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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.


The Great Giana Sisters Commodore 64 Fire causes instant death
The Great Giana Sisters Commodore 64 This hidden stone takes you to level 20
The Great Giana Sisters Amiga Fighting a giant spider.
The Great Giana Sisters Atari ST Counting the bonus

Promo Images

The Great Giana Sisters Magazine Advertisement
The Great Giana Sisters Magazine Advertisement

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

The game Nintendo doesn't want you to play. Amiga Katakis | カタキス (42793)
Great sound, but not much after that Commodore 64 Scott G (793)

Critic Reviews

64'er Commodore 64 Apr, 1988 15 out of 15 100
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Amiga Jul, 1988 9 out of 10 90
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Commodore 64 Jan, 1988 10.2 out of 12 85
Power Play Amiga Apr, 1988 8 out of 10 80
Happy Computer Commodore 64 Feb, 1988 79 out of 100 79
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Atari ST Aug, 1988 713 out of 1000 71
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Amiga Aug, 1988 713 out of 1000 71
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Commodore 64 Aug, 1988 701 out of 1000 70
Amiga Joker Amiga Oct, 1992 66 out of 100 66
Top Secret Commodore 64 Jul, 1992 3 out of 5 60


Topic # Posts Last Post
There wasn't an arcade version? 4 Isaac Viana Tapias (2)
Jan 09, 2015
Amstrad port: Super rare, or never released? 6 formercontrib (158050)
Sep 22, 2011



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 .

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Contributed to by 80 (6536) and Sciere (772873)
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