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Video Game / Giana Sisters DS

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Don't let the title fool you;
only one sister actually returns.
Giana Sisters DS is a Nintendo DS successor to the Commodore 64 game The Great Giana Sisters and a reboot of the Giana Sisters series. It's a platformer about a girl named Giana who's on a quest to retrieve magical blue diamonds.

Released in 2009 by the publisher DTP Entertainment and developer Spellbound Interactive, Giana Sisters DS is a retool of the original game. It has 8 worlds with 9 stages and 1 bonus stage each.

Giana Sisters DS was released in Europe and later Australia, with North America getting a limited release in 2011. It has ports on the iPad, iPhone, and Android. There's also a PC port called Giana Sisters 2D.

Giana Sisters DS received a sequel in Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams.

This game provides examples:

  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: The castles' storm sewers let Giana walk comfortably upright, and they are home to large numbers of enemies.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Instead of a cheeky teenager, Giana is a cute Cheerful Child.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: The material for the original game makes Giana to be a rude, rebellious teenager. She also outright mocks Super Mario Bros.. The reboot mellows (and ages) her down, and now Giana is just a cheerful child with a Fiery Redhead alter-ego.
  • Age Lift: Giana is aged down from a teenager (maybe even a young adult) to a little girl.
  • All Just a Dream: The ending reveals the entire adventure was Giana's dream when she wakes up in her bed after beating the final dragon.
  • Artifact Title: Giana Sisters DS does not contain Giana's green-haired twin sister Maria, so "Sisters" is no longer accurate.
  • Bee Afraid: Hymenoptera enemies come in two kinds: regular Bees who simply fly back and forth; and Killer Bees who float stationary as perpetually firing their grenade launchers.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Most of castle levels house Ghosts.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Bugs (red-bellied black beetles) and Worms (red-spiked green worms) are as large as Giana.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Every world has at least one or even two castle levels populated by specially hard critters like Ghosts and Crabs.
  • Big Storm Episode: Some of the levels take place during a heavy rainstorm with a gloomier color palette. The controls aren't affected in any way and is purely cosmetic, though.
  • Bonus Level of Heaven: Collecting all of the red gems within a world's levels unlocks a special bonus level that takes place in this. There are usually a lot of gems to collect here, and as a result, lots of lives.
  • Bonus Stage: Find all red diamonds in one world, and you'll unlock its bonus stage.
  • Book Ends: The game begins and ends with Giana sitting on her bed as examining her collection of blue stones.
  • Breath Weapon: Dragon's main attack is to spit human-sized fireballs.
  • Cap: Giana's lives cap at 99.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Maria is absent in this game.
  • Collision Damage: Most of enemies like Red Owls, Jellyfishes, Bugs and Worms hurt Giana by bumping into her.
  • Cute Slime Mook: Jellyfishes look like adorable, spherical blue blobs with two googly eyes floating inside their liquid bodies.
  • Death Throws: As per platform game tradition, take a hit and Giana flies off the screen towards the camera.
  • Dem Bones: Ghosts resemble legless human skeletons.
  • Derivative Differentiation: The original game was such a Super Mario Bros. clone that Nintendo sued for plagiarism and got all copies taken off of shelves. This game features almost none of the similarities besides the two series being platformers.
  • Down the Drain: Many castle's levels take place in the sewers.
  • Elemental Hair Colors: Punk Giana is a pyrokinetic redhead.
  • Embedded Precursor: Giana Sisters DS has every level from the original Great Giana Sisters as an unlockable.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Downplayed with Giana herself. She is as athletic and acrobatic as any platform game hero, but at the end of the day she's still just a little girl, just as fragile, and can't defend herself beyond hopping on enemies. Punk Giana is that same acrobatic little girl, but with powerful strength to break blocks and the ability to shoot fire.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Most of enemies have simple, descriptive names: Owls, Bugs, Bees, Piranhas, Ghosts...
  • Excuse Plot: Giana's treasure chest spilled a bunch of blue diamonds into a black hole, which sends Giana into a magical world. Giana has to find the diamonds and discover the secret of her treasure chest.
  • Eye on a Stalk: Eyes and Killer Eyeballs have four tiny eyestalks attached to their main, larger eye.
  • Fan Game: Due to the 10+ year gap between the first game and the reboot, the series has had several fan-games:
    • Giana's Return is a Fan Sequel that began development in 1998 and ended development in 2004. A different coder restarted the game but almost had to quit because an official reboot was coming out; Giana's Return was allowed to continue as long as it was freeware. The last patch for the game was released in 2014.
    • Giana Madness is a cancelled 3D fan game.
    • Mario & Giana Adventure is a 3D crossover between Giana Sisters and Super Mario Bros.
    • Giana Worlds is a 1999 Fan Sequel to the original game. It has a cancelled sequel called Giana Worlds 2.
  • Fantasy Keepsake: After beating Dragon for the last time, Giana gets a huge red diamond. Then she wakes up in her bed, and finds a huge red diamond sticking out of her treasure box.
  • Fiery Redhead: Punk Giana is a literal case as she can also shoot fire.
  • Final Boss: Dragon is the last enemy whom Giana has to stomp.
  • Fireballs: Punk Giana has the power to shoot red fireballs at enemies.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Crabs are man-sized yellow spider crabs who will rush to pinch Giana.
  • The Goomba: Red Owls are the first enemy Giana meets. They are small critters who do nothing but walk back and forward and take a single hit to beat. Their only way to attack is run into Giana.
  • Goomba Stomp: Most of enemies can be killed by leaping onto them.
  • Green and Mean: The Final Boss in each world is a big, fat green dragon.
  • Green Hill Zone: The first few levels are quiet, rocky grasslands, inhabited by weak or easily avoidable enemies, and mostly bereft of pits, spikes and other hazards.
  • Holiday Mode: The scrolling title screen not only changes depending on if it's day or night, but it also has a special Easter title screen where the passing enemies are replaced by rabbits.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: Piranhas, Crabs, Ghosts and Worms are completely unkillable and must be jumped over or completely avoided.
  • Killer Rabbit: Dragon Bunnies look cute, pink bunnies until they open their massive, fanged maws to swallow Giana whole.
  • Never Say "Die": The game is All Just a Dream, so Giana doesn't really "die" in this game. Losing all of your lives results in Giana being woken up by an alarm clock.
  • Nintendo Hard: Giana Sisters DS has a number of incredibly tough segments. Imagine a Mario game with no running, fireballs that don't bounce, and loads of bottomless pits and instant-kill hazards and you're about halfway there. And if you lose all of your lives at any point before the ending, you are screwed out of Stages 9-1 and 9-2 for the entirety of that save file.
  • Oculothorax: Eyes and Killer Eyeballs look like classic Beholders, except they are pink and cuter. Killer Eyeballs are larger and shoot fireballs.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Without her Punk Powers, Normal Giana is done for after one hit.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: It looks like Giana dreamed the whole adventure up, but the big red diamond -which she did not own previously- found in her treasure box suggests otherwise.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Dragon is a chubby bipedal dragon with a huge maw and ridiculously tiny wings.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Ghosts are skeletal, three-headed white spectres who are weirdly missing their bodies' lower halves. They are permanently flying in circles and cannot be damaged at all.
  • Perky Goth: The modern version of Giana's Super Mode. Or at least, it has Goth vibes.
  • Piranha Problem: Black-and-red Piranhas will jump out of the water to chomp Giana. They are invulnerable to any kind of attack.
  • Planet Heck: About half of World 8 in Giana Sisters DS. The time limit even increases from 300 to 666.
  • Platform Game: The genre to which the game belongs.
  • Playing with Fire: Punk Giana is able to shoot fireballs.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: Giana's hair changes from blonde to a dark red upon turning Punk.
  • Power-Up Food: Grabbing a piece of candy turns Giana into her Punk form.
  • 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.
  • Single-Use Shield: Giana loses her Punk powers upon getting hit and turns back to normal.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Snow levels begin appearing in the final worlds.
  • Super Mode: Punk Giana. Giana turns into Fiery Redhead version of herself with Perky Goth clothes, who is much stronger and can shoot fireballs.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: The DS version's credits strongly imply this. Punk Giana can bust blocks, shoot fireballs, and survive a hit, compared to Normal Giana... who can do none of those things.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: It's called "Giana Sisters DS" because it was released on the Nintendo DS.
  • Underground Level: A lot of levels take place in caves full of sharp stalactites, bouncing spiked balls and Piranha-filled subterranean lakes. Other perils include Ghosts and Jellyfishes.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Punk Giana has been redesigned. Her hair is red instead of red-and-green, she's ditched her mohawk for a messy ponytail, and she's more gothic than punk.
  • Younger and Hipper: In the original game the twins were adults. Ever since this game they've been Kid Heroes.