The file setup_Arduino_ERW_1.0.5_20130524_no-java.zip you tried to install does need a version of Java to work. The no_java on the end of the filename means it does not have java files included in the download (making the download file smaller) and relies on the user already having a version of Java installed.
The only thing I could suggest is you remove all previous installs of Arduino IDE and ALL java SDK's and updates just in case they are effecting the installed IDE. Download the zip file version of the current Arduino IDE from here
and extract the zip file to a folder. The downloaded zip includes an *internal version of Java for running the IDE and should work fine without having a full version of Java installed. Once the zip is extracted navigate to the extract folder and open the arduino.exe
If that does not work then I can only assume the problem is with 8.1, file access permissions or some other software like anti-virus, anti-malware running in the background and preventing the IDE from launching/running.
You could also try running the arduino.exe in compatibility mode (if Windows 8 still has such an option).