So I was taking with someone about the Arcade1Up units and admitted that I really liked the Capcom fighter ones (upright and cocktail) ones because they included the original Street Fighter. He said they he hated it because of the “lag” in Street Fighter, and how he does not like most multiboards because of the same thing. But what he is calling lag, is not really lag!
The original SF played differently from SF-II and pretty much all fighters since. In SF, the more powerful the move, the longer it takes to “come out” – which I believe was meant to be the penalty for using stronger attacks.
For example, with the punch attacks, the Jab attack comes out immediately, but for the Fierce attack, the player actually takes a few frames to cock-back his fist before throwing the punch.
The same thing happens for the kick attacks. The Short attack is all but immediate, but for a standing Roundhouse the player takes a few frames to plant his feet before spinning around, and the spin itself is not immediate. For a sweep, you can see him places his hands down on the ground before executing the sweep.
Later versions largely did away with these “setup frames” and attacks come out pretty much immediately. Ryu/Ken’s axe kick and kneeling uppercut are perfect examples. Instead, the penalty for the stronger attacks was the amount of time you were vulnerable after the attack, especially if you whiffed it.
Still later versions of the franchise introduced some moves that kinda did both and added back a few frames of setup for some attacks, like Ryu’s “standing downward punch” strike.