Armin Gessert passed away.
November 10, 2009 3:03 AM   Subscribe

Armin Gessert, the creator of the classic Giana Sisters game and more recently a remake on Nintendo DS no less, passed away (German) on Sunday Nov 9, 2009. Giana has quite the fan following, and has been ported to pc, 32k among others. Also, previously 1.

Translated here: English
posted by lundman (15 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Woah, I used to play the hell out of that game on my Amiga 500.
posted by GavinR at 3:11 AM on November 10, 2009

posted by Admira at 3:11 AM on November 10, 2009

posted by gmm at 3:38 AM on November 10, 2009

Damn, that was a great game. Played the hell out of it on my Atari ST...
posted by jburka at 4:04 AM on November 10, 2009

I grew up with home computers instead of consoles, so I have some extremely fond memories of playing The Great Giana Sisters on our Amiga 500. (obligatory link to that version's speed run, including the very memorable music)
posted by slimepuppy at 4:23 AM on November 10, 2009

posted by ymgve at 4:24 AM on November 10, 2009

Oh man, I used to love this game. I played it an ungodly number of times back on my c128. The music from The Great Giana Sisters was stuck in my head for ages, and it's still some of the best video game music I've ever heard.
posted by eraserhed at 5:00 AM on November 10, 2009

I remember being very underwhelmed by Great Giana Sisters way back when: it felt like a cheap, low-quality knockoff of SMB, and I had no interest.

Looking at that speedrun with fresh eyes, untainted by any nostalgia, I'm struck by two things. First, I was completely correct in my original assessment; it was, indeed, a cheap, low-quality knockoff. But second, it's also apparent that this was a one-man programming effort. The viewpoint changes when you realize you're comparing one guy in a bedroom against Shigeru Miyamoto's entire professional team. Amiga game programming tools were extremely primitive; you had basically a C compiler or assembler, and you pretty much went to the bare metal. That's what it took to get a reasonably fast game on the machines of the era. Building that game would have been hard as hell.

Despite not liking the game, I'm still impressed at the accomplishment. I find myself strangely saddened at the author's passing.
posted by Malor at 5:10 AM on November 10, 2009

It was a slice of Nintendo and console game mechanics on home computers for much of Europe.

I was a colossal knock-off, but a mostly one-man knock-off, and one of the last stabs of the bedroom one-man-team, as Malor points out. The music was by Chris Huelsbeck, more famous for his Turrican soundtrack and TFMX tracker system. That TFMX link is like a who's who of Amiga music, incidentally.

As the big N stymied the release of the title, at least in the UK (as I remember), it was seen as fair game for piracy - everyone had a copy of Giana Sisters, with it's weird nintendo-ey intertia on the player character, and counter-intuitive jump-to-kill mechanics. But it was also one of the first titles to push the mechanism of hidden level areas and insider secrets to a platform that was mostly home-grown mechanics and move/fire arcade-driven gaming.

Thanks for making me feel old, Armin.

posted by davemee at 6:20 AM on November 10, 2009

Sad news, but I've never understood how the publishers expected to get away with GGS. It's almost the exact same game as SMB—same gameplay, same graphics (with a few minor changes), similar name, etc. They weren't even trying to hide it—if anything, they were trying to call attention to it. I mean, WTF?

I know that computers and digital copyright were more of a Wild West at the time, but WTF?
posted by ixohoxi at 6:30 AM on November 10, 2009

I feel kind of lame asking: but what's 32k?
posted by Ogre Lawless at 10:46 AM on November 10, 2009


(I recently bought the DS version, partly for nostalgia, but mostly because it was the first time I could PAY for it and I felt I owed someone some money for all the time I spent playing it on the Amiga).
posted by threeze at 4:17 PM on November 10, 2009

32k is just a category in the demo competitions. To fit in 32k, which isn't really a port I guess. I was pondering if I should put up my ~70% completed GBA port, but there isn't even a page for it.

The NDS version was excellent btw.
posted by lundman at 4:42 PM on November 10, 2009

The up-right microswitch on my C64 joystick was never the same again after all the jumping this game involved.

As hard as it must have been to write for Amiga 500, imagine wringing it out of the C64. Crazy.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 1:50 AM on November 11, 2009

posted by The Toad at 2:03 AM on November 11, 2009

« Older Who needs the Kwik-E-mart? Not me.   |   Panic Attack! Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments