I've had similar problems with a game called Thief
. Fabulous games, especially when you are into the middle ages (sort of). Anyhow, for the life of me I could not get it to work. I mean I've tried for years... finally... a separate partition on my hard drive with Win98 installed did the trick. That was the only way for me. VM's didn't work because the game required 3D acceleration. Although I've heard that VMWare possibly does give you 3D accel, not sure about this.
Anyhow, you could spend the next x amount of weeks trying to figure it out or $9.99 lets you play immediately.