10 most surprising video game characters from Charles Martinet who aren’t Mario
After nearly 30 years of voicing the world’s most famous plumber in gaming history, it can be hard to imagine Charles Martinet playing someone other than the beloved Mario. However, you might be surprised to hear that Charles Martinet’s vocal talents extend far beyond you imagine.
Believe it or not, during his university days in California, Charles Martinet used to struggle with the fear of speaking in public, having to take acting classes to combat his phobia. Imagine if the world had been deprived of his talent! It wouldn’t just have been the Mario franchise that would have been very different, but also some of the characters in those games.
Announcer, referee, boxers – Super Punch-Out !!
It’s crazy to think that one of Charles Martinet’s first vocal appearances in video games was featured in a boxing ring – and yet, here it is! Released by Nintendo in 1994 for the SNES (just 2 years after the release of Mario Teaches Typing), Super punch !! presents Charles Martinet as the main announcer of the boxing ring, as well as the referee and the boxers themselves.
Overall, the game received a lot of praise upon release, with players cheering on opposing characters and straightforward gameplay with surprisingly difficult difficulty. Players enter the game as Little Mac, taking part in the boxing tournament to become the champion of the World Video Boxing Association.
William Shakespeare, Ludwig van Beethoven – The Great Race Through Time by Carmen Sandiego
While all gamers living in the 90s are familiar with the iconic theme song, few remember Charles Martinet lent his voice to two characters from the 1997 PC game Carmen Sandiego.. William Shakespeare and Ludwig Van Beethoven both play minor roles in the point-and-click adventure game.
The main plot revolves around master thief Carmen Sandiego, who uses her Chronoskimmer time machine to prevent key historical events from happening. It was in the midst of a series of educational games that utilized Charles Martinet’s vocal talents, as he appeared in Mario Teaches Typing in 1992 as well as The ClueFinders Math Adventures in 1999.
Admiral Holtz, Rebel Pilot – Star Wars: Alliance X-Wing
This 1999 sci-fi space simulation game was the next in the Star Wars game series and was a direct sequel to the hit games Star Wars: TIE Fighter and Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter. Players enter the game as Ace Azzameen, the youngest in a family of space traders, who signs up 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 Rebel Alliance players are tasked with destroying.. Martinet also provides the voices of an anonymous rebel pilot, riding on both sides of the Civil War!
Vigoro – Skies of Arcadia
For its western release for European and American audiences, Charles Martinet voiced the character of Vigoro, the hijacker and optional boss on Dangral Island in the 2000 JRPG, Skies of Arcadia.. Players explore the world from their flying airship, with turn-based combat gameplay similar to that of Dragon Quest and early Final Fantasy.
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 expand on the previously straightforward dialogue by including more sarcastic responses, including for the character of Vigoro.
Homunculus – Shadow of Memories
This Konami mystery adventure game was released for PlayStation 2 in 2001 and stars Charles Martinet as Homunculus, a jinn or a genie. When the main character Eike is stabbed and killed outside a local restaurant, Homunculus is summoned and resurrects Eike, offering to take Eike back in time to prevent his own death using a time traveling digipad. .
The eccentricity of the game is only supported by the frightening tones of Homunculus through the intermediary of Charles Martinet. With a singing English accent reminiscent of any self-respecting anime villain, Martinet sounds completely different from any previous roles we’ve ever heard from him.
Eaoden, Gimli – The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age
Just when you think Charles Martinet’s range couldn’t be wider, he plays both Eaoden the Horseman of Rohan and Gimli the Dwarf in The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age. Released in 2004 for Playstation 2, Xbox, and GameCube, the game loosely adapts the plot of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, though some fans have spotted gameplay similarities to Final Fantasy 10..
This isn’t the only time Charles Martinet has appeared in a Lord of the Rings game, however. In addition to the Third Age, he is also credited as the Orientals in EA’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in 2003.
Announcer, Snake Eyes, Lau Chan, Shun Di – Virtua Quest
Charles Martinet’s penchant for voicing multiple characters in the same game continues in Virtua Quest, a Sega Virtua Fighter spin-off released in 2004 for GameCube and PlayStation 2 in Japan and the United States. (Strangely, it never came out in Europe.)
In addition to the announcer, Martinet voices Snake Eyes (from the GI Joe series). He also provides the voices of Lau Chan (a Chinese conductor specializing in the “Tiger Swallow Fist” fighting style) and Shun Di (a shrunken Chinese who uses the “Drunken Kung Fu” fighting style).
Orvus – Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time
Fans of the Ratchet and Clank series might be surprised to see Charles Martinet credited as a character, let alone Orvus. As the designer of the Great Clock, located at the center of the universe to keep time, Orvus leaves Ratchet and Clank with various heartfelt video messages, which is our first opportunity to hear Martinet’s voice in all its glory.
Fans and critics alike praised both A Crack in Time’s story and visuals, as well as the fun gameplay elements. A Crack In Time was also the penultimate installment of the Ratchet & Clank Future series, followed by Into The Nexus in 2013.
The Older Brother – Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
Who would have thought that Mario’s soft voice could also be a cruel and brutal villainous gangster? Released in 2007, Kane & Lynch: Dead Men launched on PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 with mixed reviews.
Charles Martinet voices the devious older brother (also known as the Vaultbreaker) in a gang called The 7, the game’s main antagonist group. After kidnapping the main character’s wife and daughter, they blackmail Kane and Lynch, their giving three weeks to get their money back. In the end, the older brother is destroyed by an exploding landmine from Kane (followed by a somewhat anticlimatic cliffhanger).
Perhaps the most famous departure from his usual Mario role (and most impressive in diversity) is Charles Martinet’s performance of Paarthurnax in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. This immortal dragon lurks at the peak above High Hrothgar as the leader of the Gray Beards, a faction that has sworn to worship the gods in utter silence, despite possessing Words of Power.
Players encounter Paarthurnax multiple times as part of Skyrim’s main quest (including the Big Revelation as part of the “World’s Throat” main quest). Charles Martinet’s voice as Mario is almost completely unrecognizable with deep, booming tones as he aids the Dovahkiin on their quest.
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