I know this sounds crazy and incredibly ignorant, I just happened to be bored which is why I tried it and I don't know of a logical explanation as to why it works but I have been able to run the game on Vista.
What I did was launch the game repeatedly, about 2 dozen times, getting the same error each time when it launched correctly. This was after messing with compatibility settings to no avail and setting them back to default but not being ready to give up just yet. It takes the same number of attempts (more or less) each time I try to play but it does eventually launch. If it won't work once, what would be different to let it work on another try?
If you feel like giving it a shot, I would really like to know if this can possibly be due to the same incompatibility in both operating systems and if the same "fix" ,if it can be called that, would work.