of Mental Barrier.
- Hand to Hand Combat
- Strong Self-Defense
- Crowd Control
- Hundred Steps Godly Fists
- More unnamed skills, cut for length.
Sponsor: The Oldest Dream
- Regression (Stigma): Yoo Joonghyuk's trademark ability and the foundation of the plot of Ways of Survival, this stigma allows Yoo Joonghyuk to send his consciousness back in time to the beginning of the scenarios, regaining his original body while retaining all the memories of his previous rounds. He temporarily loses his skills and other abilities, although they can be regained through his second stigma, Transmission. This stigma generally activates automatically when he is close to death, although it can also be activated at will. It appears to require the consent of both Yoo Joonghyuk and the Oldest Dream in order to be activated.
- Group Regression (Stigma): The evolved form of Regression, this stigma allows Yoo Joonghyuk to carry multiple other individuals with him when he regresses. It costs an extremely high amount of probability to use, and therefore can only ever be used once.
- Transmission (Stigma): This stigma allows Yoo Joonghyuk to slowly regain the skills and abilities he had in previous regressions over time.
- As of Chapter 29, his stats are [Constitution Lv. 24], [Strength Lv. 24], [Agility Lv. 25], [Magic Power Lv. 23].
- As of Chapter 41, his stats are [Constitution Lv. 28], [Strength Lv. 27], [Agility Lv. 26], [Magic Power Lv. 25].
- As of Chapter 81, his stats are [Constitution Lv. 60], [Strength Lv. 60], [Agility Lv. 60], [Magic Power Lv. 60].
- King of a Kingless World (Legendary): Formerly possessed (0th round). Earned, as by Kim Dokja, by destroying the Absolute Throne in Main Scenario 5.
- One Who Inherited the Name of the King (rating unknown): Presumably a Story acquired during the King's Road scenario, by killing an actual king, taking his flag, and therefore activating the revolutionary option, "inheriting" the kingship.
- One Who Opposed the Miracle (Legendary): Acquired upon defeating Myung Ilsang, the Disaster of Questions.
- One Who Hunted the King of Disasters (Legendary): Acquired upon defeating the constellation Yamato no Orochi in Peace Land. The Story is not immediately named as it is impossible and was not expected to occur in the relevant scenario.
- Paradise of Despair (Legendary): Acquired upon defeating Demon Marquis Reinheit von Djerba.
- Disciple of Breaking the Sky Sword Saint (rating unknown): Presumably acquired in the 2nd round, while studying under Namgung Minyoung. This Story forces Yoo Joonghyuk to call Namgung Minyoung "Teacher" and use honorifics for her.
- One Who Killed A Wenny Person (Legendary): Acquired upon killing the wenny person who kidnapped Biyoo.
- One Who Fought Against an Outer God (rating unknown): Presumably acquired while fighting against the Eater of Dreams.
- Ruler of the Industrial Complex (rating unknown): Presumably acquired upon becoming the Duke of the Yoo Joonghyuk Industrial Complex (formerly Syswitz).
- Life and Death Comrades (rating unknown): Also translated as 'Life and Death Companions', 'Companions in Life and Death', or 'Comrades in Life and Death'. Acquired as a result of the comradeship of Yoo Joonghyuk and Kim Dokja.
- Demon World's Spring (Giant Story): Shares possessed in 0th and 3rd/1864th rounds. Acquired in the 0th round by becoming the king of an unspecified Demon Realm (most likely the 73rd), and in the 3rd/1864th round by helping Kim Dokja become the king of the 73rd Demon Realm.
- Torch That Swallowed the Myth (Giant Story): Has shares in this. Acquired upon finishing Gigantomachia and defeating Poseidon.
- Season of Light and Darkness (rating unknown): Shares possessed in 0th and 3rd/1864th rounds. Acquired in both rounds upon ending the Great War of Constellations and Demons by triggering the Apocalypse scenario, then averting the same.
- The Liberator of the Forgotten Ones (Giant Story): Has shares in this. Acquired upon completing the Journey to the West remake.
- Hell of Eternity (Giant Story): Also known as "Hellscape of Eternity" and more accurately translated as "Eternally Indestructible Hell". Similar to the Eternal Solitude attribute, this Story was most likely earned through the endless unceasing regressions that Yoo Joonghyuk was forced to go through.
- Lonely Pilgrim of Destruction (Giant Story): Also known as "Pilgrim of the Lonely Apocalypse". Similar to the above Story, arose from Yoo Joonghyuk being the lone survivor of over a thousand apocalypses. Was intended to act as the Conclusion (結) for Yoo Joonghyuk's A Single Story. The "Destruction"/"Apocalypse" in this Story's name and "Ruin" in "Three Ways to Survive in a Ruined World" are the same Hangul word.
- Yoo Joonghyuk's name has been a source of some contention.
- The hangul is most directly transliterated as "Yoo Joonghyeok". The "oo" in Yoo and Joonghyuk are functionally the same sound, which is why the spelling Yoo Joonghyuk is the favoured one amongst both the English and Korean sides of the fandom. The "eo" sound is also often transliterated as "u" in English, hence the change from Joonghyeok to Joonghyuk. This "eo" → "u" change can also be seen in other names, such as Lee Hyunsung's and Jung Heewon's.
- However, the first translator used to spell it Yoo Jonghyuk (with only one O in his given name). They have since stated that this was an error, and if possible they'd want to change it.
- The second translator changed it to the more accurate Yu Jung-Hyeok, but did not stick to the "eo" → "u" standard, using "oo" → "u" instead and leaving "eo" as is.
- Kim Dokja often refers to Yoo Joonghyuk as a sunfish. This is likely a reference to the game "Survive! Mola Mola" (mola mola is another name for a sunfish). In the game, you have to keep a sunfish alive and escape the dangers of the sea. However, the sunfish dies because of almost anything and one must start over many times in order to get anywhere; this parallels how Yoo Joonghyuk needed over a thousand rounds in order to even approach a conclusive end to the scenarios, and how he died very easily particularly in the early rounds.
- When he is pleased, he has a habit of dragging the tip of his sword along the ground.
- Taking the year that ORV started (2018) to be the same calendar year in-text at the start of the novel, and assuming that all ages are given according to the Korean system, Yoo Joonghyuk's date of birth is August 3, 1991.
- He first calls Kim Dokja his companion in chapter 101.
- 팬아트 이벤트용 등장인물 외형 묘사입니다. Sing Shong on Munpia. Translated text available here, courtesy of porifra.
- Chapter 228
- Chapter 256
- Chapter 294
- Chapter 428
- Chapter 518
- Chapter 525
- Chapter 9
- Chapter 10
- Chapter 11
- Chapter 16
- Chapter 18
- Chapter 28
- Chapter 29
- Chapter 30
- Chapter 32
- Chapter 33
- Chapter 523
- Chapter 524
- Chapter 284
- Chapter 445
- Chapter 262
- Chapter 81
- Chapter 141
- Chapter 130
- Chapter 323
- Chapter 41
- Chapter 165
- Chapter 144
- Chapter 269
- Chapter 531
- Chapter 70
- Chapter 268
- Chapter 89
- Chapter 168
- Chapter 233
- Chapter 339
- Chapter 465
- Chapter 444
- Chapter 430
- Novel Updates Forum, post by user rainbowturtle (archived version)
- Chapter 36
- Chapter 247