10 Most Surprising Charles Martinet Video Game Characters That Aren’t Mario

10 Most Surprising Charles Martinet Video Game Characters That Aren’t Mario

Highlights

  • Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario, has voiced various other characters in video games, including an announcer, referee, and boxers in Super Punch-Out!!
  • Martinet also lent his voice to characters like William Shakespeare and Ludwig van Beethoven in the Carmen Sandiego PC game and Admiral Holtz, a rebel pilot in Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance.
  • In addition to Mario, Martinet has provided his voice for characters in games like Skies of Arcadia, Shadow of Memories, The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age, Virtua Quest, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

After 30 years of voicing the world’s most famous plumber in gaming history, it can be hard to picture Charles Martinet playing anyone other than the beloved Mario. However, you may be surprised to hear that Charles Martinet’s voice talents stretch far further than you might imagine.

Believe it or not, back in his college days in California, Charles Martinet used to really struggle with a fear of public speaking, having to take acting classes to combat his phobia. Imagine if the world had been deprived of his talent! It wouldn’t have been just the Mario franchise that would have looked very different, but also some of the characters in these games.

Updated on August 22, 2023 by Gabrielle Castania: With the breaking news of Charles Martinet stepping away from the role of Mario after 30 years of voicing everyone’s favorite plumber, we wanted to come back to our list of Charlie Martinet’s other work to touch it up in honor of the legendary voice actor hanging up his red cap.

10 Announcer, Referee, Boxers – Super Punch-Out!!

Super Punch-Out!! gameplay in the ring charles martinet voice

It’s wild to think that one of Charles Martinet’s earliest voice appearances was featured in a boxing ring! Released by Nintendo in 1994 for the SNES (just 2 years after Mario Teaches Typing launched), Super Punch-Out!! features Charles Martinet as the main boxing ring announcer, as well as the referee and the boxers themselves.

The game received plenty of praise, with gamers applauding opponent characters and simple gameplay with a surprisingly challenging difficulty. Players enter the game as Little Mac, taking part in the boxing tournament to become the World Video Boxing Association champion.

9 William Shakespeare, Ludwig van Beethoven – Carmen Sandiego’s Great Chase Through Time

Carmen Sandiago's Great Chase Through Time game art and Ludwig Van Beethoven

While every gamer of the 90s knows the iconic theme song, few people remember that Charles Martinet lent his voice to two characters in the 1997 Carmen Sandiego PC game. Both William Shakespeare and Ludwig Van Beethoven offered Martinet minor roles in the point-and-click adventure game.

The main plot revolves around thief Carmen Sandiego, who uses her Chronoskimmer time machine to prevent historical events from happening. This was in the middle of a stint of educational games that used Charles Martinet’s voice talents.

8 Admiral Holtz, Rebel Pilot – Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance

Star Wars X-Wing Alliance promotional game art title screen

This 1999 sci-fi space simulation game was the next in the Star Wars game series, and was a direct sequel to Star Wars: TIE Fighter and Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter. Players enter the game as Ace Azzameen, youngest of a family of space traders, who enrolls as a fighter pilot for the Rebel Alliance to save his family in a galactic civil war.

Charles Martinet can be heard as Admiral Holtz, commander of the Imperial Star Destroyer ‘Corrupter,’ which players in the Rebel Alliance are tasked with destroying. Martinet also provides voices for an unnamed rebel pilot, straddling both sides of the civil war.

7 Vigoro – Skies of Arcadia

Vigoro optional boss in Skies of Arcadia

For its Western release, Charles Martinet voiced the character of Vigoro, the air pirate and optional boss on Dangral Island in the 2000 JRPG, Skies of Arcadia. Players explore the world from their flying airship, with turn-based battle gameplay similar to that of Dragon Quest and early Final Fantasy titles.

When rewriting the script for Western audiences, the localization team were influenced by the work of Joss Whedon (creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly). The team used this to elaborate on the previously straightforward dialogue by including more sarcastic responses, including for Vigoro’s character.

6 Homunculus – Shadow of Memories

Homunculus the genie in Shadow of Memories charles martinet voice

This mystery adventure game from Konami was released for PlayStation 2 in 2001, and stars Charles Martinet as Homunculus, a djinn. When the main character Eike is stabbed and killed, Homunculus is summoned and resurrects Eike, offering to take Eike back in time to prevent his own death with the use of a time-traveling digipad.

The farfetchedness of the game is only seconded by the creepy tones of Homunculus through the medium of Charles Martinet. With an English accent reminiscent of any self-respecting anime villain, Martinet sounds different.

5 Eaoden, Gimli – The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age

Promotional game art for The Lord of the Rings The Third Age

Just when you think Charles Martinet’s range couldn’t get any wider, he performs as both Eaoden the rider of Rohan and Gimli the dwarf in the Lord of the Rings: The Third Age. Released in 2004, the game loosely adapts the plot from the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, although some fans spotted similarities in gameplay with Final Fantasy 10.

This isn’t the only time Charles Martinet has been featured in a Lord of the Rings game, though. As well as the Third Age, he is also credited as the Easterlings in EA’s 2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King game.

4 Announcer, Snake Eyes, Lau Chan, Shun Di – Virtua Quest

Promotional game art from Virtua Quest

Charles Martinet’s penchant for voicing multiple characters in the same game continues in Virtua Quest, a 2004 spin-off of Virtua Fighter by Sega released for GameCube and PlayStation 2 in Japan and the US.

As well as the announcer, Martinet voices Snake Eyes (from the G.I. Joe series), Lau Chan (a Chinese chef specializing in the “Tiger Swallow Fist” combat style), and Shun Di (a wizened Chinese man who uses the ‘Drunken Kung Fu’ fighting style).

3 Orvus – Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time

Orvus in Ratchet & Clank Future A Crack in Time

Fans of the Ratchet and Clank series may be surprised to see Charles Martinet credited as a character at all, let alone as Orvus. As the designer of the Great Clock, located in the center of the universe to keep time, Orvus leaves Ratchet and Clank various heartfelt video messages – our first opportunity to hear Martinet’s voice in all its glory.

Both the story and visuals on A Crack in Time received critical acclaim, as did the fun gameplay elements. A Crack In Time was also the penultimate installment to the Ratchet & Clank Future series, followed by Into The Nexus in 2013.

2 The Elder Brother – Kane & Lynch: Dead Men

Kane & Lynch Dead Men promotional game art

Who would’ve thought the sweet voice of Mario could also be a cruel, brutal gangster villain? Published in 2007, Kane & Lynch: Dead Men was launched for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 to mixed reviews.

Charles Martinet voices the Elder Brother (also known as Vaultbreaker) in a gang called The Seven, the antagonist group of the game. Having kidnapped the main character’s wife and daughter, they blackmail Kane and Lynch, giving them three weeks to retrieve their money.

Paarthurnax leader of the Greybeards The Elder Scrolls Skyrim

Perhaps the most famous deviation from his usual Mario role (and the most impressively diverse) is Charles Martinet’s performance of Paarthurnax in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. This immortal dragon lurks at the summit above High Hrothgar as leader of the Greybeards, a faction sworn to worship the gods in utmost silence, despite possessing Words of Power.

Players encounter Paarthurnax as part of the main quest in Skyrim, and Charles Martinet’s voice as Mario is almost completely unrecognizable with deep, booming tones as he helps the Dovahkiin on their quest.

NEXT: Best Levels In 3D Mario History, Ranked

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