Author Of The Warriors, Cult Film Adapted To Hit Video Game, Dies At 88

Sol Yurick, the writer whose 1965 novel "The Warriors" was adapted into a film 14 years later — which then became one of the best adapted works ever in video gaming — died this weekend. He was 88.

Yurick's work itself was a loose adaptation of an earlier story told 2,300 years before: Anabasis, which chronicles the journey of Greek mercenaries through hostile territory after the death of their leader. Yurick's book, and The Warriors both open with a grand council of street gangs, convened in the Bronx, and the murder of the leader who called for the gathering (Cyrus, a direct reference to the leader of the Greeks in Anabasis). But the stories then diverge significantly.

Walter Hill, the director of The Warriors, strove to give a comic-book depiction of the gang's flight from the Bronx back to their Coney Island turf. (Indeed, in Yurick's book, the gang's mascot, Junior, reads a comic book version of the story throughout the escape.) In the film, each faction was given a name and a costume theme invoking it, typified by the iconic "Baseball Furies" the protagonist Warriors fight in Riverside Park. After making their way through rival gangs' turf in Manhattan and then back to Coney Island, the Warriors defeat the gang responsible for Cyrus' death.

The Warriors became a cult hit, partly because its exaggerated portrayal of New York City's lawlessness fit with the violent crime and decay that blighted the city in the late 1970s. A staple of Saturday and Sunday afternoon movie programming on UHF stations, the film faded from popular memory until Rockstar resurrected it as a video game 26 years later.

The Warriors, released in 2005 for the Xbox and PS2, began with a three-minute recreation of the film's opening sequence (shown above). Set to the blood pumping guitar and synthesiser of Barry Vorzon's original soundtrack, it's one of the best openings a video game has ever had. Critics familiar with the film swooned, and The Warriors reviewed very well in a year full of big hits. Primarily a brawler, with some limited open-world features, the game also served as a canonical prologue to the all-gang meeting in the Bronx. It is playable only on the PlayStation 2 and original Xbox; a version for the PSP was released in 2007.

Kotaku Au Editor's Note: The PSP version is also available for digital download on the PS Vita and comes highly recommended — it's got pride of place on my own Vita, in fact.

Brooklyn Author Sol Yurick Dies [WNYC]

RIP Sol Yurick [Rockstar Games Twitter]


Comments

    Warriors is a great game, very fun experience. If you can find a way to play it, you should, also that game deserves a hd re release or to be ported to the pc and console online stores since it a game thats too good to be left behind.

    Fantastic movie and great game. The movie still holds up today (I watched it again last week in fact).
    If you haven't seen and/or played The Warriors. Fix that now. Just avoid the XBLA brawler...

    CAN..... YOU.... DIG IT?

    That was a great game! I stumbled across the whole Warriors thing randomly. First I saw Turk loosely referencing it on Scrubs 'Do you see what you get Carla?! Do you see what you get when you mess with the Warrior!' Then randomly rented out the game and made the connection between the two. Then I realised there was a movie and watched that. Maybe I should check out the book next...

      The book is... OK. There is also a comic mini series.

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