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A common feature of alternate histories where the point-of-divergence is far enough back is that a {{Mayincatec}} civilization has somehow survived to the present day, and now rules a large chunk of the Americas.

Like ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld, generally done as a throwaway "Look how different this world is" detail, without any serious or detailed consideration of how it happened or what the geopolitical effects were. (Possibly correlated with alternate worlds where the technology level never got high enough for zeppelins.)

Incidentally, in RealLife, there are pockets of Maya, Aztec and Inca who still practice their old traditions - while the ruling class were deposed, not all of the peasants were completely assimilated.

If it's the focus of the story, subtrope of AlternateHistoryWank.



[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* One story in ''ComicBook/TomStrong'' has an expansionist interdimensional "Aztech" Empire. When the Spaniards first arrived at their shores, they were waiting with machine guns.
* The {{Tintin}} comic albums ''The Seven Crystal Balls'' and ''Prisoners Of The Sun'' feature a tribe of modern-day Incas as the main antagonists. They live in the Temple of the Sun, which is much like a HiddenElfVillage in the Andes Mountains, and the non-Incan Peruvians fear them enough to obey their commands. They don't seem to be wanting to take over the Americas, not even Peru. They are just dissatisfied with Calculus using the bracelet of a fictional ancient Inca king, Rascar Capac.
* ''ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures'' has shown travel from the main timeline to an alternative one with the point of divergence being ancient Evronians land in the Americas a few thousand years ago and teaching science to the natives, with the end result including both the Aztec and the Incan Empires surviving to the present day and controlling respectively Central and South America.
* ''ComicBook/MarvelZombies 3'' features the one-off Captain Mexica, from an alternate universe where this happened. His shield has a calender design.
* One of the numerous alternate universe glimpsed in ''Indigo Prime'' has Mesoamerican-looking people in modern suits but wearing feathered headdresses and Aztec-looking jewellery.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* The city of Dresediel Lex in Max Gladstone's ''Literature/TwoSerpentsRise'' is a FantasyCounterpartCulture of Los Angeles. Although it's not an empire so much as a {{Magitek}} version of a 21st century capitalist city-state--the old religion and its practice of HumanSacrifice were overthrown and replaced with the secular Craft discipline of magic.
* In ''Literature/CharmedLife'' by Creator/DianaWynneJones, it's mentioned during the history lesson that the Incas still dominate North America.
* The ''Literature/LordDarcy'' series by Randall Garrett features one of sorts, though it's subject to the Angevin (Anglo-French) empire, but still retains some independence.
* ''Quest Crosstime'' by Creator/AndreNorton. ''The Crossroads of Time'', to which ''Quest Crosstime'' is a sequel, also briefly mentioned a hybrid Celtic-Germanic-Mayincatec civilization.
* ''The Mask of the Sun'' by Creator/FredSaberhagen.
* In ''Literature/AMidsummerTempest'' by Creator/PoulAnderson, a crosstime traveller mentions having recently visited a world like this.
* One of the virtual reality settings in ''Literature/{{Otherland}}'' is a modern Inca empire.
* In ''Literature/TheCaseOfTheToxicSpellDump'' by Creator/HarryTurtledove, Spain didn't colonize America until considerably later than in our world. So there's an Aztec empire (with a thin veneer of Spanishness) in the place of Mexico, and all the Spanish names in the southwestern United States are in English (the protagonist lives in Angels City; the spell dump of the title is in St. Ferdinand's Valley; and so on...)
* ''Cat-A-Lyst'' by Creator/AlanDeanFoster.
* While not "modern" (Napoleonic wars) ''Literature/{{Temeraire}}'' has the South American empires fending off conquistadors with their firebreathing dragons and surviving.
* In ''Literature/PastwatchTheRedemptionOfChristopherColumbus'', by Creator/OrsonScottCard, the Tlaxcala apparently took over the world in a previous iteration of the world's history. According to the book, this was partly due to them being more willing to adopt European technology and warfare than their Aztec enemies (whom they have wiped out by the time they first encountered Europeans), and the other reason is that Columbus led another Crusade instead of going to the Americas, resulting in Europe being in no shape to resist an invasion from overseas. The people of that timeline [[spoiler:apparently considered it such a catastrophe in the long run, they changed history (and prevented themselves from ever existing) to avoid it]]. In the end, [[spoiler:the second iteration of time travelers make the Zapotecs and Caribs found a more peaceful empire that unifies with the Old World.]]
* One of the parallel worlds described in Vasili Golovachov's novel ''The Envoy'' features a Modern Mayincatec Empire that has taken over most of the world. They have been unable to conquer Africa due to Africans banding together in a similar manner to resist foreign occupation. It is notable that martial arts are virtually unknown in this world. A high-caste group of warrior [[PsychicPowers telepaths]] have developed their own system of hand-to-hand combat, relying on their telepathy to allow them to gain the upper hand.
* ''In The Time Of The Sixth Sun'' series by Creator/ThomasHarlan: Japanese exiles fleeing a successful Mongol invasion of the islands, settle in America and introduce horses and steel to the New World, leading eventually to the dominance of the Nippon-Méxica empire. InSpace.
* "The Bison Riders" by Brad Linaweaver depicts an alternate history where the Aztecs survived and started fighting the North American plains Indians. It was first published in ''Tales From the Great Turtle'', a collection of short stories with a native theme (compiled by Creator/PiersAnthony).
* In ''Literature/TheAztecCentury'' by C. D. Evans, Cortez, instead of conquering the Aztecs, married an Aztec woman and switched sides, giving the Aztecs advanced technology that, now, means they are a world superpower, conquering much of the world.
* In ''Literature/DocSidhe'', Ish is a princess from a FantasyCounterpartCulture of a Modern Mayincatec Empire that is still fighting a guerrilla war against the colonial powers.
* The backstory and TheReveal of Russian novel ''Everyone Able to Bear Arms'' by Andrey Lazarchuk is about this. In the "correct" timeline there have been no wars since early 20th century, science developed rapidly and TimeTravel has been discovered. Then some [[WideEyedIdealist romantics]] traveled to the 4th century CE to save Mesoamerican civilizations from extermination. In the AlternateTimeline Maya have conquered the world (whether by assimilation or extermination isn't mentioned) and greatly advanced in science and technology -- up to spaceships and beyond. [[TimeTravelTenseTrouble Then]] in the 21st century the timelines merged and Mayan warriors -- amazingly competent and merciless -- started massacring their new neighbors. The survivors escaped to the past and started creating alternate timelines to invent something warlike and advanced enough to defeat Maya. Our world is one of the intermediate stages, the novel is set where [[HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct Hitler died in a plane crash]], Nazi conquered most of European USSR, abandoned racist ideology and continued arms race against Allies (ExpandedStatesOfAmerica and Siberia) and Japan. With fist-sized nuclear bombs, infrasonic cannons and JetPack PoweredArmor by 1990. Oh, and the author's signature style is MindScrew-y BlackComedy.
* Not ''quite'' "modern" but the "Azteks" still have an empire, or at least a country, circa about the late 19th century in Creator/BrandonSanderson's alternate universe YA steampunk fantasy Literature/TheRithmatist.
* This is one of the three countries making up North America in the 21st century of Aliette de Bodard's "Xuya" series of alternate histories. The concept is that China went fully colonialist during the Ming dynasty and colonised the Americas from the West, allying with the Aztecs against the Europeans. As a result North America is divided between a now-independent Chinese-culture country called Xuya in the West, a surviving and much-expanded Mexica Empire in the South, and a relatively small and poor Anglo-Saxon USA based around New England and the Quebec/Ontario area.
* In Creator/SergeyLukyanenko's ''Literature/SeekersOfTheSky'' duology, the Aztec Empire is briefly mentioned to be still around, occasionally clashing with [[TheEmpire the State]]'s American colonies. It's possible that, [[AlternateHistory without iron]], Europeans were unable to crush the Aztecs.
* In ''Literature/SoYouWantToBeAWizard'' by Creator/DianeDuane, there's a passing mention of several "nearby" alternate worlds, including one where the equivalent of the USA has an Aztec name.
* In Creator/StephenBaxter's ''Ultima'', the protagonists reach an alternate timeline where the Maya have taken over the world and set about strip-mining the entire Solar System and colonising the galaxy. Everyone not directly involved in these projects lives on a vast cylindrical space station orbiting the Earth. The space station, by the way, required so much raw material to construct that ''the Moon'' was ''entirely used up''. [[spoiler: Several butterflies lead to this. Firstly, the Roman Empire is persuaded to invade Germania rather than Britain, which leads to a Roman Empire that can afford to send colonists to South America with firearms in the 10th century. Then, a volcanic eruption causes bad harvests which weakens Rome to the point that the colonists are left to fend for themselves and intermingle with Amazonian natives. Inspired by Chinese travellers to the New World, the Maya expand eastwards, discover these Roman remnants and go on an eastwards journey of conquest until they return to the Pacific, having taken over the entire planet.]]
* Creator/LNeilSmith wrote ''The Crystal Empire'', which features one of these.
* Creator/RobertSilverberg wrote ''The Gate of Worlds,'' in which the Amerindian civilizations survived due to the Black Plague hitting Europe much harder, leading to conquest by the Ottoman Turks.

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* In ''TabletopGame/GURPSAlternateEarths'', one of the alternate realities was Ezcalli, a world dominated by the Tenocha Empire (a heavy updating of the Aztec Empire, set in 1840). In ''Alternate Earths II'', the 15th century Midgard setting included human-sacrificing Mixtecs.[[labelnote:*]]Naturally since this is GURPS, [[ShownTheirWork the writers' work is shown]]. In both cases the American peoples are "saved" by contact occuring earlier than in our world. Midgard has the Vikings roll over most of Europe thanks to GreekFire; Norse, Basque and Muslim explorers reach the Americas in the 10th-12th centuries with less technological disparity and [[KnightTemplar without a conquistador's mindset]]. In Tenochca a Carthagenian fleet is blown to Cuba in 508 BC; this gives the Americans horses, iron and a head start in developing immunity to European diseases. The Old World gets corn and potatoes, both of which prevent Rome from maintaining its authority through Egyptian grain. The Roman Empire ends with Nero, and the bulk of Europe remains a patchwork of warring states until the Mongols take over in the 1200s. How the Aztecs still come to power despite a divergence point 1800 years before their emergence is {{lampshaded}} in a sidebar.[[/labelnote]]
* The main setting of the otherwise pretty much forgotten tabletop game ''Mecha'' was one where a Mayincatec civilization obliterated the Conquistadors - because they were given giant robots by aliens to act as their 'champions'.
* The ''TabletopGame/EmpireOfThePetalThrone'' has future Mayaintec, after a nuclear war put the USA and USSR and Europe down for the count, as the backstory.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'', the nation of Aztlan styles itself a reborn Aztec empire that rules a large chunk of Latin-America and the southwestern United States [[OneNationUnderCopyright with the 'aid' of the Aztechnology corporation]]. Subverted as the splatbooks make clear it's a corporate image thrown together for the purposes of creating a nationalist identity to control the masses (complete with a PathOfInspiration-style facsimile of old Aztec and Mayan religion): Most of the Aztlan elite are no stripe of Mayincatec but of pure Spanish descent, and the ''mestizos'' and ''indigenos'' remain a marginalized working class.
* In the Steampunk fantasy setting ''TabletopGame/CastleFalkenstein'' the Mayans got magical advance notice of the coming of the Spanish, enabling them to preserve a fair degree of autonomy as a Spanish ally and protectorate. The Incas used powerful magic and alien supertechnology to annihilate would-be conquerors.
* Given a throwaway mention in the German Steampunk setting ''Eis & Dampf'' (literally "Ice & Steam") for the ''TabletopGame/FateCoreSystem''. The actual focus is very much on an alternate-history Europe that's been held in the grip of a new ice age for centuries now and that is consequently still basically ignorant of the fact that the Americas even ''exist'' (there are old Viking records, but no later explorers sent out that way ever returned), but there is mention of remote news of attacks on Vietnam and Taiwan carried out by strange people who invoke all the familiar tropes...and apparently have invented their own firearms and know how to build at least half-decent submarines because that's how they arrived.


[[folder: Video Games]]

* In ''VideoGame/RiseOfNations'' the [[http://riseofnations.wikia.com/wiki/Maya Mayans]], [[http://riseofnations.wikia.com/wiki/Aztecs Aztecs]], and [[http://riseofnations.wikia.com/wiki/Inca Incas]] all get special versions of modern units. Some of the promotional material even includes such phrases as "Where were you when the Aztecs dropped the bomb?" with a picture of a man wearing a gas mask and colorful feathery clothing.
* Some ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}}'' games let you become one of these yourself. When the AI is playing one of the native American civilizations, results are more mixed: the Inca and Maya tend to last and even do well, but the Aztecs tend to be too aggressive for their own good, and whichever North Americans they've decided to include tend to just get rolled over early on or decline into increasing irrelevance. It gets weirder when you see Montezuma in the modern days, wearing a suit and tie, claiming he'll sacrifice warriors to the friendship of the nation he's talking to. Not much weirder than Ieyasu ordering his people to commit Seppuku when they invade your territory by accident, the backdrop of it being a very cosmopolitan Tokyo, granted.
* The tutorial campaign of ''[[VideoGame/EmpireEarth Empire Earth II]]'' follows the Aztec Empire through an alternate history where it wins against the conquistadors, establishes an independent nation, helps the Americans defeat the British, and ends up fighting a war with a fascist Inca Empire in the 1930s. Subverted visually in that when they get past the conquistador period, their buildings go from the famous stepped pyramid look to whitewashed adobe buildings.
* In the obscure RTS game ''VideoGame/{{Theocracy}}'', the player leads and manages a fictional meso-american empire as it goes to war against other such tribal nations and towards the end, the invading Spanish. If the player beats the game, the ending cinematic shows that the player's empire has survived TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture, and observes a bustling modern city (bordering on {{cyberpunk}}) with architecture and clothing styles clearly based on ancient meso-american culture but full of skyscrapers, high-tech cars, and holograms.
* [[spoiler: The Nocturnus]] from ''VideoGame/SonicChronicles''.
* Surviving or fighting back as any South American or Mezoamerican state in the ''VideoGame/EuropaUniversalis'' series is the oldest SelfImposedChallenge related to the game.
* Implied in the ''VideoGame/SunsetInvasion'' AlternateHistory {{DLC}} for ''VideoGame/CrusaderKings 2'', where the Aztec Empire formed early, and was able to invade Western Europe.
** Clarified in ''The Old Gods'' (the result of a Viking ship getting very lost and captured), and then allowed to continue if you use the converter with ''SI'' enabled for ''VideoGame/EuropaUniversalis IV''.
** It's also mentioned that the Incas had the same technological boost and have invented gunpowder ahead of both the Aztecs and the Europeans, which they use in a "titanic" war with the Aztecs.
** ''VideoGame/AfterTheEndACrusaderKingsIIMod'', set in [[AfterTheEnd post-apocalyptic]] North and Central America, features a number of different Mesoamerican cultures that both survived the Event and revived many of their ancient customs.
* ''VideoGame/AztecWars'' is set in an AlternateHistory where the Aztecs have crossed the Atlantic before UsefulNotes/ChristopherColumbus's arrival, then proceeded to conquer Africa and nearly all of Europe with their {{Steampunk}} army.


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* ''Literature/IlivaisX'' opens with this, with the result being a massive LensmanArmsRace in which the Spanish and Aztecs conquer their entire hemispheres, create space colonies in the 1700s, and start fighting in HumongousMecha a few decades after our time. The Aztecs are portrayed as being fairly quirky for an empire, while the Iberians only have a few named characters and have a generally cold and bland feel.
* There is a timeline in the Althistory Wiki called simply ''[[http://althistory.wikia.com/wiki/Aztec_Empire Aztec Empire]], in which the Aztecs drive Cortez off and, fearing another invasion, modernized and survived through the present day. The Incas do the same and is the rival empire of the Aztecs.