Charles Martinet

Working for Nintendo since 1994, Charles Martinet started voicing Mario at video game trade shows in which attendees would walk up to a TV screen displaying a 3-D Mario head that moved around the screen and talked. This system was called Mario in Real-Time or “MIRT”. At first Martinet planned to voice Mario with a stereotypical Italian American with a deep, raspy voice (which is how Mario sounded in the Super Mario Bros. Super Show, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario World cartoons). He then thought to himself that it would be too harsh for children to hear, so he made it more soft-hearted and friendly, resulting in what Mario’s voice is today.

Martinet’s video game voice over debut was as Mario in the 1995 Windows release of Interplay’s game Mario’s FUNdamentals. However, most were first exposed to Mario’s voice in the landmark 1996 game Super Mario 64. He has voiced Mario, Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, Toadsworth, Metal Mario, Shadow Mario, Donkey Kong, MC Ballyhoo, Mini-Mario Toy, Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, and Baby Wario in most games wherein these characters speak. He also voiced the enemies Wart, Mouser, Tryclyde, and Clawgrip in Super Mario Advance. His voice work appears in the English and Japanese-language versions of the games, although his work is always in English (regardless of the Italian references whenever he voices Mario and related characters).

Martinet provided voice over acting for the boxers and the announcer in the Super NES title Super Punch-Out!!. He voiced the character Vigoro in Sega’s Dreamcast and Nintendo GameCube role-playing video game, Skies of Arcadia. He did the voice of Homunculus in the Konami PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Windows game Shadow of Destiny, and provided voices for Reader Rabbit and The ClueFinders games.

Other than the Mario series, Charles has also done work for the video game Cel Damage as the voice of Fowl Mouth, as well as the primary voice work in several educational game series such as LeapFrog. He also voiced the dragon Paarthurnax in the 2011 video game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and narrated the cutscenes and menus for the 2013 video game Bit.Trip Presents Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien