Before we start there's a disclaimer here:
In this series we share 90s scene software with the people still being around. All this to get (re-)acquainted with the rich software library filled by pure hobbyists. Some software was freeware on the day of its release, but this was not the case in most of the software in this Old New Stock series.
For all Old New Stock software a member of the responsible group was contacted and the answer was almost always: "Sure, of course, but you'll have to remove the copy protection yourself". Finding one credited person wasn't always the easiest, let alone all persons.
In order to keep things as clean as possible we can always decide to take an entry out of the download database if one of the makers disagrees.

Now let's get to the content of the fourth edition of Old New Stock. We go way back in time to the year 1993 when a young game developer from Leeuwarden (The Netherlands) coded this game under the flag of MSX Gebruikersgroep Friesland (MGF). Coder, musician and graphics creator Jan van Valburg made a port of Germany based Rainbow Arts The Great Giana Sisters and let Sunrise produce it.

Just like in the original the name of miss Gianna is sometimes spelled with one n and later with two. It's a 2D action platform game which feels a lot like Nintendo's Mario Bros. In this case you're a girl whose sister Gianna is in perpetual sleep suffering nightmares. It's your task to battle yourself through 32 stages of which some are rather easy while others will require several retries to finally make it. All this time enemies try to hinder you in your quest while a timer is counting backwards. Of course you can find some power-ups along the way to make life a tiny bit easier.

The Great Gianna Sisters will give the player hours of pleasure, tension and frustration. Time for the present MSX scene to (re)play this golden oldie from the Dutch 90s scene. A big thank you goes out to Jan van Valburg to agree with spreading his first commercial MSX game.

For those who can't finish the game themselves, FiXato recorded a Tool-Assisted LongPlay of The Great Gianna Sisters using openMSX which can be watched on YouTube.

Relevant link: The Great Gianna Sisters

Update: The previous download was a 360k image in a 720k image which can cause problems. Thanks to Louthrax a good version is available now.

Media browser (3)

  • Old New Stock #4: The Great Gianna Sisters
  • Old New Stock #4: The Great Gianna Sisters
  • Old New Stock #4: The Great Gianna Sisters

Comments (25)

By ro

Guardian (3907)

ro's picture

03-10-2017, 08:20

great meits!

I remember, way back, meeting Jan in our home-town. Leeuwarden, jonguh! He was a young dude, like all of us I guess, trying out assembly on a game for the first time. It later became Gianna Sisters. We talked about some clever programming stuff to get problems solved and, I particular remember, sound effects and a driver for it. I just created SEE (Sound Effect Editor) version 1 and introduced it to Jan.

Many meetings we had since then. Mostly at the infamous Martin&Janny's sunday sessions Smile

By Grauw

Enlighted (6180)

Grauw's picture

03-10-2017, 09:39

Oh, that’s so nice! I have the original, played it quite a lot back in the day Smile.

Hope you’ll keep up this new old stock series because I like it a lot!

By Pippo

Master (254)

Pippo's picture

03-10-2017, 15:42

Great game!
It's similar to "Mario Bros.".
Thank you, Meits, for sharing. Smile

By Philip

Master (203)

Philip's picture

03-10-2017, 16:16

Nice !
Did anyone made it work with start/runit/sofarunit ?

By Manuel

Ascended (13421)

Manuel's picture

03-10-2017, 18:53

Is there also an original dump with the copy protection included? For preservation purposes...

By Louthrax

Paragon (1643)

Louthrax's picture

03-10-2017, 19:16

Philip wrote:

Nice !
Did anyone made it work with start/runit/sofarunit ?

That game is in fact a 360KB disk, but stored in a 720KB file, which is confusing SofaRunIt. That .DSK file can be easily fixed.

By Meits

Scribe (4474)

Meits's picture

03-10-2017, 20:46

Weird how these always end up on my harddisk.

By Louthrax

Paragon (1643)

Louthrax's picture

03-10-2017, 20:53

Meits wrote:

Weird how these always end up on my harddisk.

Yeah, you just managed to get some of the rare single-sided disks for your first releases here Smile
I've made a 360KB version of the game here, let me know if that can be updated in the Downloads section.

By Philip

Master (203)

Philip's picture

03-10-2017, 21:36

Louthrax wrote:
Philip wrote:

Nice !
Did anyone made it work with start/runit/sofarunit ?

That game is in fact a 360KB disk, but stored in a 720KB file, which is confusing SofaRunIt. That .DSK file can be easily fixed.

Ah, I changed the media descriptor to double sided (f8 -> f9) in the boot sector but that didn't work Smile

By Louthrax

Paragon (1643)

Louthrax's picture

03-10-2017, 21:56

Yes, that can't work. You need to take 1 track (9 sectors) on 2 in order to get a 360KB file. I've temporarily put my version here.

By kuuno

Master (231)

kuuno's picture

03-10-2017, 23:56

That’s a long time ago. Didn’t I do some gfx for this game? ;-)

By Philip

Master (203)

Philip's picture

04-10-2017, 09:10

Louthrax wrote:

Yes, that can't work. You need to take 1 track (9 sectors) on 2 in order to get a 360KB file. I've temporarily put my version here.

Thanks !
But now to get past the boot with CTRL message...
Booting with CTRL Nextor does by default, booting with shift to disable the diskdrives doesn't help...

By Meits

Scribe (4474)

Meits's picture

04-10-2017, 10:05

Unfortunately not every DSK works with the MFR. You could write the DSK to a real disk with putdisk.com.

By Philip

Master (203)

Philip's picture

04-10-2017, 12:50

It seems sofarunit has a /C option, that seems to do the trick Smile

By ro

Guardian (3907)

ro's picture

04-10-2017, 15:46

kuuno wrote:

That’s a long time ago. Didn’t I do some gfx for this game? ;-)

according to the end credits, I did Smile

By MOA

Champion (267)

MOA's picture

04-10-2017, 23:16

Thanks Meits and Jan!

"Gianna is sometimes spelled with one n and later with two" ... "Mario Bross". Nice pun!

By Avkooi

Resident (36)

Avkooi's picture

04-10-2017, 23:29

That brings back some memories! Especially the names Martin and Janny. And Roman, Jan and Edwin. Those were good days in Leeuwarden! Nice to see it's still a fun game to play!

By Konamito

Paladin (1017)

Konamito's picture

05-10-2017, 22:53

Good job sharing this beautiful game!

By janvv

Rookie (25)

janvv's picture

13-10-2017, 11:03

Nice to see this game on here. Thanks for the comments everyone Smile Looking back, the player control could be better. The jump arc is quite floaty and running is a bit slidey. I was only 16 when I wrote it though. I still have the assembly source code somewhere. This game sold more than Retaliator and Shrines of Enigma. I guess a lot of people were interested in a Mario type game on MSX.

By FiXato

Scribe (1248)

FiXato's picture

16-10-2017, 23:52

I remember seeing someone (I guess it was you, Jan) coding on it during one of the MSX fairs. I think it was Almelo. IIRC it was shown on a monochrome monitor, and all I could think of at the time was: "I gotta have that game!".
Played quite a bit of it as a young lad, even though the controls were indeed kinda dodgy, making the game tough as nails. Wink
But, thanks to openMSX, years later I managed to finish the game a while back. ;-)

By Grauw

Enlighted (6180)

Grauw's picture

17-10-2017, 01:49

Note the smooth scroll… if a 16 yo kid could code it, then what’s everybody complaining about Big smile.

I had to look very carefully btw, but it’s screen 4 right? Such a powerful yet underused screen mode…

By janvv

Rookie (25)

janvv's picture

19-10-2017, 20:56

Thanks! Yep screen 4.

By MOA

Champion (267)

MOA's picture

20-10-2017, 00:32

If only more MSX2 games utilized screen 4 like Jan and Konami (SpaceManbow) did Smile Guess we were all screen 5 or screen 7 junkies at the time (or the tools for screen 4 were lacking).

By Manuel

Ascended (13421)

Manuel's picture

20-10-2017, 08:25

More than Shrines of Enigma, despite the Sunrise games subscription?
What kind of numbers are we talking about anyway?

I'm quite impressed by the way, as you seem to be of my age... Nice achievements!

By janvv

Rookie (25)

janvv's picture

20-10-2017, 22:59

Thanks! Honestly I don’t remember how much it sold, but I vaguely remember getting 3000 guilders in royalties? So it must have been a few hundred?

My MSX profile