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I cannot download this at all, the download says forbidden about halfway through.

On our end, we put the file up to be downloaded and it is set to be freely available. Whether or not the download succeeds isn't up to us, I'm afraid. It depends on Itch.io itself, internet access, whether there's something on a computer that may block files from being downloaded, etc. All we can suggest is trying again later or looking into what those other problems might be. I'm very sorry we can't be of help!

After turning off my VPN, I was able to download the game

That's great! I hope you'll enjoy it.