After taking three days to listen to it, I can properly say that this was a fantastic episode. Likely I could write an essay (perhaps even essays) on thoughts regarding these songs, as I recognize many of them and the moments surrounding them stick out in memory. Instead, super fast summary time of a few select tracks because nobody likes a wall of text, much less several of them.
Anything by Shoji Meguro - Thank you, I need to replay about 4 games now... I enjoy the uniqueness offered by Meguro's work, yet what I've heard remains diverse enough that I will never be unable tell apart a Persona 3 track from say, Nocturne.
Prisoners of Fate - I swear I've heard this somewhere before, but either way Mitsuda is amazing and I still wish Chrono Cross didn't have the issues it did (would love to discuss that, but this is a place for music discussions, and the music is fantastic)
Ornstein and Smough - I would have recommended Gwyn's music earlier if it hadn't already been said that final boss themes aren't applicable. Good follow up choice, hearing that DaS was done by Sakuraba was a shock, especially as a fan of the Tales games.
Boss music is always interesting, and I often wonder how it must feel from the point of view of a composer. So often I find boss themes grand or epic (forgive my lack of knowledge when it comes to music terminology), but truly having it fit within the situation provides the most memorable effect. For example, the melancholy nature of Prisoners of Fate works with the situation, creating an experience that sticks to the mind. Similarly, while Magus' Theme is probably my favourite boss theme, everything that came about before it helped set it up. Would the situation be nearly as memorable without the flames, the tower, the quest for the Masamune, etc. before hand? That the music fit with the situation so well made that entire sequence absolutely stapled in my mind as a defining moment of my childhood gaming. (I just noticed that the two tracks I chose as examples are both by Mitsuda - no, I do not fanboy, thank you very much)
Great episode, and I enjoyed the changes. Looking forward to the next. As a closing note, that transition caught me entirely off guard. During the time I was listening to the podcast, playing a game and holding two conversations. Upon hearing the sound of the opening gate from CT the oddness of it brought everything to a crash as my mind froze. I would equate it to juggling five balls at once and one of them suddenly catching fire.