Charles Martinet has been the man behind the voice of Super Mario since Super Mario 64, and he’s been a beloved figure in Nintendo’s history. As it turns out, after 30 years of providing the voice for everyone’s favorite video game plumber, Martinet is stepping down from the role.
Here’s the announcement from Nintendo:
We have a message for fans of the Mushroom Kingdom. Please take a look. pic.twitter.com/U1ASicOuTO
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) August 21, 2023
Though Martinet won’t be voicing Mario anymore, the company does say that he’s being kept on as a ‘Mario Ambassador’ and that he will ‘continue to travel the world sharing the joy of Mario and interacting with you all!’
It may be a matter of time that Martinet would finally retire from voicing Mario, but one can’t help but think that this has something to do with The Super Mario Bros. Movie giving Mario a different voice (specifically Chris Pratt’s voice), and not making him as cartoon-y as Martinet’s signature performance.
If anything, Mario has kind of outgrown the cartoonish ‘wahoo!’ persona based on how he’s evolved in the games, and it’s possible that Nintendo just wants to pivot to a more serious Mario that could be the protagonist of his own kid-friendly platformers—like Sonic the Hedgehog.
As for Martinet, I’m sure he still has more things to do with Mario, even if he won’t be providing the voice anymore. One thing’s for sure, fans still love him, and would still want to know what he has to say about the character in the future.
The next Super Mario game, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, is set to release for the Nintendo Switch on Oct. 20.