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Mario voice actor Charles Martinet narrating Bit.Trip Presents... Runner2

Matt Leone has written about games for three decades, focusing on behind-the-scenes coverage of the industry, including books on Final Fantasy 7 and Street Fighter 2.

At a Nintendo press event last week, Gaijin Games revealed that its upcoming Bit.Trip Presents... Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien will feature a narrator familiar to Nintendo players. Long time Mario voice actor Charles Martinet will voice seven cut-scenes in the downloadable side-scrolling running game, playing himself.

The developers at Gaijin Games say that initially, the plan was for Martinet to play a defined character they had created, but when Martinet showed up and said a few lines in first-person, they decided to lean into it. They compare it to Leonard Nimoy's appearance in Dreamcast cult favorite Seaman, where Nimoy announced his name at the beginning to crack the fourth wall and make it clear the player was about to try something unusual.

And Runner2 is certainly unusual — while the mechanics feature straightforward running, jumping, sliding and other forms of timed button presses, the content mixes in unlockable pixel art stages, turkey costumes, and references to past Bit.Trip games.

Runner2 is currently scheduled for an early 2013 release.

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