The infamous game that saw shop light for about 7 days before it was retracted, Great Giana Sisters is an arcade action platform game with striking similarities to Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. It was developed in 1987 by Time Warp Productions for the C64, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST and Amiga.
During the mid-80s, there were at several times unfounded rumours that Supeer Mario Bros would get a C64 port, probably because all C64 owners wanted one. Giana Sisters was probably developped to satisfy this demand.
The first two stages are next to identical to the first two stages in Super Mario Bros, but the following 30 are not. Giana Sisters evolved some of the concepts from Super Mario Bros, allowing, among other things, for several kinds of weapons.
About the release date:
The exact release date of this game is unknown. What is known is that the C64 version was created in 1987 (C64 title screen) but that some information about the game is credited to 1988 (other versions info). That the game was released for C64 in 1987 and other platforms in 1988 is practically impossible, as Nintendo was quick to react and the game was in the shops only a matter of days, and this concerned all versions. The most plausible explanation is that the C64 simply was created in 1987, but not released until 1988. This would also explain why the C64 version of Giana Sisters was widely spread in software piracy circles long before the game reached the shops.
The game was sequelled by the game Hard'n'Heavy that was initially titled "Giana Sisters 2". By changing the sprite graphics, the game wasn't accused of IP infringement by Nintendo. It never, however, reached the cult acclaim of its predecessor.
From As of 2005, a new version titled simply Giana Sisters has been made available for mobile phones. There is also an unofficial fangame titled Giana's Return for Windows, GP2x and GP2X Wiz. A port of the Commodore 64 version was made for the Nintendo DS.
In April 2009, publisher DTP Entertainment and developer Spellbound Interactive, owner of the game's IP released a new Giana Sisters game in Europe with an extensive graphical update for the Nintendo DS. It has since been released in Australia. The game features all-new levels and more gameplay elements, and a recreation of the original game's levels can be unlocked."
Source: Wikipedia, "Giana_sisters," available under the CC-BY-SA License.
Chris Huelsbeck: Music (C64)