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The Great Giana Sisters

Description official description

The Great Giana Sisters is a 2D side-scrolling arcade game like Nintendo's Super Mario Bros.

After a long and deep sleep, Giana finds herself in a mysterious and evil dreamworld where everything is strange and different.

In 32 levels, Giana has to fight against bad monsters, huge spiders and lots of other creatures to find a magic diamond that makes it possible to return to her own world.

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Credits (Commodore 64 version)

Written by



Subject User Date
Amstrad port: Super rare, or never released? Trypticon (11041) 2011-09-20 14:06:25
There wasn't an arcade version? Isaac Viana Tapias (1) 2014-12-10 11:14:04



The game was commissioned by the CEO of Electronic Arts, Marc Ulrich who requested a game similar to Super Mario Bros. There was a gap in the market as there were no games of that type available on home computers at the time. The development team based their new game on extensive play of the NES Mario title. It took around 6 or 7 months to write the game.

Never released ports

Although the three versions featured here did (briefly) hit the shelves, no Spectrum version did. While one was definitely planned, some within the company claim that nothing was ever done towards it. If this is the case, Crash! magazine have some explaining to do, as not only did they review it, they gave it 90%.

A CPC conversion was also planned and the situation is very similar. At least one magazine reviewed it (Amstrad 100 pour cent), this port is however circulating in unfinished form, apparently leaked.

Problems with Nintendo

The game is almost an exact copy of Nintendo's Super Mario Brothers, with some additions. The play mechanics are almost exactly the same, and graphics are superficially similar. While it is sometimes alleged that Nintendo sued Rainbow Arts and this led to the game being pulled out of the market, developer Armin Gessert stated in an interview (published in a "Classic Gaming" special by German magazine PC Action) that he did not know about any such legal action. It was sufficient that Nintendo got in contact with Rainbow Arts, and let them know their view on the matter before possibly taking more drastic measures. After being taken off the shelves, Giana Sisters was one of the most popular pirated games, though. Many years later, Nintendo took a different, much more relaxed position concerning the Giana Sisters DS game according to Gessert.

Gianna or Giana

The title should target the original mario brothers. The rainbow arts boss was fan of Gianna Nannini and the "sisters" was the counterpart of "brothers". But the airbrush artists made an error with the title screen and has put only one "n" in the picture. In some cracked version the original "gianna sisters" are present. (source: Interview with Chris Hülsbeck on 2020-12-05).

UK National Computer Games Championship 1988

¶ The Commodore 64 version was used as competition game in the qualifiers for the computer gaming contest in the UK in 1988. The game was played for high-score.¶


  • Commodore Force
    • December 1993 (Issue 13) – #56 “Readers' Top 100”

Information also contributed by Martin Smith .

Related Games

Giana Sisters DS
Released 2009 on Nintendo DS, 2010 on iPhone, 2011 on Android...
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams
Released 2012 on Windows, 2013 on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3...
Giana Sisters: Dream Runners
Released 2015 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows
Giana Sisters: Twisted Bundle
Released 2013 on Windows, 2014 on PlayStation 4, 2018 on Nintendo Switch
The Great Giant Sisters
Released 1998 on DOS
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams - Rise of the Owlverlord
Released 2013 on Windows, 2017 on Gloud
Giana Family
Released 1999 on Windows

Related Sites +

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 11582


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by 80.

iPhone added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: WWWWolf, Trypticon, wingi, MrFlibble, Jo ST, FatherJack, ZeTomes, 64er.

Last modified February 22nd, 2023.