Hardcore is a show on PBG's second channel, PBGGameplay. This show follows the episodic quests of a group of NormalBoots and Hidden Block members attempting to clear a certain objective in certain multiplayer online games.
In all Hardcore series, each game is played on the hardest difficulty possible. Regardless of the game selected, all participants must play until they either succeed in their mission, usually defeating a certain boss enemy, or if their character dies. In the case of the latter, the minute the participant's character falls in battle, they immediately leave the voice chat line and cannot participate any further in the playthrough. In the Terraria 3 Hardcore after show, it is revealed that all participants who were killed are kept in the dark about the events of the playthrough after their death.
The players on the quest are always displayed on the bottom on the video screen utilizing a headshot of them. The point of view changes often between the players, especially when the group splits up to finish certain objectives in order to move forward in their quests. The player, whose viewpoint is currently being observed during the video has a white video recorder icon over their headshot. If a player is in danger of dying or is sustaining damage, their icon constantly flashes red until they either survive the battle or are killed. Upon death, the player's headshot is blacked out and a giant red "X" is placed over their headshot for the rest of the playthrough. This was the format until Minecraft Hardcore Season 5 where new artistic images of the Hardcore cast are shown on the bottom screen. Upon a participant's death, their normal icon is replaced with a dead version of their icon.
In every season, PBG, his brother McJones, and friend Dean have participated. The remaining slots are usually filled by NormalBoots and Hidden Block members or sometimes by special guests.
Minecraft Hardcore 1
The season ended successfully and the Ender Dragon was killed. The two surviving members were JonTron and Barry, editor for Game Grumps.
- Jirard - Jirard "died" due to having to leave the game for his birthday. His character was kicked from the server and was unable to re-enter.
- Soah - While digging downward, Soah accidentally opened a lava vein and was burned to death.
- PBG - While fighting Endermen to collect their Enderpearls, PBG was badly wounded and accidentally switched from his Diamond Sword to a Bow, thus preventing him from killing the Enderman he was fighting and was killed instead.
- McJones - Upon entering the End, McJones was immediately knocked off the world by the Ender Dragon.
- Dean - While fighting the Ender Dragon and the Endermen army, Dean was killed by their collective forces.
The second season was a DayZ Hardcore. The task was to make their way to the airport and leave the island. JonTron and Barry returned this season as a part of the main cast. ProJared and RubberRoss rounded out the season's crew.
This season was the shortest of all Hardcore playthroughs lasting only three episodes, totaling roughly 40 minutes of footage. It also holds the record for the fastest participant death with McJones dying only two and a half minutes into the playthrough when he was killed by other players. They were ultimately unable to complete the objective.
In an unseen blooper, most of the crew was killed before the actual playthrough started with four of the seven participants dying from other players ambushing them. Barry and PBG were nowhere near the ambushed group and only RubberRoss escaped mostly unscathed.
- McJones - Less than three minutes into the season, McJones was shot to death by other players.
- PBG - While attempting to run from zombies in a building, PBG accidentally ran off the second floor balcony to his death.
- JonTron - Immediately after PBG died, JonTron also ran off the second floor balcony to his death.
- Dean - While running into a building, Dean was shot and killed by another player(s).
- Barry - While following Dean into the building, Barry was also killed by the same player(s).
- RubberRoss - RubberRoss and ProJared were surrounded by zombies and Ross was killed.
- ProJared - Alone, ProJared climbed a building to get a better vantage point to the objective, but was shot and killed by another player.
A vast majority of the deaths of the teams came from Servants of Cthulhu attacking them. The season ended during the first boss fight and the quest ended in failure.
- Barry - While traveling the surface at night with SpaceHamster, Barry and SpaceHamster were ambushed by a Demon Eye and was killed.
- Paul - Paul's death was not shown, but he died from a Demon Eye.
- Dean and McJones - While digging underground together, McJones accidentally triggered a boulder trap that killed both Dean and McJones simultaneously.
- Jontron - While attacking a Servant of Cthulhu with PBG and SpaceHamster, Jon was pinned against a wall where he was killed by the Servant of Cthulhu.
- PBG and SpaceHamster - After summoning the Eye of Cthulhu, PBG and SpaceHamster put up a valiant effort to attempt to kill the first boss, but both were ultimately slain during the encounter.
Minecraft Season 2
The second season of Minecraft Hardcore featured ProJared, Kyrak, and NCS. The goal was to defeat the Wither. Everybody who made it into the Nether were all killed there, long before having a chance of defeating The Wither.
- Dean - While protecting their house from Skeleton Archers and Zombies at night, Dean was killed by them.
- Kyrak - Kyrak afk'd during the game and was killed by PBG.
- Projared - After warning PBG of a Creeper behind him, Projared attempted to kill the Creeper, but it exploded, killing him instead.
- NCS - While exploring on his own, NCS fell into a pond where he was surrounded and ambushed by a Spider and a Creeper which ultimately exploded, killing him.
- PBG - While in the Nether, the team aggro'd a few Zombie Pigmen. PBG was cornered and attempted to eat a Golden Apple, but was killed by a Zombie Pigman before he could.
- McJones - McJones and Barry attempted to hole themselves and slowly grind out mobs for Wither Skeletons. McJones attempted to go outside of their barrier and was ambushed by a Zombie Pigman and a Whither Skeleton.
- Barry - Alone, but with the company of the Dean Sword and Jeffery the Wither Skull, Barry attempted to complete the quest on his own, but was ultimately surrounded and killed by a Blaze and Zombie Pigman.
Minecraft Season 3
- Dean - While guarding their house, Dean asked if someone could watch his back in case of a Creeper. Ironically, no one else was outside and Dean was killed by a Creeper explosion immediately after requesting help.
- Jon - While battling a Witch and Skeleton Archers, Jon was badly wounded during the fight before being felled by a final shot to the head by a Skeleton Archer.
- ProJared - Attacked by a horde of Spiders and Creepers, ProJared managed to survive a majority of the onslaught including two Creeper explosions. However, the second explosion launched him into the air and he suffered lethal fall damage.
- PBG and McJones - In the Nether, PBG and McJones were mining through a Fortress. PBG accidentally opened a Lava vein and both he and McJones were struck by lava and burned to death.
- Shane - While farming Wither Skeletons for their skulls, Shane was withered by a skeleton, knocked into a flame tile, and ultimately killed by the same skeleton.
- Smooth McGroove - Alone to farm for the Skulls, Smooth McGroove was ultimately ambushed by Blazes and Wither Skeletons and died, ending the season.
The first season of MineZ Hardcore featured ProJared, SpaceHamster and Brutalmoose, and they were tasked with defeating a giant. Despite losing four members, SpaceHamster, Brutalmoose and Barry from Game Grumps attempted to combat the giant, but were unable to slay it.
- ProJared - While exploring a village, ProJared was killed by a Zombie player.
- Dean - On the pirate ship, Dean died...unceremoniously.
- McJones - Poisoned and dying, McJones and PBG attempted to leave their rest point, but McJones was caught out by a Zombie player and died.
- PBG - While navigating his way out, PGB spotted a Zombie coming towards him and accidentally moved off of a balcony, causing him to suffer fall damage and died.
- SpaceHamster - While fighting the Giant, SpaceHamster was stomped on by the Giant and died.
- Brutalmoose - Shortly after, Brutalmoose was also killed by a Giant stomp attack.
- Barry - Left alone, Barry also was ultimately killed by a Giant stomp attack.
Terraria Season 2
Terraria Season 2 repeated the task of Terraria Season 1 which was to take down all bosses, with the Wall of Flesh being the ultimate goal. This season featured SpaceHamster, Protonjon and new Normal Boots member Satchbag. The season started out smoothly with no participants dying during the first two bosses. However, by the end of the third, most had perished. Due to a stupid move by Jeff, only McJones was left to combat the Wall of Flesh on his own. While he was nearly able to slay it on it his own, he died before he could finish it up, resulting in the quest ending in failure.
- SatchBags - SatchBags accidentally killed himself while fighting an Eater of Souls by jumping and falling into a deep pit.
- Barry - While fighting Eater of Souls, Barry was low on health and attempted to heal himself, but was killed by an Eater before he could.
- Dean - Dean was killed by an Demon Eye off-screen.
- PBG - While mining underground, PBG accidentally triggered a Boulder Trap, killing him.
- Protonjon - Protonjon fell from a lethal height and died.
- SpaceHamster - During their descent down to the Wall of Flesh area, SpaceHamster joked that if he let go of the button that kept the Umbrella open, he would fall from a lethal height and stated that sticky keys would kill him. Ironically, SpaceHamster then let go and took lethal fall damage.
- McJones - Left to face the Wall of Flesh alone, McJones put up a valiant effort, managing to wound the Wall of Flesh down to 300 HP from 1200, but was killed by the boss.
Minecraft Season 4
With one less member of the show this series, the crew were in for a more difficult task. Joining the main team were Caddicarus and SpaceHamster. Yungtown was originally going to be cast for this season, but couldn't make the recording.
This season was the most successful performance of any Hardcore season as not only did they slay the Elder Guardians, but also, four members had survived the ordeal, the highest of all successful seasons. The four surviving members were PBG, McJones, Dean, and SpaceHamster.
Minecraft Season 5
The fifth season of Minecraft Hardcore's main task was to find the Elytra, which is found by entering the End gateway portal after defeating the Ender Dragon, thus a semi-repeat of the very first Hardcore season. Outside of the main cast were Projared, SpaceHamster, and Barry. RayNarvaezJr joined as a new cast member.
Much of the series was noted for numerous blindsided deaths such as Projared being knocked into lava by a spider and Dean being trapped in Lava due to Ray opening a vein next to him. The most notable deaths in the series was PBG dying to an unexpected Creeper explosion after SpaceHamster and himself labeling some nearby pink wool sheep as bad omens. Ultimately, SpaceHamster managed to enter the End by himself and faced the Ender Dragon alone. In the end, SpaceHamster was not able to slay the Ender Dragon, thus ending the quest in failure.
Terraria Season 3
Terraria Season 3 once again repeated the task of the previous Terraria seasons, which was to take down all bosses, with defeating the Wall of Flesh being the ultimate goal. Protonjon, SpaceHamster, and Yungtown returned this season to help the main cast and Lucahjin joined the series as a Hardcore newcomer.
Compared to previous seasons of Terraria Hardcore, none of the main cast died to any of the bosses. Instead, PBG, Protonjon, SpaceHamster, and Dean mainly died due to negligence and lack of awareness to nearby terrain. Most notably, SpaceHamster died while testing a Amethyst Grappling Hook at the team's main base and fell from a lethal height when he missed a grappling shot while practicing.
Ultimately McJones, Yungtown, and Lucahjin successfully made it to the Wall of Flesh together and was able to take it down, thus leaving the season with three survivors and their quest achieved.
Though not a main part of the main quest, as McJones, Yungtown, and Lucahjin were celebrating their victory at the team's home base, a Hardmode Goblin Army began sieging their base. All three were killed during the attack, thus ending the season on a more hilarious note with no survivors.
MineZ Season 2
MineZ Season 2's main task is to reach the top of the Floating Isles, a far location in MineZ that is known to be hard to reach due to the long road to get there and requiring skill in parkour. Projared, Spacehamster, Brutalmoose, and Barry return to round out the main cast.
The season started with PBG, Brutalmoose, Dean, and Barry forming Team 1 and McJones, Projared, and Spacehamster formed Team B. Both Team's goal is merge in Tristitia and were successful, though Dean had died before the merge occurred. The group managed to reach the Floating Islands losing only Dean and McJones prior to starting the climb. Unfortunately, the rest of the team died after barely reaching the lowest Island within a span of 10 minutes of each other, making the season a failure.
- Dean - After Team B had left Stonehenge, they found a fort. Dean went in first with no one near him. Inside he was immediately ambushed by a sword wielding Zombie who killed him before PBG and the others could save him.
- McJones - While raiding Camp Kharj, the party encountered another player. Despite the player telling them that he was friendly, they decided to attack him. McJones was the only one killed in the scuffle and the other player managed to run away without dying.
- PBG - While the team was attempting to cross the bridge, PBG made it across first. While waiting, PBG was blindsided by a Zombie who knocked him off the bridge and into the chasm.
- Barry - Immediately after PBG died, Barry did not have enough speed to clear one of the jumps across the bridge and fell into the chasm.
- SpaceHamster' - While making their way through the forest in the first Floating Isle, a horde of Zombies and Pigmen ambushed the group. SpaceHamster was killed by a mini pig zombie explosion.
- BrutalMoose - During the same Zombie horde, BurtalMoose was swarmed by a large group of Zombies. He was eventually whittled down and killed.
- Projared - Attempting to flee the horde, Projared manage to locate the exit to the next isle. As he attempted to jump, a Zombie hit him, causing him to barely miss the platform, leading to his death into the chasm.
- PeanutButter Gamer/Austin Hargrave - Also known as PBG in the series and one of the founders of Normal Boots, he is the organizer of the series and runs the series on his second Youtube Channel. PBG is one of the thee members of the Hardcore series to appear in every season. Minecraft Season 4 remains the only series he has successfully survived and won.
- PBG's skins in Minecraft/MineZ were Link from the Legend of Zelda (Minecraft 1), Shaggy from Scooby Doo (Minecraft 2), Luigi from Super Mario (Minecraft 3), Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek (MineZ 1), The King of All Cosmos (Minecraft 4), the titular character Arthur (Minecraft 5), and Elmo from Sesame Street (MineZ)
- McJones/Steward Hargrave - McJones is PBG's brother and is known in the series as Professor McJones as he is usually the one who explains the task that needs to be completed in their Hardcore. Like PBG, McJones has appeared in every season of Hardcore. McJones has survived and won Minecraft Season 4 and Terraria Season 3
- McJones' skins in Minecraft/MineZ were Master Yi from League of Legends (Minecraft 1), Regulus from Bomberman (Minecraft 2), Hazama from BlazBlue (Minecraft 3), Quote from Cave Story (MineZ 1), Dedan from Off (MineZ 1), the titular character Professor Layton (Minecraft 5), and Brad Armstrong from LISA (MineZ 2)
- Dean/Dean Elazab - Dean is a friend of PBG and McJones and the third cast member to have appeared in every Hardcore season. A running joke in the series revolves around Dean's inisistence on following McJones wherever he goes and his general lack of understanding of most of the games he plays. Another running joke is that Dean often dies off-screen. Minecraft Season 4 remains the only series he has successfully survived and won.
- Dean's Skins in Minecraft/MineZ were Haseo from .Hack (Minecraft 1), Marth from Fire Emblem (Minecraft 2), Ragna from BlazBlue (Minecraft 3), Kamina from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (MineZ 1), Hisoka from Hunter x Hunter (Minecraft 4), Speed O' Sound Sonic from One-Punch Man (Minecraft 5), and Katsuki from Boku no Hero Academia (MineZ 2)
- Jontron/Jon Jafari - Jontron is one of the founding members of Normal Boots and best known for his comedy reviews of video games and movies.. He was a member of Minecraft Season 1 and 3, DayZ, and Terraria Season 1. Jontron mainly spent most of his Hardcore playthroughs doing outlandish things that rarely benefited the teams, much to their often frustration. Despite this, Jon does play serious in several key moments and was one of two players to survive the very first season of Minecraft Hardcore.
- Soah/Lee Brown - Friend of PBG and Jirard and moderator of the Completionist subreddit. Soah was a member of the first Hardcore Minecraft Season. Despite his warning to avoid digging straight down, Soah was killed when he accidentally opened a Lava vein while digging straight down. He has not appeared in any Hardcore season since.
- The Completionist/Jirard Khalil - The Completionist is a member of Normal Boots best known for reviewing games and 100% all games he reviews. Jirard appeared in Minecraft Season 1 and Diablo 2. Jirard is infamous in Minecraft Season 1 due to dying from being AFK. According to Jirard himself, it was his birthday the first day of recording and his character was kicked from the server due to inactivity. Jirard was one of the two surviving members of Diablo 2.
- Barry/Barry Kramer - Barry, best known as the first editor of the web gaming series, the Game Grumps. Best known as the silent player throughout his numerous appearances in the series, Barry is regarded normally as one of the most competent members of the team. Outside of the core three members, Barry has appeared the most amount of times in the series, missing out only on Minecraft Season 3 and Terraria Season 3. Barry was the second person to survive and win the first season of Minecraft Hardcore.
- ProJared/Jared Knabenbauer - Projared was a previous member of video gaming site ScrewAttack and became friends with PBG and Jontron, thus becoming a member of Normal Boots.
- RubberRoss/Ross O'Donovan - RubberRoss is an animator and member of the Game Grumps as the main host of Steam Train. Jared has appeared on DayZ and Diablo 2, both of which he did not survive.
- Paul/Paul Ritchey - Member of Continue? and writer for JonTron. Paul appeared in Terraria season 1 where he died and in Diablo 2 where he completed the goal of the game alongside Jirard.
- Kyrak/Kyle - Friend of PBG who appeared in some of PBG's earliest videos. He appeared only in Minecraft Season 2.
- NintendoCapriSun/Timothy Bishop - Let's Player and member of The/RunawayGuys alongside ProtonJon. NCS appeared only in Minecraft Season 2.
- Caddicarus/James Caddick - Member of Hidden Block.
- Space Hamster/Jeff Fabre - Member of Hidden Block as a game reviewer. Jeff was also the editor for PBG's PBGGameplay channel. His first appearance is in Terraria season 1. After Mine Z, he has appeared in every season to date.
- DidYouKnowGaming/Shane Gill - Writer and face behind Did You Know Gaming. He is also worked as JonTron's pixilated intro sequence animator and for Normal Boots' logo. Shane appeared in Minecraft Season 3 where he did not survive.
- Smooth McGroove/Max Gleason - Smooth McGroove is known on Youtube as a one-man acapella group who performs covers of various video game themes. His sole appearance in the series was in Minecraft Season 3 where he was the longest surviving member of the group but was killed in the Nether by Blazes and Wither Skeleton Archers.
- Brutalmoose/Ian Macleod - Brutalmoose is a member of Hidden Block who frequently reviews children and educational games. Brutalmoose has only appeared in both seasons of MineZ, both of which he did not survive.
- SatchBags/Satchell Drakes - Normal Boots member and a reviewer of games. SatchBags has only appeared in Terraria Season 2 where he did not survive.
- Proton Jon/Jonathan Wheeler - Previously a member of Something Awful, Protonjon runs a Let's Play channel. Protonjon was a member of Terraria season 2 and 3, but was killed in both.
- Yungtown/Luke Sizemore - Member of Hidden Block who runs a Youtube channel dedicated to videos about video games in numerous styles of reviews and skits. Yungtown was originally supposed to be a cast member of Minecraft season 4, but could not make it to the play sessions. Yungtowns official debut was in Terarria Season 3 where he was among the three cast members to fell the Wall of Flesh and win the series.
- Lucahjin/Reese Dressler - A Twitch streamer and youtuber of various off beat games, Lucahjin is the first and currently only female member of the Hardcore series. Lucahjin first appeared in Terraria Season 3 where she was among the three cast members to fell the Wall of Flesh and win the series.