Image: Square Enix / Nintendo / Kotaku
Ever since Nintendo announced Charles Martinet will be stepping back from his long-time role as the in-game voice of Mario, fans have been wondering who might be taking over the reigns in the future. Enter Ben Starr, the man behind Final Fantasy XVI’s superb performance for hero Clive Rosfield…and a glutton for internet gags.
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The British television actor recently tweeted an unsolicited audition video for the mustachioed plumber. It’s as bone-chillingly epic as you’d expect. Imagine a battle-hardened Clive walking through modern-day Brooklyn committing verbal hate crimes against Italians and you’ve got the gist.
Take a look:
Starr takes on Mario’s most iconic phrase, “It’s a-mia, Mario,” and repeats it like he’s about to break your kneecaps, with plenty of F-bombs sprinkled in for good measure. Chris Pratt could never. Just for this Clive deserves to make it into the next Super Smash Bros.
In reality, Nintendo’s already tapped someone else to start doing the voice of Mario. The Switch maker confirmed this new, mysterious performer will be in the credits for Super Mario Bros. Wonder when that new platformer launches in October, but won’t confirm the person’s identity ahead of time. And who knows if they will continue in the role for future sequels and party game spin-offs, or if Wario et al will be voiced by the same person—as Martinet did for decades—or get dedicated voice actors.
In the meantime, Martinet has been receiving online tributes for his years of “Wahoos” and “Yippies,” though it’s still not entirely clear if he voluntarily retired or ran into contract negotiation or similar troubles with Nintendo. While Martinet wasn’t the main voice of Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Movie either, he did have an excellent cameo. Hopefully he’ll get to come back for the next one.