It has come to my attention that Vista doesn’t play well with my older games, i.e. everything before The Dishwasher. ZSX3/Manic Space, which I’ve ran on Vista successfully, uses DirectX 8.0, but the older ones (ZSX 1 + 2, SCZ) use DX7, and I’ve had no luck with that.
The gist is that some developers are feeling spurned by Microsoft for dropping support for old technologies, but Microsoft has stated that the technology has reached its planned end-of-life, and it’s time to move on. I tend to side with Microsoft on this one–technology does not age like classic novels. It is a shame to see old games die, but honestly–we shouldn’t have to bury each new OS release in piles of legacy support.
So, long story short, if you want to play SCZ, ZSX2 or ZSX, use a Windows 2000/Me/XP box. If anyone figures out how to get the older ones working on Vista, let me know.