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Wario's Big Speaking Role For...A British Supermarket

Charles Martinet isn't just the voice of Mario, he's Wario as well

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Image: Nintendo

The inhabitants of the Mushroom Kingdom aren’t big on speeches. They’ll write long-ass letters, sure, but when it comes to speaking out loud most of them will restrict themselves to the odd soundbite or celebratory quip. Except, that is, for Wario.

While these days you’ll only hear him saying “WARIO” or “WAAAAA”, around the release of WarioWare DIY in 2009, things were different. It’s the first game where Wario (and his friends) would speak in full sentences, which if you’re not used to it, is certainly a thing. Here is a very unsettling example, from WarioWare Gold, in case you need a reminder:

Which leads me to this very niche but very interesting piece of trivia: Gaming Reinvented have found that it wasn’t the game itself that let us hear Martinet’s Wario in full voice for the first time, but an obscure advertisement for the game that ran ahead of its release, only in the UK, and for one British supermarket (Tesco) in particular:

What makes this interesting, at least for me, is that long-time voice actor Charles Martinet’s vocal talents are so synonymous with single words or phrases that to hear him belting out several sentences at a time can be jarring, and make you wonder whether it’s really him.


Like, hear a single “WAAAAA” and you can go, yup, that’s Martinet all right. Hear a complete sales pitch, where with each successive word he starts to sound more like a Grand Theft Auto IV villain, and you start to doubt yourself.

But it is! Gaming Reinvented made sure, by reaching out to the man himself, who remembers it clearly, replying in an email:

Thanks for that lovely memory! Yes that was me… What a fun commercial!

For a man who is normally paid by the word and grunt, but who here got to read out entire paragraphs at a time, I bet it was!