I created the game's profile in D-Fend Reloaded, but I can't run it. When I try to run setup or the game itself, it just crashes and I get the "starting Dosbox failed" message. When I try to change the file used to run game (hw.exe seems most obvious, but the game has more than one file from the "bat-com-exe" group... I remember such games from DOS/Norton Commander times, I always felt unsure which file should I try...), the result is the same. Maybe I have some corrupted version of the game? I don't know, I just know I'd love to play it. It has amazing graphics and I think I've never played a German adventure game. Everything in English, and I'm as fluent in German even though it's my third language (after Polish and English).
I don't know this game, but normally I try just opening a dosbox window, mounting the required directories etc. and then start the game manually for configuring for the first time, then maybe some useful error message tells what the game needs, better than just terminating.
But maybe it is the dosbox or d-fend installation that needs some modification?
I saw that message 'starting dosbox failed' mentioned on some D-fend change logs from a year ago.
It seems to relate to either an unrecognized video driver, or a shared directory not mounted with a drive letter.
I don't use D-Fend, but the game works fine for me in plain dosbox, 0.74 or unofficial newer builds. Make sure you're using the latest versions of both DOSBox and DFR. Yes, you want to run HW.EXE for the game and INSTALL.EXE for setup/configuration.
It sounds like your D-Fend is unable to find DOSBox, or perhaps the directory settings/mount commands might be off... try verifying that the path to DOSBox itself is specified correctly in your game profile, and that all the game directories/mount commands match the real locations. (Are you trying to play off a CD, a mounted CD image, or a hard drive folder?)