The Voice Of Mario Is Changing, According to Nintendo

The original voice actor of Mario is stepping away from the iconic role.

Nintendo has announced that Charles Martinet, the original voice actor for Mario in Nintendo games dating back to Super Mario 64, is stepping down from the role. Going forward, Martinet will serve in a brand-new role called "Mario Ambassador." Who will be replacing Martinet as the iconic character, remains to be seen. There's not only no word of who will be the character going forward but when this news will be revealed. What is noted is that "a special video message" from Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of the character, featuring Charles, will be posted as a future date. From the sounds of it, the video will serve as a thank you to the voice actor and celebrate the long-standing partnership.

"Charles Martinet has been the original voice of Mario in Nintendo games for a long time, as far back as Super Mario 64," reads Nintendo's statement, which was shared via the Nintendo of America Twitter account. "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 honor 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 future date."

As you may know, in addition to portraying Mario, Martinet has also portrayed Luigi over the years, so this character will also need to be recast. That's not all though. He's also been the voice of other characters in the series such as Wario, Waluigi, and their baby equivalents. In other words, he plays about half of the series' iconic characters. Martinet's first video game appearance as Mario came with the 1994 CD version of Mario Teaches Typing. However, most weren't introduced to his work until the aforementioned Super Mario 64 on N64.

Not only is it unclear what's next for the Mario series, but it's unclear what is next for Martinet. That said, considering Martinet turns 68 next month, there's a chance he's hanging up video game voice acting, and voice acting altogether.