The beloved Charles Martinet has been the voice of Nintendo’s iconic plumber Mario for the past three decades. Unfortunately, the just-as-iconic voice actor will no longer be the voice of the video game character.
In a recent statement, Nintendo announced Martinet’s retirement from the role. The company revealed that the voice actor’s memorable performance will no longer be present in upcoming releases.
Martinet will still be involved with the Mario franchise in the future. While he will not be voicing the character, Charles Martinet will be Nintendo’s “Mario Brand Ambassador”.
“Charles Martinet has been the original voice of Mario in Nintendo games for a long time, as far back as Super Mario 64,” Nintendo said. “Charles is now moving into the brand new role of Mario Ambassador. With this transition, he will be stepping back from recording character voices for our games, but he'll continue to travel the world sharing the joy of Mario and interacting with you all!”
Martinet’s voice has been used for far more than just the main character of Mario. In fact, the voice actor is behind the majority of Mario’s male characters including Wario, Luigi, Waluigi and more. It could be said that the voice actor is the heart and soul of Nintendo’s franchise.
“It has been an honour working with Charles to help bring Mario to life for so many years and we want to thank and celebrate him,” Nintendo continued. “Please keep an eye out for a special video message from Shigeru Miyamoto and Charles himself, which we will post at a future date.”
Charles Martinet is expected to perform as Mario and friends two more times in the upcoming Super Mario Wonder as well as the upcoming Super Mario RPG remake. However, it has yet to be confirmed if his voice is still used in the in-development titles.
Speaking to fans on Twitter, Martinet said: “My new Adventure begins! You are all Numba One in my heart! Woohoo!”
Nintendo has also yet to reveal who will be replacing Martinet as the myriad Mario characters in the future, if they’ll remain voiced at all. While all of these characters do have voices, only Wario typically has any extended sentences for voice performances.