If you are interested in how The Great Giana Sisters came to life. Then I urge you to watch this interview with Thomas Hertzler. He was the coder for Rainbow Arts that got The Great Giana Sisters released for Amiga and Atari ST. Rainbow Arts are today most known for their remarkable job with the Turrican series for the Amiga home computer.
Armin Gessert was the one behind the Commodore 64 version of The Great Giana Sisters. I really recommend anyone interested in what happened with this game to see this interview by Amigamers T.V. on YoutTube. It is really good and here Thomas even reveals details about the game that I myself also didn’t know. Interesting!!!
Time Warp and Rainbow Arts
In the video above, Thomas reveals that the Time Warp name was just a name that Rainbow Arts used. It was Rainbow Arts that did create The Giana Sisters. He also reveals the point of the game and that was to copy Mario Brothers and that this idea came from the CEO of Rainbow Arts Thomas Meiertoberens and Andrew. So now its finally revealed that this was a copy of Mario Brothers and not the other way around. This video simply stops all the rumors about The Great Giana Sisters. It is a copy as the CEO of Rainbow Arts wanted it to be that.
Super Mario Brothers game for Commodore 64
Before the game was in production, the Great Giana sister idea started when the CEO of Rainbow Arts came with a Nintendo console and a Mario Brothers cartridge and told all of the developers to do a game like that for Commodore 64.
Thomas Hertzler also mentions that Armin was a hard worker and that they together all worked to get all of the versions for Amiga, Atari ST, and for Commodore 64 at the same time. He also revealed that all of them had their own offices, including the famous Amiga musician Chris Hüelsbeck. In the early days of gaming development, the gaming companies didn’t need to be huge and so Rainbow Arts got lots of titles out. Including The Great Giana Sisters, I also love Hard ‘N Heavy and the Denaris (Katakis in the USA) shooter for OCS Amiga.
Commodore 64, Atari ST and then the Amiga version
He also reveals that the Amiga version was the last version to be made because of a lack of Amiga computers at their offices in the beginning. Thomas ended up buying an Amiga 2000 and then he was given the task to make the Amiga version within 3 weeks. The basics of the game that he had made for the Atari ST version could be used on the Amiga version of the game. He also mentions that the Atari ST couldn’t scroll horizontally as the Amiga could also because of the lack of hardware scrolling support.
They had plans to do the multiple scrolling part on the Amiga version, but they had all time pressure. The reason why The Great Giana Sisters was taken off the market was because of that Nintendo saw too much resemblance in it to the Super Mario Bros game. But how it went with Nintendo is a hard question to answer it seems. Thomas also reveals that the game could have become fantastic if it wasn’t a game that was going to try to battle with Nintendo. That another type of game would have way more success.
Today you can get a revamped version at the Pixelglass website with newer graphics and a Amiga AGA compatible intro. The Great Giana Sisters for Amiga is for me a really awesome platformer that I play from time to time on my own or at Amiga gatherings that I visit.
Well. See the interview in the first video above. Even though The Great Giana Sisters didn’t sell much. It is proof that with so much freedom that Commodore 64, Atari ST, and Amiga had at that time. The game was saved by piracy and today the newer versions of the game should credit that I think.
What could Rainbow Arts have done differently? What do you think?