MilesAhead: it's not a "fixation with having some kind of large runtime on your machine so that the apps can look small", it's about code re-use and not bloating applications unnecessarily. Delphi and BCB can (and should!) link dynamically to the VCL too, and iirc that used to be the default as well.
As for not having a FileExists(), C give you libc and C++ additionally gives you the STL (aka libc++). That's the only guarantees you have, although you often get POSIX and platform vendor extensions as well (iirc Borland C++ doesn't/didn't mark extensions as such, leading people to think that C had gotoxy() and the likes).