Beautiful things are born in pain.

I didn’t have to wonder before I chose the subject of my first post. I chose the unique game – The Great Gianna Sisters. Above all for the events, that took place during the premiere. For the second, because I like this game very much. I can say, that I grew up with these strange sisters. But first thing first.

There are few games that have a bug in the title. The title in the game itself is a little bit different from the title on the package. At least I don’t know many cases like this one. Apart from this one, I don’t know them at all. The game title in the version on Commodore 64/128 is The Great Gianna Sisters, on the packaging there is a title The Great Giana Sisters. The difference is not too big, but it is. I assume, that the true title is the one, which is in the game itself.

The Great Giana Sisters - original Commodore 64/128 floppy version and ZZAP!64 Magazine
The Great Giana Sisters – original Commodore 64/128 floppy version and ZZAP!64 Magazine

the accusation

Immediately after the premiere of the game, its publisher was accused by Nintendo of plagiarizing the Super Mario Bross game. The publisher had a choice, or to fight in court with a giant, or let it go and withdraw the game from the market. The second option was chosen. But fortunately, by this time Gianna Sisters has already gained a lot of popularity and remained present until today on the black market. Opinions will certainly be different, but I believe that it is one of the best games on Commodore 64, released at that time. It is also incomparably better than Mario Bros, I’m sorry Nintendo…

The Great Giana Sisters was released in 1987 on Commodore 64/128 and soon also on other platforms: Amiga, Atari ST, Amstrad CPC i MSX. There were plans to release this game also on ZX Spectrum. Information appeared in the press, but the game has not been finally released. Probably because of problems with the accusation of plagiarism and the threat of a Nintendo lawsuit. Despite the versions available for many platforms at the time, I focus on the Commodore game. I admit that this version appeals to me the most, the rest of them – not especially.

life on the edge

In the game, we have one task, we must, constantly moving right, through 33 stages, to help the sisters to get back to reality. When I saw this game for the first time, I was 11 years old. Graphics and music enchanted me. I could not eat or drink, just had to move forward, from one stage to another. It’s good that my parents watched, otherwise I would starve trying to complete my task. Probably present-day 11-year-olds do not share my enthusiasm for this game, but what do they know about life in the eighties 😉

Once my parents were sure that I would survive another struggle with The Great Gianna Sisters, I could continue my mission. With time, I have seriously refined my skills. I could complete the entire game without losing a single life, even without collecting boosters and diamonds. I tried to repeat this feat some time ago, but there was no chance to do it once again. Mastering games is not like riding a bike, it happens to lose your skills.

The Great Giana Sisters Commodore 64 version

The Great Giana Sisters Commodore 64 version

Short history

The author of the game is Armin Gessert, who unfortunately passed away on November 8, 2009. The graphic was created by Manfred Trenz. The author of the soundtrack is Chris Hülsbeck. It was the soundtrack that impressed me the most. I like it very much today. Chris Hülsbeck creates great music to this day. The soundtrack of this game was one of the first to be played by the symphony orchestra.

The story goes on

To this day, many new versions of this game have been released. Very interesting is Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams, financed through the Kickstarter, available on PC, PlayStation and Xbox. A game with great music by Chris Hülsbeck.

There were also countless, more or less successful, free remakes. Probably on most of today’s and old gaming platforms. From my point of view, the most interesting are new releases, similar to the original c64 version. For example Giana-Sisters 30th Anniversary, those that you can play on the original hardware.

The Great Gianna Sisters has stood the test of time. Even more than thirty years after its premiere can give a lot of satisfaction. My guess is that not everyone will like it, but it’s worth spending some time on it. Remember Mario was defeated in 1987… 😉

The Great Gianna Sisters

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