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File:Giana.jpg

Our heroine and her easily dated Super Forms.

The brothers are history.

The Great Giana Sisters is a platform/action adventure game from Europe. It was published in the 1980s to be an Alternate Company Equivalent - basically, cashing in on Super Mario Bros. for the Commodore 64 market, since Nintendo never published games outside its consoles.

The Great Giana Sisters is the story of Giana, an innocent little girl from Milan, Italy, who collected rubies and sapphires as a hobby. One night, an evil dragon of nightmares from Dream Land stole all of Giana's jewels and sucked her into his nightmare kingdom, where he set upon her with his army of evil owl minions. Giana (and her sister, Maria, possibly) sets on a quest to re-capture her family jewels.

The original Great Giana Sisters was pulled off the shelves after threats from Nintendo. A sequel was made years later in Europe, Great Giana Sisters DS, and later released in the US. An unofficial sequel, Giana's Return, has also been released. Giana then spawned a sequel in Twisted Dreams, which bears little resemblance to the original. The game Hard'n'Heavy was meant as a Giana Sisters 2, but was changed due to fear of a Nintendo lawsuit.

Like Mario, Giana has a variety of power-ups to help her along her way. Her main ability is transforming from her very Alice in Wonderland-ish normal persona into "Punk Giana" (in the 1980s, a punk rock chick with a crazy mohawk and loads of piercings who shoots bubbles; in the more recent version, into a Goth that shoots fire) which allows her to shoot projectiles to subdue enemies, take another hit and break blocks with her head. She can alter these projectiles by collecting other power-ups which give the projectiles properties like bouncing or homing. Giana can also use convenient vending machines to give her giant bottles of soda which she can spray to break through walls or attack enemies, or bubble gum to allow her to fly provided she doesn't pop the bubble.

See also Duludubi Star, Super Mario Galaxy's much less successful analogue to this game. Or The Krion Conquest and Freedom Planet.


These games provide examples of:

  • All Just a Dream
  • Alternate Company Equivalent
  • Artifact Title: Giana Sisters DS does not contain Maria, so "Sisters" is no longer accurate.
  • Big Bad: A slightly disfigured-looking dragon (refereed to as Fucha in the original game manual).
  • Bottomless Pits
  • Brother Chuck: Maria is absent from the DS sequel.
  • Bubbly Clouds: The 'Heaven' themed areas in the modern version.
  • Bubble Gun: The sisters' main offensive ability in the original game can be acquired by touching lightning, giving them the ability to shoot "Dream Bubbles". This can be further upgraded with a Double Lighting power-up to shoot Dream Bubbles that will bounce off walls, and further upgrades with a Strawberry into homing Dream Bubbles.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Giana and Maria to Mario and Luigi, natch.
  • Dream Land
  • Everything Fades: Averted in most cases in both the original and the DS game. They simply stay where they got stomped.
  • The Goomba: Owls
  • Goomba Stomp
  • Hair of Gold: Giana
  • Harmless Villain: Fucha the dragon is actually Giana's beloved stuffed toy.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: After the game was pulled from the market, it turned into easily the most popular Commodore 64 pirate game.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The 'Hell' themed areas in the modern version.
  • Palette Swap: Giana's sister Maria is just Giana with green hair.
  • Perky Goth: The modern version of Giana's Super Form. Or at least, has Goth vibes.
  • Power-Up:
    • Firewheel: Transforms into Punk Giana who is bigger, has an extra hit, and can bash bricks
    • Lighting: Allows Punk Giana to shoot "Dream Bubbles"
    • Double Lightning: Dream Bubbles rebound off walls and surfaces.
    • Strawberry: Dream Bubbles home in on enemies.
    • Clock: Freezes all enemies when activated.
    • Magic Bomb: Kills all enemies when activated.
    • Water Drop: Makes Giana immune to fire-damage.
    • Lollipop: Gives Giana an extra-life.
    • Bubble Gum: Introduced in the DS version. Allows Giana to float while activated, can be popped.
    • Soda Bottle: Shoots a stream of soda that kills enemies and destroys obstacles.
    • Diamonds: Collect 100 for an extra life.
  • Retraux: The DS Remake definitely tries to capture the look and feel of a late 80's-early 90's PC game. If anything, the music fits.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: The DS version's credits strongly imply that.
  • Too Awesome to Use: The Clock (which freezes enemies) and Magic Bomb (which kills all enemies) power ups in the original game.
  • A Winner Is You
  • Writing Around Trademarks: Failed, obviously. This was the first widely-publicised case in which an Alternate Company Equivalent / Ripoff of a video game was withdrawn from the market as a result of legal threats. They had been extremely common up to this point, with programmers and companies generally assuming near-impunity.
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