Nintendo has released a video with a message from game director Shigeru Miyamoto and now former Mario voice actor Charles Martinet.
In August, the Japanese gaming giant announced that after lending his voice to the likes of Mario, Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi, Martinet would no longer be cast in the role. The voice actor is “stepping back from recording character voices” in Mario games and transitioning to become a “Mario Ambassador,” says Nintendo.
Of course, many fans were bewildered by this sudden announcement.
Here’s a special video message from Shigeru Miyamoto and Charles Martinet regarding the change of Mario’s voice actor, announced on 8/21. pic.twitter.com/4mOpD2Cx3a
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) September 7, 2023
The special video message shows Martinet explaining the new role a bit more. Mario will have a new voice starting with the upcoming Super Mario Bros. Wonder. However, Martinet will continue to meet fans at events and conventions. “I’m very much looking forward to seeing all of you at events around the world in the years to come,” Martinet said.
Miyamoto shared some sentiments of his own. Reflecting on the legacy of Martinet, who began voicing Mario in 1996’s Super Mario 64, the director said he was “deeply grateful.” He also recounts the many times Martinet addressed him as “Papa” during moments together. “Charles-san, thank you very much,” Miyamoto said.
This past weekend, Martinet attended a GalaxyCon Austin 2023 panel. During a Q&A portion, the voice actor discussed the new role. “I am now a Mario Ambassador. I don’t know what that is yet. I’m not retired as it were, but I’m an ambassador.”
As for who is stepping into the plumber’s shoes, it’s still anyone’s guess. Nintendo of America’s Doug Bowser recently said that fans will have to wait until the release of Super Mario Bros. Wonder. “We’ll let that play out and that’ll be within the credits,” Bowser told IGN.
For more on Super Mario Bros. Wonder, check out our preview of the game.