History Main / VestigialEmpire

14th Mar '17 5:33:02 PM Tacitus
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* Certainly possible in a game of ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}}'', and in the fifth game Persia is particularly prone to this. Persia's unique ability in that game is based around the "Golden Age" mechanic, in which a sufficiently happy population leads to a brief period of increased empire-wide income and production. In Persia's case its military also gets a boost to strength and speed during a Golden Age, allowing it to quickly conquer new territory, but unless the player has timed things carefully, it runs the risk of being left with a military incapable of defending its borders once the Golden Age ends. The "From Achaemenid to Safavid" achievement requires the player to earn five such Golden Ages in one game and refers to the RealLife Persians' [[HereWeGoAgain somewhat mixed history with this trope]].

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* Certainly possible in a game of ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}}'', and in the fifth game Persia is particularly prone to this. Persia's unique ability in that game ''Civ V'' is based around the "Golden Age" mechanic, in which a sufficiently happy population leads to a brief period of increased empire-wide income and production. In Persia's case its military it also gets a boost to military units' strength and speed during a Golden Age, speed, allowing it to quickly conquer new territory, but unless the player has timed things carefully, it they runs the risk of being left with a military incapable of defending its the empire's borders once the Golden Age ends. The "From Achaemenid to Safavid" achievement requires the player to earn five such Golden Ages in one game and refers to the RealLife Persians' [[HereWeGoAgain somewhat mixed history with this trope]].



* ''VideoGame/CrusaderKings 2'', thanks to covering 400 years of medieval history (going up to almost 700 years with {{Expansion Pack}}s), feature several examples of this during its historical start dates. UsefulNotes/{{Charlemagne}}'s empire is a fraction of bickering Karling states in the 867 start, the once-mighty Umayyads and Abbasids are rump states from 1066 onwards, and Byzantium gradually loses territory as time goes by and has definitively entered terminal decline by the time of the Hundred Years' War. Many of these empires still have an imperial title and ''de jure'' claims on massive amounts of land they used to own, but lack the manpower and political position to reclaim them... unless the right player takes command, of course.



** In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion'', the very heart of the Tamriel is attacked by TheLegionsOfHell and the Emperor who has been the last link to keep it together is assassinated. Fortunately, he has a HiddenBackupPrince, but unfortunately he doesn't survive long. The leader of the Elder Council, High Chancellor Ocato, is appointed regent, but has his hands full keeping the Empire together.

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** In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion'', ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'', the very heart of the Tamriel is attacked by TheLegionsOfHell and the Emperor who has been the last link to keep it together is assassinated. Fortunately, he has a HiddenBackupPrince, but unfortunately he doesn't survive long. The leader of the Elder Council, High Chancellor Ocato, is appointed regent, but has his hands full keeping the Empire together.



** All this to say, by ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' the Empire of Tamriel is down to two provinces, and Skyrim itself is wracked by a civil war led by Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak, who objects to the terms of the treaty that ended the Great War and wants independence for Skyrim. The player can either help him, side with the Imperial Legion and execute him, or foster a peace treaty so everyone can deal with [[OutsideContextProblem those dragons that are running amok.]] Additionally, the player can join the [[MurderInc Dark Brotherhood]] and [[spoiler:kill the current emperor, Titus Mede II]], or wipe out the organization. And you can either rescue the Forsworn king from prison so he can continue his guerilla campaign to liberate the Reach, or kill him.

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** All this to say, by ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' the Empire of Tamriel is down to two provinces, and Skyrim itself is wracked by a civil war (quietly encouraged by the Thalmor) between loyalists and secessionists led by Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak, who objects to the terms of the treaty that ended the Great War and wants independence for Skyrim. War. The player can either help him, him wrest control of all Skyrim, side with the Imperial Legion and execute him, or foster broker a peace treaty ceasefire so everyone can deal with [[OutsideContextProblem those dragons that are running amok.]] Additionally, the player can join the [[MurderInc Dark Brotherhood]] and [[spoiler:kill the current emperor, Titus Mede II]], or wipe out the organization. And you can either organization, as well as rescue the Forsworn king from prison so he can continue his guerilla campaign to liberate the Reach, or kill him.



* In the ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' series, [[EagleLand The]] [[ANaziByAnyOtherName En]][[DividedStatesOfAmerica cl]][[TheEmpire ave]] consider themselves the sole and true heirs to the [[DividedStatesOfAmerica United States of]] [[CrapsackWorld America]], despite only hanging on to [[SecretGovernmentWarehouse Navarro]] and the Oil Rig in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' (which they've lost), Raven Rock in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' (which they've lost), and implied to have holdings in the Mid-West, specifically Chicago ([[RuleOfThree which they've]] [[SubvertedTrope NOT lost]], [[SequelHook yet]]). Once feared for their [[PuttingOnTheReich Power]] [[PowerArmor Armor]], air force, and other pre-War technology, by ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', only a handful of aging Enclave remnants live in the Mojave region, most of whom who are on the run and hiding from the New California Republic after the events of ''Fallout 2''.
** Caesar's Legion in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' is an aggressive, militaristic RisingEmpire with the manpower and the stones to take on [[TheFederation the New California Republic]]. However, you can set them up for this trope by assassinating [[BigBad Caesar]] and rally other factions like the Boomers, the Brotherhood of Steel, and even the Enclave Remnants to aid the NCR in [[BigDamPlot a key battle at Hoover Dam]]. Then you can defeat Caesar's most dangerous general, [[TheDragon Lanius]], at the end of the battle, but even if you instead talk him into retreating, it's hinted that Lanius won't be able to hold the Legion together for much longer.
** In the original ''VideoGame/{{Fallout|1}}'', the technology-hoarding Brotherhood of Steel was the most powerful faction in the wasteland, whose PoweredArmor and advanced weaponry allowed them to dominate raiders and mutants alike. But a hundred and twenty years later, by the time of ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', [[ApocalypseNot the world has rebuilt itself enough]] that even raiders have access to laser weapons, and the Brotherhood simply doesn't have the numbers to fight the NCR over things like old solar power plants. As a result, most of ttheir chapters out west have either been wiped out or are holed up in hidden fortresses, stagnating and slowly dying out. The East Coast incarnation of the Brotherhood of Steel, on the other hand, is thriving, and has not only secured [[VideoGame/Fallout3 the Capital Wasteland]], but is beginning to expand into [[VideoGame/Fallout4 the Boston Commonwealth.]]

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* In the ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' series, has several, as befitting a post-apocalyptic franchise:
** A recurring villain throughout the series is
[[EagleLand The]] [[ANaziByAnyOtherName En]][[DividedStatesOfAmerica cl]][[TheEmpire ave]] ave]], who consider themselves the sole and true heirs to the [[DividedStatesOfAmerica United States of]] [[CrapsackWorld America]], despite only hanging on to [[SecretGovernmentWarehouse Navarro]] and the Oil Rig in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' (which they've they lost), Raven Rock in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' (which they've they lost), and implied to have Mid-West holdings in the Mid-West, specifically like Chicago ([[RuleOfThree which they've]] [[SubvertedTrope NOT lost]], [[SequelHook yet]]). Once feared for their [[PuttingOnTheReich Power]] [[PowerArmor Armor]], air force, and other pre-War technology, by ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' only a handful of aging Enclave remnants survivors live in the Mojave region, most of whom who are on the run and hiding from the New California Republic after the events of ''Fallout 2''.
** Another recurring faction has been hit with this as well. In the original ''VideoGame/{{Fallout|1}}'', the technology-hoarding Brotherhood of Steel used their PoweredArmor and advanced weaponry to dominate the wasteland. But a hundred and twenty years later, by the time of ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', [[ApocalypseNot the world has rebuilt itself]] enough that even raiders have access to laser weapons, and the Brotherhood simply doesn't have the numbers to fight the NCR over things like old solar power plants. As a result, most of their chapters out west have either been wiped out or are holed up in hidden fortresses, stagnating and slowly dying out. The [[VideoGame/Fallout3 East Coast Brotherhood of Steel]], on the other hand, is thriving thanks to its more open recruitment system (and lack of any major competition), and has not only become the feudal overlords of the Capital Wasteland, but is beginning to expand into the Boston Commonwealth. In ''VideoGame/Fallout4'' the player can join them and help them secure control of the Commonwealth, or deal the Brotherhood a crushing blow from which they may not be able to recover.
** Caesar's Legion in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' is an aggressive, militaristic RisingEmpire with the manpower and the stones to take on [[TheFederation the New California Republic]]. However, you can set them up for this trope by assassinating [[BigBad Caesar]] and rally rallying other factions like the Boomers, the Brotherhood of Steel, and even the Enclave Remnants to aid the NCR in [[BigDamPlot a key battle at Hoover Dam]]. Then you You can defeat Caesar's most dangerous general, [[TheDragon Lanius]], at the end of the battle, but even if you instead talk him into retreating, it's hinted that Lanius won't be able to hold the Legion together for much longer.
** In the original ''VideoGame/{{Fallout|1}}'', the technology-hoarding Brotherhood of Steel was the most powerful faction in the wasteland, whose PoweredArmor and advanced weaponry allowed them to dominate raiders and mutants alike. But a hundred and twenty years later, by the time of ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', [[ApocalypseNot the world has rebuilt itself enough]] that even raiders have access to laser weapons, and the Brotherhood simply doesn't have the numbers to fight the NCR over things like old solar power plants. As a result, most of ttheir chapters out west have either been wiped out or are holed up in hidden fortresses, stagnating and slowly dying out. The East Coast incarnation of the Brotherhood of Steel, on the other hand, is thriving, and has not only secured [[VideoGame/Fallout3 the Capital Wasteland]], but is beginning to expand into [[VideoGame/Fallout4 the Boston Commonwealth.]]
longer.



* Almost {{enforced| trope}} in ''Videogame/MedievalIITotalWar''. The ByzantineEmpire is a playable faction that starts off with a very well-developed capital and a powerful army list... but a capital sandwiched between the rising powers of Hungary, Venice, Novgorod, and the Ottomans, and an army that cannot keep pace with the other factions' advances in the endgame. It's possible to avert UsefulNotes/TheFallOfConstantinople, but doing so is usually a RaceAgainstTime.
** Historically-minded {{game mod}}s like ''Stainless Steel'' take this even further. In a Late Start (1220 AD) campaign, the Byzantines' holdings are scattered across western Greece and Anatolia, while their capital and Greek heartland are held by Crusader forces. Then there's the 1450 AD scenario seen in ''FanFic/IAmSkantarios'', in which the Byzantines have Constantinople, a fortress at Corinth, and a horde of Turks knocking at the door.
* There are quite a few examples in ''VideoGame/EmpireTotalWar''. The Mughals, who are the last spiritual remnant of the Mongol dynasty and have dominated the entire Indian subcontinent for centuries, are in a ''really'' bad way by the game's start in 1700. Their armies are hilariously outdated and very small, and their leadership is [[TheCaligula less-than-awe inspiring to say the least]]. They exist pretty much to get subjected to a series of {{Curb Stomp Battle}}s by the Marathas and/or the British. Portugal, which was TheDreaded back in ''Medieval II'' for it's mighty armies bristling with cannons and matchlocks, is now a minor power with some small colonies but really not much clout, and Venice has been reduced to... well, [[LandOfOneCity Venice]]. The worst case, though, is the [[UsefulNotes/TheKnightsHospitallers Knights of St. John]], who now control the island of Malta and pretty much just take out the occasional Barbary warship.
* ''VideoGame/TotalWarAttila'' has Rome's two divisions, Western and Eastern Rome, play with the trope. ''Territorially and militarily'', these are still the two mightiest powers in the world, and Rome hasn't yet lost any of its territory, which ranges from Britain to Egypt. However, Western Rome is a completely ungovernable mess on the verge of collapse, without enough military power to protect its own borders from the invading barbarian hordes, with Britain and Gaul on the edge of rebellion, and for the cherry on top, they're slowly losing the basic technology required to build their aqueducts and baths. Eastern Rome is not that much better-off; their land is smaller and richer, and their system is slightly less corrupt, but they're still staring down barbarian raiders and the fury of the Huns without enough legions to maintain their borders, and on their eastern border is the [[RisingEmpire rising Sassanid Empire]].

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* Almost {{enforced| trope}} in ''Videogame/MedievalIITotalWar''. The ByzantineEmpire is a playable faction Empire of ''VideoGame/{{Naev}}'' was decaying even ''before'' the Incident that starts off with a very well-developed capital destroyed Earth and most of the core worlds of the Empire, and even if it ironically solved an immediate and major threat to the Empire the Empire is still on an overall downward course.
* ''VideoGame/PillarsOfEternity'' has one or two known, depending on how you see it. The clearer example is the Aedyr Empire, which is still
a powerful army list... force but a capital sandwiched between the rising powers of Hungary, Venice, Novgorod, and the Ottomans, and an army that cannot keep pace with the other factions' advances has contracted in the endgame. It's possible to avert UsefulNotes/TheFallOfConstantinople, but doing so is usually a RaceAgainstTime.
** Historically-minded {{game mod}}s like ''Stainless Steel'' take this even further. In a Late Start (1220 AD) campaign, the Byzantines' holdings are scattered across western Greece and Anatolia, while their capital and Greek heartland are held by Crusader forces. Then there's the 1450 AD scenario seen in ''FanFic/IAmSkantarios'', in which the Byzantines have Constantinople, a fortress at Corinth, and a horde of Turks knocking at the door.
* There are quite a few examples in ''VideoGame/EmpireTotalWar''. The Mughals, who are
the last spiritual remnant of the Mongol dynasty and have dominated the entire Indian subcontinent for two centuries, are in a ''really'' bad way by the game's start in 1700. Their armies are hilariously outdated and very small, and their leadership is [[TheCaligula less-than-awe inspiring to say the least]]. They exist pretty much to get subjected to a series losing control of {{Curb Stomp Battle}}s by the Marathas and/or the British. Portugal, which was TheDreaded back in ''Medieval II'' for it's mighty armies bristling with cannons and matchlocks, is now a minor power with some small its transoceanic colonies but really in Dyrwood (where the game takes place) and Readceras. The other, more questionable example is Old Vailia, which not much clout, and Venice only has been reduced to... well, [[LandOfOneCity Venice]]. The worst case, though, is the [[UsefulNotes/TheKnightsHospitallers Knights of St. John]], who now lost control of the island old colonies of Malta and pretty much just take out the occasional Barbary warship.
* ''VideoGame/TotalWarAttila''
Grand Empire of Vailia, but has Rome's two divisions, Western and Eastern Rome, play with the trope. ''Territorially and militarily'', these are still the two mightiest powers also itself splintered into states that has engaged in the world, and Rome hasn't yet lost any of its territory, which ranges from Britain to Egypt. However, Western Rome is a completely ungovernable mess on the verge of collapse, without enough military power to protect its own borders from the invading barbarian hordes, with Britain and Gaul on the edge of rebellion, and struggle for dominance for the cherry on top, they're slowly losing the basic technology required to build their aqueducts and baths. Eastern Rome is not that much better-off; their land is smaller and richer, and their system is slightly less corrupt, but they're still staring down barbarian raiders and the fury of the Huns without enough legions to maintain their borders, and on their eastern border is the [[RisingEmpire rising Sassanid Empire]].last two centuries or so.



* The Romulan Star Empire under Empress Sela and the Tal Shiar's Colonel Hakeev starts out as this in ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'', having mostly coalesced together after Hobus destroyed Romulus but with the leading factions on the brink of falling out, their methods leading to increasing dissent and outright rebellion, and more than a few colonies still independently neutral or even leaning towards joining the Federation. Then a coalition of dissident factions sets up a rival government, the Romulan Republic, which rapidly gains support from various Romulan colonies as well as both the Federation and the Klingon Empire. The ensuing events are ''not'' kind to the Empire, and by the last time they're heard of, the best they manage to gather as an escort for their empress is a refitted freighter and a single mid-size warship (the Tal Shiar, having officially gone rogue, have more warships, but what's left of them are also in conflict with pretty much ''everyone'' and got fair bits of its leadership killed ''twice'' over the course of the game).
* In ''VideoGame/{{Stellaris}}'' Fallen Empires are the remnants of {{Precursors}} who drew back to small isolationist enclaves. They're still powerful though, in one early multiplayer game every other faction in the galaxy ganged up on a Fallen Empire and the Fallen still managed to win.



* From the ''VideoGame/TotalWar'' series:
** This is almost an {{enforced| trope}} in ''Videogame/MedievalIITotalWar''. The ByzantineEmpire is a playable faction that starts off with a very well-developed capital and a powerful army list, but said capital is surrounded by the rising powers of Hungary, Venice, Novgorod, and the Turks, and its army cannot keep pace with the other factions' advances in the endgame. It's possible to avert UsefulNotes/TheFallOfConstantinople, but doing so is usually a RaceAgainstTime.
*** Historically-minded {{game mod}}s like ''Stainless Steel'' take this even further. In a Late Start (1220 AD) campaign, the Byzantines' holdings are scattered across western Greece and Anatolia, while their capital and Greek heartland are held by Crusader forces. Then there's the 1450 AD scenario seen in ''FanFic/IAmSkantarios'', in which the Byzantines have nothing but Constantinople, a fortress at Corinth, and a horde of Turks knocking at the door.
** There are quite a few examples in ''VideoGame/EmpireTotalWar''. The Mughals, who are the last spiritual remnant of the Mongol dynasty and have dominated the entire Indian subcontinent for centuries, are in a ''really'' bad way by the game's start in 1700. Their armies are hilariously outdated and very small, and their leadership is [[TheCaligula less-than-awe inspiring to say the least]]. They exist pretty much to get subjected to a series of {{Curb Stomp Battle}}s by the Marathas and/or the British. Portugal, which was TheDreaded back in ''Medieval II'' for its mighty armies bristling with cannons and matchlocks, is now a minor power with some small colonies but really not much clout, and Venice has been reduced to... well, [[LandOfOneCity Venice]]. The worst case, though, is the [[UsefulNotes/TheKnightsHospitallers Knights of St. John]], who now control the island of Malta and pretty much just take out the occasional Barbary warship.
** In ''VideoGame/TotalWarAttila'', the Western and Eastern halves of the Roman Empire play with the trope. ''Territorially and militarily'', these are still the two mightiest powers in the world, and the Roman Empire still stretches from Britain to Egypt. However, Western Rome is a completely ungovernable mess on the verge of collapse, without enough military power to protect its own borders from the invading barbarian hordes, with Britain and Gaul on the edge of rebellion, and for the cherry on top, they're slowly losing the basic technology required to build their aqueducts and baths. Eastern Rome is not that much better-off; their land is smaller and richer, and their system is slightly less corrupt, but they're still staring down barbarian raiders and the fury of the Huns without enough legions to maintain their borders, and on their eastern border is the [[RisingEmpire Sassanid Empire]].



* ''VideoGame/PillarsOfEternity'' has one or two known, depending on how you see it. The clearer example is the Aedyr Empire, which is still a powerful force but has contracted in the last two centuries, losing control of its transoceanic colonies in Dyrwood (where the game takes place) and Readceras. The other, more questionable example is Old Vailia, which not only has lost control of the old colonies of the Grand Empire of Vailia, but has also itself splintered into states that has engaged in a struggle for dominance for the last two centuries or so.
* ''VideoGame/CrusaderKings 2'', thanks to covering 400 years of medieval history (going up to almost 700 years with {{Expansion Pack}}s), feature several examples of this during its historical start dates. UsefulNotes/{{Charlemagne}}'s empire is a fraction of bickering Karling states in the 867 start, the once-mighty Umayyads and Abbasids are rump states from 1066 onwards, and Byzantium gradually loses territory as time goes by and has definitively entered terminal decline by the time of the Hundred Years' War. Many of these empires still have an imperial title and ''de jure'' claims on massive amounts of land they used to own, but lack the manpower and political position to reclaim them.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Stellaris}}'' Fallen Empires are the remnants of {{Precursors}} who drew back to small isolationist enclaves. They're still powerful though, in one early multiplayer game every other faction in the galaxy ganged up on a Fallen Empire and the Fallen still managed to win.
* The Empire of ''VideoGame/{{Naev}}'' was decaying even ''before'' the Incident that destroyed Earth and most of the core worlds of the Empire, and even if it ironically solved an immediate and major threat to the Empire the Empire is still on an overall downward course.
* The Romulan Star Empire under Empress Sela and the Tal Shiar's Colonel Hakeev starts out as this in ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'', having mostly coalesced together after Hobus destroyed Romulus but with the leading factions on the brink of falling out, their methods leading to increasing dissent and outright rebellion, and more than a few colonies still independently neutral or even leaning towards joining the Federation. Then a coalition of dissident factions sets up a rival government, the Romulan Republic, which rapidly gains support from various Romulan colonies as well as both the Federation and the Klingon Empire. The ensuing events are ''not'' kind to the Empire, and by the last time they're heard of, the best they manage to gather as an escort for their empress is a refitted freighter and a single mid-size warship (the Tal Shiar, having officially gone rogue, have more warships, but what's left of them are also in conflict with pretty much ''everyone'' and got fair bits of its leadership killed ''twice'' over the course of the game).
14th Mar '17 12:52:14 PM Tacitus
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** The New California Republic is another example. The continuation of the State of California, the NCR holds territory across what we would know as California, Nevada, Oregon and Baja California, Mexico. However, their population totals just 700,000 (less than 2% of California alone's current population) and most of their territory is irradiated and uninhabitable.
*** This is a bad example. The NCR has no link other than the name to any pre-War entity. The NCR has also at no point since the founding of Shady Sands actually ''shrunk'', and is as of ''New Vegas'' in fact in the middle of a period of vigorous territorial, military and economic expansion.
** Caesar's Legion in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' is a young, aggressive, militaristic empire with the weaponry, the manpower, and the stones to take on the NCR. However, they can become the VestigialEmpire if you assassinate [[BigBad Caesar]] and rally other factions like the Boomers, the Brotherhood of Steel, and even the Enclave Remnants to aid the NCR in [[BigDamPlot a key battle at Hoover Dam]]. Then, if you defeat Caesar's most dangeous general ([[TheDragon Lanius]]) and win the battle, the Legion is effectively doomed to collapse. Even if you manage to talk Lanius into retreating, it's hinted that without Caesar, the general won't be able to hold the Legion together for much longer.
** The Institute in ''VideoGame/Fallout4'' is a futuristic science organization in Boston that has gone so far, they've developed [[spoiler:''teleportation'']] and [[ArtificialHuman near-human androids]] (Synths), giving them an edge in tactical missions and dangerous experiments. Unfortunately, they went past the point of no return in terms of their public relations and social sciences; there are literally no diplomats (and their Field Security chief is a sadistic century-old nutjob who gets crazier with each mission), they've sent enough spies and assassins to make them the enemies of everyone else, and they've gone so long tearing apart the wasteland that it's all they can think of doing at this point (you can find evidence that [[spoiler:they keep sending their Super Mutant experiments into the wasteland even though ''they literally cannot make any further scientific progress on Super Mutants at the moment'', they won't even dispose of the murder machines, throwing them into hapless cities!]]). They've lost control of Boston and are trying to conquer the underground tunnels in an attempt to escape from the wasteland. You have one chance to redeem them, but at this point, it's better to just destroy their self-sustaining bunker and force the scientists to work for various, better-strategized factions instead.

to:

** The New California Republic is another example. The continuation of the State of California, the NCR holds territory across what we would know as California, Nevada, Oregon and Baja California, Mexico. However, their population totals just 700,000 (less than 2% of California alone's current population) and most of their territory is irradiated and uninhabitable.
*** This is a bad example. The NCR has no link other than the name to any pre-War entity. The NCR has also at no point since the founding of Shady Sands actually ''shrunk'', and is as of ''New Vegas'' in fact in the middle of a period of vigorous territorial, military and economic expansion.
** Caesar's Legion in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' is a young, an aggressive, militaristic empire RisingEmpire with the weaponry, the manpower, manpower and the stones to take on [[TheFederation the NCR. New California Republic]]. However, they you can become the VestigialEmpire if you assassinate set them up for this trope by assassinating [[BigBad Caesar]] and rally other factions like the Boomers, the Brotherhood of Steel, and even the Enclave Remnants to aid the NCR in [[BigDamPlot a key battle at Hoover Dam]]. Then, if Then you can defeat Caesar's most dangeous general ([[TheDragon Lanius]]) and win dangerous general, [[TheDragon Lanius]], at the end of the battle, the Legion is effectively doomed to collapse. Even but even if you manage to instead talk Lanius him into retreating, it's hinted that without Caesar, the general Lanius won't be able to hold the Legion together for much longer.
** In the original ''VideoGame/{{Fallout|1}}'', the technology-hoarding Brotherhood of Steel was the most powerful faction in the wasteland, whose PoweredArmor and advanced weaponry allowed them to dominate raiders and mutants alike. But a hundred and twenty years later, by the time of ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', [[ApocalypseNot the world has rebuilt itself enough]] that even raiders have access to laser weapons, and the Brotherhood simply doesn't have the numbers to fight the NCR over things like old solar power plants. As a result, most of ttheir chapters out west have either been wiped out or are holed up in hidden fortresses, stagnating and slowly dying out. The Institute in ''VideoGame/Fallout4'' East Coast incarnation of the Brotherhood of Steel, on the other hand, is a futuristic science organization in thriving, and has not only secured [[VideoGame/Fallout3 the Capital Wasteland]], but is beginning to expand into [[VideoGame/Fallout4 the Boston that has gone so far, they've developed [[spoiler:''teleportation'']] and [[ArtificialHuman near-human androids]] (Synths), giving them an edge in tactical missions and dangerous experiments. Unfortunately, they went past the point of no return in terms of their public relations and social sciences; there are literally no diplomats (and their Field Security chief is a sadistic century-old nutjob who gets crazier with each mission), they've sent enough spies and assassins to make them the enemies of everyone else, and they've gone so long tearing apart the wasteland that it's all they can think of doing at this point (you can find evidence that [[spoiler:they keep sending their Super Mutant experiments into the wasteland even though ''they literally cannot make any further scientific progress on Super Mutants at the moment'', they won't even dispose of the murder machines, throwing them into hapless cities!]]). They've lost control of Boston and are trying to conquer the underground tunnels in an attempt to escape from the wasteland. You have one chance to redeem them, but at this point, it's better to just destroy their self-sustaining bunker and force the scientists to work for various, better-strategized factions instead.Commonwealth.]]
14th Mar '17 12:29:29 PM Tacitus
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* The Principality of Belka from the ''VideoGame/AceCombat'' series controlled a sizable chunk of the planet until it's economy collapsed and it started hemorrhaging territories until it was a quarter its original size. The plot of ''VideoGame/AceCombatZeroTheBelkanWar'' centres around its attempt to reclaim the states it permitted to secede, particularly the protagonist nation of Ustio. [[WMG/AceCombat Speculations]] are [[WMG/LyricalNanoha abound]] that AC's Belka was the inspiration for the Nanoha's one, too.

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* The Principality of Belka from the ''VideoGame/AceCombat'' series controlled a sizable chunk of the planet until it's its economy collapsed and it started hemorrhaging territories until it was a quarter its original size. The plot of ''VideoGame/AceCombatZeroTheBelkanWar'' centres around its attempt to reclaim the states it permitted to secede, particularly the protagonist nation of Ustio. [[WMG/AceCombat Speculations]] are [[WMG/LyricalNanoha abound]] that AC's Belka was the inspiration for the Nanoha's one, too.



* Practically expected of the Persian faction in ''[[VideoGame/{{Civilization}} Civilization V]]'', not unsurprisingly. Their unique powers rely heavily on the "Golden Age" system -- during these short periods, not only do they gain increased income and production like most civs, they benefit from a significant boost to their military units' strength and speed... but if the player takes advantage of these benefits, when the age ends they have a military that's too small for the territory it now controls. The key is to strategically time the Golden Ages so that the empire is not left vulnerable afterwards. The Persian achievement, "From Achaemenid to Safavid", requires the player to earn five such Golden Ages in one game and refers to the RealLife Persians' [[HereWeGoAgain somewhat mixed history with this trope]].

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* Practically expected Certainly possible in a game of ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}}'', and in the Persian faction in ''[[VideoGame/{{Civilization}} Civilization V]]'', not unsurprisingly. Their fifth game Persia is particularly prone to this. Persia's unique powers rely heavily on ability in that game is based around the "Golden Age" system -- during these short periods, not only do they gain mechanic, in which a sufficiently happy population leads to a brief period of increased empire-wide income and production like most civs, they benefit from production. In Persia's case its military also gets a significant boost to their military units' strength and speed... speed during a Golden Age, allowing it to quickly conquer new territory, but if unless the player takes advantage of these benefits, when has timed things carefully, it runs the age ends they have risk of being left with a military that's too small for the territory it now controls. The key is to strategically time incapable of defending its borders once the Golden Ages so that the empire is not left vulnerable afterwards. Age ends. The Persian achievement, "From Achaemenid to Safavid", Safavid" achievement requires the player to earn five such Golden Ages in one game and refers to the RealLife Persians' [[HereWeGoAgain somewhat mixed history with this trope]].



* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
** TheEmpire of Tamriel is introduced as being on the decline politically, though not geographically (yet). The Province of Cyrodiil (the Capital) appears bloated and lazy, while various political factions are constantly vying for control of the outlying provinces. Two of the games (''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'') deal with different [[GambitIndex Gambits]] by the Emperor to keep the empire together and delay its break up, while one game (''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'') has you actively saving the empire from an invading force and a conspiracy:
*** In ''Daggerfall'', the hero is sent on a personal errand for the Emperor (the protagonist is "friend" with said emperor). [[spoiler:The emperor's true goal is to have you find a ForgottenSuperweapon that was used to forge the empire and that you'll return it to him. You have the choice to give it to many factions, all with their own plot. Later games reveal that a DivineIntervention made all the game's endings happen at once, most of them cancelling out and bringing peace and some stability to the region]].
*** ''Morrowind'' has the Emperor sending the player, who's a prisoner, to the eponymous province, so that he may join the emperor's [[PraetorianGuard Blades]] and fulfill a prophecy the locals have. Doing so would give the emperor a very religiously and politically powerful tool [[spoiler:(you, the Nerevarine]]), as well as removing forces more hostile to the Empire [[spoiler:(Dagoth Ur and the Tribunal)]].
*** In ''Oblivion'', the very heart of the Tamriel is attacked by TheLegionsOfHell and the emperor who has been the last link to keep it together is assassinated. Fortunately, he has an heir, but unfortunately he doesn't survive long. The leader of the Elder Council, High Chancellor Ocato, is appointed regent, but has his hands full keeping the Empire together. Argonia/Black Marsh secedes from the Empire a year after the Oblivion Crisis under the leadership of the xenophobic An-Xileel party, and Elsweyr soon follows, the latter becoming the loosely united Elsweyr Confederacy. Four years after this, the volcano at the heart of Vvardenfell, an island in central Morrowind, erupts, laying waste to the province. The Argonians, who had long been exploited by the Morrowind natives (Dunmer), invade and seize southern Morrowind. Five years after this, Ocato is assassinated, likely by the ultranationalist Thalmor group from the Summerset Isle province. The capital province of Cyrodiil falls into civil war as rival warlords struggle for the throne. After seven years, one warlord, Titus Mede, defeats the rest and is crowned emperor. The Empire begins to revive, but four years later the Thalmor seize control of Summerset Isle and secede as the independent state Alinor. Seven years after that, a Thalmor-led coup in the province of Valenwood causes the Empire to lose ''that'' province, which joins Alinor to form the Aldmeri Dominion.
*** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' reveals that some time after the novels, things got worse. For a period of two years, the two moons of Nirn (the world the games take place in) disappear. When they reappear, the Aldmeri Dominion claims credit. Since the moons have significant religious importance for the Khajiiti natives of Elsweyr, the Elsweyr Confederacy divides into Anequina and Pelletine, Aldmeri vassal states. The Aldmeri Dominion then invades the Imperial provinces of Cyrodiil and Hammerfell seventy-one years later. After a long, brutal war that ends in a stalemate (at one point, a county, or "hold", of the province of Skyrim, the Reach, attempts to secede as the Forsworn Kingdom, but is quashed). Due to the peace terms, the Thalmor have a considerable presence in the Empire and given license to hunt down people who worship Talos, the Emperor Tiber Septim who became a god. Additionally, they receive southern Hammerfell. The Redguards of Hammerfell's refusal to accept this lead to the current emperor, Titus Mede II, expelling the province from the Empire. The Redguards, however, actually oust the Altmer from Hammerfell. In the game itself, the player's choices can strengthen or weaken the Empire. The civil war (which is stoked by the Thalmor) can end either with the Empire re-establishing control over Skyrim, or Skyrim seceding from the Empire. Additionally, [[spoiler:one can assassinate the emperor as part of the Dark Brotherhood, or choose to destroy the Brotherhood instead]]. Finally, the Forsworn king can either be rescued from his prison, or put down.
** The Empire of Tamriel itself was built on the remains of the ancient Ayleid Empire after it was overthrown in a slave rebellion. The Province of Cyrodiil is loaded with ancient Ayleid ruins, and the Imperial Palace is a repurposed Ayleid fortress.

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* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
** TheEmpire of Tamriel is introduced as being on the decline politically, though not geographically (yet).
The Province of Cyrodiil (the Capital) appears bloated and lazy, while various political factions are constantly vying for control of the outlying provinces. Two of the games (''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'') deal with different ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' franchise revolves around [[GambitIndex Gambits]] by the Emperor various leaders to keep the empire together and delay its break up, while one game (''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'') has you actively saving the empire TheEmpire of Tamriel from an invading force and a conspiracy:
***
falling apart, either due to internal politicking or external threats.
**
In ''Daggerfall'', ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall'', the hero is sent on a personal errand for the Emperor (the protagonist is "friend" with said emperor). [[spoiler:The emperor's true goal is of the emperor sent to have you find a recover [[spoiler:a ForgottenSuperweapon that was used to forge the empire and that you'll return it empire,]] though you can choose to him. You have the choice to give it to instead side with one of many factions, all with their own plot. plot. Later games reveal that a DivineIntervention made all ''all'' the game's endings happen at once, most of them cancelling out and bringing peace and some stability to the region]].
*** ''Morrowind'' has
region.
** In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind''
the Emperor sending sends the player, who's a prisoner, to the eponymous province, so that he may join the emperor's [[PraetorianGuard Blades]] and fulfill a prophecy the locals have. Doing so would give the emperor a very religiously and politically powerful tool [[spoiler:(you, the Nerevarine]]), Nerevarine)]], as well as removing forces more hostile to the Empire [[spoiler:(Dagoth Ur and the Tribunal)]].
*** ** In ''Oblivion'', ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion'', the very heart of the Tamriel is attacked by TheLegionsOfHell and the emperor Emperor who has been the last link to keep it together is assassinated. Fortunately, he has an heir, a HiddenBackupPrince, but unfortunately he doesn't survive long. The leader of the Elder Council, High Chancellor Ocato, is appointed regent, but has his hands full keeping the Empire together. together.
*** In the aftermath of the Oblivion Crisis,
Argonia/Black Marsh secedes from the Empire a year after the Oblivion Crisis under the leadership of the xenophobic An-Xileel party, and Elsweyr soon follows, the latter becoming the loosely united Elsweyr Confederacy. followed shortly by Elsweyr. Four years after this, Morrowind is devastated when the volcano at the heart of Vvardenfell, an island in central Morrowind, the Vvardenfell erupts, laying waste to and then the province. The Argonians, who had after a long been history of being exploited by the Morrowind natives (Dunmer), invade and seize native Dunmer, annex the southern Morrowind. part of the province. Five years after this, that Ocato is assassinated, likely by plunging the capital province of Cyrodiil into nearly a decade of civil war, which ends when the warlord Titus Mede seizes power and is crowned emperor. The Empire starts to revive, only for the ultranationalist Thalmor group from (suspected to be behind Ocato's assassination) to take over the Summerset Isle province. The capital province of Cyrodiil falls into civil war as rival warlords struggle for the throne. After seven years, one warlord, Titus Mede, defeats the rest and is crowned emperor. The Empire begins to revive, but four years later the Thalmor seize control of Summerset Isle and secede as the independent state Alinor. Seven years after that, secede, and then a Thalmor-led coup in the province of Valenwood causes the Empire to lose ''that'' province, which joins Alinor that province as well to form the new Aldmeri Dominion.
*** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' reveals that some time after
Dominion. ''Then'' the novels, things got worse. For a period of moons disappear for two years, and when they return and the two Thalmor claim credit, and since the Khajiit hold the moons of Nirn (the world the games take place in) disappear. When they reappear, sacred, Elsweyr joins the Aldmeri Dominion claims credit. Since the moons have significant religious importance for the Khajiiti natives as a pair of Elsweyr, the Elsweyr Confederacy divides into Anequina and Pelletine, Aldmeri vassal states. The states. After seventy years, the Aldmeri Dominion then invades the Imperial provinces remains of Cyrodiil and Hammerfell seventy-one years later. After a long, brutal war the Empire in the Great War that ends in a stalemate (at one point, a county, or "hold", of bloody stalemate, in which the Empire is forced to cede the province of Skyrim, the Reach, attempts Hammerfell to secede as the Forsworn Kingdom, but is quashed). Due to the peace terms, the Thalmor have a considerable presence in the Empire and given license allow elven agents to hunt down people who worship persecute worshipers of Talos, the deified Emperor Tiber Septim Septim. The Redguards manage to drive the Thalmor out of Hammerfell, but remain independent afterward. And during all this chaos, the Breton-majority portion of Skyrim called the Reach briefly rebels from the rest of the province, but is quashed.
** All this to say, by ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' the Empire of Tamriel is down to two provinces, and Skyrim itself is wracked by a civil war led by Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak,
who became objects to the terms of the treaty that ended the Great War and wants independence for Skyrim. The player can either help him, side with the Imperial Legion and execute him, or foster a god. peace treaty so everyone can deal with [[OutsideContextProblem those dragons that are running amok.]] Additionally, they receive southern Hammerfell. The Redguards of Hammerfell's refusal to accept this lead to the player can join the [[MurderInc Dark Brotherhood]] and [[spoiler:kill the current emperor, Titus Mede II, expelling II]], or wipe out the province from the Empire. The Redguards, however, actually oust the Altmer from Hammerfell. In the game itself, the player's choices organization. And you can strengthen or weaken the Empire. The civil war (which is stoked by the Thalmor) can end either with the Empire re-establishing control over Skyrim, or Skyrim seceding from the Empire. Additionally, [[spoiler:one can assassinate the emperor as part of the Dark Brotherhood, or choose to destroy the Brotherhood instead]]. Finally, rescue the Forsworn king can either be rescued from prison so he can continue his prison, guerilla campaign to liberate the Reach, or put down.
kill him.
** Ironically, The Empire of Tamriel itself was built on the remains of the ancient Ayleid Empire after it was overthrown in a slave rebellion. The Province province of Cyrodiil is loaded with ancient Ayleid ruins, and the Imperial Palace is a repurposed Ayleid fortress.
12th Mar '17 4:31:33 PM gb00393
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** Dorne, after a fashion. Dorne's Rhoynar elements are descended from refugees fleeing their old homeland in Essos as it burned under the Valyrian Freehold.
6th Mar '17 2:33:28 PM Morgenthaler
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jpg]]]]
6th Mar '17 2:13:46 PM Morgenthaler
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%% Image and caption selected per crowner in the Image Suggestion thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/crowner.php/ImagePickin/ImageSuggestions39
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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ottoman_empire_2.jpg]]
1st Mar '17 3:29:06 PM TheWanderer
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* The Valyrian Empire in ''Series/GameOfThrones'', a FantasyCounterpart of the Roman Empire. It's cultural influence in the continent of Essos is notable, yet it is all that remains after a Cataclysm wipe them out.

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* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
**
The former colonies of the Valyrian Empire in ''Series/GameOfThrones'', which became the Free Cities. Valyria was a FantasyCounterpart of the Roman Empire, and seemed destined to conquer the world until a sudden cataclysm destroyed the heart of the Empire. It's cultural influence All that was left was a far flung group of colonies that suddenly lacked the FantasticNuke that had given Valyria so much power: [[DragonRider dragons]]. While several of these free cities (particularly Volantis) like to proclaim that they will restore Valyrian glory, everyone knows it's so much CulturalPosturing and none of them have anywhere near the ability that the Empire did.
** As of the end of the sixth season, [[spoiler:the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros has become this. Cersei Lannister finally managed to destroy a great number of her opponents and officially grasped the reins of power, but of the Seven Kingdoms, Dorne is openly revolting against the throne, the Vale, the Iron Islands, and the North are doing so in secret with the Reach about to join in, and YoungConqueror[=/=]DragonRider Daenerys has ''finally'' launched her own invasion to attempt to retake the kingdom. On top of all that, Cersei's house was confirmed several seasons back to secretly be bankrupt, nobody
in the continent of Essos Court aside from a few toadies is notable, yet it personally loyal to her, and the Crown itself is heavily in debt to a bank with a reputation for getting rulers who don't pay back their loans overthrown and replaced by their rivals who will do so. [[PyrrhicVillainy Cersei has finally gotten her hands on the throne right when the throne lost all that remains after a Cataclysm wipe them out.its power]].]]
12th Feb '17 1:46:09 AM LtFedora
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* '''Belgium''' used to have an empire several times its own size when its king Leopold II managed to make what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo his personal property and Belgium later took it over as a "normal" colony. Nowadays Belgium is reduced to bickering over who gets to vote in the Brussels constituency and delicious waffles. On the other hand Belgium has mostly stopped massacring people in Africa, which is nice.

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* '''Belgium''' used to have an empire several times its own size when its king Leopold II managed to make what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo his personal property and Belgium later took it over as a "normal" colony. Nowadays Belgium is reduced to bickering over who gets to vote in the Brussels constituency and delicious waffles. On the other hand Belgium has mostly stopped massacring people in Africa, which is nice. In addition, Brussels serves as the headquarters for NATO and de-facto capital of the European Union.
19th Jan '17 6:02:29 AM Morgenthaler
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* The [[{{Precursors}} Elder Things]] in the CthulhuMythos were this for a significant time. They used to rule all of Earth when the world was still young, but over the aeons various cataclysms and wars with younger species and other extraterrestrial beings (including [[EldritchAbomination Cthulhu himself]]) caused them to lose most of their territories, until they only held [[MysteriousAntarctica a single city in the Antarctic]]. Then the continent got covered in ice, destroying the city, and [[TurnedAgainstTheirMasters the survivors got killed by their servitor race that turned againt them]].

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* The [[{{Precursors}} Elder Things]] in the CthulhuMythos Franchise/CthulhuMythos were this for a significant time. They used to rule all of Earth when the world was still young, but over the aeons various cataclysms and wars with younger species and other extraterrestrial beings (including [[EldritchAbomination Cthulhu himself]]) caused them to lose most of their territories, until they only held [[MysteriousAntarctica a single city in the Antarctic]]. Then the continent got covered in ice, destroying the city, and [[TurnedAgainstTheirMasters the survivors got killed by their servitor race that turned againt them]].
8th Jan '17 12:13:45 PM Morgenthaler
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** Applies more to the Lithuanian half of the Commonwealth. Before joining together with Poland, Lithuania was a vast empire stretching from the Baltic nearly to the Black Sea. Even as part of the Commonwealth, much of former Lithuanian territory was captured by the rising Russian Empire while its aristocracy largely became Polonized. It is now a tiny country on the Baltic. On the other hand, it did retake its old capital Vilnius from the Poles after WorldWar2.

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** Applies more to the Lithuanian half of the Commonwealth. Before joining together with Poland, Lithuania was a vast empire stretching from the Baltic nearly to the Black Sea. Even as part of the Commonwealth, much of former Lithuanian territory was captured by the rising Russian Empire while its aristocracy largely became Polonized. It is now a tiny country on the Baltic. On the other hand, it did retake its old capital Vilnius from the Poles after WorldWar2.UsefulNotes/WorldWar2.
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