In a surprising development for the gaming community, Charles Martinet, the iconic voice behind Mario in Nintendo games since the 1990s, has announced his decision to step down from the role that made him a beloved figure in the industry.
Nintendo of America officially confirmed this change on Monday, revealing that Martinet will be transitioning into the role of “Mario Ambassador.” In this new capacity, he will embark on a global journey to promote the legendary plumber. This role will involve engaging with fans, signing autographs, and showcasing his talent by performing various Nintendo character voices.
“While it’s a bittersweet moment, we’re excited to see Charles Martinet take on a new adventure as our Mario Ambassador,” Nintendo stated in an official announcement, expressing gratitude for his longstanding contribution to the franchise.
Martinet’s legacy extends beyond just Mario; he has lent his voice to other beloved characters in the Nintendo universe, including Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi within the video game realm. Notably, though he didn’t voice Mario in the recent movie adaptation, he did portray a smaller role as Mario’s father.
Interestingly, during a Q&A session at a Canadian gaming and comics expo a couple of years ago, Martinet shared his dedication to the role, stating, “I want to voice Mario until I drop dead,” in response to a fan’s inquiry, as reported by gaming blog The Game Crater. However, he acknowledged the possibility of a changing landscape, adding, “if someday I think I am no longer capable of doing it, I will tell Nintendo to look into finding someone else.”
As Martinet takes his final bow as the voice of Mario, the gaming community is left pondering the future of this beloved character’s vocal identity. Nintendo has not disclosed the reason for Martinet’s departure or provided details about his successor, leaving fans curious about the direction the franchise will take in this new era.