The first time my eyes were ever opened to fighting game depth was when I was playing SFII at my local arcade. I was probably like 8…I wasn’t good at all, but I did pretty well considering my age and I could do all the specials pretty much. I was playing a dude who used Zangief, and I played Cammy back then(we had a super turbo cabinet, which got ditched when Tekken gained popularity). Everything was going as usual, and then the guy did a tick SPD. He did one of the jump in ticks, and to say the least I was surprised. I asked the guy what had just happened, and he explained that you could go into a SPD after an opponent blocks certain moves. I almost picked up zangief, but I sucked at 360s(I still do…hell, I just finally learned how to do a SPD without jumping). When I finally got the internet I went and started to learn the deeper aspects of fighting games. Heh, and it all started with a tick SPD.
The first time I ever saw a character played right though was in Tekken tag at a local tournament, when I got terribly owned by a King player. He sent me to the losers bracket in the first round, and I almost claimed 3rd…but I had to fight him again after he got sent to the losers bracket and he beasted the hell out of me for a second time. That was a weird tournament though…the organizer had turned blocking off in the cabinet, so pretty much you could take anyone with quick punches and poke people to death.