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Really, Evan should be the frickin' mascot for the client support pages, because getting it working off a fresh, unpolluted Vista install is about the most draconian thing I've ever seen.
Basically, you need the .NET Framework to run Maple. You'll probably only know this if you Search that particular error code on forums. The few threads on the actual Nexon forums about this will direct you to a seemingly-orphaned page on the main site about it. However, the "download it here" link to Microsoft's site actually links to a Visual Basic runtime, which, while serving the same basic purpose as .NET, is not the same thing. If you catch on and look for the correct download on the Microsoft page, you'll be encouraged/pointed towards the latest version, .NET Framework 4. But .NET 4 is functionally separate from earlier versions, which Microsoft itself doesn't tell you, and Nexon certainly doesn't mention. Since Maple needs the old edition of .NET, you can download the ".NET Framework" that you're told you need and get the same damn error message. What you need to look for is .NET Framework 3.5, which is the updated Old Version.
Wait, there's more. The 3.5 download/installer needs Windows Update turned on to work, and Windows Update is something you should typically have turned off. And really, by now turning it on is probably not as high on your list of Troubleshooting Steps as it normally is, since neither of the bogus downloads you waded through need it whatsoever, even though the installer looks (graphically) like the same damn thing. Oh yea, don't forget to actually update it before kicking Windows Update back into the basement where it belongs.
So... yea. Strangely not high on Nexon's list of Things To Explain.
You will never walk this earth again! Welcome to the hornet's nest!