Charles Martinet, the actor whose voice has been synonymous with Mario since the mid-90s, is moving into a new role at Nintendo, the company announced on X (formerly Twitter). This takes effect immediately, as the company has confirmed that Martinet does not voice Mario in the upcoming game Super Mario Bros. Wonder.
Nintendo posted on X that Martinet will be “stepping back from recording character voices for our games.” In addition to Mario, Martinet has provided the voices of Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi. In his new role as Mario Ambassador, he’ll travel the world “sharing the joy of Mario” and interacting with fans.
“It has been an honor working with Charles to help bring Mario to life for so many years and we want to thank and celebrate him,” Nintendo wrote on the social media website. “Please keep an eye out for a special video message from Shigeru Miyamoto and Charles himself, which we will post at a future date.”
When this fall’s Switch platformer Super Mario Bros. Wonder was revealed in June, some fans felt that the voices featured in the trailer sounded somewhat different from Martinet’s signature exclamations. In a comment to Kotaku, Nintendo has confirmed that Martinet will not voice Mario in Wonder, stating, “While Charles is not involved in the game, we’re excited to honor his legacy and contributions, including looking ahead to what he’ll be doing as a Mario Ambassador.” No details were provided on who might be stepping into the overalls.
Martinet has voiced Mario since the ‘90s, stepping into the role in 1994 for the educational game Mario Teaches Typing on Macintosh and PC. It was in 1996's Super Mario 64, however, that his distinctive exclamations of “Wahoo!” and “Mamma mia!” first became intrinsically associated with the role for millions of gamers. He’s since lent his voice to various Mushroom Kingdom characters, including Luigi and Wario in Mario Kart 64, Baby Mario and Metal Mario in Mario Golf, Waluigi in Mario Tennis, and other forms of Mario throughout the years. His last Mario role in games was Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, while he appeared in The Super Mario. Bros Movie as Mario and Luigi’s dad. Apart from his work with Nintendo, Martinet has voiced characters in other IPs like Dragon Ball (as Red Pharmaceuticals president Magenta in Super Hero) and The Elder Scrolls (as Greybeards leader Paarthurnax in Skyrim), among others.
Martinet has long been a fan favorite for his enthusiastic embracing of the role and for his reputation as a friendly, approachable, and genuine performer. Following today’s news, Martinet shared his own tweet, saying “My new Adventure begins! You are all Numba One in my heart! #woohoo !!!!!!!”
Updated: 8/21/21, 12:53 p.m. ET: Added a comment from Nintendo confirming that Martinet will not voice Mario in Super Mario Bros. Wonder.