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Original voice of Mario is stepping down after 32 years

Niamh Spence

Published 
| Last updated 

Original voice of Mario is stepping down after 32 years

Featured Image Credit: Isaiah Trickey / Contributor/Nintendo

Mario and his adventures alongside pals Luigi, Princess Peach and Bowser are pure iconic 90s nostalgia.

Yet one of the original catchphrases of Mario may be no more as the voiceover artist behind the lovable Nintendo character is stepping down.

Charles Martinet, who has voiced the lovable Italian plumber that so many of played in games since 1991, is officially stepping down and retiring from saying the iconic line, "It's me, it's Mario!"

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Announced by Nintendo, the official X account shared an image with a statement announcing Charles move away from Mario after 32 years.

Super Mario and the Nintendo characters have become icons in the world of gaming. Credit: Nintendo
Super Mario and the Nintendo characters have become icons in the world of gaming. Credit: Nintendo

The statement reads: "Charles Martinet has been the original voice of Mario in the 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!

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"It has been an honor working with Charles to help bring Mario to life for so many years and we want to thank you 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."

Charles Martinet, who has voiced Mario for 32 years, is stepping down from the role. Credit: Isaiah Trickey / Contributor/Nintendo
Charles Martinet, who has voiced Mario for 32 years, is stepping down from the role. Credit: Isaiah Trickey / Contributor/Nintendo

Charles has also shared the message via his own social media account as he wrote: "My new Adventure begins! You are all Numba One in my heart! #woohoo!!!!!!!"

Tributes to the iconic Mario voice have poured in since Charles' news went public, with one fan replying to say: "The voice of many of our childhoods, thank you for all you contributed."

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Another added: "Thank you for all the wonderful memories. You will always be the voice of Mario and friends!"

"Thank you for everything you've done and given to fans of the years. You're an absolutely incredible and kindhearted person and I hope you enjoy your new role to the fullest," said a third.

Super Mario has been iconic since the 90s. Credit: Nintendo
Super Mario has been iconic since the 90s. Credit: Nintendo

Charles reportedly became the voice of Mario after a friend told him there was an audition at a tradeshow where he'd need to 'talk to people as a plumber'.

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Quickly getting the job and becoming the voice behind one of the most famous plumbers of all time, Charles first voiced Mario at tradeshows for a 3D version of the character that was meant to be able to converse with attendees.

Yet the big break came for Charles as his first video game appearance as Mario in 1994's Mario Teaches Typing, but many came to know and love him in 1996's Super Mario 64.

It isn't just Mario that Charles plays, as he's also been the voice of Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, Metal Mario, Shadow Mario, Baby Mario and loads more within the Nintendo gaming world.

Topics: Film & TV, Super Mario, Nintendo, News

Niamh Spence
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