The Nintendo fan base was hit with shocking news on August 21st when Nintendo announced that Charles Martinet would be moving away from his role as the voice actor for Mario.
“Charles is 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!” Nintendo confirmed in a statement via social media.
More details on Martinet’s role as Mario Ambassador will likely be revealed soon in a video message featuring him and Shigeru Miyamoto, per Nintendo’s statement.
Charles Martinet has voiced Mario for over 30 years, beginning in 1991. He originally portrayed Mario at trade shows, with his first video game appearance as the beloved plumber being Mario’s Game Gallery for CP. He also provided voices for a Super Mario Bros. pinball machine in 1992:
His first iconic role, however, was in 1996 with the release of Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64. The first 3D Mario game with voice acting, Martinet’s performance solidified the voice that fans would associate with Mario for decades to come.
Martinet has voiced Mario in over 100 games, and also has provided the voice for characters such as Luigi, Wario and Waluigi. With the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, he achieved a Guinness World Record for most performances of a single character by the same actor in video games.
Out of the countless roles that Martinet has provided for the Mario franchise, his favorite performance is one that might surprise fans: he enjoyed recording for Mario Teaches Typing, because of Mario’s constant positivity even if the player types incorrectly. Among his favorite Mario games are Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Odyssey.
A fan favorite at video game conventions and expos, it’s expected that Martinet’s role as Mario Ambassador will involve him attending events and using his popularity as a performer to continue to promote the Mario franchise.
Stay up to date with Nintendo for updates on when Charles Martinet and Shigeru Miyamoto’s video message will appear!