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Mario’s voice stars as himself in Runner3

‘The Narrator’ aka Charles Martinet among the cameos

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Runner3 launches this month and, like its predecessor in the Bit.Trip series from 2013, it’ll have a lineup of cameos. Inevitably, one is Shovel Knight, who by now must be the Ted McGinley of video game characters. Another is Charles Martinet, whom everyone knows as the voice of Mario. Except he’s playing as ... Charles Martinet!

Technically, Martinet’s character is “The Narrator” — the job Martinet had in Runner2 (and will again for Runner3). But come on, there’s no mistaking that is the man himself. “He’s a normal enough gent, to be sure, but we can’t shake the feeling there’s something ... peculiar about him,” developer Choice Provisions said in a blog post on Thursday. “Let us know if you notice anything, okay?”

You know who this puts Martinet in the company of? Keith David, that’s who. Keith David (numerous roles, most famous as Capt. Anderson in Mass Effect) appeared as Keith David in 2013’s Saints Row 4. Now there’s a stumper for your friends on trivia night.

Martinet and Shovel Knight are joined by obligatory Double Fine delegate Eddie Riggs (from 2009’s Brutal Legend). The three are unlockable within the game by completing side missions called Hero Quests, so they’re not part of any DLC. Runner3 launches May 22 for Nintendo Switch and Windows PC.

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