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[[quoteright:152:[[Franchise/StarTrek http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Terran_Empire_4683.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:152:Terra Prime. Forever.]]

->''"If the enemy be rich, they are rapacious; if he be poor, they lust for dominion; neither the east nor the west has been able to satisfy them. Alone among men they covet with equal eagerness poverty and riches. To robbery, slaughter, plunder, they give the lying name of empire; they make a desert and call it peace."''
-->-- '''Calgacus''', [[BraveScot Caledonian]] warlord on the [[AncientRome Roman Empire]][[note]]'Quoted' by '''Tacitus''', Roman historian, in ''Agricola''. It was probably invented as a rhetorical means to critique the Empire.[[/note]]

The EvilCounterpart to TheRepublic. The {{Foil}} to TheGoodKingdom. The ShadowArchetype (or evil twin sister) to HegemonicEmpire. TheRival to TheFederation. The ArchEnemy of LaResistance. The LogicalExtreme of the RisingEmpire.

The Empire's defining Grand {{Ambition|IsEvil}} is [[TakeOverTheWorld World]] (Or [[GalacticConqueror Interstellar/Galactic/Universal]]) Domination. Amassing TheEvilArmy, it sets out to conquer all of its neighbours and be the [[OneWorldOrder sole superpower by force of arms]]. Taking cues from history, it [[PuttingOnTheReich often resembles the historic Roman, German, British, Russian/Soviet, or Chinese empires in some way]]. Led by TheEmperor, who is usually also an EvilOverlord, EmperorScientist, GodEmperor and/or some kind of [[CorruptChurch theocratic]] [[PathOfInspiration cabal]]. A [[TheTheocracy theocracy]] of a ReligionOfEvil will almost certainly be the Empire.

The Empire is typically ObviouslyEvil, but [[PropagandaMachine may still attempt to represent itself as]] the Lightbearer of Civilization, Defender of Faith, Domain of Law and Order, The Co-Prosperity Sphere, Central State of Humankind or Legitimate Regent of Humanity. A PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny may overlap with these titles. The Empire may be genuinely highly civilized, wealthy, organized, and/or vital, or corrupt, bureaucratic, sybarite and/or ossified. It may be militaristic and imperialistic, or pacifistic and turned inwards. In nearly all instances, the Empire features [[MasterRace an original founding polity, usually a race or nationality, who stand above and enjoy special privileges]] [[FantasticRacism that are denied to the Empire's various subject peoples]]. Overall will adhere to the trope OrderIsNotGood.

Of course, there's going to be some kind of [[LaResistance Resistance]] movement within its borders, and small autonomous nations without who may need encouragement by the heroes to become TheAlliance. They may also be helped by LesCollaborateurs. There may also be one or more powers that oppose it, often [[TheGoodKingdom good kingdoms]] or [[GoodRepublicEvilEmpire republics]], which may or may not band together into TheAlliance. The Empire is usually too strong to defeat militarily (unless the story is set in a war strategy video game), but taking down the leaders while they're instigating their sinister plan is usually enough. Or LaResistance may well turn out to be nothing but a treasonous clique to [[TheStarscream overthrow the government or dynasty and replace it with something even more cruel and brutal]], or a nationalist or racist separation movement.

If the Empire and TheFederation exist in the same universe, the two are usually at war, just recovering from a war, or dangerously close to getting into one (the latter two often coincide). If TheRepublic is a separate entity alongside TheFederation, you'll usually find them taking shots at one another prior to forming a pact against the Empire; they could've been longstanding rivals, they might view the other ''as'' the Empire, or they might've been pinned against each other ''by'' the Empire. If TheGoodKingdom is in the same universe, expect the Empire to occupy it (at best) or assault it (at worst); TheGoodKingdom could've been neutral ground, the original head/proposer of TheAlliance, or a simple victim of the Empire's bid for dominance. If the Empire is part of TheAlliance, you can make a good bet for it being the TokenEvilTeammate.

[[SkeletonGovernment Note that just being called an Empire is not sufficient to qualify a nation for this trope]]. Especially in a HeroicFantasy setting, other types of empires abound, often based on the Holy Roman Empire (and occasionally a more sympathetic take on the actual Roman, British, or Chinese Empires). These types of empires may be better described as an expansionist monarchy, a culturally dominant HegemonicEmpire, a militaristic [[TheFederation federation]], a nationalist [[TheRepublic republic]], or a more centrally controlled [[TheAlliance alliance]].

Weakened or weakening versions of the Empire often become {{Vestigial Empire}}s. If the Empire has been overthrown or mostly overthrown but what's left of it is fighting to get back into power, it's TheRemnant. One of its provinces may be a VoluntaryVassal, rather than a conquered one. The Empire tends to have its StandardEvilEmpireHierarchy.

For works named ''Empire'', see [[{{Empire}} this disambiguation page]].

Suffice it to say that the TropeNamer is UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire. Other than that, Administrivia/NoRealLifeExamplesPlease. Most RealLife historical empires have fallen under the HegemonicEmpire class.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
%%* The Wandenreich in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''.
* Britannia in ''Anime/CodeGeass'' is one of the three {{space filling empire}}s that compete to control of the world's territory, and while the European Union (a federal republic) and the Chinese Federation (a federal monarchy) are hardly innocent lambs themselves, the Britannians are easily the nastiest of the superpowers because of their institutionalized racism, [[TheSocialDarwinist social darwinism]], and MightMakesRight foreign policy. They invade and occupy the independent country Japan in order to gain control of their supply of the strategic mineral [[GreenRocks Sakuradite]], renaming the country [[AirstripOne Area 11]] and establishing apartheid-style discrimination against the native Japanese inhabitants. The protagonist Lelouch takes control of the Japanese resistance and sets about trying to liberate Japan from Britannian tyranny.
%%* Zaibach in ''Anime/VisionOfEscaflowne''.
* The ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' metaseries has several examples:
** The Principality of Zeon in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam''. Despite the misnomer (the head of state's official title was Sovereign), it practised all the human rights abuses and genocidal tendencies seen in any given "Evil Empire". The twist, however, is that they [[PlayingTheVictimCard played the victim card]] throughout and made it seem like they were ''forced'' to declare war on the [[TheFederation Earth Federation]] to gain their independence; in fact, the One Year War is known as the Zeon War for Independence on their side. And if that wasn't bad enough (since when does one invade other countries to declare secession?), the truth of the matter is Side 3 was already an independent republic under the previous founder Zeon Zum Daikun, the same man that the Zabis (specifically the patriarch Degwin) assassinated to subvert the Republic of Zeon into a totalitarian absolute monarchy. Overall, the Principality of Zeon is definitely the "evil empire" of the Gundam universe, in spite of having legions of diehard fans that would say otherwise.
** The Zanscare Empire of ''[[Anime/MobileSuitVictoryGundam Victory Gundam]]'' which was bigger, stronger and more brutally oppressive than even Zeon was; their main goal was a total cleansing on the Earth Sphere (presumably so that their Jovian backers can move in) by telepathically devolving humanity to a general infantile state. Notably, execution (such as by guillotine) was a standard punishment for [[YouHaveFailedMe failure in their ranks]].
** The Crossbone Vanguard and the Jupiter Empire of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamF91'' and ''Manga/MobileSuitCrossboneGundam''. The Crossbone Vanguard was essentially a pirate themed Zeon-wannabe militia which sought to establish an aristocratically ruled dominion in Side 4, Cosmo Babylonia. Unlike Zeon however, it actually succeeded, but Cosmo Babylonia ended up collapsing on its own. Beside them, the Jupiter Empire, being more or less a precursor to Zanscare, sought to eradicate all life in the Earthsphere and then rule over the resulting wasteland. It also practiced many of Zanscare's tendencies, such as executions being commonly used for punishment, even for the most minor of crimes.
** OZ, and latter White Fang of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'' play this role. OZ overthrew the corrupt [[TheFederation United Earth Sphere Alliance]] so the world could be ruled by the aristocrats of the [[NGOSuperpower Romefeller Foundation]], and then stamped out even minor rebellions through overwhelming force (namely in the usage of Mobile Dolls). To counter them, White Fang was formed in order to free the space colonies from their influence... by plotting to devastate the Earth with the space fortress ''Libra''.
** ZAFT [=/=] PLANT of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeed''. While they do have reasonable cause to go to war with the Earth Alliance, they tend to get pretty dirty - creating a energy crisis, troops murdering [=POWs=], and generally being ruthless in battle. And it gets worse when the radical faction takes over the leadership and escalates the war.
*** The Earth Alliance isn't any better, they are lead by a group called Blue Cosmos who have no qualms of using nukes to destroy PLANT colonies, and want to destroy PLANT just because they're [[DesignerBabies Coordinators]].
** The Human Reform League in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00'', rival to [[TheFederation the Union and AEU]], and seems to be based on both Communist China and the Soviet Union. Out of the three superpowers, the HRL seems to be the worse behaved: Human experimentation on refugee children, supporting a militant group to gain control of Ceylon. They're also the most antagonistic towards Celestial Being. On the upside, the League managed to avoid the worse excesses of Zeon.
** And with ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamAGE'', the Vagan have since joined the ranks of ''Gundam'''s many empires. Unlike most Gundam villain groups, the Vagans actually ''have'' a sympathetic reason backing them up: their nation began from Martian colonists who had been abandoned by the [[TheFederation Earth Federation]] of the Advanced Generation universe and forced to endure living in a [[SceneryGorn radioactive environment]], resulting in much suffering and death. As such, the main drive for the Vagans is to escape their hellhole and return to Earth; unfortunately, they also want to exterminate Earth's native population along the way, as they see them akin to a disease that plagues their "Eden". And so just like the Zeon before them, the Vagans have no qualms committing genocide left and right, deliberately targeting civilian areas, even colonies and settlements with no Federation military presence, just ForTheEvulz.
*** [[FromBadToWorse It gets even worse]] when [[BigBad their dear leader Fezarl Ezelcant]], apparently channeling the spirit of Gihren Zabi across dimensions, revealed his ''real'' [[EvilPlan plan]]: [[OmnicidalManiac selectively cause disasters and massacres]], [[HatesEveryoneEqually among both the Earthnoids and the Vagan]], to kill off the weak and then bring the "strong", i.e. anyone that survives, into forming a [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans perfect race]]. Obviously the guy's [[SanitySlippage two Newtypes short of a White Base]], but his followers are so fanatically loyal to him (such that they've been compared to the Helghast) that they don't see it; though for what it's worth, it seems Ezelcant's agenda is only known to a select few.
** CONSENT from ''Film/GSaviour''. They're pretty much what happens if you combine the Earth Federation with the Principality of Zeon.
* An aversion of this trope is the Lyzelle and Elmekia Empires of ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}''. The latter isn't even visited in-series (although it's stated that it's [[IdiotHero Gourry's]] homeland), while the former holds two cities, one being a peaceful, bustling epicenter of trade, and the other is an otherwise peaceful village that hosts a magical tree with healing properties and [[StuffBlowingUp gets blown up twice.]] If there ''is'' an evil country among in the Inner World, it's its only duchy, Kalmaart, home of the one city where a dreaded assassin lives, and (only in the novels) a village that worships the world's [[BigBad Dark Lord.]]
* Amestris in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''. It's stated that over the past 400 years, Amestris has conquered numerous nations, and is currently at war with Aerugo, Creta and Drachma. The Amestrian government is currently planning to [[spoiler:use the entire nation in a transmutation circle to raise an immortal army using the slain souls of the numerous soldiers who have died over the years]] in a plan to conquer its remaining neighbors. [[spoiler:Or rather, this is what [[BigBad Father]] has led the Amestrian government to believe. In reality, it's the crux of [[AGodAmI his own bid for godhood.]]]]
* The Holy Empire of ''Anime/GlassFleet'', led by Vetti Sforza, complete with the goal of becoming the OneWorldOrder.
* The Humankind Empire Abh from ''LightNovel/CrestOfTheStars''. Their mode of operation is to forcibly take over planets that do not have faster-than-light travel, though oddly they do not interfere with those planets which have purchased the technology from others. In the novels this is explained by the fact that their empire began on an interstellar merchant ship, and that they still respect "vested rights". They do not seem to be overtly oppressive towards the planets they control, but they do not allow any starship not owned by the Empire to be armed or use faster-than-light travel technology. Then there's the fact that only the "space elves" in charge are able to command warships, though this is due mainly to their physiology, not overt racism.
** Actually, it used to be due to physiology, during the infancy of space travel, which is the purpose for which the Abh [[spoiler: were created in the first place]], but now with CasualInterstellarTravel, it is very much racism/classism.
* Information from ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha [=StrikerS=] [[AllThereInTheManual Sound Stage X]]'' portrayed Ancient Belka as this. It was a powerful civilization with superior magic and technology that took over other worlds, until infighting and the LensmanArmsRace [[VestigialEmpire led to the destruction of their world and most of their civilization, with its remnants moving to an autonomous district in Mid-childa]].
* The Hellas Empire from ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' is a partial subversion, since the war was actually orchestrated by OmnicidalManiac terrorists. However, they made it look like the empire started it, and the heroes fought legions of imperial soldiers and warships until they learned of the conspiracy.
* The Galactic Empire in ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes''. Subverted insofar it's not [[GreyAndGrayMorality actually that much worse than]] TheFederation, especially [[spoiler:after Reinhart becomes ''de facto'' ruler, rids the empire of the DeadlyDecadentCourt, and reforms the system to become more friendly to commoners.]]
%%* [[Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia "Everyone will become one with Russia"]]
* ''{{Manga/Berserk}}'' has two examples:
** The Tudor Empire (also called Chuder in some translations) in the "Golden Age" arc is a long-time enemy to Midland which has been at war with it for 100 years and is characterized as a war-mongering, expansionist force, though it hasn't been seen in detail beyond the knight forces employed to fight the [[BadassArmy Band of the Walk]] and is mostly a background entity.
** The Kushan Empire introduced later in the series is a more prominent example: they are also an expansionist, militaristic state whose emperor was turned into a literal demon and fills the ranks of his armies with monsters and demonic legions. He launches a genocidal campaign against Midland and even manages to take over its capital, employing brutal methods of ethnic cleansing, mass rapes and other atrocities. Their invasion soon turns convenient for [[DarkMessiah Griffith]] to come in and save Midland from the foreign invaders with his badass Apostle army.
%%* This is the Methuselah's form of government in ''LightNovel/TrinityBlood''.
* Played Straight, then subverted in ''Anime/ZoidsChaoticCentury'' with the Guylos Empire. They get the fancier equipment and the more villainous characters who seek to sow strife, but while initially an antagonizing force, it is discovered that it is mostly through the manipulations of the high-ranking nobleman Gunter Prozen that caused war to break out and, once the rightful ruler is returned to power, the Guylos Empire becomes a vital ally to the heroes and a more benevolent force. It keeps the name "Guylos Empire", however.
* The Digimon Emperor in ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'' manages to conquer a good chunk of the Digital World, enslaving it's inhabitants via mind control rings. [[spoiler: Once Ken undergoes a HeelFaceTurn, his empire effectively ceases to exist.]]
* The American Empire/Imperial Americana from ''Franchise/GhostInTheShell'' and ''Manga/{{Appleseed}}''.
* The Albareth Empire, a combined power of over 700 legal and dark guilds in ''Manga/FairyTail''. It is located on the western continent, while Ishgar, the setting where most of the series took place, is on the eastern continent.
* ''Manga/ShoukokuNoAltair'': The Baltic and Rhein Empire, based on the real-life Holy Roman Empire. While conditions from inside are rarely shown, its aggressive expansionist policy makes it the enemy of all the republics, kingdoms, and stratocracies on the continent.
* ''Anime/PanzerWorldGalient'' has the [[BigBad Marder]]'s Empire. The story begins when Marder's troops invade the capital city of [[TheGoodKingdom the peaceful kingdom of Arst]], killing dozens of people, murdering the king, kidnapping the queen and conquering the country. During the next decade, Marder expanded his empire, encroaching upon most of planet Arst and killing brutally whoever opposed him. The twist is he ''doesn't care for Arst'', he only wants to seize the planet resources in order to launch an interplanetary war.
* ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'':
** [[spoiler: Everyone living within the Walls is ''allegedly'' a descendant of a previous one, the Eldian empire. This empire is said to have used the power of the Titans to build a great kingdom for the People of Ymir, conquering and oppressing all other races through genocide and eugenics. A century prior to the series, a great conflict resulted in the empire collapsing, with King Fritz the 145th fleeing to the neighboring island of Paradis and constructing the walls to protect the Eldians. However, members of the Restorationist movement claim this story is mere propaganda and the Eldians ''actually'' used their powers to help all of humanity and build a thriving kingdom...before being betrayed and driven out. [[MrExposition Eren Kruger]] speculated that '''both''' stories were nonsense, and the real history had simply been lost to time because of the competing propaganda wars]].
** [[spoiler: Marley, the militaristic nation that serves as the GreaterScopeVillain of the series. After overthrowing the Eldian empire, they established power by rounding up the Eldians left outside the Walls, placing them into [[FantasticGhetto Internment Camps]] and completely removing '''all''' rights from them. Propaganda teaches that the Eldians are "children of the devil", and must be kept under strict control to protect the world -- and Marley is a "merciful" nation for permitting them to live inside their camps (as military assets). The nation heavily resembles Nazi Germany, with its abuse of a minority population and militaristic ambitions on the world. It wages wars on its neighbors in order to expand the empire, using the Titans to conquer neighboring countries and make them colonial territories. And when advancing technology meant a greater need for fossil fuels, the government announced that [[BlatantLies King Fritz had declared war on them]] and threatened to [[NuclearOption destroy the world]] with his army of Wall Titans. This provided justification to recruit ChildSoldiers from the ghettos and offer them "Honorary Marleyan" status in exchange for their military service, in order to launch an invasion and extermination campaign against the Walls]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
%%* Russia in ''Comicbook/NikolaiDante''.
* The Eggman Empire in ''[[Comicbook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog Sonic the Hedgehog]]'', named after [[BigBad Dr. Eggman.]]
* The Negation. They even rewrote the laws of physics!
* ''ComicBook/{{Empire}}''. [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Full stop.]]
* Water & Power in ''Film/TankGirl'', corrupt corporate conquistadors.
%%* The Colonisation Industrial Companies in ''UniversalWarOne''.
%%* The Skrull and Kree Empires from the MarvelUniverse.
* The Shi'ar Empire has mostly been an aversion, DependingOnTheWriter and on the perspective of the characters. To the X-Men, the Shi'ar Empire has mostly been an ally (except for when they're dealing with a corrupt official or a mad emperor), but to the intergalactic rebels/pirates the Starjammers they were definitely the Empire.
* ''ComicBook/SonicTheComic'' has The Drakon Empire ruled by Master Scholar head of the House of Knowledge, Sister Haggra head of the House of Magic and Emperor Ko-Dorr head of the House of War, also the creators of Chaos energy.
* ComicBook/{{Asterix}}: Unsurprisingly the Roman Empire qualifies for this trope. The official stance is to call all others barbarians who will be "civilised" either with or without their consent. There are also plenty of corrupt prefects and centurions sho scheme at everybody else's expense. The irony of course is that in this time, when Caesar was dictator, it was still UsefulNotes/TheRomanRepublic.
* The conflict of ''ComicBook/{{Dreadstar}}'' is dominated by a war between two powerful empires for control of the Empirical Galaxy. The Monarchy is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, and is nominally controlled by [[PuppetKing King Gregzor]] but is really ruled by various corrupt factions in the military and aristocracy, the most powerful of which is the enigmatic EvilChancellor [[MalevolentMaskedMen Z]]; the Instrumentality is TheTheocracy, being run by the church and its spiritual and political head is [[PriestKing the Lord High Papal]]. They're both about equally evil, but the Instrumentality is more dangerous because it's more competently lead [[spoiler: and it ends up winning the war when Z sells the Monarchy out]].
* The Asura Empire in the Mexican comic ''Karmatrón y los Transformables'' is trying to take over the entire known universe.
* In ''ComicBook/BatmanHolyTerror'', the United Kingdom and the Americas are all ruled by the Commonwealth, a more brutal version of the government established by UsefulNotes/OliverCromwell.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/EggmanGenerations'', as usual, Eggman's goal is to establish the Eggman Empire. His alternate selves want empires for themselves.
* ''Fanfic/MRATrilogy'''s "[[StrawFeminist Intergalactic Femnazi Empire]]", lead by the [[Franchise/MassEffect Asari and Reapers]]. Suffice to say, it's a major case of [[DesignatedVillain informed villainy]], they're not seen doing anything wrong and in fact seems a relatively pleasant place to be, being only disliked by the PoesLaw subjected StrawMisogynist protagonists.
* Vakudos from FanFic/Hottie3TheBestFanFicInTheWorld certainly runs the Midnight Cage and his chain of over 150 conquered alternate Earths like one. His title is "Emperor" for crying out loud.
** The Empire of Darkness in Hottie 4: Even Better Sequel
* ''FanFic/QueenOfShadows'': In the new reality Jade finds herself in, she's Queen of a Shadowkhan Empire that's slowly conquering Japan one island at a time -- they've already taken over Shikoku, and are in the middle of conquering Kyushu when the story starts.
** There's also Shendu's Dragon Empire, which has conquered about half of China and a portion of Southeast Asia. Though apparently, the [[BigGood Ben Shui Chosen One]] is keeping him from advancing westward.
* ''Fanfic/FalloutEquestria'' and its ExpandedUniverse has the Pegasi Enclave, which rules Cloudsdale with an iron hoof and which emerges from seclusion to conquer the Equestrian Wasteland as well.
* In the ''FanFic/PonyPOVSeries'', the Shining Armor Arc reveals the existence of the deer-dominated Hooviet Empire, a thinly-veiled {{expy}} of the Soviet Union (with elements of ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour'' for flavor), which serves as Equestria's greatest rival. [[spoiler: As it turns out, the Empire was supposed to collapse decades before the current story, but when [[HumanoidAbomination the Shadow of Chernobull]] escaped its [[SealedEvilInACan can]], it -- in the form of [[GeneralRipper Makarov]] -- [[MakeWrongWhatOnceWentRight altered reality and history]] to fulfill the Hooviets' desires to keep the Empire alive and vital. When he/it is eventually [[RetGone erased]] by [[ClockRoaches the Blank Wolf]], [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong all the changes made to reality are undone]], leading to a world where the Hooviets collapsed on schedule, dissolving into numerous free states, much like its real world counterpart.]]
* ''FanFic/SonicXDarkChaos'': The Demon Empire is an autocratic and top-heavy HegemonicEmpire that rules half of the entire universe. The Angel Federation is the only thing keeping the Empire from ruling all of it. Slavery is legal (although heavily regulated) and Demon law is both harsh and unbending. Despite all of it, it's considered the closest thing to a unified culture the universe has; nearly every world uses Demon kredits, even if they live far on the frontiers.
* ''Fanfic/AgesOfShadow'': Under [[DarkMessiah Boaz's]] leadership, the [[ReligionOfEvil Shadow Walkers]] emerge from hiding to begin carving out a kingdom in the Middle East known as the Himinate (after Boaz's title, [[HighPriest Himinion]]). It expands for several decades, until [[spoiler: [[TheChosenOne King Cheherazad]], backed by Persia, manages to take down the Shadow Walkers' leadership, scattering the remainders.]]
* ''FanFic/ABriefHistoryOfEquestria'' has the Griffon Empire and [[TheHorde the Mongrellian Horde]], both of which [[BalkanizeMe collapsed]] by the time of the Warming. And then a couple of generations later, [[DarkMessiah Talonhoof the Reviled]] took control of the remnants of both [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority by force]] and fused them together into a single massive nation, which he then led in a war of extermination of Equestria.
* In the [[Fanfic/TheElementsOfHarmonyAndTheSaviorOfWorlds Hasbroverse]], the Griffin Kingdoms reformed as the Griffin Empire. Two of the kingdoms broke away before that happened and joined Equestria; Gilda and Gustav's families are both from those regions.
* in the ''{{Discworld}}'' of Creator/AAPessimal, Howondaland, the Disc's Africa, is given a more fully realised treatment based on the power blocs of 19th and 20th century Africa in our own world. Two major players locked in mutual and ethnic hostility are the neighbouring states of [[UsefulNotes/SouthAfrica Rimwards Howondaland]] and the Zulu Empire. This is presented as an example of GrayAndGreyMorality: Rimwards Howondaland is locked into UsefulNotes/TheApartheidEra and while nominally a democracy (if you're white) has an oppressive SecretPolice. The Zulu Empire is presented as having many positive qualities but is still a nepotistic monarchy in which members of the Royal House get the best of everything, as well as demanding submission from its own non-Zulu subject peoples that verges on a form of apartheid imposed by a dominant black tribe on other tribes.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The Galactic Empire from ''Franchise/StarWars''. An oppressive, despotic, militarized regime lead by an evil tyrant who rules it by force after orchestrating a galactic civil war that wipes out a flawed but democratic Republic.
* The Confederacy in ''Film/CSATheConfederateStatesOfAmerica''. First, [[AlternateHistory they conquer the North]]. Then, they conquer all of Central and South America (TruthInTelevision, as that was the Confederate's plan if they had won the war), as well as the Caribbean. Then, as an Axis country in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII they conquer Japan. A throwaway line suggests they've recently done the same to the Middle East.
* The Necromonger Empire of ''Film/TheChroniclesOfRiddick'' serves as an example of an empire that travels from place to place, and doubles as a ReligionOfEvil.
* One Nation Earth in the ''Film/{{Apocalypse}}'' film series by Cloud Ten Pictures. The design of [[SigilSpam their logo]] is based on the Eye Of Providence pyramid design of the Great Seal of the United States.
* The [[PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny United Citizen's Federation]] of ''Film/StarshipTroopers'' is this, being a Federation InNameOnly. Their supercilious self-image just means they have to conquer the Klendathu Arachnids as revenge, who would actually qualify as the Empire themselves if they weren't the ones being invaded at the time.
* The dreaded Ko-Dan Armada waiting beyond the frontier of the Star League in ''Film/TheLastStarfighter''.
* The upcoming ''Film/GIJoeRetaliation'' will have America become this after Cobra has Zartan [[PresidentEvil become the President of the United States]]. This means that G.I. Joe will become LaResistance with the help of Joseph Colton.
* The Persians in ''Film/ThreeHundred'' are [[HistoricalVillainUpgrade elevated]] into a dark realm built upon mass slavery and imperial deification, and are out to conquer Greece because Xerxes apparently just felt like it. Mostly they're an endless horde of {{Mooks}} for the BadassArmy of the Spartans to fight, with the occasional [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot monster ninja]] and demonic executioner here and there.
* The Confederacy in ''Film/AbrahamLincolnVampireHunter''. The vampires effectively control the south, using the slave system as an endless supply of food. [[spoiler:With Adam's death and the end of the slave system, the empire collapses and most of the vampires flee the country.]]
* ''Film/StarWreckInThePirkinning'': when Pirk recreates the [[SpaceNavy P-fleet]] by conquering Earth with the help of the Russian president and advanced technology, he quickly [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness disposes of the president]] and titles himself Emperor. However, his "glorious rule" then takes a swan dive, as the new empire seems more concerned with building a SpaceNavy than worrying about the people. They also find out that, being unable to reverse-engineer the FTL drive means that they're stuck in the Solar System without any other habitable worlds to conquer.
* The main antagonists of ''Film/TwentyNineteenAfterTheFallOfNewYork'' are a fascist state that caused the apocalypse that rendered most of humanity infertile, and are committing horrific crimes in a desperate attempt to fix things.

* The Radch in ''Literature/AncillaryJustice''. Its economy is structured around a state of constant expansion, its populace is monitored constantly (though on a planet it's unlikely someone will be paying attention to an ordinary person at all times), dissidents get "reeducated", and it has a habit of turning people on newly absorbed worlds into meat puppets for their AIs at the slightest excuse.
* The Aztec empire in ''Literature/ElConquistador'', from the Argentinan Creator/FedericoAndahazi. Also he beginnings of the Spanish empire and is mentioned the Chinese empire.
* ''Literature/KalpaImperial''. It's about the {{cyclic|Trope}} empire that goes through endless circles of birth and destruction, with good and bad emperors, an endless dispute with the SavageSouth, war periods, and such.
* {{Mordor}} and its client states (Harad, Umbar, Rhûn, and Khand) ruled by Sauron, in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' by Creator/JRRTolkien.
** Morgoth's empire in ''Literature/TheSilmarillion''.
** Saruman attempted to set up one at Isengard, but failed.
** Númenor, especially at the end of the Second Age. Númenor began as TheGoodKingdom, but transmuted into the Empire - and was mighty enough to even conquer Mordor and humiliate Sauron.
* In David Wingrove's ''Literature/ChungKuo'' series, the world is run by the Seven and called Chung Kuo.
* The Galactic Empire in Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''Empire'' and ''Literature/{{Foundation}}'' novels is a state which has already achieved this goal in the distant past - by the end of the ''Foundation'' series, the Foundation is on its way to achieving the same. Partially subverted in that Asimov doesn't treat these either of these political entities as overtly villainous. Asimov's Empire is explicitly modeled on UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire, and the Foundation's therefore bears some resemblance to Byzantium, the Greek-centered "Eastern Roman Empire" that lasted a thousand years longer -- but not exactly, as it was set up specifically to reestablish the Empire within a single millennium.\\\
In the ''Empire'' series, only one novel (''Pebble in the Sky'') has the Galactic Empire. ''The Currents of Space'' has the Trantorian Empire, which is the same polity as the Galactic Empire but before it had grown to cover the entire galaxy (it's still not presented as overtly villainous). ''The Stars, Like Dust'' has the Tyranni, a relatively small empire of some fifty worlds, who ''are'' presented in a villainous light, although not entirely unsympathetic.
* Although the Terran Empire in Creator/MarionZimmerBradley's ''Literature/{{Darkover}}'' novels didn't start this way, by the time of its collapse it was a full-blown example of this trope.
* The Barrayaran Empire and the Cetagandan Empire of Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold's ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'' both qualify at any point they're feeling expansionist. Barrayar's at the peak of one, and starting to slide down, during ''Shards of Honor'' and ''Barrayar'', but by the time of ''The Warrior's Apprentice'', it's mostly caught up colonizing a new world (one it didn't have to conquer; it was uninhabited by sentient species) and helps fight off the Cetagandans, who are still messing about. By ''A Civil Campaign'' Cetaganda's calmed down too.
* Persian, Ottoman, Hapsburg, and Chinese influences all show up in the Imperium of the ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'' novels. While it doesn't receive a villainous portrayal (indeed, the heroes run it in some books), it doesn't exactly receive a heroic one either. It appears mainly as a status-quo form of society that keeps working because it's what the characters can build in their circumstances (particularly the civilization's dependence on the Bene Gesserit and Spacing Guild, who both rely on a natural resource found only on one single planet).
* Creator/TanyaHuff's short story "A Woman's Work" showed a well-maintained, organized and competently led empire, all thanks to a Queen who very clearly has the EvilOverlordList memorized (the story plays it for a comedy, with some direct references to the list).
* The Gurkish Empire from ''Literature/TheFirstLaw'', complete with a PathOfInspiration.
* Robert Jordan's ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' introduces the Seanchan Empire as a civilization with its stability dependent on enslaving natural [[strike:sorcerers]] channelers, and a universal delusion that the slave-masters are not themselves capable of channeling. Aside from the slavery and aristocracy, their strong socialist policies make them fairly popular among the conquered.
** The slave-master part is partially justified as if they hadn't ever had a slave, they ''would'' be incapable of channeling.
** Shara is another empire nearly as big as Seanchan on the opposite side of the world; it's mostly alluded to throughout the series without really being described, but [[AllThereInTheManual supplemental materials]] paint of picture of an ''extremely'' insular, oppressively regimented society that's arguably even harsher than Seanchan, though far less expansionistic. [[spoiler: In the last book, one of the [[QuirkyMinibossSquad Forsaken]] shows up at the Last Battle with a Sharan army in tow]].
* The Eastern Empire in Creator/MercedesLackey's Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar series. A mild subversion, as the Empire is only evil at the top levels of the bureaucracy - when the armies wash over your country and start building roads, adequate housing, and utilities, most people figure they know what they're doing and don't put up a fight.
* Mijak in Karen Miller's Literature/GodspeakerTrilogy.
* The Empire in Christopher Paolini's ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'', which consists of a single country ruled by a king.
* One of the few "bad" things in Marge Piercy's MarySuetopia in the novel ''Woman on the Edge of Time'' is that they still have war, and their agrarian, utopian society is fighting a war of attrition with an evil technocratic, cyborg, robotic empire. But, they must not be doing too bad, since while their utopia takes up most of the Earth, the evil empire is resigned to Antarctica, space, and the moon.
* The Literature/CoDominium (CD) in ''Literature/FalkenbergsLegion'' by Jerry Pournelle. Technically TheAlliance, consisting of the United States and the USSR, the CD becomes an interstellar empire, with Earth's nations really disliking the Alliance. It's also collapsing, because the US and USSR still hate each other. Eventually the [=CoDominium=] military forces leave the Earth when the USA and USSR blow each other to pieces (and other nations join in), to relocate on the planets Sparta and St. Ekaterina, where they found a full-bore aristocratic empire of their own. The last line of ''Prince of Sparta'' is "AVE. AVE LYSANDER, IMPERATOR".
* Inverted, played with and otherwise {{Deconstruct|ion}}ed in the Literature/HonorHarrington series. Manticore may finally revel in some good old-fashioned imperialism, but that doesn't stop them from being ''the nice guy'' of the series, while alleged [[TheFederation Federations]] are either corrupt bureaucratic monstrosities that are falling apart at the seams (League), or alternate between that and bloody tyranny (Haven). Although Haven has gotten a lot better lately. You can make a pretty good case that are now as much the "good guys" as anyone else. Right now the only reason they're fighting Manticore is over a ''really big'' misunderstanding (details would be a major spoiler). Indeed, the only true black in the series now are the [[CorruptCorporateExecutive people behind genetic slavery]] -- everyone else is various shades of gray.
** The Empire of Manticore replaced TheGoodKingdom, but is really more of TheRepublic and TheAlliance becoming TheFederation. But TheFederation, aka the Solarian League acts far more like the Empire, specifically Rome with a stable and rich core but provinces providing the tribute and funds to run the rest of the league. Then there's TheRepublic of Haven, really the [[PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny The People's Republic of Haven]]. No one is quite who they say except the Andermani. They're an Empire like they say they are, but a Prussian model.
* In Creator/CSLewis's ''[[Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia Chronicles of Narnia]]'', Calormen is a subtle instance. First introduced in ''Literature/TheVoyageOfTheDawnTreader'' as "a wise, wealthy, courteous, cruel and ancient people," they are also so heavily into the slave trade that the Duke Bern predicts war with Calormen as a result of Caspian ending slavery in the Lone Islands. Although this war is apparently averted (it is not mentioned in ''Literature/TheSilverChair''), the prequel ''Literature/TheHorseAndHisBoy'' details Prince Rabadash's attempt to conquer Archenland, with a long-term eye on Narnia, some thousand years before. The curse on Rabadash is explicitly described as making life easier for small countries nearby, as he cannot conquer them himself, and is afraid of the power generals would amass if they did so for him. Of course, as ''Literature/TheLastBattle'' details, [[spoiler: Calormen does eventually conquer Narnia, but their triumph is short-lived.]] In the prequel novel ''Literature/TheMagiciansNephew'', the Kingdom of Charn in Jadis' home world was the this even more so. It was rich, powerful, practiced both slavery, HumanSacrifice and had conquered all other countries of it's world.
* Both subverted and played straight in ''Literature/TheMalazanBookOfTheFallen''. The Malazan Empire is aggressive and expansionistic, but they're not evil. In fact, in the third book one of the leaders of the forces fighting against them comes to the conclusion that many of the cities they'd conquered were better off under the Malazans than they had been under their previous rulers. The Letherii Empire, on the other hand...
** And the Pannion Domin, a theocracy of ''cannibals'', is worse than Lether, to the point that most of the Domin is dead wasteland with only the fringes still supporting life. Fortunately, its also the smallest and least powerful of the three major empires of the current timeline (Malazan, Letherii, and Pannion Domin).
** The Malazans may not be "completely" evil, but they are far, far from a strict subversion of this Trope, with their conquering and assimilating every single tribe that they encounter into their own religion and way of life is pretty damn evil. However, as is said above, their enemies are NotSoDifferent.
* Played straight ''and'' subverted in ''Literature/MistbornTheOriginalTrilogy''. In the first book, the Final Empire controls the whole world and is a truly terrible place to live [[spoiler: but its leader, rather than being power-mad, is a WellIntentionedExtremist whose judgement is being impaired by the OmnicidalManiac whispering in his ear. When the one person holding the whole Empire together gets killed, everything descends into utter chaos as multiple factions vie for leadership. To deal with the resulting civil war and an inadvertently released EldritchAbomination, the heroes wind up having to create an empire of their own.]]
* Inverted in Creator/DavidWeber's ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'' series, where the Empire of Charis is created by the protagonists. This is done out of survival since the [[CorruptChurch Church of God Awaiting]] was trying to annihilate Charis and has been preparing steadily for another go after the first attempt failed. The Harchong Empire from the same series plays it straight though, as it practices outright slavery.
* The Dark Empire of Granbretan in Michael Moorcock's [[Literature/DorianHawkmoon Hawkmoon]] books.
* The Medes in the ''[[Literature/TheQueensThief Queen's Thief]]'' books.
* The Hrum Empire in the Literature/FarsalaTrilogy, which was based on AncientRome.
* The Imperial Order in the ''Literature/SwordOfTruth''. Richard himself also inherits the D'Haran Empire, and starts adding to it. His is a good version. It's also an example of TheMagocracy, since the ruling Rahl dynasty were magic-users.
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's "The Hyborian Age", the BackStory to Literature/ConanTheBarbarian, Aquilonia's greed for conquest destroyed the Hyrkanians even though their civilization was flourishing.
** In "Literature/TheScarletCitadel," Conan is lured into a trap so that an empire can extend itself by annexing Aquilonia.
* The Wasp Empire in Adrian Tchaikovsky's ''Literature/ShadowsOfTheApt'' series.
* The Global Community in the Literature/LeftBehind series. Christ's Millennial Reign in ''Kingdom Come'' only [[GodIsEvil gets viewed as this]] by [[LaResistance the Other Light faction]] due to the [[DeathsHourglass 100 years of age limit for unbelievers]] imposed on the "naturals" who enter or are born in this time period.
* In ''Literature/TheChathrandVoyages'', two of these form the center of the storyline; Arqual is fairly progressive and cosmopolitan, but also aggressively expansionistic, while its ArchEnemy the Mzithrin is an insular, theocratic regime. Neither empire is exactly what you'd call "nice"- we see more of Arqual's oppression of its subject peoples up close (because many of the main characters are Arquali or from Arquali-occupied territory), but the Mzithrin have the dubious distinction of producing the [[GodEmperor Shaggat Ness]].
* The Kingdom of Witchland and its many vasall states in E. R. Eddison's ''Literature/TheWormOuroboros''.
* ''Literature/AnExerciseInFutility'' has the Kalharian Empire. They aren't so bad, really, provided they conquered you a long time ago.
* Creator/DavidEddings has played with the concept.
** ''Literature/TheBelgariad'' and related works has the Tolnedran Empire, which is one in name only, in order to concrete its [[FantasyCounterpartCulture similarity to Rome]], and the Mallorean Empire, which in the first series is nothing more than a source for countless [[{{Mooks}} cannon fodder]] and in the sequel is [[ExpansionPackWorld expanded and explored in greater depth]], revealing a rich and diverse multiculture who almost universally serve the BigBad only because they're forced to, and are freed from his grip by the end of the series without any major political upheavals.
** ''Literature/TheTamuli'' explores the Tamul Empire in a similar way (except without the cannon fodder-providing empire role in the first series -- that role was served by Zemoch, which thoroughly collapsed when it lost both its immortal (and only) emperor and its god at the end of ''Literature/TheElenium'').
* The Empire of Nilfgaard in the [[Literature/TheWitcher Witcher]] series. An expansive power ruled by an iron-fisted emperor which routinely uses terror tactics against the enemies' populace, it is also the place of flourishing economy where the government is RepressiveButEfficient, scheming wizards are rare, and there is less racial prejudice or religious fanaticism, though an occasional coup d'etat does happen.
* The Earth Alliance in the ''[[Literature/TheHistoryOfTheGalaxy History of the Galaxy]]'' series, despite the name, had all the makings of an empire. The President ran things by himself and didn't need anybody's permission to declare an [[TheWarOfEarthlyAggression all-out war against the colonies]], justifying that they needed to offload extra population (a single city on Earth is mentioned to have a population of billions) and the colonies wouldn't go fo it (they never actually asked the colonies outright). Their way of subjugating a colony? No declaration of war, although the sudden nuking of two major cities probably counts as one, followed by an invasion. When the invasion is unexpectedly repelled, the fleet admiral has the planet so thoroughly nuked that it remains uninhabitable for the next 1000 years. What follows is the First Galactic War, with the [[LaResistance Free Colonies]] desperately trying to hold their own against the much more advanced and militarized Earth Alliance. After 30 years, the colonists finally manage to defeat the Alliance, and only because one of the Alliance top brass has decided that the war should end and turned off many defenses in the Solar System.
** The [[HumanAliens Harammins]] had their own empire, including two slave races. However, they deliberately contained themselves in a large star cluster, never expanding, remaining static for nearly 3 million years with rulers suffering from ImmortalityImmorality.
** Not long after the end of the First Galactic War, there was an attempt by a small power on the fringes of human space (calling themselves the Stellar Caliphate) to take advantage of the post-war situation and establish an empire of their own. They nearly succeeded, and even then they were only thwarted by former soldiers of the defeated Earth Alliance. The newly-minted [[TheFederation Confederacy of Suns]] didn't believe that there ever was a threat and would likely have fallen under the onslaught of the Muslims on a holy mission.
* A non-evil variant in Creator/HarryTurtledove's ''Literature/{{Worldwar}}'' with the [[LizardFolk Race]], to the point where they can't conceive of any other form of government but absolute monarchy. This belief is further reinforced by the two previous races they subjugated, also reptilians. So when they arrive to Earth (which they call Tosev-3), they are baffled by (among many other things) by the wide variety of forms of government present on this planet. The only word they can come up with these forms of government in their language is "not-empires". Voting is derisively called "snout-counting". The Race have a Manifest Destiny-like belief on a galactic scale. They see their Emperors as ruling the entire galaxy (if not universe) by divine right. Their "evilness" can be described with the glee they express when they slaughter human soldiers or drop nuclear bombs on cities. They only reason they hold off on using nukes is because they [[PragmaticVillain don't want to damage the planet]], which they want to settle. They're also highly [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking hypocritical]].
* Magravandias in Creator/StormConstantine's ''Literature/ChroniclesOfMagravandias''.
* Every major power is an Empire in Literature/BelisariusSeries. The difference is not between Evil empire and good "something besides empire", it is between "that's just how humans arrange their affairs empire", and "Really evil empire".
* Creator/FredSaberhagen's ''The Empire of the East'' is about the war between the [[LaResistance Free Folk]] and the titular empire. This one is one of the more thoroughly evil examples.
* The Yeerk Empire in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'', complete with conquered planets and slave races.
* The Enterran Empire from ''Literature/TheDivingUniverse''. The main character, Boss, keeps claiming that she doesn't have any particular desire to come into conflict with it; but the events of the novels cause her to keep butting heads with it again and again, and things seem to be inevitably marching towards all-out war.
* ''Literature/TheBraidedPath'': The Saramyr Empire, starting out as an expansionist monarchy, complete with genocide.
* In Creator/PoulAnderson's "Literature/TimeLag", Chertkoi, which ruthlessly seizes planets to exploit. Though they argue for it on the grounds their population needs the resources, they also regard it as MightMakesRight.
* ''Literature/AgeOfFire'': The Ghioz empire, under the rule of the [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Red Queen]], is the primary threat in book four, ''Dragon Strike'', as the Queen attempts to TakeOverTheWorld. And she [[NearVillainVictory comes pretty close, too]].
** The Dragon Empire, based in the Lavadome, has controlled most of the Lower World since before the series started. And after Ghioz's downfall, [[AntiVillain the Copper]] engineers the creation of the [[TheAlliance Grand Alliance]] as a means to condition the hominids of the Upper World to willingly serve the dragons and thus expand the empire under the pretense of peaceful coexistence and unity.
* Creator/TimothyZahn's ''Literature/{{Blackcollar}}'' has the alien Ryqril Empire that has recently conquered the Terran Democratic Empire. Not much is known about the latter, but the former is a typical tyrannical empire that freely uses "scorched earth" tactics (basically, destroying what they can't take) and employs MoreThanMindControl to condition loyal human subjects. It's pretty much stated that the only reason LaResistance is even mildly successful is because the Ryqril are busy conquering yet another race. However, it's outright stated at the end of the first novel that the titular team has to be careful not to prove too much of a nuisance for the Ryqril, lest they pull back some of the forces engaged on the front lines to utterly crush LaResistance.
* The Sirian Empire in Creator/EricFrankRussell's ''Literature/{{Wasp}}''. While technologically behind the [[PlanetTerra Terrans]], they outnumber us 12-to-1. The novel focuses on spies (called "[[TitleDrop wasps]]") being sent to Sirian worlds to start sabotage and information wars to disorganize the planets before the Terran fleet arrives to invade.
* The Human Empire in Creator/SergeyLukyanenko's ''Literature/LineOfDelirium'' is about a century old, having been formed during the [[TheGreatOffscreenWar Vague War]] against pretty much every alien race. Despite great odds, the Empire managed to win (some alien character wonder how this could be since HumansAreAverage). While not the strongest interstellar power, it is definitely up there, especially after the formation of the Trinary Alliance with the [[EverythingIsWorseWithBears Bulrathi]] and the [[MechanicalLifeforms Meklar]] (two of humanity's fiercest enemies during the war). Emperor Grey has ruled since forcing the previous inept (and unnamed) government to hand control over to him. While it's definitely an empire, there are also some elements of TheFederation as well, with most worlds having a lot of self-governance. In fact, during the events of the novels, the Emperor remains mostly hands-off, preferring the Empire to run itself (i.e. why mess with what works?). Thanks to the [=aTan=] technology, ResurrectiveImmortality is possible for the richest few percent. Not only does this mean that Grey can rule forever but that many of the best and the brightest need not die of either natural or unnatural causes (the [[SiliconBasedLife Silicoids]] complain that [=aTan=] has skewed the Balance in humanity's favor)). The second book features an example of the dark side of the Empire (no [[StarWars pun]] intended). When a border colony attempted to secede several decades prior, the Emperor sent the SpaceNavy to force its submission, while secretly assembling a volunteer force to travel ahead of the fleet and massacre the population. Also, in the first novel, when three Imperial planets were invaded by the fast-breeding Sakkra, the Emperor had the three colonies undergo OrbitalBombardment with meson charges, making them uninhabitable, then proceeded to [[DisproportionateRetribution drive the Sakkra to extinction]].
* Also from Creator/SergeyLukyanenko, the Human Empire in ''Literature/{{Genome}}''. While it's certainly a powerful interstellar nation, it's about evenly matched by the [[BeePeople Zzygou]]. Should a war break out between the two empires, one would be utterly destroyed, while the other one would become a VestigialEmpire. However, there are indications that the Empire is already showing signs of decay. Few in the outer fringes even know the name of the current Emperor.
* Again from [[Creator/SergeyLukyanenko Lukyanenko]], the State in his ''Literature/SeekersOfTheSky'' duology is descended from the Roman Empire that has never collapsed in this AlternateHistory. It dominates most of Europe and has colonies in Africa and the Americas. The Possessor is TheEmperor, ruling from the State's capital in Lutetia ([[IstanbulNotConstantinople Roman name for Paris]]). The State is not inherently evil, although the Possessor can be ruthless at times. All the other major powers in this world are empires as well, even if not all of them are called thus. Besides the State, we have the Russian Khanate (think Russia + Mongolia), the Chinese Empire (the most technologically-advanced nation), and the comparatively weak Ottoman Empire. There's also the far-off Aztec Empire, but it's barely referenced, only that there are occasional conflicts between the Aztecs and the State's colonies in the Americas.
* An interesting variation in Creator/VladimirVasilyev's ''[[Literature/DeathOrGlory The War for Mobility]]'' story arc. The villainous Shat-Tsur Empire are ''former slaves'' of one of the members of TheAlliance. While this would normally lend them a measure of compassion, the fact that they are not merely retaliating for the years of slavery but are determined to dominate the galaxy (not to mention slaughtering over 70% of their former masters, many of whom are innocent) using the enormous armada they have assembled under everyone's noses means they fall squarely into this trope.
* A variant in Terry Brooks' ''Literature/{{Shannara}}'' series, wherein the group that calls itself TheFederation is actually The Empire. Originally a coalition of Southland city-states, The Federation swallows up the Eastland, Westland, and Borderlands prior to the ''Literature/HeritageOfShannara'' quartet, then spends the next several centuries fighting to keep them. A proudly racist state that believes wholeheartedly in the superiority of humanity, The Federation are used as dupes by The Shadowen, The Morgawr, various Demon lords, and every other supernatural villain coming down the pike.
* In the series ''Literature/{{Acacia}}'', The Acacian Empire who deal in slavery and drugging the population as well dealing in black magic in the past. They're not the only evil empire in this book though and they're certainly not the worst...
* The back story of ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' has the Evil Empire, which used to rule much of Uberwald and had TheGreatOffscreenWar against the city-states of the Sto Plains. However, ''most'' countries on the Disc had an Empire at some point or another; Ankh-Morpork (who at the time of the novels are more or less the "good guys") had an ancient one based on the Roman Empire, with occasional hints of a more recent imperial past based on the British Empire.
* There is an evil empire in ''Literature/TheHungerGames'', quite literally and specifically. The Capitol (metropole/heartland) manipulates the Districts (periphery/provinces) to the benefit of the Capitol and the detriment of the Districts. Now consider the other things they engage in.
* Literature/ASymphonyOfEternity has The Galaxy divided between three superpowers,[[HegemonicEmpire one of them is a multi-species, multicultural Empire]],[[Literature/XMeetsY Basically the British Commonwealth IN SPACE!]].
* The Empire of Nuevaropa in ''Literature/TheDinosaurLords'' looks pleasant enough if you're a foreigner or an outsider, but politicking is the order of the day, the court is both [[DeadlyDecadentCourt decadent and deadly]], many lords routinly whip and brutally punish their serfs and everything is taking a sharp turn towards religious fundamentalism.
* ''Literature/TheSilerianTrilogy'': The Valdani Empire, which strongly resembles Rome.
* In Walter Jon Williams' ''Literature/DrakeMaijstral'' series, the Khosali are this in the eyes of the Humanity Prime movement. The truth is a little less clear. True, the Khosali did ruthlessly conquer Earth many centuries ago, but they proved to be relatively benign rulers, for the most part. And even now, after humans became the first race to successfully revolt and win their freedom from the Khosali, diplomatic relations have become relatively cordial, for the most part. But the Humanity Prime folks are sure the the Khosali are just biding their time, waiting for an opportunity to reconquer their former territory. In actuality, the Khosali are mostly confused by the turn of events, and aren't quite sure how to react, but there are some people (both alien and human) on ''both'' sides of the border who would prefer to have the Khosali back in charge.
* ''Literature/TheCrimsonShadow'': The kingdom of Avon under King Greensparrow.
* ''Literature/TheWitchlands'' has two, though with the story running on GreyAndGreyMorality, it's debatable how evil they are.
** Cartorra used to be a HegemonicEmpire, and still dominates Witchlands culturally, but at some point decided that it's time to turn warlike. They are mostly villainous, threatening Merik's homeland and capturing [[spoiler:and zombifying]] unregistered witches.
** Marstoki Empire has always been very militaristic, and their army is quite infamous for their use of [[PlayingWithFire Firewitches]]. This being said, while they menace the heroes in book one, the relationship between the two groups gets much better as the story goes on.
* Creator/JohnScalzi's ''Literature/TheInterdependency'' series has the titular interstellar government (more formally known as the Holy Empire of the Interdependent States and Mercantile Guilds) ruling over the 47 inhabited systems accessible to humanity. While the ruling House of Wu does have the most powerful military, it's not generally used to intimidate or crush any opposition. Given the FeudalFuture setting, the titular empire's name also describes its structure, ensuring that no colony is completely self-sufficient, thus forcing everyone to cooperate and avoid war. The Church of the Interdependency is an InterfaithSmoothie primarily designed to sell the official line of the Interdependency. The Interdependency is ruled by an emperox (a gender-neutral title that's pronounced "empero"), who is always a member of the House of Wu, which became dominant due to its control over the key Hub system. [[spoiler:In the first novel, ''The Collapsing Empire'', a couple of scientists discover that the [[SubspaceOrHyperspace Flow]] channels that link the Interdependency together are about to collapse, which will not only spell the end for the Interdependency but also the vast majority of the colonies due to their non-self-reliant nature. The only colony likely to survive will be End, the only habitable planet (besides the lost Earth) in the explored universe]].
* In Creator/MikhailAkhmanov's ''[[Literature/ArrivalsFromTheDark Envoy from the Heavens]]'', the Empire (also known as the Seven Provinces) on the MedievalStasis planet Osier appears to be the Roman equivalent for this world, except it never collapsed and shows no signs of weakening. It's more of a HegemonicEmpire and isn't actually evil. There are many satellite nations surrounding it, but none of them can hope to challenge the Empire. Like the Romans, the Empire's primary advantage is the extensive road network that spans the entire inhabited continent. The Empire is in large part responsible for keeping the world in MedievalStasis for the better part of a millennium and even the Foundation's best efforts to introduce and promote new ideas are met with resistance from the established structures. The only way that the human researchers see to force a shift is to inspire a Columbus-like discovery of the untouched continent on the other side of the planet, hoping that new nations outside the Empire's direct influence will help shift the balance of power and induce progress. [[spoiler:The humans meet opposition from a race of [[ApesInSpace ape-like]] psychic aliens, who are [[AlienNonInterferenceClause opposed to such efforts]]]].
* The Hexarchate in ''Literature/TheMachineriesOfEmpire''. It's excessively brutal in enforcing its own calendar, doesn't tolerate any rebellion or ideas that don't fit in with the doctrine, and has by the time of the story swallowed all nearby polities other than fellow Empires.
* In the military science fiction novel ''Literature/{{Victoria}}'', the United States itself plays this role, having become a blind juggernaut of oppressive collectivism and Cultural Marxism.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Several examples from ''Franchise/StarTrek'' that TheFederation encounters from the outside, like the Dominion and the Romulan Star Empire, and the MirrorUniverse version of the Federation itself, the Terran Empire (insignia pictured above).
** The Klingon Empire in the original series qualified until they allied with the Federation. Prior to the Dominion War however, it temporarily reverted back to its original practices, namely with the conquest of Cardassia.
** According to some non-canon sources, the Terran Empire arose from the American Empire, which was originally a much more militaristic and strength-based United States, before Teddy Roosevelt renames it and crowns himself Emperor. Interestingly, unlike a typical monarchy, the title of the Emperor is not hereditary.[[note]]As with the historical Roman Empire, which looked down on kings and never really made the "Emperorship" an office in itself until the Dominate.[[/note]] In fact, very few Emperors actually died of old age. Most were assassinated by those who then took up the mantle. Only one actually retired.
** The Cardassian Union is an imperial military dictatorship, run by several military officials in governing body known as the Central Command, rather than one Emperor. It is more similar to the USSR or [[Literature/NineteenEightyFour Oceania]] than a traditional empire, controlled by a political body. The Cardassian Occupation of Bajor has shown the Cardassian Union to be particularly brutal. Interestingly they're overthrown by an internal revolt
** The Dominion was written to be an EvilCounterpart of the Federation. While the latter is bounded by love and peace, the former is bounded by fear and intimidation. In addition, it's far more theocratic than other villain empires in the franchise. It was intended to have multiple Dominion races appear about their starships, but they ended up just having the Founders, Vorta, Jem'Hadar, and their Alpha Quadrant allies.
** The Federation ''itself'' is compared to one in-universe, with several characters pointing out that despite their outward appearance of benevolence, there's something incredibly insidious about how they worm their way into situations and make it so that other races come to ''need'' them, while others point out how they're NotSoDifferent than the ''Borg'', since they assimilate all kinds of people and cultures while ''no-one even notices.''
* The Alliance of ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', though since the main characters are all [[AntiHero anti-heroes]], it's suggested that from another point of view the Alliance might be considered TheFederation. However, the Academy, which is a subset of the Alliance, is firmly on the side of evil.
** And then TheMovie came and the Alliance crossed the MoralEventHorizon with what went down on Miranda. At least not until the Operative shows up on ''Serenity'''s dock with a HeelRealization to get off his chest, suggesting that even the Alliance has members too moral to tolerate that, and isn't unanimously 'evil'. Even the disaster on Miranda was almost the exact opposite of what they were ''trying'' to do.
* The Scarrans ''and'' the Peacekeepers, mortal enemies in ''Series/{{Farscape}}.'' They're both bad enough that Crichton feels that destroying the ''entire universe'' is a better option than allowing either side to gain supremacy over the other. The Peacekeeprs are a slight variation, though, since, by agreement with the other races, they are not allowed to control any planets (they operate mainly as an intergalactic protection agency). They are still a force to be reckoned with and are obsessed with racial purity.
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', most states that have the name of Empire are antagonistic. For instance, the Dalek Empire seeks to exterminate all life besides the Daleks, while the Sontaran Empire is a militaristic race of clones whose whole society depends on waging perpetual war. However the Draconian Empire, a vast spacefaring feudal civilisation with a society stratifed along class and gender lines, can be honorable and reasonable in its dealings with others. The portrayal of the Earth Empire varies.
* The Federation in ''Series/BlakesSeven'', despite the sarcastic name (its logo is the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' Federation's, given a hard twist to the right).
* Franchise/SuperSentai has many evil factions that are explicitly called Empire. Especially in the older series. Examples are:
** Tailed-People Clan Jashinka Empire from ''Series/KagakuSentaiDynaman''
** Underground Empire Tube from ''Series/HikariSentaiMaskman''
** The Space Empire Zangyack in ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger''.
** Parodied in Series/HikoninSentaiAkibaranger with the Neo Dimensional Brain Reconstructive Underground True Empire of Baros lol, which is led by Tsu Shogun, an Otaku who is obsessed with Sentai Villains, and only consists of him, [[TheDragon Malsheena]] and a few Mooks. They do not even have a spectacular lair, as Tsu Shogun plans his attacks from a rented storage depot. Prior to that, near the end of the first season, Doctor Z reorganized the corporate-themed villains into the Delusion Empire.
* In ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'', the [[NietzscheWannabe Nietzschean]] plan during their rebellion against the [[TheFederation Systems Commonwealth]] was to form a strong Nietzschean Empire with the Drago-Kazov pride forming the ruling dynasty. However, during the last major battle of the war, the Battle of Witchhead, a large Nietzschean fleet (constituting 15% of their total strength at the start of the conflict) suffers heavy losses when they destroy the last [[SpaceNavy High Guard]] ships ([[spoiler:with some help from Hunt]]). No longer having a strong position, the Drago-Kazov pride is unable to stay in charge, reducing the unified Nietzscheans into a bunch of squabbling prides who are more concerned with power than creating civilization. Cue 300 years of total chaos.
** The Commonwealth itself originally started as the Vedran Empire before it became more egalitarian and switched to a republican form of government. This was mostly the result of necessity, as the Vedran Empire has grown so large that its client races began to vastly outnumber the ruling Vedrans. The conversion to the All Systems Commonwealth is likely the only thing that saved the Empire from collapse.
* In ''Series/StargateSG1'', the Goa'uld Empire was an evil empire in name only (the "empire" part, they're a proudly evil bunch). Territorially it was the most powerful grouping in the Milky Way Galaxy, but in fact it is deeply fractioned between numerous regional System Lords who [[EnemyCivilWar constantly fight each other for supremacy]] and after the death of TheEmperor Ra in [[Film/{{Stargate}} the original movie]] any semblence of unity is long gone. This initially worked in the humans' favor so they could focus on taking out each threat one by one, but frequently one of the Goa'uld would emerge victorious over the others to fill the EvilPowerVacuum and attack Earth directly.
* The Centauri Republic in ''Series/BabylonFive'' is an empire in everything but name (though it is referred sometimes as "Centauri Empire" is not its official name). The Centauri ruled over several worlds including the Drazi, the Brakiri and most notably (because they were particularly brutal with them) the Narn, gaining the nickname of "Lion of the Galaxy". But for the time the show starts the Centauris had no control over any non-Centauri race and all their former colonies are already independent whether because they use diplomatic means like the Drazi and Brakiri or because they fought a very violent liberation war like the Narn. Series creator Creator/JMichaelStraczynski described them once as a Space "British Empire" with a love/hate relationship with most of its former colonies.
* ''Series/BarbariansRising'' places the UsefulNotes/RomanEmpire in this role for most of its run, with the eponymous barbarians set as LaResistance or TheAlliance.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The Coalition States in ''TabletopGame/{{Rifts}}'' can be given a ''little'' slack for establishing order in the post-Cataclysm world... but not for enforcing illiteracy, destroying pre-Rift artifacts, and brutally hunting down and persecuting D-Bees, magic users, and psychics with chilling coldness.
** And Emperor Prosek's decision to consciously adopt Adolf Hitler as his role model ''really doesn't help''. Although Prosek is not nearly so racist or anti-magic as he pretends. He just finds it useful for keeping the public simultaneously scared and ready to fight at his command. Also, the simple act of him successfully declaring himself "emperor" the Coalition States is in line with this trope, as they were originally more democratic than they are under his rule. This is a major source of tension between Chi-Town and Free Quebec, and also causes concern on the part of the New German Republic.
** Rifts is full of these, mostly ruled by monsters. Atlantis, the Gargoyle Empire, the Vampire Kingdoms, the Phoenix Empire, etc.
* The Realm of ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' is a classic example.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' has two major examples. And those are, by comparison, the ''good'' guys.
** The Imperium of Man is notable for it's sheer scale, A million worlds and with a population in the ''quadrillions'', it fights thousands of wars at any given moment, its soldiers number in the trillions, and it has existed for ten thousand years. One man, even the greatest man, is nothing, even the death of millions matters little in the Imperium. It was even greater at its [[GoldenAge peak]], and even after 10,000 years of war, corruption, and sheer ineptitude of its government and citizenry, it ''still'' intends to survive until it's ultimate destruction...[[StatusQuoIsGod assuming that ever happens]].
** The Tau, who are also TheFederation made up of many different races including human turncoats while the Imperium wipes out all alien life they find.
** Various Chaos Warlords (both human and [[DealWithTheDevil not-quite-]][[EldritchAbomination humans-any-more]]) also sometimes manage to carve out they're own mini-empires, usually numbering a few dozen or hundred worlds. These are either eventually crushed by an Imperial Crusade or collapse into anarchy because, you know, [[AlwaysChaoticEvil they're chaos...]]
** The Eldar used to have a galaxy spanning empire of their own. It was brought down by their own decadence, after centuries of murderous depravity spawned Slaanesh.
* The Empire of ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'', on the other hand, averts this trope, being based on the RealLife [[UsefulNotes/HolyRomanEmpire Holy Roman Empire]]
** The Skaven fit the trope better, they have a massive underground empire that dwarfs the Empire, and all the other Old World nations combined. They have the potential of taking over the Old World, if they would put aside their ChronicBackstabbingDisorder for one minute and not try to eliminate each other while fighting their enemies.
* The Third Imperium of ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'' is more like TheFederation with hereditary nobles than an example of this.
** The First Imperium when the Terrans contacted it in the Interstellar Wars(which is as far back as Traveller sourcebooks go) was a VestigialEmpire. The second was essentially the first following conquest by the Terrans but the size and senility of the first Imperium simply overwhelmed their bureaucratic resources causing the Imperium to collapse entirely almost as soon as the end of the Interstellar Wars.
** In ''Megatraveller'' and ''The New Era'', Lucan's Imperium fits the bill nicely, including setting out on a superweapon project to find a FinalSolution (in those terms) to the ongoing civil war.
* From the various ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' settings:
** ''TabletopGame/{{Greyhawk}}''s Empire of Iuz is a theocracy under the absolute rule of the [[GodEmperor demigod Iuz]], Lord of Pain. Since his dogma is more or less a CardCarryingVillain's primer and his clergy handle most of the day-to-day duties, it's not the most pleasant place.
** Thay in the ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' is ruled by the eight most powerful members of the evil Red Wizards, who support their regime with BlackMagic and {{slavery|IsASpecialKindOfEvil}}, and later falls under the control of the [[TheArchmage powerful]] [[TheNecrocracy lich]] {{necromancer}} Szass Tam.
** In the TabletopGame/NentirVale setting, the empire of Bael Turath was most definitely this, even forcing their entire populace into a TabletopGame/DealWithTheDevil when the empire was in danger of collapsing due to their own decadence.
* Inverted in TabletopGame/AnimaBeyondFantasy with the Empire of Abel and the Azur Alliance -as well as before things got screwed up, when the Empire is described as a benevolent entity (at least for humans and not supernatural stuff).
* In ''TabletopGame/{{BattleTech}}'', the Draconis Combine fits this to a tee. In fact, it's repeatedly stated in the sourcebooks that the Kurita family (who rules the Combine) believes that it is their destiny to rule all of humanity one day.
** While the Star League acted like TheFederation when dealing with the Inner Sphere its treatment of the Periphery states was less than charitable. They were conquered in a brutal invasion and then heavily taxed and denied a say in League policy.
** ''All'' of the Successor States are empires. The Draconis Combine is less subtle about it than the others, but all five are cut from the same ruthless cloth and are ruled by dynastic emperors. Their primary opposition, the Clans, are TheHorde, and the closest things in the Inner Sphere to a democracy were the Free Rasalhague Republic, which got conquered by Clan Ghost Bear, and the Outerworlds Alliance, which later merged with Clan Snow Raven. Though the Clan did allow Rasalhague to retain their parliament and ElectiveMonarchy, however Princes tend to be Ghost Bear Khans ever since they claimed Prince Ragnar as a bondsman.
** Recently Clan Wolf has renamed itself into the Wolf Empire thanks to an alliance with a branch of House Steiner, whom they later invaded.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Microscope}}'': One of the common basic structures for stories is the rise and/or fall of an empire.
* In ''TabletopGame/RocketAge'' the human superpowers are this to the rest of the solar system, especially the Nazis.
* The New Earth Commonwealth in ''TabletopGame/HeavyGear'', the NEC tries to forcefully reunite the other colonies via military force, sending its Colonial Expeditionary Force to bring the colonies to line with mixed results. The factions on Terra Nova temporarily join forces to resist the CEFs aggression.

* Toa Empire from ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'' fits this trope. When Takanuva is sent into an [[AlternateUniverse Alternate Universe]], he ends up in a world where Toa "protect" Matoran by forcing them under their rule and killing anyone who dares to object.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The Horai and the Divine Ones in ''VideoGame/{{Ikaruga}}''.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Einhander}}'', [[spoiler: Selene is at first thought to be LaResistance, but the [[WhamEpisode final stage]] reveals that they were actually the Empire the whole time, and they try to pull a YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness to the player. But little did they know [[OneManArmy that they forgot who they were messing with...]]]]
* The Cirigoth Empire in ''VideoGame/{{Everlong}}''.
* The ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series uses this trope on multiple occasions.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' has the Empire of Palamecia, which conquers, destroys, and enslaves seemingly for the heck of it. Partway through the game the Emperor [[spoiler:[[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu kills the devil and usurps his throne]]]]. And as if that weren't enough to make him a badass, [[spoiler:the expanded GBA release reveals that his "good" side has also taken over the equivalent of Heaven]].
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' has an empire called...well, "The Empire" (it was renamed "Gestahlian Empire" in the GBA release) as the main antagonist for most of the game. As if it weren't clear enough, the intro shows the emperor giving the Nazi salute to his subjects. [[spoiler:''They're'' not the dangerous ones.]]
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'', Queen Brahne is in the process of creating one of these until [[spoiler: her death]].
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'' includes the Empire of Aht Urghan, which makes up the setting for it's named expansion. It rules over the Aradijah continent with an iron grip, and is in constant war with various Beastmen factions and the Far Eastern army. Bioweapons, chimeras, electric harnessing and Blue Mages are the result of Aht Urghan's technology. The best part is that the player character works as a mercenary/double agent for the big bad Empire for the entire plot.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' has the Archadian Empire, which embodies this trope, and the Rozarrian Empire which seems more benevolent, but is only peripherally involved in the story. However, as you get further and further into the game, you realize that [[GreyAndGrayMorality the Archadian Empire isn't as evil as the protagonists want to believe, and neither is the Rozarrian Empire as benevolent as they seem.]] Of the three main antagonists, only one of them has true villainous intent (Vayne just wants to rule the world as Dynast-King), whereas the other two (Cid and Venat) are working with him to wrest control of Man's future from the hands of the Occuria and, outside of simply being on the opposite side of the protagonists, aren't all that bad.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' brings us the Garlean Empire, the belligerent invading force against Eorzea and the primary antagonists of the game's main scenario. Thematically, they borrow heavily from FFVI's Gestahlians (including explicit use of magitek), as well as the Imperials from ''Frachise/StarWars''.
*** It's also worth mentioning that although there are some straight-up generic conquistadors among them, there are also a few {{Noble Demon}}s, and Garlemald has a few goals that are more benevolent than mere world conquest; that said, they mainly serve as a source of {{Mooks}} for the {{player character}} to kill, and in general their plans have an unfortunate tendency to make things worse than they already are.
*** Five thousand years ago from the game's timeline, most of the world was ruled by the Empire of Allag, the supreme power of the Third Astral Era. Compared to their conquests and ambitions, Garlemald is just a pale imitation to Allagan glory and its vastly superior LostTechnology. Their creations and legacy are still felt to this day, often being uncovered by the Garlean Empire to further their own conquest.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyType0'' has the [[MeaningfulName aptly-named]] Milites, which is conquering most of the world at the time the game opens.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXV'' gives us The Empire of Niflheim, which by the game's beginning has successfully conquered the world.
** The ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChronicles'' series has had a few. The original game takes place a while after the [[CuteBruiser fall of the Liltian Empire]], and [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChroniclesTheCrystalBearers Crystal Bearers]] takes place in the reign of it's revival. There was also an [[{{Precursors}} Ancient Empire]] in the past of ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChroniclesEchoesOfTime Echoes of Time]]'', led by a powerful EmperorScientist. [[spoiler: Who is the game's immortal BigBad.]]
* The main enemies of ''VideoGame/GranblueFantasy'' work for the Erste Empire. Even more so once they [[spoiler:actually get an Emperor]] later in the story when the crew first thought that they have no leaders in the first place.
* Another video game example is Valua in ''VideoGame/SkiesOfArcadia'', a FantasyCounterpartCulture of 17th century Spain.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden}}'' games have the Scarlet Moon Empire and the Harmonian Empire.
* While not always directly antagonistic, the Holy Lodis Empire is easily the largest military force in the ''VideoGame/OgreBattle'' and ''VideoGame/TacticsOgre'' games and makes its presence known similarly to the Harmonians listed above.
* Alfard from the ''VideoGame/BatenKaitos'' video games is an interesting example in that there's no resistance against it. The reason: the empire works to instill extreme civic pride in all of its citizens, so that the idea of acting against it has all the attractiveness of stepping on one's own foot.
-->'''Lyude:''' It's unthinkable! To ''act against the Empire!?''
* The Combine of ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' are bent on inter-dimensional conquest. [[BlatantLies It's for our own good, though]]
* In ''VideoGame/PanzerDragoon'', the Empire is portrayed this way, but slowly becomes more and more sympathetic as the series progresses.
* Spiderweb Software's ''VideoGame/{{Exile}}'' / ''VideoGame/{{Avernum}}'' series starts the first game with a description of The Empire. "Not the Empire of Something or The Something Empire"... since there's really only one game in town. They find a massive underground cave network and decide it's the perfect place to chuck all their undesirables. Including you. So the rebellious elements in society are rounded up and sent down to live in near-darkness and plot revenge. And exterminating all non-human species on the surface.\\
One of three ways to win the game is to join the rebels and help take revenge by assassinating the leader of The Empire. Although this ''does'' spark a war for the second game, and, well, The Empire does have a ''few'' more legions of disposable soldiers than the rag-tag underground rebels do. (Good thing you find aliens to help you!) Seriously, this game is ''fun''.
** Subverted in the third game, when Avernum ends up helping the Empire out. This leads to the Reconciliation and the Empire and Avernum becoming allies. The fifth game even has you play as Empire soldiers.
* The Empire in ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard}}'', also fighting its own [[TheFederation federation]] called The Union.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''
** The most prominent "Empire" throughout the series is the Cyrodiilic Empire, which has gone through three different iterations and, for the most part, has subverted or outright averted the trope, coming closer to TheGoodKingdom (or at least TheFederation). It is generally a benevolent force of good, enforcing rather liberal values (such as religious and racial tolerance) as well as a heavy focus on [[HumansAreDiplomats diplomacy]] and [[ProudMerchantRace mercantilism/trade]].
*** The First Cyrodiilic Empire was formed by St. Alessia, the "Slave Queen", following the successful SlaveRevolt of her people, the Nedes ({{Precursors}} to most of the modern races of Men in Tamriel), over the vile Ayleids (Wild Elves) who had enslaved and brutally tortured them. (Interestingly, the Ayleids are credited as having founded the very first empire of any kind in Tamriel.) This new empire contained her Nedic people, [[TokenHeroicOrc rebel Ayleid lords]], and was closely allied with the [[HornyVikings Nordic]] Empire to the north. Compared to the situation under Ayleid rule, her empire was extremely benevolent. However, about a century after her death, the "monkey prophet" Marukh, an [[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys Imga]] from Valenwood, came to power as the leader of the Alessian Order within the empire. The order was an extremist [[FantasticRacism anti-elven]] religious force and would quickly take over the young empire. For the next 1000 years, the order violently purged any and all records and cultural artifacts of the Ayleids from the empire. Religious infighting and {{Civil War}}s among the cultures within the empire would eventually tear it apart.
*** The Second Cyrodiilic Empire was founded by Reman Cyrodiil I (though he himself would never hold the official title of Emperor). After uniting the disheveled petty kingdoms of Cyrodiil against the threat of [[{{Wutai}} Akaviri]] invaders, his lineage would go on to found the Second Empire. It would come to dominate all of Tamriel except for Morrowind (where the Dunmer [Dark Elf] people were protected by their {{Physical God}}s, the Tribunal) and the Summerset Isles (though he did get them to tangentially join his Empire via terms heavily favorable to the native Altmer [High Elves]). This Empire was again a largely benevolent force that, for the most part, successfully united most of Tamriel. When the last of the Reman line was assassinated, it brought the 1st Era to a close. However, the [[DefeatMeansFriendship Akaviri]] [[RegentForLife Potentates]] would rule in a continuation of the Second Empire for the first several centuries of the 2nd Era, until they too would be assassinated.
*** Following the collapse of the Second Empire, Tamriel descended into its own version of [[DarkAgeEurope the Dark Ages]]. It would be plagued for 500 years by all manner of threats, ranging from the more mundane (petty kings engaging in fruitless wars) to the supernatural (attempted [[OurGodsAreDifferent Daedric]] takeovers, mystical plagues, etc.) That came to an end when Tiber Septim came to power, first as a general to the Colovian King Cuchulain, then as emperor himself after Cuchulain was assassinated. He matched the Second Empire's expanse, got Morrowind to join as a VoluntaryVassal, and then gave special privileges to Morrowind in exchange for the Numidium, a [[OurDwarvesAreDifferent Dwemer]]-crafted HumongousMecha which was in the possession of the Dunmer. Using the Numidium, Septim completed his conquests by sacking Alinor, the capital of the long-time rival to the Cyrodiilic Empires, the [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Aldmeri]] [[AntiHumanAlliance Dominion]], in ''[[CurbStompBattle less than an hour]]''. The Third Cyrodiilic Empire would be ruled by the Septim line for nearly 500 years, and once again subverted the trope by being a generally benevolent force. (Though it is played straight in the spinoff game ''Redguard'', as it is set during the period when Tiber Septim was still conquering all of Tamriel, and one of the main villains is a corrupt Imperial governor.)
*** The Mede Empire, a continuation of the Third Empire most prominently seen in ''[[VIdeoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'', continued to rule following the Third Empire's formal collapse following the Oblivion Crisis. They've lost a significant amount of power and territory, now down to ruling just High Rock, Cyrodiil itself, and Skyrim, the last of which is in the midst of a civil war while attempting to secede from the empire. It again plays with the trope, being largely benevolent and having successfully fended off reformed the Aldmeri Dominion once, but was forced into unfavorable terms as part of an armistice. Even though they don't really seem to bother to enforce some of the unfavorable terms (such as the ban on [[DeityOfHumanOrigin Talos]] [[WarGod worship]]), they are seen as weak cowards by the seceding [[ProudWarriorRace Nords]].
** As mentioned in the entry for the Cyrodiilic Empires, the Aldmeri Dominion is an empire in all but name, and plays the trope straight. Based out of the Summerset Isles, the homeland of the [[OurElvesAreBetter Altmer (High Elves)]], the Dominion has also frequently included the Bosmer (Wood Elves) of Valenwood and the [[CatFolk Khajiit]] of Elsweyr in a massive AntiHumanAlliance. After being decimated and humiliated by Tiber Septim (using the Numidium), the Dominion laid dormant during the reign of the Septim Empire. However, the Thalmor, an even more elven-supremacist group of Altmeri religious extremists, [[BlatantLies took credit]] within their homeland for ending the Oblivion Crisis, winning them massive popular support. They reformed the Dominion, forcefully annexed Valenwood, and convinced to Khajiit to join as vassals with more BlatantLies. They waged war on what was left of the Third Empire, and though the Empire would survive the war, they at least managed to force unfavorable terms onto the VestigialEmpire of Cyrodiil which set the stage for it to further fall apart. The Thalmor are motivated by an old Altmeri religious belief that the mortal world was a cruel trick on their divine ancestors which forced them to experience mortal suffering, loss, and death, and they believe that if the mortal world is unmade, it will [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence return their spirits to a state of pre-creation divinity]]. One stage in this plan involves the destruction of Talos, the ascended god form of Tiber Septim ([[MergerOfSouls and others]]), who may be the last thing keeping the mortal world extant. (And there is evidence that they may be ''right'' about this.) Obviously, this would paint them as {{Omnicidal Maniac}}s in the eyes of just about every other race ([[MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch including among other Altmer who do not share this belief]]), so they have had to be crafty in implementing this plan.
* ''VideoGame/MageCraft'' The Altan Empire fits this nicely. They're even crushing a nearby republic.
* If it's a ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' game it has one of these. Generally the Empire has somehow fallen into the power of some [[SealedEvilInACan dark evil God]].
** Both [[VideoGame/FireEmblemGenealogyOfTheHolyWar Jugdral]] [[VideoGame/FireEmblemThracia776 games]] have the Grannvalian Empire. The twist is that for the first half of ''Genealogy of the Holy War'', the ''main characters themselves'' build it unwittingly when Sigurd embarks on a series of military expeditions to help his friends and winds up conquering most of Grannvale's neighbors in the process. The unscrupulous nobles behind him are more than willing to take advantage of this.
** ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemPathOfRadiance Path of Radiance]]''[='=]s Daein and its King Ashnard are the best fitting, the others are all 'correct' but with a few details of note. The sequel, ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemRadiantDawn Radiant Dawn]]'', gives this role to Begnion, which, unlike Daein, actually is an empire. The Dawn Brigade of Daein, the Greil Mercenaries of Crimea, and the empress of Begnion end up fighting against the empire's corrupt senate.
** ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemMysteryOfTheEmblem Mystery of the Emblem]]'' offers an interesting case - the Holy Kingdom of Archanea was a steadfast ally during the [[VideoGame/FireEmblemShadowDragonAndTheBladeOfLight previous war]]. However, when Hardin ascended to the throne, he rechristened it the Holy Archanean Empire, changing practically nothing else about it save for its motivations; it's the antagonistic nation of the game.
** ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones The Sacred Stones]]'' features a tragic example. The Grado Empire aren't bad guys at all and used to be on really good terms with the Kingdom of Renais. However, [[spoiler:their prince foreseeing that his father would die ''and'' that a terrible earthquake would destroy most of the nation utterly broke his spirit and caused him to make [[DealWithTheDevil a deal with the sealed Demon King for the power to change things]].]] [[TraumaCongaLine It's all downhill from there for everyone]].
* Oddly enough, Franchise/FireEmblem's SpiritualSuccessor, ''VideoGame/TearRingSaga'', goes out of its way to subvert this trope. The Caanan Empire seems like the above FE examples at first, but you later find out it's practically an outright HeroAntagonist. Its top ranking generals are all [[AntiVillain Anti Villains]] (yes, even Prince Julius), and eventually get smart enough to ''realize'' their emperor is just a puppet of [[ReligionOfEvil the Theocracy of Gazel]], and decide to actually work with the leader of LaResistance (who happens to be their long-lost prince) to expose this. Unfortunately, [[NiceJobBreakingItHero your army kills them all before they get the chance.]]
* In ''VisualNovel/TearsToTiara'' and the sequel ''[[VideoGame/TearsToTiara2 Tears to Tiara 2]]'', the Holy Empire is one. It is under the control of a CorruptChurch ran by KnightTemplar.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** The Covenant is a [[ScaryDogmaticAliens theocratic empire]] of multiple alien species lead by religious zealots on a crusade to assimilate every race in the galaxy and reveal the divine truth of the [[{{Precursors}} Forerunners]], whom they revere as gods. The Covenant teaches that by recovering [[LostTechnology extant Forerunner technology]] ("holy relics"), they will discover the locations of the [[ArtifactOfDoom Halos]] ("sacred rings") and obtain the means to embark upon the "[[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence Great Journey]]" - following in the path of the Forerunners and becoming gods themselves. In the year 2525 AD, the Covenant embarked on a holy war against Humanity, proclaiming the entire race to be an abomination to the gods. [[spoiler:In reality, the true motivation behind the war was to erase all evidence indicating a special connection between Mankind and the Forerunners.]] The Covenant came dangerously close to achieving its goals, pushing the human race to the brink of extinction over the course of a protracted interstellar war [[spoiler: ''and'' obtaining the means to activate the Halos, which in fact had no function but to kill all life in the galaxy]]. However, at the climax of the conflict the Covenant was torn asunder; shattering into a multitude of warring factions upon [[spoiler:the betrayal of the Elites by the Prophets and the concurrent revelation that there was no "Great Journey"]]. The UNSC was able to [[spoiler:forge a alliance with the more human-friendly Elites]] and defeat what was left of the original Covenant, securing the continued survival of Humanity.
** The United Nations Space Command is the military, scientific, and colonial administration agency of human space in the twenty-sixth century. Despite being TheFederation on paper, the UNSC is viewed by many of its own citizens as an oppressive, totalitarian empire, and indeed had its hands full fighting the [[YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters Insurrectionists]] (though they are portrayed more as fanatical terrorists and mass-murderers rather than romantic freedom fighters). By the time of the [[VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved first game]], most of the Insurrection had been wiped out by the Covenant and the UNSC had tightened its control over the surviving worlds, with the central civilian government ceding to it most of its remaining powers. With the dissolution of the Covenant, the UNSC is currently one of the dominant interstellar powers in the Orion-Cygnus Arm (despite an Insurrectionist resurgence), as demonstrated by the commissioning of the ''[[CoolSpaceship Infinity]]'' and the [[SuperSoldier SPARTAN-IV]] program.
** Before succumbing to the [[ParasiteZombie Flood]], the Forerunners were the most powerful civilization in the Halo universe since the time of the [[RecursivePrecursors Precursors]]; the Ecumene spanned the entirety of the Milky Way galaxy, encompassing over ''three million fertile worlds'' and controlling the most advanced technology ever conceived. The Forerunners believed fervently in the idea of the ''Mantle'' - [[BenevolentPrecursors a pseudo-philosophical/religious-political doctrine that charged the Forerunners with the custodianship of all life, no matter how great or small]] - which functioned as the driving force behind their society and the means to justify their [[AbusivePrecursors continuing domination over the myriad "primitive" races inhabiting their galaxy]], including ancient humanity.
** As shown in ''Literature/TheForerunnerSaga'', ancient humans (in conjunction with the San'Shyuum, aka Prophets) [[AdvancedAncientHumans had their own expansionist interstellar empire]] during the age of the Forerunners, believing themselves to be the ''true'' inheritors of the Mantle. Eventually, humanity and the Forerunners ended up warring when the former began invading the latter's worlds; although nearly advanced as the Forerunners themselves, the humans and their allies were out-numbered, out-gunned, and out-maneuvered by their adversaries. The Forerunners defeated the humans and obliterated their civilization, deprived them of their technology and worlds, erased their culture and history, and exterminated most of their population - the remainder were subjected to biological regression and fragmented into numerous sub-species before being forevermore sequestered on Earth as a nature reserve and laboratory animal source (the San'Shyuum got off comparatively lightly due to surrendering first; their punishment was "merely" some forced genetic devolution and being permanently quarantined to their home system). Then the Forerunners realized the humans were not trying to conquer them, [[spoiler: but instead were attempting to flee from the encroaching Flood]].
* The ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' series featured Revan's Sith Empire in the original and the Sith Triumvirate in the [[VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords sequel]].
** The latter being an allusion to the real-life [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Triumvirate Second Triumvirate]]. The Triumvirate has no territories it controls, just a network of agents and blackened ruins where they have attacked. It is explicitly stated they don't care who rules as long as the Jedi are wiped out, since they would be unchallenged to do anything they want.
** Both of those pale in comparison with the True Sith Empire, hiding in the Outer Rim, gathering strength to attack the weakened Republic. In fact, according to the novel ''Star Wars: The Old Republic: Literature/{{Revan}}'', Revan is the only reason why the Sith Emperor doesn't immediately strike at the Republic, which, thanks to Revan himself, is quite vulnerable to attack. Instead, he manages to keep the Emperor doubting for 300 years before the [[VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic attack finally happens]].
* Despite the name, the United Earth Federation of ''VideoGame/SupremeCommander'' is very much an empire, and a military dictatorship at that. Slavery of sorts is practiced, and there's at least some degree of restrictions on political freedom-the Infinite War began when outlying colonies began rejecting Earth rule and joining the Aeon. Earth's response was military in nature, one thing lead to another, and the Infinite War kicked off.
** The Aeon would also count, since they happen to led by a warmongering commander who plans to usurp the princess, and their goal is to brainwash everyone into accepting [[PathOfInspiration The Way]], and cleanse all nonbelievers.
* A few corrupt officials and officers aside, this is generally averted in ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'', where the Empire is not the primary antagonist.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfGraces'', the empire of Fendel is a corrupt mess that the other countries hate. Later in game you get to see how Fendel's people are affected by the corrupt government. In the town of Velanik, you can find a treasure chest at the end of a narrow path. Inside of it is a spoon, but when you turn around to leave a starving Fendelian child is blocking your way. You have to pay him 1,000 gald to escape. Thanks, the Empire!
* ''VideoGame/KisekiSeries'' plays with this with the Erebonian Empire, actually treated somewhat realistically. They're known to have been aggressively expansionist in the past, which makes the player suspicious of them at first. As it turns out though, most of its citizens are good people, and a lot disagree with its outdated nobility system just as much as foreign countries do. The few times it actually lives up to this trope are due to cases of TyrantTakesTheHelm. Some of the series' greatest heroes, like Olivier ([[spoiler: who is actually the ''prince'' of the empire]]) and Rean are from Erebonia and are trying to change the country for the better from the inside.
* ''VideoGame/SecretOfMana'' has an empire simply called the Empire that wants to harness the power of the Mana Fortress. A group in one of its towns was formed to work against it.
* The East European Imperial Alliance from ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'' is your standard Empire.
* ''VideoGame/ArcTheLad''
** The Dilzweld Empire. Their army seems unstoppable-- at the start of the game, they are about to attack The World Alliance (Huh, kinda sounds like TheFederation, don't it?), the grouping of the other five mighty nations, and they are certain they can win. Although, they might have some trouble with that, considering whole platoons of their gun-packing Army (they have mechs and airships, too) are defeated with little difficulty by a group of adventurers armed with a sword, an axe, a bow, and some kind of barbed fishing fly on a string.
** The Romalian Empire were actually somewhat competent and are the cause of all the problems in the series. The Academy from ''Arc the Lad 3'' fit this trope too, albeit they are a collection of scientists and scholars.. with platoons of soldiers with heavy machine guns and plans to rule the world. Romalia is a subversion: it started as a ''commercial'' empire, because a Romalian merchant was the first to discover spirit stones and to use them as an energy source: When Arc the Lad start, Romalia has been the world first super-power for already 1000 years, thanks to its control of the energy supplies, and things started to go really bad only one generation ago.
* The Furon Empire in ''VideoGame/DestroyAllHumans''.
* ''VideoGame/FreeSpace'' has the Ancients' Empire in its BackStory, which fell [[{{Precursors}} 8,000 years before the game begins]], annihilated by the [[OmnicidalManiac Shivans]]. The BackStory is told from the Ancients' point of view, chronicling their rise and fall, painting them somewhat sympathetically as victims of the "Cosmic Destroyers"... it's easy to forget that they were a galaxy-spanning war machine conquering planets and enslaving species left and right: "''And we saw other advanced life, and we subdued it, or we crushed it...''" The Shivans could almost be seen as the heroes in this case.
** The Vasudans are also governed by an Empire, though it seems to be a fairly benevolent one. It's also specifically mentioned to be a Parliamentary Empire. Indeed, the Vasudans' survival and economic prosperity following the devastation of their homeworld is largely attributed to their current Emperor, who is quite progressive and favors further integration with the Terrans in the sequel.
* The [[CatFolk Kilrathi]] Empire, from the ''VideoGame/WingCommander'' series.
* ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros'' has the Koopa Kingdom. Heavily militarised, run by a despotic monarch and frequently invading the Mushroom Kingdom... but oddly, in later games it's shown that not only are Bowser's soldiers [[PunchClockVillain mostly just doing their jobs]], they actually [[BenevolentBoss like, respect and admire Bowser]], and are quite loyal and proud of (if not understandably scared of pissing off) the [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot giant super-strong turtle-dragon king.]]
* Inverted with the Lanvaldear Kingdom and the Malkuth Empire in ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss''. Through Luke's POV, the Malkuth Empire should be the bad guys and his own kingdom Lanvaldear is good. Turns out, neither is really good nor bad. If anything, Malkuth is shown to be much more benevolent.
* Played quite straight in the MMORPG ''{{VideoGame/Pardus}}'', where the Empire has won every war it was involved in up to this point(no, not just in the backstory). This is even more surprising when you consider that the Empire(along with the other factions, The Federation and the Union) is completely player run!
** However, that is in orion, one of its three universes (servers). In Artemis, the empire loses quite often, with the federation mostly winning due to having the most members and the best organisation. Then again, wars are not really common, being mostly once a year.
* ''VideoGame/OverlordII'' has the Glorious Empire, a copy-paste of the Roman Empire, seeking to eradicate all magic in the world. [[spoiler:By "eradicate", The Emperor means gather it all in one spot then use it to become a god and reshape the world. Standard stuff.]]
* Played straight in ''Franchise/BreathOfFire'' and ''extremely'' to trope in ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireIV''. How much to trope? This much: the Empire not only has the honour of having TheFederation led by the local equivalent of TheGoodKingdom in a cycle of running hot-and-cold wars for ''six hundred years'', but actively is attempting to ''kill the very GodEmperor the country summoned six hundred years ago to unite the VestigialEmpire of the last dynasty'' because the present emperor doesn't want to give up his job. Up to and including [[NukeEm using a Magical Nuke powered by aforementioned god's ''love interest'']]. This only succeeds in [[KillEmAll really pissing off]] aforementioned GodEmperor.
* During the Demon Path of ''VideoGame/SoulNomadAndTheWorldEaters'', [[spoiler:[[VillainProtagonist Reyva]] conquers the kingdom of Orviska and decides to make it the base of thier new empire, giving themself the title of the [[EvilOverlord Devourlord]] to go with it. Unfortunately, they weren’t awake when the name of the empire was decided and finds out that it had been named the ''[[SuperFunHappyThingOfDoom BFF Empire]]'' by the time they wake up.
* Averted in the ''VideoGame/{{Disciples}}'' series. The Empire, the human force and the local JackOfAllStats race, are more often than not generally the good guys, though there were some corrupted nobles that gained a lot of power during the time skip between the Original game and the Sequel, because the Emperor did mostly nothing for the entire decade. Once they got a new King, they cleaned up their act considerably. And then the Elves invaded them for [[DesignatedAntagonist poorly explained reasons]].
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' has two: the Tevinter Imperium (a VestigialEmpire by the time of the games) and the Orlesian Empire, the true Empire of the game's present setting. Amusingly enough, neither of them has been a major antagonist in a game so far: they are at best background elements while the game focuses on bigger threats such as [[TheMorlocks the Darkspawns]].
* Magnagora, the Engine of Transformation from ''VideoGame/{{Lusternia}}''. It's ruled over by a DeadlyDecadentCourt, its most populous race are [[TheSocialDarwinist racist]] mutants twisted by TheCorruption, and it uses TheUndead as shock-troopers to blitz and overwhelm its enemies. Despite their [[LawfulEvil obvious inclinations]], they can be surprisingly subtle and manipulative in their perpetual bids for power.
* The Confederation in ''VideoGame/EscapeVelocity''.
** The Voinian Empire in ''VideoGame/EscapeVelocity Override''.
** The Auroran Empire of ''VideoGame/EscapeVelocity Nova'' is mostly TheAlliance merged with ProudWarriorRace, but they do have their Imperial moments and aspects. The ''real'' example in Nova is [[spoiler: [[StateSec the Bureau]], working through TheFederation - they are an autocratic organisation (headed by a Chairperson) seeking to suborn all humanity under their rule, and already have control of one of the three major states of Known Space]].
* The Terrans have several in ''VideoGame/StarCraft'':
** The Terran Dominion, ruled by Emperor and former terrorist, Arcturus Mengsk.
** The UED in the ''Brood Wars'' expansion.
** The Terran Confederacy was this in all but name, as well as lacking a single ruler. Their most famous acts are nuking a planet for some of the citizens speaking out against them and sending assassins to decapitate a family. No wonder many humans actually welcomed Mengsk's new government.
* The, well, Empire in ''VideoGame/GratuitousSpaceBattles'', which is one of the most powerful galactic civilizations, a technologically-advanced powerhouse that has existed for thirty thousand years and counting and is bent on conquering what parts of the galaxy they haven't taken yet. Their "Emperor" is a bit "under the weather" - no one's seen him in about a thousand years or so, but the Empire itself keeps marching along.
* Bronquia in ''VideoGame/YggdraUnion'' [[spoiler:except not.]]
* The Galaxy-spanning Taiidan Empire in ''VideoGame/{{Homeworld}}'' can perhaps best be described as what would have happened if the Galactic Empire from ''Franchise/StarWars'' had been allowed to remain intact for 4000 years. Not very pretty.
** The BackStory reveals that the Hiigarans were pretty imperialistic in the old days, boldened by the fact that they had one of the three original hyperspace cores, giving them immense power. They use it to transport their fleet past the Taiidani defense lines right above the Taiidani homeworld, raining destruction on it. After the Bentusi interfered and took away their core, and wiped out a sizable chunk of their fleet, the vengeful Taiidani struck back and drove the Hiigarans from their homeworld, which they took for themselves as repayment.
* Caesar's Legion in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', modeled off of Imperial Rome, have the Evil part down, adopting traditions of cultural extinction and genocide, slavery and crucifixion. Their objective in the game is to establish the Empire part. Caesar however still thinks they're TheHorde, and wants Vegas to be their Rome thus making them a true Empire.
* ''VisualNovel/EienNoAselia'' has the Sargios empire, the strongest nation on the continent. The people are actually perfectly content since they don't have to do any of the fighting and are benefited by the imperialistic nature of the empire.
* The Junaris Empire of ''VideoGame/VanguardBandits''. The largest nation on the continent, they came into power by rebelling against the [[TheGoodKingdom Pharastia Kingdom]] and continue to war with them to the current day. They're the most consistent enemy on every path in the game.
* The Empire of the Rising Sun in ''VideoGame/RedAlert3''. All hail [[Franchise/StarTrek Emperor Sulu!]]. Interestingly, if you win the game as the Empire, Emperor Yoshiro grants you the rank of shogun. Historically, the shogunate usually held all the power in Japan, while the Emperor was merely a figurehead.
* The Terran Empire in ''VideoGame/GroundControl II'', originally the Draconis Empire, who renamed themselves after conquering Earth. They then spend centuries solidifying their hold on the Inner Sphere colonies and building up their military. They then strike out at the [[TheAlliance Northern Star Alliance]], crushing all resistance mercilessly. The leader of the Terran fleet is Imperator Vlaana Azleea, AKA the Butcher of Ariel, charged by TheEmperor to bring all the colonies under Imperial control, even if it means bombing them into nothingness. The Empire is partly modeled after the Roman Empire, including the ranks (imperator, centurion) and the fact that their foot soldiers are called legionnaires.
* ''VideoGame/UniverseAtWar'': The Hierarchy play the stereotypical role of an Empire. Their a galaxy spanning race that has conquered countless worlds, and strip mine them for their resources (and by resources it includes all of its living inhabitants).
* In the ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X-Universe]]'', the [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Split Dynasty]] and [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Paranid Empire]] are opposed to the Argon Federation and Kingdom of Boron. The Split are the straighter version in that they're the only member of the Commonwealth that still practices slavery. Still, morality in the series is kinda grey; overall the only thing that makes either side good or evil is that the last time the two sides went to war, the Split and Paranid were the aggressors.
* The Terran Republic in ''VideoGame/PlanetSide 1''. Despite their [[BlatantLies "Republic" name]], they are an oppressive regime that would put the USSR to shame. The Republic is ruled by a oligarchy, free speech is illegal, all movements are tracked, and they purposely kick-started a conflict on Auraxis to test out new military technology, and then arrest and execute anyone who joined the [[MachineCult other]] [[LaResistance factions]] that sprung up when their wormhole "failed". They even have a healthy dose of RedAndBlackAndEvilAllOver. However, ''VideoGame/PlanetSide 2'' makes them more or less TheFederation, being a much more benign state, [[GreyAndGrayMorality though not without its faults, just like the other factions]]
* The Order of Nations from ''VideoGame/EndOfNations''. It was originally one man's dream of a new world order which eventually [[UnitedNationsIsASuperPower assimilated and superseded the United Nations]] and became the strictly totalitarian government that is is by time the events of the game takes place.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/{{Naev}}''. At the current stage of development the Empire is actually the nicest, most stable government in the setting.
* As of ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'', the Klingon Empire has again reverted back to its TOS practices, once more dropping its alliance with the Federation and waging a war of conquest in the Alpha Quadrant. So far it has conquered Gorn and several other worlds, established military alliances with the Nausicaans and Orions and has made several incursions into Federation space. Overall it's now the second leading superpower in the ST universe after the Federation (discounting the Borg, Undine and Iconians).
** Over the course of the gameplay the Klingon Empire ends up drifting back over a series of EnemyMine incidents to the TNG state of downplaying the Empire bit since it would make the Federation-Klingon alliance look less sympathetic. Several other empires or would-be empires end up ''being'' some of those EnemyMine incidents -- the alliance between the Tal Shiar and Sela's Romulan Star Empire, while mostly The Empire to other Romulans (and the Remans), make several aggressive moves in the early story, the Terran Rebellion in ''[=DS9=]'' turns out have re-established the Terran Empire (and some factions in it are interested in branching out to conquest of the other reality), [[spoiler: Laas]] makes an abortive move to use terrorist Cardassians and left-over Alpha Jem'Hadar to found a Dominion-in-the-Alpha-Quadrant, the [[spoiler: Vaadwaur]] are brutally re-creating their long-gone Supremacy...
* ''VideoGame/HardCorpsUprising'' has the Commonwealth Empire.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'' provides examples of imperial enterprise:
** Rising from their homeworld after reverse-engineering the Reapers' technology - the [[{{MinovskyPhysics}} Mass Effect]] - the Protheans forged a mighty galactic empire through the aggressive assimilation of alien species; those who submitted were allowed to prosper under their Prothean masters and even have a circumspect voice in interstellar policy. [[{{MightMakesRight}} Those who resisted - such as the Zha'til - were exterminated completely as an example to others]].
** The once-mighty Batarian Hegemony is a {{vestigial empire}} in an advanced stage of decay by the time humans appear on the galactic stage. Cruel and despotic, but otherwise corrupt and ineffectual, the Batarians are Humanity's primary extraterrestrial rivals in the latter's efforts to colonize space. Rather than jeopardize its dwindling military resources in an all-out war with the Alliance and risk the unilateral intervention of the Council races, the Hegemony has resorted to financially backing independent pirate and slaver attacks on outlying human settlements.
** In contrast to the previous entries, the Turian Hierarchy is an example of the ''good'' empire. A Council race and a civilization of professional soldiers; the Turians live, breathe, and ''die'' on the mantra that the needs of the many outweigh the few and that no personal sacrifice is neither too small nor too great for a cause greater than one's self. The Turians are the Mass Effect galaxy's peacekeeping force, holding the barbarians at bay and preventing the light of civilized life from ever being extinguished. The Turians also maintain a string of client-states on the periphery of their territory; races that have accepted Turian dominion in exchange for guaranteed protection and limited sovereignty. The Volus in particular provide necessary economic infrastructure that the Turians have always lacked. When humans made first contact with the Alliances' armed forces at Shanxi, the Turians chose to wage war and assimilate the humans into their empire as a client race. Their efforts backfired when their mobilization drive provoked an intervention from the Citadel council and the subsequent negotiations brought the conflict to a close and Humanity was inducted into the galactic community.
* ''Videogame/WildStar'' has The Dominion, who span most of the known galaxy and intend to bring the "unenlightened" vermin of the universe to their glorious ranks... or crush them, if they choose to resist.
* Led by the Visionary, the Authority seeks to establish a military dictatorship over the entire Earth in the early twenty-second century following a major impact event and is the BigBad in ''VideoGame/{{Rage}}''. According to the WordOfGod, the Visionary is an American Army general named Cross who hijacked a "Super Ark" bearing elite soldiers, technical specialists, and bleeding-edge, prototype technology. The Ark program was meant to ensure the continuity of the human race, but Cross has warped its goals in order to stamp ''his'' New World Order across the entire planet. To accomplish this, Cross imprisoned the remaining Arks beneath the Earth's crust - where their inhabitants would eventually perish inside their stasis pods when on-board life support systems failed. Then he built the largest, most disciplined military the Wasteland had ever seen. A rather easy task, as the Authority is the only entity that possesses the sufficient resources necessary to field and equip a professional army of armored soldiers with advanced weaponry.
** At first, the Wastelanders welcomed Cross and his Authority as saviors; hoping-beyond-hope that they would crush the deranged cultists and bandit tribes and bring-about a new golden age for Humanity. In Cross' mind, he did just that; however his tyrannical methodology alienates the local populace from his cause and sparks a LaResistance movement - called the Resistance - led by disaffected Ark survivors who managed to make it to the surface and escape the Authority's routine sweep-and-purge operations.
* The very first [[VideoGame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic Heroes Chronicles]] features (the Empire of) Bracaduun, ruled by tyrannical Wizard-Lords, which at that point is the most powerful state in Antagarich, dominating the entire southern region and oppressing the barbarians of Krewlod. It gets toppled by the barbarian protagonist (who at that point has descended into being a tyrant that seeks his own barbarian empire). There are other empires scattered about the timeline, but they tend to have rather short imperial periods or very little information on what kind of empire they actually were. What is more common in the games is people desiring to forge an empire, but the only one to arguably succeed (for more than a few years, at least) is Morglin Ironfist, the canonical protagonist of ''Heroes I'' who fled from another world after a failed usurpation attempt and conquered a continent -- and his Kingdom of Enroth not only was heavily indicated to be built on a pre-existing tradition of unity of relatively recent relevance even if the details were vague, but ceased to have any imperial ambitions basically from the end of ''Heroes I'' and settled down into a generally-benevolent-ish kingdom.
* The Khadaganian empire from ''VideoGame/EvilIslands''.
* ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyGhosts'' has the Federation of the Americas, which rose when a war in the Middle East caused a global economic crash due to the loss of oil except for a few superpowers. They're a political union of the countries in South America, though they also conquered all of Central America and those few South American countries that didn't join them. They also open the game by launching a devastating sneak attack on American cities that end up killing ''23 million people'' and after a ten year TimeSkip the United States is still at war with them.
* The PBEM game ''VGAPlanets'' has ''The Evil Empire'' as an {{Expy}} of the Galactic Empire of StarWars fame. For whatever reason, it echoes the Ronald Reagan speech of the [[TheEighties 80s]], that identified the Soviet Union with an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil_empire Evil empire]] -it even has concentration camps, er, gulags-, and we've communist simbology there such as the hammer and the sickle over a red background, and ship classes named Mig [[note]]{{Expy}} of the Imperial Lambda-class shuttle from Return of the Jedi[[/note]], Moscow, and Gorbi[[note]]{{Expy}} of the [[PlanetKiller Death Star]][[/note]]. [[http://www.vgaplanets.com/v4races/rc108f.htm See it by yourself]]
* Every server of ''VideoGame/ImperiumNova'' has the player's houses operating in one, at least in name. Gemini has at least seven, plus an Alliance. And Capricorn's empire broke up after reigning for 380 years, and six houses have formed their own "kingdoms", though at least one has ambitions of restoring the empire.
* ''VideoGame/DefendersQuestII'' gives us "the Jackass Empire."
-->'''[[LemonyNarrator Javir]]:''' Yes, yes, I know, they have a real name that's hard to pronounce and carries with it centuries of tradition, but I just call things how I see them. And let me tell you, these guys are jackasses of the highest caliber.
* The Azadi Empire in ''VideoGame/{{Dreamfall}}'' is an AntiMagicalFaction that hunts down and either kills or oppresses all magic-users and magical people. While the Azadi use magic (and {{Magitek}}) out of necessity (using complex technology is a crapshoot in a world where the laws of nature are in flux), they don't specifically call it thus. Instead of a single sovereign, the Azadi are ruled by a group of empresses known as the Six. They are just as ruthless as any Emperor could possibly be.
* The Gratze Empire in ''VideoGame/LufiaIIRiseOfTheSinistrals'' appears as a minor subplot version, but twenty years later in ''VideoGame/LufiaTheRuinsOfLore'', the King of Gratze has unsealed [[SealedEvilInACan an ancient Beast]] with ambitions of conquering the world.
* The Empire of Estellion in the ''VideoGame/{{Ravenmark}}'' games starts out as a relatively benevolent example (for its citizens). It's still an empire in that it conquers and annexes neighboring territories whether the people there want it or not. It has an Emperor, but the title is not necessarily passed to the first descendant (it can, but there are exceptions). From its very beginning, Estellion was set up as a ''meritocratic'' empire, with any commoner capable of attaining nobility with decades of loyal service (usually military, although administrative is also possible if longer). The title is only temporary, holding only for two generations, but if a family manages to maintain an unbroken line of titles for ten generations (i.e. through continued service), the family becomes a permanent noble House. The first game starts right after the death of Emperor Sergius Corvius, a wise and benevolent ruler by all accounts. His daughter (first child) doesn't want the job, so his son (second child) makes a power grab. However, Sergius secretly groomed Livia Cassianus, a bastard child of the royal house, to be his successor. By the end of the first game, the civil war is over, and Livia is crowned Empress. Unfortunately, [[spoiler:the BigBad kills her LoveInterest]], and this ends up being her StartOfDarkness. By the next game, four years later, she is known as the Scarlet Empress and has grown ruthless in her desire to stamp out all enemies, both foreign and domestic. The Kaysani invasion, the civil war, and Livia's policies end up fracturing the Empire and reducing its power, as well as pitting it against a former ally, the [[TheGoodKingdom Commonwealth of Esotre]]. As the game starts, the Empire is locked in a MeleeATrois with both the Commonwealth and a new nation called the Farishah Federation and is about on par with its enemies, whereas before it could have crushed them both. Additionally, the Twin Cities, the cultural and economic heart of the Empire, declare their independence and use armies of mercenaries to retain it, further weakening the Empire.
* The Eurasian Dynasty in the ''[[VideoGame/{{Earth 2150}} Earth]]'' games. One of the few nation-states to appear following WorldWarThree, the ED combines the USSR with the Mongol Empire (the founder was a Russian army colonel who married into a Mongolian tribe). It then spends a century expanding aggressively, using upgraded Russian tech and cyborg troopers to achieve dominance in Eurasia. By the mid-[=22nd=] century, it's only true rival are the United Civilized States, a hedonistic democracy of sorts based on the ruins of the US. For bonus points, the ED Emperor is shown to always wear a hooded cloak akin to [[StarWars Palpatine]].
* The ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClank'' series gives us Percival Tachyon's empire. Using a combination of a hired army and technology from the Lombaxes, he quickly conquered planet after planet throughout the Polaris Galaxy. By the time the duo had arrived, only a handful of planets remained untouched. [[spoiler:Then he brought back the Cragmites, which shifted the war in his favor]].
* The empire in ''VideoGame/{{Alphadia}}'' had spent the past century of relative peace by secretly re-arming itself, allowing it to easily conquer the other, disarmed, nations.
* The Gestahl Empire in ''VideoGame/AlphadiaGenesis2'' doesn't hide the fact that it's using the purge of "accursed" as an excuse to kill anyone who would be planning a revolution. Women and children are not spared.
* ''VideoGame/DiscoveryFreelancer'' has two immediate examples of [[OutsideContextProblem Gallia]] and [[EqualOpportunityEvil The Core]] so far, with the Nomads being pretty much [[Series/{{Firefly}} Reavers.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Stellaris}}'' "Empire" is the game term for any polity capable of spaceflight and in control of at least one planet, but they need not necessarily fit this trope, depending on government type and AI personality. The Despotic Empire and Star Empire governments and the "Hegemonic Imperialists" personality are closest. Of course, a player can choose a democratic government and still conquer the galaxy by military force.
* ''VideoGame/{{Evolve}}'' has Hub, the Earthly centered galactic superpower. It replies to attempted rebellions with extreme force and isn't above killing off colonies because they found a source of material Hub wants the monopoly on.
* At their peak, before the Varelsi threatened the remaining star systems in the universe, the Jennerit Empire from ''VideoGame/{{Battleborn}}'' was the most far-reaching civilization in existence. The star-spanning empire was originally ruled by Empress Lenore and fought against the Varelsi. That was until the Empress' right-hand Lothar Rendain led a coup against her, feeling that it would be better to join up with the Varelsi instead in order to survive. The coup resulted in the darkening of the Jennerit's then throneworld of Jennar and everyone on it, including the Empress Lenore. With that, the Jennerit Empire under Rendain was renamed the Jennerit Imperium. Although Rendain had seized power, not everyone within the empire decided to abide by his regime as evidenced by a growing resistance that's been rising throughout the Jennerit Imperium.
* In ''VideoGame/LootersOfDystopia'', the Omega Empire, led by Emperor Duke and enforced by the Wild Trumps, rules with an iron fist over the land. The heavy taxes have crushed the economy, drugs and prostitution are rampant despite the former ostensibly being illegal, and the empire is not above using slavery or necromancy to achieve its aims.
** ''VideoGame/{{RosenkreuzStilette}}'' actually ''inverts'' this sinc the Holy Empire are the heroes and LaResistance [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized are the villains]].
* ''VideoGame/XenobladeChronicles2'' has the Empire of Mor Ardain, a heavily militarized, expansionist superpower that fields armies of black-armored GasMaskMooks, has more advanced technology than the rest of the world, has already conquered the more pastoral nation of Gormott, and is in a ColdWar with another nation. The first major Ardanian characters you meet are a somewhat corrupt JerkAss official, and a woman with the forboding title of High Inquisitor. [[spoiler: It's actually a [[SubvertedTrope subversion]]. The Ardainians are just looking for a way to survive an oncoming ecological catastrophe[[note]]Their Titan(the living continent the empire sits upon) is dying, and they need to go ''somewhere''.[[/note]], and once they find out that the protagonist has an alternative solution, they actively support him. Madam Inquisitor even joins your party ''without'' the need for a HeelFaceTurn.]]


[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/{{Sunrider}}'' has two historical empires in its backstory.
** The Holy Ryuvian Empire was a theocratic stated ruled by a succession of {{God Emperor}}s, and it controlled the entire galaxy for tens of thousands of years before it went into a sharp decline. By the present day it has become a VestigialEmpire consisting of a single backwater planet.
** The New Empire was founded in the wake of the Ryuvian Empire’s collapse, and its rulers saw themselves as successors to the Ryuvian God-Emperors. It was an oppressive place where the elite lived in luxury on the paradise planet of Eden Prime, while the rest of their citizens toiled in poverty. They tried to conquer the entire galaxy and were the dominant superpower for several hundred years, until the fledgling [[TheFederation Solar Alliance]] defeated them in the [[GreatOffscreenWar Alliance-Imperial War]] and stopped their conquest cold in its tracks. Over the next century a revolution would sweep through its territories, causing the New Empire to collapse—and be [[FullCircleRevolution reorganized]] into the [[PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny People’s Alliance for Common Treatment]], or PACT—several years before the start of the game.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'': The Wulfenbach Empire, founded by Baron Klaus Wulfenbach during the chaos following the Other's reign of terror and based around the principle of "don't make me come over there!" Given that most rulers in the setting are {{Mad Scientist}}s this generally means that Klaus is putting down a rebellion quite often, and few of them are good, possibly even the one our intrepid heroine finds herself forced into simply by being a lost heir to one of the more influential (and [[TheCaligula crazier]]) Spark families.
** The worst part of this is that the Wulfenbach Empire is the most effective government in the known history of Europa. The last Empire on its scale was the semi-mythical Storm King's domain centuries ago. In fact, after a two year timeskip in which the Wulfenbachs have lost most of their territory from rebellions, [[spoiler: the Empire is thought of as a lost Golden Age and many fiefdoms suddenly finding themselves under attack beg to rejoin. All that after just two years.]]
** While it is an empire, it has no actual Emperor. Klaus goes by the relatively humble title of [[JustTheFirstCitizen "Baron Wulfenbach"]] since he doesn't really give a damn about noble titles. Martellus claims this is one of the reasons the noble families kept rebelling against him. If Klaus had proclaimed himself Emperor, the nobles would have gladly followed him. Not taking the title meant he was not playing the game, and they couldn't forgive the insult.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'': It's never seen in action being that the main characters are all teenagers, but the Alternian Empire from which the {{troll}}s hail was reportedly a formidable and dominating conquering force constantly at war across the universe, seeking to conquer and add more territories to its own. After hundreds - possibly thousands - of years of this, the [[BrownNote Vast Glub]] and the [[ColonyDrop meteor apocalypse]] on Alternia [[ApocalypseHow put an end to that]].
* ''Webcomic/{{The Monster and The Girl}}'': the Bright and Glorious Empire of One Hundred Galaxies
* ''Webcomic/LastRes0rt'' has the People's Republic of Celigo, which is allied with the [[ChurchOfHappyology Star Org]] (and it's up for debate which half is really in control).
* In ''Webcomic/NipAndTuck'' ShowWithinTheShow ''Rebel Cry'', the Federation is an Empire.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'': Elan's father Tarquin not only controls his own three-pronged empire, but he uses his understanding of the world's narrative structure to deduce that it MUST succeed for a significant amount of time...or else there would be no drama in a lone hero opposing it someday!
* The Souballo Empire from ''Webcomic/OurLittleAdventure'' is probably going to be the main antagonistic force of the comic.[[RagtagBunchOfMisfits The adventuring group]] is about to get on a boat to the continent where its holds a huge foothold.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2004-09-13 Slick grumbles this, and Monique points out they can be rebels.]]
* The Kingdom of Aurum in ''Webcomic/GhostsAmongTheWildFlowers'' seems to be getting set up as antagonists. Its ruler wants the Ghost Treasure (apparently for his son's sake,) and its minions are quite willing to detain and interrogate people about same.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Website/TheGrandListOfConsoleRolePlayingGameCliches'' sums it up rather eloquently in [[ConsoleRPGCliches121To144 the Last Rule of Politics]]: "Kingdoms are good. Empires are evil."
* ''TabletopGame/TechInfantry'' has several factions, both human and alien, that occasionally or always fit this trope. The Earth Federation was determined to be the only government of the human species, and aggressively expanded at the expense of various alien empires, who were trying to do the same to them. Then they get replaced by the Middle Kingdom after one faction finally wins the seemingly endless human civil war, and they are even worse in this department. Various alien empires, from the [[BugWar Arachnids]] to the [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Jurvain]] also fit the trope.
* ''Literature/DecadesOfDarkness'' has the *USA and the Brazilian Empire.
* In the Literature/ChaosTimeline... well, since this is a realistic (hi)story, it's a question of your POV. The New Roman Empire, the German Technocracy and others might all qualify.
* ''Roleplay/OpenBlue'' has two rival empires, Avelia (A mix of Imperial Spain and Great Britain) and Sirene (UsefulNotes/ImperialGermany), and a VestigialEmpire, Yaman (Imperial Russia). The BackStory features the Iormunean Imperium, a FantasyCounterpartCulture to AncientRome, as {{precursors}} armed with weapons [[ReligionIsMagic blessed by their god]] who suffered a {{Gotterdammerung}}. Ironically, the three present empires are all part of a larger ''[[TheFederation Federation]]'', the Axifloan Coalition.
* [[FunWithAcronyms The Galactic League of Extraterrestrial Exploration]] from ''Theatre/{{Starship}}''
* The Enforcers of the Plot Continuum, the [[WebOriginal/ProtectorsOfThePlotContinuum PPC]]'s EvilCounterpart, are dedicated to [[MultiversalConqueror multiversal conquest]] and apparently already rule large sections of their multiverse. On finding out about the prime multiverse, it's been hinted they've now set their sights on it.
* The Sith Council and The Galactic Empire are modern factions in ''Roleplay/TheGunganCouncil'' that have the most planets out of any other faction.
* ''Website/{{Pixiv}} Fantasia I'': Aizerun. The empire holds an ideology that basically amount to [[MightMakesRight fantastic fascism]]. A country of Beastmen used to exist in its southern territory. ''[[FantasticRacism Used to]]''.
* The Empire of ''Roleplay/ThereIsNoGATEWeDidNotFightThere'' highly resembles a fantasy Roman Empire, with the presence of many things based on Roman culture (such as some names, buildings, martial styles, the treatment of slaves, racism, and other aspects). Presented as a necessary evil and a light in the darkness despite its many faults, because it brought order to the otherwise bloody and uncivilized world.
-->We all recognise Rome as one of the greatest cultures and Empires that has ever existed. In spite of the slavery, in spite of the oppression, in spite of the naked racism, Rome was a shining beacon in the dark world.
-->The Empire is far more than Rome could ever hope to have been.
* ''WebAnimation/{{Dreamscape}}'': The vampires of the Underworld are an empire of their own, which includes Vampire Lord. In his flashback in "Confronting the Dark", Vampire Lord reveals they gave him the title of 'Lord' (from Vampire Knight) after he saved them from a FogOfDoom.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The ''[[Franchise/AvatarTheLastAirbender Avatar]]'' franchise:
** The Fire Nation during the time of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. It's even AllThereInTheManual that they're conquering the world for the same reason real empires in the Industrial Age did: they industrialized first and now need resources which they can get from their less advanced neighbors.
** The Earth Kingdom in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' has traits of an empire, being the largest nation there is. It is ruled by the previous Earth King's evil and tyrannical daughter, Hou-Ting. Unlike her immediate predecessors, the Earth Queen's rule is more centralized (for one thing, the [[SecretPolice Dai Li]] are actually loyal to her), though she still has some trouble establishing order and collecting taxes outside the boundaries of Ba Sing Se due to the unpopularity of many of her rulings. After Hou-Ting's assassination, Kuvira spends three years bringing order to her chaos-ravaged land under the orders of the United Republic of Nations, only to strike out and form her own despotic Earth Empire.
* The Irken Empire on ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'' is organized, militaristic, expansionist, and also strangely [[CloudCuckooLander frivolous]]. Their M.O. has them inserting [[TheMole a covert operative]] to scout a planet for weaknesses, send in an invasion force, looting the place for snacks, enslaving the survivors as a client race if they're useful or exterminating them if not, and converting the planet for a single purpose, such as a parking structure or a food court. They're weird like that. They also determine authority solely by height, with their leaders called "The Tallest." The only reason they're so successful is that everyone else in the universe is even stupider than they are.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats'' and ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'' reveals that the [[{{Catfolk}} Cats]]' civilization, though initially presented as TheGoodKingdom, has become this, through a belief that CatsAreSuperior, and serious cases of FutureImperfect and WrittenByTheWinners. Though not straight-up evil, it's clear that [[ProudWarriorRace militarism]], AnimalJingoism, FantasticRacism and a FantasticCasteSystem are all a part of everyday life. So while it's a nuanced take on the trope, one can easily have mixed feelings when the [[LizardFolk Lizards]] and [[BigBad Mumm-Ra]] destroy it.
* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' has [[SiliconBasedLife Homeworld]]. This empire is led by the [[BigBad Great Diamond Authority]], consisting of [[TheStoic Yellow Diamond]], [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds Blue Diamond]], [[HeWhoMustNotBeSeen White Diamond]] and formerly, [[AlasPoorVillain Pink Diamond]]. They conquer worlds, sucking the life and energy out of them to make more Gems, and have little to no regard for organic life. Homeworld has a FantasticCasteSystem, lots of FantasticRacism (especially towards [[SlaveRace Pearls]]), and do not have an issue with [[KilledOffForReal shattering gems]] and using them for the [[EldritchAbomination fusion experiments]] and [[EarthShatteringKaboom the Cluster]] if they don't conform to their standards. [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids You know. For kids!]]
%%MOD NOTE: No real life examples.