Thanks to Google, I found this site, which is about playing Age of Mythology on Ubuntu over a Virtualbox VM.
The solution only works for Virtualbox, however, not for VMware. It still helped me find a working solution, as all I needed was to adapt a few variables.
To trick Age of Mythology into launching despite not recognizing the graphics adapter, you'll have to create a file in the
[AoM install directory]\gfxconfig directory. If you installed Age of Mythology in its default location, that would be
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Age of Mythology\gfxconfig.
Inside that directory, you have to create a file named:
[vendor ID]_[vendor name].gfx. Looking at the error message:
Video Card 0: vmx_fb.dll VMware SVGA II Vendor(0x15AD) Device(0x405)
we can tell that
[vendor ID] is
[vendor name] is
vmware, so the file's name would be:
Now that the file exists, you'll need to open it with a text editing software, such as Notepad, which is pre-installed in pretty much every version and edition of Windows, and add following text to it:
Actually, it doesn't seem to matter much, what info is written inside. I just copy-pasted the text meant for Virtualbox, and it still worked like a charm (although I admit, I didn't try to actually play the game then). Apparently, you need to make sure the
[knownGoodDriver] part matches your driver's date, but I think it doesn't really matter, as long as your drivers are newer than what's listed.
Unfortunately, Microsoft thought it was a good idea to hide extensions of known file types, such as
.txt, so it's possible your file has a
.gfx.txt extension and you just don't know it yet. This Microsoft support site tells you how to "fix" that issue. If it doesn't help, you can always ask Google.
Although this solution is limited to Age of Mythology, there's a good chance for it to work for other Ensemble Studios games as well.
Enjoy your nostalgia.