Charles Martinet, the legendary voice behind Mario for over three decades, is stepping away from recording character voices for Nintendo as he transitions into a new role.
Now designated as a “Mario Ambassador,” Martinet will embark on global travels to engage with fans on behalf of the gaming company.
It’s important to note that Martinet is not participating in the upcoming Super Mario Bros. Wonder game, slated for release on October 20th on the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo expressed their excitement about honoring his legacy and contributions, even as they look forward to his activities as a Mario Ambassador.
Charles Martinet journey with Nintendo began in 1991, and his first significant portrayal as the mustachioed plumber was in 1996’s Super Mario 64, a groundbreaking 3D platformer that introduced the world to Mario’s exuberant Italian voice.
He is credited with lending his voice to Mario, as well as several other characters from the Mushroom Kingdom, including Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi, in over 150 Nintendo games. His memorable delivery of Mario’s catchphrases like “Let’s-a go!,” “Mamma mia,” and “Wahoo!” has left an indelible mark on major Nintendo franchises such as Mario Kart, Super Mario Galaxy, and Mario Party.
Charles Martinet even made a brief cameo in this year’s “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” where Chris Pratt took on the role of Mario.
Nintendo of America acknowledged Martinet’s long-standing contribution, stating, “Charles Martinet has been the original voice of Mario in Nintendo games for a long time, dating back to Super Mario 64. Charles is now transitioning into the brand-new role of Mario Ambassador. While he steps away from recording character voices for our games, he will continue to travel the world, spreading the joy of Mario and engaging with fans. It has been an honor collaborating with Charles to bring Mario to life for so many years, and we wish to express our gratitude and celebrate him. Please keep an eye out for a special video message from Shigeru Miyamoto and Charles himself, which we will share at a later date.”
Charles Martinet shared Nintendo’s statement on his Twitter account and wrote, “My new adventure begins! You are all number one in my heart!”