Leave a Comment

A couple different versions of Mario in Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is setting a lot of records these days, but one of them has nothing to do with sales figures, Nintendo Switch stats or anything like that. Instead, it's voice actor Charles Martinet's 100th time voicing the character of Mario, a seemingly unbeatable record now officially recognized by Guinness.

In case you weren't aware, there's a special version of Guinness that's totally dedicated to world records tied to gaming. The crew even has a podcast and, during its fifth episode, they had Charles Martinet tag along to talk about his quarter century of voicing Mario.

Martinet first voiced Mario back in 1995 in a game called Mario's Game Gallery. This is actually my first time even hearing about that game, which was a compilation of various well-known tabletop games with Mario serving as host. The game opens with presumably Mario's first line in gaming, "Interplay," followed by, "Along with Presage, proudly presents Mario's Game Gallery." But, you know, you've got to imagine all of that is being said through a thick, comical Italian accent. If you want to take Mario and Co. on in games like Checkers, Go Fish and Backgammon, this is the place to do it.

Most of the world was first introduced to Martinet's rendition of Mario a year later in 1996's Super Mario 64. That was the game that put his pipes on the map, and Martinet has been doing it ever since.

Given how Nintendo has been going on about how Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a celebration of gaming's history as much as it is about the series itself, it's kind of cool that this just so happens to be Martinet's 100th time voicing the character of Mario. Sure, he only gets to make a few combat-appropriate noises this time around rather than lead players through a round of Backgammon, but it still counts and it's still pretty cool.

I've been doing some research and am coming up frustratingly shy on details for other voice actors who have played game characters multiple times, so there's no telling how far off second place is at this point. If I had to make a wild guess, I imagine there's a gab of about 85 games, though, so I imagine Martinet's record is safe for the time being.

If you ever meet Martinet, he's more than happy to break out a little Mario for his adoring fans, as he demonstrates several times in his interview with the Guinness crowd. And that interview is absolutely worth watching, even if you aren't especially interested in Martinet or Mario. His story is a unique part of gaming history and he's super open with the details throughout the podcast's 47-minute runtime, so put it on in the background if you're in the mood for some intriguing storytelling.