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Mario’s Iconic Voice Actor Retires the Mustache After Nearly Three Decades

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Gaming Legacy

In a surprising turn of events, the beloved voice behind the iconic video game character Mario, Charles Martinet, has decided to step away from the microphone after an impressive 27-year run. Nintendo, the company behind Mario’s adventures, took to Twitter this morning to announce this unexpected development. But fear not, dear Mario enthusiasts, for Martinet isn’t saying goodbye to the Mushroom Kingdom just yet – he’s transitioning into a newly minted role as the “Mario Ambassador.” In this capacity, he’ll embark on a globetrotting journey to share the magic and jubilance of Mario with fans across the world. It seems the gaming world won’t have to go on without its Italian plumber hero’s infectious laughter and exuberant exclamations.

As the virtual curtain falls on Martinet’s extended tenure as Mario’s vocal cords, Nintendo has left us all wondering who will take on the momentous task of filling those famous shoes – or should I say, red plumber boots? While the search for a new voice actor remains shrouded in mystery, one thing is certain: whoever assumes the role has some colossal shoes to fill. After all, it’s no easy feat to embody a character who’s been a cornerstone of pop culture for generations.

But let’s not get too melancholic just yet. Nintendo’s announcement has also unveiled an exciting prospect on the horizon – a special video message featuring none other than Charles Martinet himself and the brilliant mind behind Mario, Shigeru Miyamoto. It’s like a dream crossover event where reality and the virtual world meld seamlessly, promising insights and reflections that fans are sure to cherish.

If we rewind the tape back to the origins of Martinet’s journey with Mario, it’s fascinating to learn that his melodious voice wasn’t initially destined to echo through the virtual landscapes of video games. Back in the distant year of 1991, he was enlisted to lend his voice to Mario’s interactive 3D model at trade shows. Little did anyone know that this would set the stage for a vocal performance that would become synonymous with the mustached plumber.

Martinet’s vocal range wasn’t limited to Mario’s iconic “It’s-a me, Mario!” catchphrase. He ventured into various Mario-related projects, making his mark as Luigi, Wario, and even the mischievous Waluigi. The array of characters he brought to life enriched the Nintendo universe, each with its own quirks and charm.

However, every story has its unique chapters, and Martinet’s tenure as Mario reached a crossroads with the release of the recent Super Mario Bros. Movie. In an unexpected twist, Chris Pratt stepped into the red overalls and cap to voice the titular character. While fans were excited about the movie, they couldn’t help but miss the familiar timbre of Martinet’s voice resonating through the theaters.

The mystery of which game would mark Martinet’s final performance as Mario remains unsolved. While the gaming community engages in speculation, Nintendo has confirmed that the forthcoming Super Mario Bros. Wonder won’t feature Martinet’s voice. This revelation leaves fans intrigued and curious about the auditory journey that lies ahead.

As Mario enthusiasts around the world await the next chapter in the beloved plumber’s legacy, one thing is clear: Charles Martinet’s contribution to gaming history is indelible. His voice breathed life into pixels, transforming them into characters with charisma and charm. And while we might be saying farewell to his distinctive “Mamma mia!” and “Let’s-a go!” exclamations, the memories and joy he brought to gamers young and old will endure like a forever 1-Up.

Update 1:51PM ET: The article has been updated post-publication to include confirmation from Kotaku that Charles Martinet will not lend his voice to the upcoming game Super Mario Bros. Wonder, scheduled for release on October 20th.

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