All-around good guy and voice-acting legend Charles Martinet will no longer play Mario, Nintendo has announced. The company announced the news with a bitter-sweet message on social media, revealing that Martinet will step back from voicing Mario after nearly 30 years. How the Italian plumber will carry on without the bubbly vocals that helped make him so popular remains to be seen.
“Charles is now moving into the brand-new role of Mario Ambassador,” Nintendo says. “With this transition, he will be stepping back from recording character voices for our games, but he’ll continue top travel the world sharing the joy of Mario and interacting with you all!”
Nintendo’s post continues: “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.”
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
Nintendo doesn’t usually make a big deal out of recast roles, so today’s message should make it clear that Martinet’s departure from the role of Mario marks a massive moment for fans of the character. As the post reminds us, Martinet has provided his cheery vocals to play the world-renowned plumber in mainline entries “as far back as Super Mario 64.” However, some might remember that his Mario debut arrived in the 1994 release of Mario Teaches Typing. That means Martinet is stepping away from the character (as well as Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, and others) after 29 years of work. So, the question on everyone’s minds has to be: Who is going to fill Martinet’s shoes?
Mario is certainly not going anywhere and even has a new game, Super Mario Bros. Wonder, set to release on Nintendo Switch on October 20. It’s also unclear if Martinet will play the character in that game. However, Nintendo’s message today teases plans to release a video from Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto and Martinet “at a future date.” It sounds like the video will help serve as a final sendoff for Martinet’s time as the character, but the rest of its contents have yet to be revealed. Until we know more, be sure to stay tuned for any updates on the future of Mario. (Update: In an email exchange with GameSpot, Nintendo confirmed that Martinet will not play any characters in Super Mario Bros. Wonder).