Nintendo Reveals Why New Mario VA Kevin Afghani Was Kept Secret: Earlier this year, Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario for many years, retired. Nintendo recently announced the new voice actor without much celebration. Why is that?
For almost 30 years, Charles Martinet was the voice actor for Nintendo’s famous character, Mario. He also provided voices for Luigi, Wario, and others. In August, Nintendo confirmed that Martinet had essentially retired from the role. This left fans wondering who would voice the iconic “mama mia” in the next Mario game, Super Mario Bros. Wonder.
For this game, fans were so excited about a character’s voice that they carefully analyzed a one-second clip before the game was released. They were trying to figure out if the voice belonged to Charles Martinet, who is well-known for his role in Super Mario Bros. and WarioWare. You can read more about it on this Kotaku article.
Marioet have been closely connected since Martinet’s first role as Mario in the game “Mario Teaches Typing” in 1994, and the more well-known “Super Mario 64” in 1996. Martinet is not just a paid actor, but also a champion and voice for the character. He has been featured in many press articles, panels, and interviews about the role, which he would have gladly continued doing until he passed away. When the news broke that he was leaving the role of Mario, two questions arose: Why end a relationship that has been beneficial for both parties? And who could replace an actor who is beloved by fans?
At that time, Nintendo did not want to answer the question. They refused to provide specific details, even though some media outlets like IGN were investigating to find out who would be the new voice actor for Mario. According to Doug Bowser, the president of Nintendo of America, the company wanted players to discover and be surprised by Mario’s new voice in “Wonder”. However, some people couldn’t wait and leaked the credits by data mining after obtaining a demo of the game.
On October 13, voice actor Kevin Afghani announced on Twitter that he was proud to have voiced Mario and Luigi in a game called “Super Mario Bros. Wonder.” He thanked Nintendo for the opportunity and mentioned that he had previously worked on other games like “Genshin Impact” and “Dragon Ball R&R.” It’s worth noting that Afghani’s level of fame is not as high as that of Charles Martinet or Chris Pratt, who recently voiced Mario in an animated film.
The reason behind the secrecy surrounding the new Mario character in the movie “Wonder” is still unclear. Despite being voiced by a different actor, Mario still maintains his usual catchphrases and does not introduce any radical changes. Nonetheless, Nintendo chose to keep the details under wraps, leaving many fans puzzled.
“We want people to have fun playing the game, and if they like the voice in the game, that’s what matters most to us, not necessarily focusing on Mario’s actor,” Bowser told WIRED recently. However, Afghani is not just any voice, he is the voice of the character that Nintendo has chosen to represent as its mascot, starring in movies and appearing in theme parks. His transition into this role is a significant event.”