Street Fighter II was a masterpiece of clever, concise sprite design

When Capcom's CP System arcade games began showing up at the turn of the 1990s, they were leaps and bounds ahead of the game. Such huge sprites! So many of them! So many colors! And Street Fighter II was the most spectacular of them all. But as Fabien Sanglaard reports, the astronomical cost of memory meant that every trick in the book still had to be used to squeeze so much into so little ROM space.

…Ken is a patch on top of Ryu tiles. Ryu palette is specially designed to be skin tone compatible with Ken. Only the clothes and face colors differ.

And it was all planned with paper and pen!

As they ran out of sheets—literally, as the sheets were 1:1 correspondences with available ROM—compromises had to be made: the relatively limited animation of (originally) unplayable boss characters (and Sagat's symmetrical victory pose) were crunchtime space-saving measures.