The very earliest that I remember was the original conversation I had with a guy named John Tobias about the game. I was working on a football game called Super High Impact Football, and John was working on a game called Total Carnage, which was kind of a sequel to Smash TV. At the time, Street Fighter II was out. I don't think it had really quite taken off yet.
At the time, [Midway's] big thing was digitized graphics, which was basically taking video of people and using that as your source for your sprites as opposed to drawing, and that created a very photorealistic look. That was something that we were doing with our football game High Impact, a game called NARC, a Terminator 2 game, and all these games that had this realistic look.
In our conversation, John and I said, 'Wouldn't it be cool to do a photorealistic-looking fighting game to go with a lot more hard edge, a little bit more serious, a little bit more like Enter the Dragon [or] Bloodsport?'
I remember having that conversation after dinner one day. I remember I was playing one of the games Midway had done at the time in the one of the programmers' office, and we were just having a conversation. That was the first idea that we had to even do something like this.