A downloadable visual novel for Windows, macOS, and Linux

Buy Now$10.00 USD or more

The story follows Alex White, the youngest member of a large family and hence always rather overprotected, into his new stage in life moving to an exclusive boarding school, St. Michaels, during the Edwardian era.

There he will meet some friends: the always cheerful and helpful Monty, the shy and clever Rick, the snob and troublemaker Damian. But he will also face an unexpected danger.

And perhaps, who knows? He will even find true love. It's up to you to decide if Alex will reach a happy ending or will leave St.Michaels with a broken heart… or maybe even worse.

100.000 words of story!

Released in English and in Spanish.
Warning: this visual novel doesn't contain NSFW CGs, but the story includes graphic and detailed descriptions of adult situations.

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Already finished AHitD but want more? Try the new After Stories:

*****************AHitD AFTER STORIES***************************

La historia sigue las aventuras de Alex White, el miembro más joven de una familia numerosa, y por ello siempre sobreprotegido, en la nueva etapa de su vida en el prestigioso colegio privado St. Michaels, a principios del siglo XX.

Allí hará nuevos amigos: el alegre y amistoso Monty, el tímido e inteligente Rick, el snob y rebelde Damian. Pero también se enfrentará a un inesperado peligro.

Y quizá, ¿quién sabe? Puede que incluso encuentre a su media naranja. Depende de ti que Alex alcance un final feliz o que deje St. Michaels con el corazón roto... o incluso peor.

¡100.000 palabras de historia!

Versión bilingüe, en inglés y en español.

Aviso: esta visual novel no contiene CGs NSFW, pero la historia incluye descripciones gráficas y detalladas de situaciones adultas.

PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux
Release date Mar 21, 2017
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars
(107 total ratings)
AuthorErtal Games
GenreVisual Novel
Made withRen'Py
Tagsbl-game, Boys' Love, Erotic, LGBT, NSFW, period-drama, Ren'Py, Romance, school, Yaoi
Average sessionA few hours
LanguagesEnglish, Spanish; Castilian
InputsKeyboard, Mouse
AccessibilitySubtitles, Configurable controls
LinksCommunity, Homepage


Buy Now$10.00 USD or more

In order to download this visual novel you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $10 USD. You will get access to the following files:

A Hand in the Darkness (full game, English and Spanish) WINDOWS 299 MB
A Hand in the Darkness (full game, English and Spanish) MAC 282 MB
A Hand in the Darkness (full game, English and Spanish) LINUX 281 MB

Download demo

Smells of Winter.pdf 142 kB
All Hallows at St. Michaels.pdf 626 kB
Rick's Valentine's Day.pdf 812 kB
An Easter Wish.pdf 212 kB
A Hand in the Darkness DEMO (English and Spanish), MAC 279 MB
A Hand in the Darkness DEMO (English and Spanish), WINDOWS AND LINUX 296 MB

Development log

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Is this the original game or a pre-sequel ? I've seen that you have a second version of this game taking place into college.

There's only one game and a DLC with the After Stories: some of them take place some years after the original ending of the routes (so in college or after it), and some are longer versions of the bad endings.

Alright. Btw, are there non-con/rape scenes in this game ? I saw somewhere saying that it was.

Nope, but there's dub-con at the start of a route.


I hope this title is one of the ones that will eventually be released on the Switch someday. I love all your work. :)


Thank you! I hope so myself!

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If you haven't read the extra stories/pdfs, dont read this

So I just read the pdfs, and I'm not wrong Rick x Alex is still the cutest ackkkkkk.

In the All Hallows, I thought it was supposed to be a Damian extra, but now I'm not sure, cause it seems like if there weren't really ghosts then it was Monty and Rick who kissed him, right? But if it's not them then there might really be ghosts, but why kiss Alex lol.

Why was Damian so into the play lol, it showed his other personality xD... gotta love the ending and a sweet kiss with a hot cross bun xD. Rick really doesn't know? oh my 

Imma just ask my sister to buy me the After stories, I really wanna play it 

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This is full of spoilers sooooo don't read if you haven't played the game also really really long comment.

So when I played the demo I did the ~Let's meet the others and start studying.~ then I didn't do the other path. Then the falling happened and I see that Damian is already suspicious of what's happening, so I got hooked right away, got and played the full game. Instead of doing the ~Let's meet the others and start studying.~ again, I did the ~I would like a bit of time for myself.~ so I got to the Damian route by accepting his offer after him kissing Alex. And then I chose the ~Get Angry.~ so I got the death ending for Damian. Also when I'm playing a game I really wanna get every single ending and hidden or easter eggs, so I always save every choice. Since I got the death ending, I chose the ~Excuse yourself.~ and then they had their first sexual intercourse in the forest. But when it came to the church I just chose ~Don't obey him.~ even though I'm not that religious it's still very disrespectful. And then ~Ignore him.~ or ~Accept his apology.~ I did it both but it was the same except for the first few lines of the dialogue after you choose it, but it was the same anyways. At this point, I was like, "so maybe there's 3 endings per character cause -death ending, -good ending, and then -bad ending", I knew of course that there will be an ending that they will break up cause of the description of the game. So the way I do this is that, you know I save at every choice, then I go back to the most recent choice first, that's how I got the 2 good endings (which is the same), then I went back to the church and chose ~Obey him.~ cause I'm a good pet (kidding) then got the bad relationship ending... p.s. I got Death, Good, and Bad Relationship Endings, perspectively.

So my say in this is that it's really good like the way that Damian has two personalities basically, you know the more genuine one when he's in the kitchen, and the asshole rule-breaker one. And I like that when Alex got angry in the library and when Alex didn't obey him in the church, Damian basically had the same reaction, like he was genuinely sorry (I hope, I think he is genuine though cause he just doesn't know how to treat Alex right, and blackmailed him, if he knows how to treat a person right, then he probably just pursued Alex and not blackmailed him) when Alex hid because he was angry then he went in the stairs then got stabbed we hear Damian actually worried and sorry for Alex the same way he was when Alex talked to him in the hospital. So I think that's a nice touch, that we could've gotten a good ending if Alex didn't die that night cause Damian would treat Alex differently by then. Oh and that hospital scene is so fucking good, Damian basically confessing his love for Alex, and Alex actually accepting his apology and getting back with Damian. And it was also good that because Alex obeyed him in the church, it lead him to think that the way he treats Alex is okay and that leads to a bad relationship ending. The only thing I criticize about the Damian route is that we really don't get to see much of Alex's interaction with Rick and Monty, especially in the good ending, it says that we got along well with Rick and Monty after the culprits where detained, but after that they weren't even mentioned and the ending was just Damian and Alex going to Oxford together, we don't get to see where the other two are going to study (and I know there's a sequel game, and I don't know yet if the other two will be there if I choose Damian's route) ps. its sad to think that Alex is probably still gonna die in the bad relationship ending because they didn't even catch the culprits or the aunt, unlike in the other bad relationship endings at least they caught the culprits and the aunt, he's just broken hearted. But for Damian's bad relationship ending, he sure is dead, not only broken hearted also dead soon.

So again, I played from the last save, which is the part where Damian took Alex's first kiss and I chose ~Push him away.~ (I thought at this point that it would still be Damian's route cause, I thought the route where the first choice is ~Let's meet the others and start studying.~ would be Rick's route cause in the demo it seems like Alex and Rick was getting closer already in that route. And the one where ~I would like a bit of time for myself.~ but instead of ~Hide again quickly.~ the choice ~Sneak away without being seen.~ would be Monty's path. But boy was I wrong.) So I chose ~Push him away.~ and then ~Go with Monty to the cricket training.~ and then when Damian didn't take me away I was surprised straight away and realized this is Monty/Rick route choice. So Alex went with Monty, and at first I thought it was weird that he was glaring at Rick and Alex when they were watching his training, then the kiss happened and it I thought it was alright that he was glaring, cause obviously he likes Alex, but boy was I wrong again, well not completely but it was more than just casual jealousy (and since I forgot the character description that it says Monty is jealous and possessive and man the story didn't disappoint me with that personality cause he really is so jealous and over possessive). So the next choice was either ~Leave and talk later.~ or ~Try to reason with Monty.~ of course I chose ~Try to reason with Monty.~ and the next choice was ~Enough is enough.~ and ~Try to understand him.~ and I was contemplating if I should do the same like for Damian, or try to understand him, and I chose the former cause I was like "it worked for Damian so why not for Monty" but it lead to Monty almost leaving me for dead... I felt betrayed there... so I got the bad relationship ending. So now I load to my last save again chose the latter now, and things were going great, until the last choice ~Play it off.~ or ~Tell him everything.~ and I did the latter and the ghost showed up and it was one of the cg's, but anyways the endings for both the choices are the same, with some extra dialogue if you saw the ghost. And I went back to the saves again, loaded to the ~Leave and talk later.~ or ~Try to reason with Monty.~ and I chose the former now and I already knew when Damian went to explain to Monty that Alex is already dead lol. p.s. I got Bad Relationship, Good, and Death Endings respectively.

So my say for the Monty route is that it's my favorite route, although I love the Damian x Alex relationship most, the story of the Monty route is the best out of the three routes, like for the bad ending again Alex would've been happy with Monty in the end cause Damian explained what happened to him and they could've fixed Monty's problem with his possessiveness, if Alex didn't die there oof, so that was good cause at least Damian didn't push himself on us and even tried to solve the problem he made. As for the bad relationship ending, it was really bad (not as in bad as a review) because they could've talked it out y'know? and they didn't even talk even in the graduation about their problem they just left it with their hearts broken (cause if it was me, I would've sought for closure at least, but they don't get that, so that was really sad) and we even see Alex thinking back to when he's 16 in the future and what could've happened if he and Monty got together, that says a lot cause you don't just casually think about your ex y'know it means its still bothering him, so that was a nice touch for that ending. And now the reason why Monty route is my favorite is because of the good ending. It's so good cause first of all it shows that the friendship of 4 of them is really good in the end, they were even waiting for Monty's result if he can get in Oxford or Cambridge so that was really nice and it shows that all 4 of them got into Oxford together, yay!!! And then the part where they found the evidence, like really really solid evidence, in the 3rd floor like I would think in the other two good endings that the culprit will probably tell them about that secret passageway but it's not that satisfying than the 4 finding it on their own (they probably don't even know about the secret passageway in the other endings) also the addition that you show that the ghost is real is so good like it adds another part to the story that's unexplored (although it could've been Alex's imagination, but I'd like to think that it's not, and it's real that the ghost only showed up for him). The things that I criticize is that it's so stupid that in the bad relationship ending the father didn't even bother explaining about the aunt like it's not like he doesn't already know that it's his aunt that wanted him dead, and also stupid saying "you didn't tell us about your close death experiences, so you're not mature" it's so stupid cause in the other endings he also didn't tell his parents about those. And the other thing is about Monty in the good ending, like I know he managed to get in Oxford/Cambridge because the teachers were like "he's hardworking, balancing sports and studies" and I wish that he could've at least got it with his sports, cause in Rick's good ending he either got in Cambridge with his good grades or because of his cricket (I don't know which one it said there that Monty also had good grades although Alex's is better, but he also said that he's in the cricket team so I'm not sure how he got in). What, was he so busy fucking with Alex that his grades nor his cricket experience is not enough for him to get into Cambridge/Oxford in his own. Like I would've thought that Alex would be a great inspiration for him to do better in both. But it's still my favorite good ending anyways since they all are in the same university, heck yeah.

So now to Rick's route, I came back to the choices ~Go with Monty to the cricket training.~ or ~Go to the study room to meet Rick.~ of course I choose Rick and I already knew that he was engaged and he likes Alex when he asked if Alex is engaged, and I knew this would be their biggest obstacle (of course setting aside the murder), then time went by the next choice is ~Agree with Rick's idea.~ or ~Try to think of something else together.~ of course I chose the former because you know Rick xD, and also he would be angry if it's only Damian and I (Monty and Rick are so jealous of Damian darn, Damian you playboy xD). And then they had their first ever sexual intercourse yay, then the note. The choice is ~Show him the note.~ or ~Play along and say nothing.~ so when Alex got the note he was so happy and he looked at Rick, but Rick was clueless so obviously it was not Rick who gave the note, but oh well I chose the latter cause I already knew it was the death ending and of course I already knew that Alex was gonna die, but I was still half hoping that it would be those moments where someone walks in, but apparently there's 4 of them that killed Alex there so that's a nope. So after that I came back to the save and chose ~Show him the note.~ and of course there's the Sarah scene and the next choice was either ~Trust in Rick.~ or ~Stop him and leave it in Damian's hand.~ and when I read that I was like "what the fuck of course Rick, his father is a lawyer and he probably has lawyer running in his blood and you know I thought he would be great at interrogating or convincing someone so I chose him and yeah it was the good ending. ps. so I got Death, Good, and Bad Relationship Endings respectively. And it's kinda funny cause for the Damian route I got Death, then Good, then Bad Relationship, then for Monty it was the other way round, Bad Relationship, then Good, then Death, and then for Rick it reversed again lol. I find that funny about my gameplay.

So my say about Rick's route, it was really cute, this two are just so cute and adorable, and I was surprised when Rick topped Alex damn that was hot. I thought he would be bottom, cause Damian - Top. Monty - Switch. And Rick - Top apparently xD. thought it would be bottom but hey its still hot asf that he's a top. The bad end for this route is just Alex's fault you know? xD like he didn't even make sure if Rick forgot or not, so it's his fault that he went up without asking Rick. The part that Sarah tried to save Alex is also very good, since we know that they befriended Sarah it made sense that she tried to save Alex before he died and I really like that, and also she got protection (I hope) so she won't get detained? That was really good, cause at first I was like "why the hell did she try to save Alex now?" and I was like "oh it's because they talked to her like every other day" and even though it wasn't showed in great detail it was nice. Now for the good and bad relationship ending, I really freaking love this part, cause it was the last choice you have for Rick's route and it decides whether it's a good or bad relationship ending, and damn when I finished both I was thinking about it so much, cause in the good ending Alex trusts Rick, but in the bad relationship ending Alex didn't trust Rick and put the situation in Damian's hand. At that point when I first saw that I thought that both has the same endings like for Damian's last choice it's both good endings, but after I played both ending I was like "holy shit its 'The Butterfly Effect'" and I really love that, you know I thought Rick would be fine with Alex not trusting him there but that choice made him insecure and lose confidence, cause in the good ending since we trusted Rick he was proud that he managed to convince Sarah to tell the police. And that made him confident to talk with his fiancee about that and tell his father in the graduation. Whereas if Alex didn't trust him it broke his confidence and became more insecure, thus he couldn't face his father and tell him to break the engagement. Fuck I really love that Butterfly Effect. The only thing that I'd like to criticize in Rick's route is in the good ending, like this ending could've easily become my favorite, instead of Monty's good ending, but the part that you made an effort so that Damian is actually in the group of friends when Damian asked "what do I get from this?" and then in the end Damian got separated from his friends is just not it for me, and sure it's more realistic this way cause school friends mostly separate when they graduate but you could've made it so that the other three chose Oxford so the four of them are together just like in Monty's ending. So that's why Monty's ending is still better than Rick's ending. 

But wow the game is just so good, and I'm not even finished yet, I just went here to type this because I finished 3 endings per character... but there's still some choices that I haven't done like the one where you see Damian getting a blowjob where you either ~Hide again quickly.~ or ~Sneak away without being seen.~ I've only done the former, and then specially the very first choice, I haven't seen anything from ~Let's meet the others and start studying.~ except for the Demo so you know how short that is... so yeah I might do another comment after I do everything in the game... then I'll play the after stories. 

Wow this is such a long comment. I really love this game, it's my first game about romance and there's also a lot of angst such as murder. And also I freaking love the historic times, I wanna see more games that takes place in the 1900's or so.

And I have a question, is there any other endings except the ones I already got? Cause I already got all the CGs. Also is doing the other path, where I study with them, gonna lead to the same endings or is there another endings for all the characters? And is there any easter eggs that I don't know, like a secret path? I would like to know. Also which character did you write about first? Like which route? (If I was to guess I would say it's Damian cause it's the shortest, and also it's not so detailed as the other routes ~ for the friendships at least, it's mostly just focused on Damian and Alex together not much interaction with Rick and Monty, or was that intentional cause to say Damian is a bad influence at first and that put distance between Alex and the other two?) 

~Thank you for making this game!

Also sorry I don't have any money, so I downloaded this for free in another website...

ps. remember I said that I don't remember much about the character descriptions, well I remembered that it said that Monty is Alex's best friend, so at first I thought in the first choice, the study with them its Rick's route and the go alone was Damian's route and I was surprised when there was a Monty route and the first kiss with him like I was screaming, also there's no CG here about Monty and Alex together, it was 3 Rick and Alex, then 1 Damian and Alex.

As I was scrolling through the comments I saw about the Valentine's Day, so it's just an extra story right as well as the other 2 pdfs i suppose? so 3 extra story and the other game yay... Also again I don't have money I don't have paypal nor have I a work yet, I'm a student and takes allowance from my parents, and since in my country our face to face classes are just coming back this school year, I really didn't have any money the past 2 years, if I had I would at least buy the game here.


Wow, thank you for the long review! Especially for such an old game: it's been a while since I got comments on it!  Besides, it's refreshing reading your actual feelings while playing the game, so it really makes my day!

Now, for your answers: there aren't more endings, and I think you've got everything, sorry.

I think you'll like the short stories in pdf, because they focus on the four friends doing silly stuff together at school (celebrating Halloween, Valentine's Day, and Easter), and that seems to be the part of A Hand in the Darkness you enjoyed the most (me too, if I'm being honest).

The first route I wrote was indeed Damian's, followed by Monty's and then Rick's. I'm a sucker for historic drama, so I wanted to make a story like the typical ones in Japanese yaoi manga, but set in the West and maybe with more realistic relationships. Hence the high school setting that got the game banned from Steam! XDD Well, the story is about coming-of-age, first loves, and friendship above all, so I don't think any other setting would work better for it. 

And, finally... good luck getting the After Stories from other sites! I haven't seen them around, which I'm grateful for, and I think I've only seen one gameplay on youtube for them, and it was in Spanish, so I'm really sorry. Anyway, they are inexpensive, so I hope you can get them in the future. Thank you again for playing and for your kind words!

me acabo de descargar el juego y nose porque no me deja guardar ni cargar?? alguna idea de que pueda estar pasando pls, como lo soluciono

Debe haberse descargado o descomprimido mal, es raro pero a veces pasa. Tendrías que borrar todos los archivos del juego (incluidos los que están en c\\usuario\appData) y volver a descargarlo. 


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did this incase of spoilers

whew that was a lot. i'm wondering why the school never had any cameras installed lol..? i was only really interested in Damian and wow i love him so much when i got bad relationship end i was honestly so shocked. i was like where did i go wrong then i realized my mistake xd. literally just thought to myself if i was Alex what would i do and i thought to confront him and what Damian said in the hospital just made me scream....my overprotective knight in shining armor. also is there any extra content that has Damian route in it ? cause i'm totally hooked more than ever.


Hi again! lol cameras... 1910, so not a chance, although it would have been great to be able to record them!

There's a set of after stories for the game here on itchio, with one extra short story for the good end and one for the bad end (in Damian's case... both of them are rather naughty, hehehe). The link is on the game's page!


oh wow i didnt know i could actually buy this with a CA card lol im so dumb for never trying?! all this time i couldve played...shame on me.

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Pues lo cierto es que tenía una lista de reproducción en Youtube con casi todas las canciones, pero me borraron la cuenta hace un año T_T 

Sé que algunos de los temas ya no están en youtube, pero intentaré volver a contactar a los músicos y hacer una lista de Spotify, o un post con enlaces a las canciones si están en distintas plataformas.

how long would you say the play time is ?

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The script of the game is around 100k words long, so it really depends on how quickly you read, and on if you prefer to take your time or you want to finish it as fast as possible. 

Some people tend to skip the text about the mystery in their second/third routes and focus only on the romantic scenes, for example, although the investigation is different every time. (So if you read any review saying "I beat the game in just one hour", that means they were pressing the "Skip" button for everything but a few scenes XD )

Is this game on steam?

No, sorry, not anymore. It was banned a year ago. So righ now it's only available on itchio.


hi is there another way tht i can buy this ? i dont use paypal.

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Do you still recieve a Steam key for this game once bought? I only ask because it still says so under the "buy now" button so just wanted to confirm it or not! :)


Oh! No, sorry, since the game was banned on Steam. I'll take out that message right now, thank you for telling me.

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No sex under 18 for Americans XD

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Late reply! You may already know this, but I wanted to clarify to others that in plenty of American states, the age of consent is 16, while in others, it's 17 and 18.

However, when it comes to sexually explicit content in fiction stories, the universal minimum age is 18, as long as the content is written to titillate the reader, versus adult fiction where explicit sex may be included as part of the plot and not for titillation. All fiction texts are protected speech in America and therefore not illegal, but credit card companies still avoid that kind of content. As a result, virtually all sites that offer a payment system won't touch erotic content involving underage characters because payment systems are generally tied to credit card companies in some form or another.

Now, when it comes to illustrations, it's definitely illegal in America if the characters are under 18. So, the illustrations (not the text) were most likely the reason for the old version of the story being banned on Steam and not even available on itch. That is, assuming the old version included sexually explicit illustrations of underage characters.

I hope this helps!

I cannot find the demo for this game, only Rick's Valentine Day.


Why can't I pay with my card? I don't have Paypal and I don't want Paypal.


I'm really sorry, but I have Paypal as the only paying option on itchio. You can pay with your card through Paypal, even if you don't have an account, as a guest. I apologize for the inconvenience.

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I know, but I don't want to have anything to do with PayPal after they stole my money few years back.

Quick question - in the post on Steam when the game was discontinued you referred to DLC content to download which I assume was for after the original purchase.  If I was to buy the game here, does it already include the DLC content you referred to?  And I assume the updates still follow the original disclaimer: "No NSFW CGs but still graphic descriptions" ?

I'm sorry, I missed this comment before.

The DLC is a separate download, linked in this page: https://ertal-games.itch.io/ahitd-after-stories. It must be bought on its own. You have a Valentine's Day story as freebie here, though.

And yes, the DLC and the updates will follow the disclaimer.


I know I could probably purchase this on Steam, but there really needs to be an option to purchase any Ertal Games games on Itch.

In fact, A Hand in the Darkness was recently banned from Steam, so it's only available here on itchio.

And... I didn't understand your comment, I think, because all my games can be purchased on itchio.


On PayPal though. There isn’t a purchase with card option.


Ah, right! But PayPal allows you to pay with your card if you don't have a PayPal account. 

Sorry, but PayPal only on itchio is more convenient for me. 

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I could play the game on steam? Just playing it today


You can, for now: Steam doesn't have a clear policy on what they do with the games they ban. Some customers reported they couldn't access their game anymore, while others can. I'm giving itchio keys to all the people who bought the game on Steam and ask for them, just in case. 

But the game's page doesn't exist anymore, so you can't buy it on Steam and I can't access my developer's page (so of course updating the content is impossible). I think you can still buy unclaimed Steam keys, but since it seems the access to playing AHitD can be revoked any time, I wouldn't suggest to pay for that.

Oh, I see. Yes the Shop page is gone.

I dont understand what is actually wrong with the game anyway :)


The characters are 16 at the start of the story, and there are NSFW scenes. 

For me and most people, as long as we are talking about fictional characters AND are above age of consent, everything goes, but Steam is more strict with its policies, sadly.

Anyway, there will be a most needed update of the game very soon. But it will be here on itchio, of course. PM me or send me an email if you want an itchio key, with a screenshot of your Steam library or other proof of purchase.

it was banned on steam??? why? that's where I own it

The demo link appears to be broken? :[


Thank you for telling me! I'll fix it asap; I didn't remember I put a Google Drive link instead of uploading it, and I guess the file was deleted the last time I cleaned my Drive XDD