Setup cannot verify that the required Microsoft update KB2919355 is installed
Setup cannot continue. The Microsoft Runtime DLL installer failed to complete installation.
It is not possible to install the required KB2919355 update on Windows 8 without upgrading to 8.1 ('this update is not applicable to your PC...'). For me this is a 'time capsule' (not the Apple kind) VM from an old backup, so upgrading is not desirable.
The issue was resolved by using an older version 10.2.5 of the VMware tools, found here: https://packages.vmware.com/tools/releases/10.2.5/windows/. Clipboard, file transfer and automatic resolution all work perfectly. Mouse integration is a bit glitchy but usable.