When Nintendo first dropped the trailer for Super Mario Bros. Wonder a number of sharp-eared fans noticed something a little different about the game – it sounded like someone else was voicing the game. But that must have been a mistake! Charles Martinet has reliably provided the voice for Mario (and Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, and others) for years! Sure, Chris Pratt lent his pipes to the new movie, but Nintendo wouldn’t replace Charles in the actual games, right?
Well, it seems they would, as today Nintendo officially announced Martinet will be retiring as Mario and thus wasn’t involved in Super Mario Wonder. Instead, he’ll move into an “ambassador” role, continuing to do events ect. as the one-time voice of Nintendo’s mascot…
“Charles Martinet has been the original voice for Mario in Nintendo games for a long time, as far back as Super Mario 64. 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!
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. Please keep an eye out for a special video message from Shigeru Miyamoto and Charles himself, which we will post at a later date.”
As mentioned, Martinet has been the official voice of Nintendo’s plumber since 1996’s Super Mario 64, although he was actually doing the voice at trade shows and in spinoff media as early as 1991. His enthusiasm and iconic voice work quickly made him a favorite amongst Nintendo fans. Why he’s leaving the role is unknown, but he is 67, so perhaps Nintendo just wanted to bring somebody younger to the role (who that new person is, we don’t know yet, although the Wonder voice work isn’t a major departure).
In other Super Mario Wonder news, the game’s Japanese web page indicates it will have some sort of online play. Could that mean full online co-op? We don’t know, but Super Mario Maker 2 had that feature (although it didn’t work all that well). We’ll just have to wait and see.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder launches on Switch on October 20.
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