C64 The Great Giana Sisters

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The Great Giana Sisters game data

Commodore 64 game name: The Great Giana Sisters | Release date: 1987 | Publisher: Rainbow Arts | Game media type: crt | Language: en
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About Commodore 64 The Great Giana Sisters

The Great Giana Sisters: A Comprehensive Look at a Commodore 64 Classic


The Great Giana Sisters C64, released in 1987, is a 2D side-scrolling platform game for the Commodore 64 that gained notoriety due to its striking resemblance to Nintendo’s iconic Super Mario Bros. Despite its controversial origins, the game remains a beloved classic on the Commodore 64 platform and has since been revived in various forms over the years. In this article, we will delve into the history of The Great Giana Sisters, its gameplay and features, and its enduring legacy in the world of gaming.

The Origins of The Great Giana Sisters

Developed by Time Warp Productions, a German video game company, The Great Giana Sisters was designed by Armin Gessert and features music composed by the legendary Chris Hülsbeck. The game was published by Rainbow Arts for the Commodore 64 and was later ported to other platforms such as the Amiga, Atari ST, and Amstrad CPC.

Controversy and Legal Issues

Upon its release, The Great Giana Sisters drew immediate comparisons to Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. due to the similarities in level design, gameplay mechanics, and character abilities. Nintendo, keen to protect their intellectual property, took legal action against the game, which ultimately led to its withdrawal from the market. This controversy, however, only served to heighten the game’s mystique and made it a much sought-after title among collectors and enthusiasts.

Gameplay and Features

The Great Giana Sisters C64 is an arcade game in which the player controls either Giana or her sister Maria, with the game supporting alternating two-player mode. Each level contains a number of dream crystals that give points when collected, contributing to the game’s high score. An extra life can be gained by collecting 100 dream crystals, or by finding hidden “Lollipop” items.

Enemies can be defeated by jumping on them or shooting them after obtaining the relevant power-ups. These enemies include owls, rolling eyeballs, flesh-eating fish, and deadly insects. The “fire wheel” power-up transforms Giana into a punk with the ability to crush rocks by jumping and hitting them from below. The “lightning bolt” awards Giana “dream bubbles,” a single projectile shot. “Double lightning” gives her the ability to shoot recoiling projectiles, while “strawberries” grant her homing projectiles.

There is one defensive item in the game, the “water drop,” which protects Giana against fire. A number of special items can also be triggered that affect the entire screen, such as the “clock,” which freezes all enemies on-screen, and the “magic bombs,” which kill all enemies. These items are found in the item blocks scattered around the stages.

There are two types of stages in The Great Giana Sisters: an “overworld” and an “underground” stage. The “overworld” stages feature green scenery and pipe-shaped objects, along with bottomless pits for Giana to avoid. The “underground” stages feature additional hazards such as water and fire, as well as bosses. There are a total of 33 stages in the game, with hidden “warp blocks” that can be found to jump through portions of the game.

C64 PETSCII version

Now you can enjoy the PETSCII version of The Great Giana Sister here.

Original Game Manual

The Great Giana Sisters C64 Game Manual

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The Great Giana Sisters C64 keyboard mapping

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