The Great Giana Sisters

From C64-Wiki
(Redirected from Giana Sisters)
Jump to navigationJump to search
The Great Giana Sisters
Start screen of game
Game No. 4
Voting 8.87 points, 126 votes
Company Time Warp Production
Publisher Rainbow Arts, Softgold, GO!
Musician Chris Hülsbeck
HVSC-File MUSICIANS/H/Huelsbeck_Chris/Great_Giana_Sisters.sid
Release 1987
Platform C64, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, JaC64, ZX Spectrum, MSX 2, Nintendo DS, mobile phones
* Different versions and clones for other computer systems, but it's not similair the original game!
Genre Jump & Run
Gamemode Single player
2 players (in turns)
Operation Icon Port2.pngJoystick
Media Diskette
Language Language:english

Description[edit | edit source]

The start screen: The title screen of "The Great Giana Sisters" is scrolling from right to left.

The game The Great Giana Sisters (only written in the intro Gianna) is a fantastic jump and run game from the year 1987. The original version and program code was developed on a C64. The game was developed by the game company Time Warp Productions and was published by the German publisher Rainbow Arts. Giana Sisters looks like the similair and sucessfull NES game Super Mario Bros, but finally it was only a great clone. The C64 scene and players ignored that. Today Giana Sisters is one of the popular and famous computer games on the "bread box".


One night, when little Giana from Milano was fast asleep, she had a nightmare. Giana found herself in a wondrous world with strange creatures, who want to prevent her from going home. Here everything was huge and strange. Giana can only leave this world, if she finds a huge jewel. On the way she can collect diamonds and many extras. Fortunately she is not alone, because her sister Maria has also this dream. The world consists of 33 levels and in the last stage Giana can find the needed gem, to return to her world.

Design[edit | edit source]

Enemy jelly.

The game The Great Giana Sisters is played on a 2D screen, whose contents scrolls only to the left out of view. Sound and music are well harmonized with the game and today are computer game music classicals. The sound magier Chris Hülsbeck composed this game music, which is one of his bests and famous works. The sprites are very good and cutely animated. The game play is also very good playability by a exact joystick query. The coder team Armin Gessert and Manfred Trenz developed one of the best Jump & Run game for the C64. The game contents 33 stages or levels with different game music songs. Similair the NES game Super Mario Bros are splitted the stages into normal world and underground (or cave) levels. After a level part exists final bosses, which aren't easy to besiege. If this game is played with two players, the second player steers Maria, who has different colour of hair and clothes.

An animation from this nice game.

Hints[edit | edit source]

Controls[edit | edit source]

Final boss dragon.
  • The game is controlled by joystick in port 2 of the C64. At every re-start you can choose whether to play with Giana (press 1 or fire button) or Maria (press 2). With the joystick you steer to the right or left and you can jump, when you press the joystick upwards. The longer you press, the longer Giana stays in the air. By combining running and jumping, longer jumps are possible.
  • The fire button comes into play, when you make a small punk out of Giana or Maria. The hairdo is hidden in one of the stones. Now she can also destroy stones and has the possibility to find thunderbolts later. The thunderbolts are activated by pressing the fire button. There are three thunderbolts: the simple bolt (vanishes with the first contact with a wall), the double bolt (the shot is reflected by the walls)and the strawberry, which makes the shot hit the nearest target automatically, also through walls.
Final boss ant.
  • In the highscore list the name is entered over the keyboard and finished by pressing the "Return" key. By pressing "F1" the highscore list is saved on disk. By pressing the fire button after you have finished entering the name, the game is restarted without saving the highscore list.

Warp[edit | edit source]

Warp in Level 6 - the pleayer need very accurately timing by jumping!
  • The WARP-Blocks in later levelpacks can lead you into an earlier level too, and are actually easier to hit than miss. These are more annoying than helpful.

Points[edit | edit source]

  • Balance time: 10 points each time unit
  • Each coin or diamond: 25 points
  • Each destroyed stone: 50 points
  • Each dead enemy: 25, 30, 50, etc.
  • Bonus item: Fire wheel or strawberry: 50 points
Enemy bee.

Bonus Level[edit | edit source]

The entrance to a bonus level is very easy.
But after leaving this bonus level Giana are jumped into the air and the player must react shortly to safe Giana on a safe platform, because Giana can lost easily her life!

The entrace to a bonus level (look to the curiously line at the down frame border at the right abyss!).
Giana in a bonus level.

Solution[edit | edit source]


Enemy crab.
  • With the target-searching shot (strawberry) you have to be careful! Some monsters, most notably little bugs or mice "catch" this shot and are not killed by it, instead the shot comes to rest on the back of the bug. For this time you cannot shoot again. The bug is also more dangerous than other vulnerable monsters as it can kill you occasionally when you jump at them, especially in tight places like the infamous stage 8!
  • After the strawberry there is an alarm clock, a bomb and a water drop. The alarm clock and bomb are activated by the space key. The alarm clock temporarily stops the time (which is practical, e.g. to jump easily over to bouncing balls), the bomb kills directly all killable monsters on the screen and the water drop makes immune against fire (Be careful: in some versions the water drop doesn't work properly). Alarm clock and bomb have to be collected again after use. All items are lost with the next item collected, so Giana can lose fire immunity right after collecting the 1-up lollipop.
Enemy plopp or ball.
  • The Dragon's head part cannot kill the player, so it can be reached without problem. This bug was fixed in the 7A3 version of Giana Sisters II.
  • The Dragon, the Spider and even the Elevator can be shot down by multiple lightning balls. That gives you no points, except for the user made sequels like Giana Sisters II and the levelpacks by Giana Sisters Construction Kit.
  • You can walk through red peaks cautiously. If there is a row of red peaks, you can jump between them as only the head of the peak can hurt the player.
Enemy fish or piranha.
  • One of the game's major bug is the fall from the edge bug. When you reach an edge of a platform from above, you can stand there for a second then fall down despite not moving forward. This bug first occurred in the infamous stage 6. The bug was fixed again in the 7A3 version of Giana Sisters II.
  • Boulders falling from blocks hit by Giana's head cannot kill the player, but can speed up the timer a lot. Beware of standing there too long.
  • Fires can be reached from the right side without giving death to the player.
  • One nitpick in the game is when you let half of a yellow item block scroll to the left of the screen, and you hit the other (right) half of it, the block can be seen again later on the stage's next screen.
  • In the game there are hidden WARP-spots (Warp-Blocks).
Solution (animation of stage 33).

Cheats[edit | edit source]

There are some "inbound" cheats, i.e., from some hidden places you can skip three levels. Particularly, levels 22-25-28-31 form a "chain" in the sense that you don't even need to see the other levels between 22 and 31, see the warp blocks above.

Pressing the keys A +R +M +N  at once => jump into the next level!
Alternatively you can add the I  key: ARMIN, which reminds of the developer Armin Gessert.


The following pokes can be entered after a reset:

Disk version
POKE 8257,173	$2041,$ad	unlimited lives
POKE 7450,000	$1d1a,$00	unlimited time
POKE 6664,096	$1a08,$60	bridges indestructible
POKE 51143,255  $c7c7,$ff	show hidden warp blocks as a yellow stripe
POKE 2128,XX    $0850,$xx       start at level xx+1 (xx=0-32, $0-20)
SYS 2127	$084f		start without highscore load
SYS 2098	$0832		start with highscore load
Tape version
POKE 8207,173	$200f,$ad	unlimited lives
POKE 7400,000	$1ce8,$00	unlimited time
POKE 6614,096	$19d6,$60	bridges indestructible
SYS 2080	$0820		start

Voting[edit | edit source]

Voting of the C64-Wiki-User (10=the best Vote):
8.87 points at 126 votes (rank 6).
You need to be logged in to cast a vote.
C64Games 10 6th July 2014 - "highlight" - 39601 downs
C64.COM 9 10th July 2014 - 9 out of 10 points - 48329 downs
Lemon64 9 6th June 2014 - 8,6 out of 10 points - 333 votes 9 6th June 2014 - 8,73 out of 10 points - 109 votes
The Legacy 9 6th July 2014 - "excellent" - 78 votes
Ready64 8 13th July 2014 - 8,45 out of 10 points - 33 votes
GameBase64 10 "A Classic!"
ASM 8 Issue February 1988 - 10 out of 12 points
Happy Computer 8 Games Special March 1988 - 79%
Powerplay 8 Issue February 1987 - 80%
ACE 7 Issue August 1988 - 701 points - p.56
Commodore Force 8 Issue May 1993 - 80% - p.16
Issue October 1993 - 80% - p.56
Commodore User 8 Issue June 1988 - 8 out of 10 points - p.16
Games Machine 8 Issue July 1988 - 82% - p.61
Zzap!64 10 Issue July 1988 - 96% - p.18

Reviews[edit | edit source]

Sledgie: "The game reminds me a bit of the Mario series by Nintendo. Just with sisters instead of brothers. This was also the reason why it had to be taken from the market: Nintendo filed a lawsuit. "The Great Giana Sisters" has nevertheless its own style. In parts there are really difficult passages and the time limit is very short. Otherwise it is again and again fun to play. Also in the 2-player mode (which sadly only works by turns) you can fight about points."

Guybrush: "One reason not to like the Nintendo-mob...they have allowed the Sisters to be forbidden because of these two annoying, moustache-wearing overall-plumbers. Thank you for nothing, Nintendo ;o)!!!"

Jodigi: "Just a great game."

triton: "It IS a cheeky Super-Mario copy, but what a copy! From the design of the levels and the graphics to the striking sound everything corresponds. A jump'n'run game without bric-a-brac, as it should be!" "In my opinion this is a game, that the world not necessarily needs, except if you don't have a Nintendo, then you need the game ;). However, I like the music in the game very much, but you should hold your horse when talking bad about the talking down by Nintendo, because if there wasn't an original there cannot by a copy. So it would be better to thank Nintendo that out of their idea emerged another classic game."

Gamemaster: "When I played this game in the late 80s on the C64, I was captivated. Ingenious appearance, great levels, and very much draft for a jump'n run. Applause for Chris Hülsbeck for this incredible soundtrack, that even today makes for a catchy tune. Shortly after that I got my NES with the plumber game. Of course, Mario could enthuse me more, it had the better controls, better graphics and a gameplay that I sense still today is absolutely perfect. But the disadvantage was that Mario was played to the end too fast and the sisters were (due to the controls) to hard. As in every jump and run you came a bit further with every try, which characterizes both games positively. In my opinion the game is one of the cheekiest theft of all times, but also one of the best. There is nothing to accuse Nintendo for, as in these times the market was very different. Today Nintendo would not really care about it much, as they pride oneself when somenone copies (most of the time poorly) from them and are used to their innovations being nicked. Regardless of the prohibition of Giana Sister, everybody had it anyway."

Shakermaker303: "A very known game on the C64. Greatly made, the many colours, the nice animations, the cool music and the wit of the game. It really is very classic and that's why I give the full 10 points."

Shmendric: "At those times I played it for hours, in turns in the two player mode. It belongs into the list of 64's classics rather far up, no doubt."

Patrick: "After so many years I recover this game!!! Thank you for this great page. I played this game for nights in the early days! A game one should know!

Whatever: "Why is this wiki page trying to sell me Great Giana Sisters? It's a fun enough game, and it was also a flagrant copy of the design of Super Mario Bros. The end."

Keule: "Giana-Sisters is the jump'n'run per se...especially the addictive playability makes it for me one of the best, if not THE best C64 game ever. 10 out of 10 points!"

Flodder: "One of the very rare occasions in which the blueprint is better than the original. A game that should be in every collection."

Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]

  • The unofficial successor was Hard'n'Heavy, which originally was issued under the title "Giana Sisters 2: Arthur and Martha in Futureworld".
  • Manfred Trenz mentioned in a forum, that the idea of a Mario clone came from the then label boss, and did not, as often assumed, arise by his initiative.
  • After a plagiarism trial by Nintendo, Giana Sisters was taken off the market, because it was, according to Nintendo, too much based on Super Mario Bros. The idea of the sequel has been dropped, and the original Giana Sisters 2 later finished as Hard n Heavy, where the players are "Heavy" and "Metal", 2 robots that trapped on the Mars. The game graphics and gameplay didn't get the same reception as its predecessor, but the music in the game by Chris Hülsbeck is widely considered as a classic too.
  • There is a hack by teh groups Abyss, in which the Giana sprite was swapped with Mario by Nintendo. The second difference to the original is in the wheel, which needed to give way to a mushroom. Otherwise the games are identical, and Mario does not change after collecting the mushroom. The hack has the self-eviden name "Super Mario Bros" or "Super Mario Brothers" and can be found at - Game No. 2416 .

Conversions[edit | edit source]

Giana looks like Wonder Boy: MSX2 conversion.
Giana Sisters on Amiga: Excellent graphics and sound.
The Amstrad/Schneider-CPC version.

Many previews but not published: ZX Spectrum (photo).
The original Atari-ST version.
No similarity with the original version: Nintendo DS.

Clones and hacks[edit | edit source]

The first unofficial Giana Sisters hack, called "Giana Sisters 2" was created by the team "New Wave". It has 32 new levels, and has a feature to play these mixed with the old ones in the "grand loop" section. Stage 33 for the new levels doesn't exist, and a bug occurs in the game when stage 32 is finished (also stage 30 of the old ones had been removed). This is also the first Giana Sisters hack, where the maps (including bonus sections) are loaded from the disk instead of packed into one PRG file. This made the stages and particularly the bonus sections a lot harder to load with freezing music for a few seconds, as there is no proper flow between the levels.

Several more Giana Sisters hacks have been made with the german level editor called "Giana Sisters Construction Kit". The program was made by Professor Knibble and Sandy, and has a german tutorial as well. The editor has no level packager, and has several bugs which makes it hard to use. Due to legal issues, the software wasn't released officially, and only a few programmers used it for their own levelpacks.

Known hacks (with the assigned disk number) written with the construction kit:

  • Gitty's Dreams I (A01) - created by Gitty
  • Gitty's Dreams II (A02) - created by Gitty, Bine, Sandy and Prof. Knibble
  • Power Sisters I (A03) - created by Posocopi Waldkirch
  • Frankie's Horror Trip I (A04) - created by Frankie
  • Frankie's Horror Trip II (A05) - created by Frankie
  • The Furry Knibble Girls I (A06) - created by Prof. Knibble
  • The Gitty's News (A07) - created by Gitty and Bine (aka "The Gittys")

All the authors have been greeted in the supporting text files of the games and also in the instruction files of the Giana Sisters Construction Kit.

The latest Giana Sisters hack called "Giana Sisters II" was released in 2005, and is often considered as the best one. It was created by the team "7A3" in 1993, led by Merlinthe7thSign, originally with a commercial purpose. It fixed some of the original game bugs, removed some sprite issues, added better collision detection, and added 41 new levels. Some of the enemies were changed, and the hack also has some new features like swimming and flying. The leveldesign here is very faithful to the original game, although there are some new style levels like hell and heaven. The ARMN code had been removed from this hack, and levels after stage 14 have been loaded from the disk (the flow is better than in Giana Sisters 2).

A hack called "Super Mario Bros" was released by the team "Abyss" which changed Giana's sprite to Mario, and changed some other sprites as well to make to game look more mario-ish. The end result was a disappointment as the new graphics doesn't have the quality neither of the original game, nor of the real Super Mario Bros.

"I Want More Diamonds" is a Giana sisters based platform game, but was made with a different engine.

Remakes[edit | edit source]

Giana's Return is a free, inofficial follower with coloured graphics in retro style. There are 7 worlds with each 8 levels and and each one end boss to manage. Homepage

Giana Family is a remake, where the graphics have not really changed. But the fun is still there. Download

Bugs[edit | edit source]

  • In Level 30 exists a green bonus item without function. It is also a green sprite. This bug isn't negative for the game play, but you lost one bonus item in this stage or level.
  • Be carefully by using the shooting options after collecting the strawberry! A few monsters collect the shooted ball and blocked so the shooting option so long if the shooted ball is presented in the screen! This is a really bug!

Video[edit | edit source]

Video longplay "The Great Giana Sisters (warpless)" by "DerSchmu"

Cover[edit | edit source]


German cassette cover ...
alternative English cover ...

Disk Label[edit | edit source]

Disk label

Advertesiment[edit | edit source]

Advertesiment in Great Britain.

Highscore[edit | edit source]

Topscore of V-12
  1. V-12 - 106.323 - 33 (14.08.2019)
  2. LARSIANA (Lars Koenen) - 101.072 - 33 (23.03.2018)
  3. Werner - 99.799 - 33 (29.05.2014)
  4. Robby - 82.251 - 33 (07.03.2014)
  5. LetsDenny - 79.421 - 33 (07.09.2017)
  6. Keule - 73.673 - 33 (23.02.2015)
  7. Kuhly - 71.353 - 33 (06.08.2013)
  8. Sidguy - 68.198 - 33 (05.10.2013)
  9. Christian - 67.984 (27.11.2007)
  10. Chappz - 60.328 - 33 (18.11.2012)
  11. Camailleon - 49.565 (23.10.2011)
  12. Step5 - 44.877 (19.05.2004)
  13. Retroman - 36.120 (22.04.2004)
  14. Shmendric - 18.199 - 12 (06.08.2013)
  15. Sledgie - 16.257 (07.12.2003)

#2 LARSIANA (Lars Koenen) #3 Werner
#2 LARSIANA (Lars Koenen) #3 Werner

Links[edit | edit source]

WP-W11.png Wikipedia: The_Great_Giana_Sisters