Charles Martinet, known for his famous voice work as Nintendo’s beloved character Mario, has done something surprising. Martinet’s happy voice has led gamers on many adventures throughout a job that has lasted for decades. But the news that he is leaving his position as Mario’s voice actor came as a surprise.
This choice means the end of an era, and fans will miss the many “It’s me, Mario!” catchphrases that have come to mean fun in video games. Martinet’s exit means that Mario and the game world he has lived in for so long are entering a new phase.
Charles Martinet Steps Down
Nintendo stated on Monday that actor Charles Martinet, who has played Mario, Luigi, and Wario in the Super Mario Bros. video games for three decades, will no longer voice those characters.
Martinet will transition into the position of “Mario Ambassador,” in which he will continue to “travel the world sharing the joy of Mario,” according to a statement made by the business and published on the social media website formerly known as Twitter.
Nintendo continued, saying it would release a video message with Martinet and Mario inventor Shigeru Miyamoto “at a later date” and adding, “It has been an honour working with Charles for so many years, and we want to thank and celebrate him.”
Martinet announced the information on X, a social networking website that replaced Twitter, adding, “My new Adventure begins! You are all Numba One in my heart!”
Nintendo of America shared a post on Twitter:
We have a message for fans of the Mushroom Kingdom. Please take a look. pic.twitter.com/U1ASicOuTO
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) August 21, 2023
In recent teasers for Super Mario Bros. Wonder and WarioWare: Move It, two new games arriving on the Nintendo Switch this fall, Nintendo fans first noticed a change to Mario and Wario’s voices.
Asserting that Martinet will not be in Wonder, Nintendo wrote in an email to Polygon, “While Charles is not involved in the game, we’re excited to honour his legacy and contributions, including looking ahead to what he’ll be doing as a Mario Ambassador.”
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Since 1991, Martinet, 67, has given Mario his recognizable voice. He first performed Mario’s cheery, exaggerated Italian-flavored voice during trade exhibitions for Nintendo. Still, he recorded the character’s voice for the first time in a Nintendo game, Super Mario 64, released in 1996.
Since then, Martinet has provided the voices for Mario in numerous video games, as well as Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, Baby Luigi, and Baby Mario. However, Chris Pratt was hired by Nintendo and Illumination to voice Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Charlie Day stood in for Luigi. Giuseppe and Mario’s father were two endearing appearances in the movie that Martinet himself made.