The Great Giana Sisters – Soundtrack (Chris Huelsbeck)November 10, 2009
Today’s Daily is actually kind of sad. I just heard this morning that classic game designer, Armin Gessert, passed away on Monday. His most famous game was The Great Giana Sisters (Commodore 64, 1987), in which he collaborated with Manfred Trenz (art), and Chris Huelsbeck (music). Despite being a highly reviewed title, The Great Giana Sisters was notorious for being pulled from store shelves due to its many similarities with Super Mario Bros. It was unofficially distributed through disk copy channels to quickly become an underground classic. Gessert created other classics such as Great Court (1989) and Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood (2002). He later went on to found Spellbound Studios where he was working on a remake of The Great Giana Sisters for the Nintendo DS when he died. He had spent 25 years in the industry.
The soundtrack is full of charm. It makes me smile. It really does! Chris Huelsbeck manages to pull some fantastic sound effects out of the C64 chip, proving that he was one of the great composers for the system. Not only is there technical virtuoso here, but the music is also charming. It has a great feeling of platformer exploration as well as a sense of epic adventure that Huelsbeck is so good at conveying. I actually don’t think there has been a release of the entire soundtrack, so I figured I’d just make one. I don’t have the track titles though so I think I’ll have to find out where each piece is used…
Music from the game has been remixed several times, but by far the best version is the orchestral arrangement by Jonne Valtonen from Symphonic Shades, which thankfully has been reprinted from its original 1000-unit run. You can view a clip from the concert on YouTube.