Well, most of the link combos are strictly unintentional if you ask me – especially the 1 framers.
Capcom purposely made it so you can’t cancel out of chains, and a lot of the links are 1 or 2 framers, so that leads me to think that they were really really trying to simplify the combo system, but it ended up backfiring on them when people starting linking jabs into fierces. I dunno if it’s because there’s a lot of hitstun on everything or what.
I mean, Ono went on for ages about making this game open to new players, so I doubt he would’ve purposely added this shit in (and if he did, I don’t know what he was thinking). Once people discovered all this stuff in the arcade, I figure they knew they’d have to add in similar stuff for the console characters.
Games are almost never designed to be link-heavy, they usually just end up that way. The Vampire Savior games, Last Blade, JoJo, Garou, etc.