A (usually) villainous version of La Résistance, The Remnant are a group of enemy soldiers who are continuing to fight a war that their side has already lost. They may be using irregular military tactics, but they will probably still be dressed in their old uniforms (or the remnants thereof). Unlike a General Ripper, The Remnant no longer hold an official position in the armed forces, often because their government has ceased to exist or has been replaced. In a number of cases, this happens because nobody on either side has yet been informed that the war is over. The losing side then becomes The Remnant by default after the fact.
This is sometimes Truth in Television, as guerrilla forces and paramilitary can be the scourge of entire countries, with no regard to the life of those they claim to defend.
For a more short term 'bigger brother' concept of this, see Dragon Their Feet. In fact, the Dragon in question may end up leading these guys. May be the Vestigial Empire. The government they're trying to overthrow is likely The Federation.
This tends to be a case of Moral Dissonance or out-of-universe Moral Myopia. Good guys who do this are Determinators and La Résistance and extra heroic for fighting in the face of near-impossible odds. Bad guys are just, well, bad. See also Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters.
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Anime And Manga
The Principality of Zeon, from Mobile Suit Gundam, has scads of these; there are at least five separate groups that appear in the animation, and it's implied that there are more. The single largest one fled to the asteroid base Axis and became the first Neo Zeon movement in Zeta Gundam; the others include the Delaz Fleet, Cima's marines, and the Kimbareid force (all in Gundam 0083), as well as Rommel's force (in Gundam ZZ).
The furthest extension of this appears in Gundam F90, centering on Zeon remnants who've been hiding on Mars for nearly fifty years before making their move.
The second Neo-Zeon movement in Char's Counterattack isn't really composed of remnants from the Principality of Zeon but is rather composed of ex-AEUG and other spacenoids who have took a radical bent, it gets its own remnant in Gundam Unicorn.
The Millennium Group from Hellsing is a single battalion of Nazi soldiers who have voluntarily undergone artificial vampirification in their mission give World War II another go.
Though they're a variation on the usual type, since they're not fighting for Nazism, but because they reallylike fighting.
The last prime minister of Japan in Code Geass is treated somewhat like this trope... But he never got to go through with it because Suzaku killed him. It's heavily implied that Brittania would have eradicated Japan utterly if he had.
Fate Averruncus of Mahou Sensei Negima!. Manga only though, the anime renders this impossible for plot altering reasons. Fate was second in command of a group called Cosmo Entelecheia, a group that was trying to bring about the end of the world A.K.A. "The Ritual To Return The World To Nothing". The group was lead by someone who was only known as "The Life Maker" and "The Mage of the Beginning". They fueled a war in order to accomplish this. It was the war and the defeat of The Mage Of The Beginning that made Nagi Springfield (Protagonist's father) a legend. After that he was known as "The Invincible Thousand Master" or just The Thousand Master for short. Fate hasn't given up.
Or he might be the newest version of the second in command of Cosmo Entelecheia.
The Kiheitai in Gintama is a revolutionary army that seeks to violently drive the Amanto aliens out of Japan, even if it means that Japan will be destroyed in the process. In fact, the complete and total destruction of Japanese society under Amanto influence seems to be the desired goal of this group's leader, Takasugi, who has shown both a willingness and a creepy enthusiasm to do the destroying himself. Then again, Takasugi is also a Nietzsche Wannabe and seems solely interested in destruction and avenging his teacher's death.
Hegemon Heidi Ingvalt of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid is a subversion. Nove assumes her reasons for wanting to fight Vivio and Ixpellia is because to her the wars of Ancient Belka never ended, but Einhart denies this saying she only wants to prove the superiority of her Kaiser Arts. Once she actually meets Vivio, she quickly becomes The Rival and doesn't hold any grudges against her.
In SOS! Tokyo Metro Explorers: The Next, taking place roughly in our time, an old man living under Tokyo still believes WWII continues, and is obsessed about the mission given to him. Other underground dwellers consider him dangerously crazy, but he is quite likeable.
Viral in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann fits this role early on after the Time Skip, although subverted in that while being classified as a terrorist and gets told several times that his fight is pointless, he still insists that he does it for a noble goal. It is later revealed that he did, in fact, fight for a good cause, as he was aiming to keep the population underground to prevent the activation of the Anti-Spirals' annihilation program. He does grow out of this role when he joins up with the heroes, and eventually ends up as the supreme commander of the galactic federation fleet.
He doesn't really know about the Anti-spirals though. What he's doing is fighting so that the people who want to stay underground can do that, at least in this particular instance. Lordgenome wanted them underground, they want to be underground, and Viral is pretty much all that's left to fight for that goal. It's hard to not feel bad for Viral finally getting arrested because Enkidu has seen SO MANY HOPELESS BATTLES that it finally just breaks down. Viral even apologizes to it.
The Serenity comic book introduces the Dust Devils, extremist former Browncoats continuing to wage a terrorist war against the Alliance, and reveals that technically, Zoe was once one of their number - she participated in a battle where neither the Alliance nor the Independents had been informed that the Alliance had won.
From the point of view of the Alliance, Mal Reynolds could be seen as The Remnant, though he mostly resorts to brigandry like his 19th Century counterpart Jesse James.
Tycho: "Wait, slow down. A week ago, Wedge vaporized the Emperor and half the Imperial High Command - I know that Imperials tried to stab us in the back after The Truce at Bakura, but isn't the war basically over? Why won't the Imperials just surrender?"
Luke: "Would you stop fighting if Wedge was killed? Or me? Or Senator Organa? The Battle of Endor will always be a turning point in this war, but there are millions of Imperials scattered across the galaxy, and we can only assume that they will fight to the end. And they probably have orders to do just that."
Atomic Robo: The Flying She-Devils of the Pacific has CHOKAITEN; a rogue Japanese military unit that has been waiting six years since the end of the war to unleash a devastating super weapon that will sink the North American continent.
In the Alan Moore run of Wild CATS, this happened to both sides. The Khreubim/Daemonite war has been over for a long time, with the Daemonites falling to the Kherubim and effectively being subjugated. Unfortunately, neither side bothered to send an envoy to Earth, so the war continued to rage here for centuries.
Parodied in one of the "Tales of Irony" in Snake & Bacon's Cartoon Cavalcade, a Japanese soldier on a Pacific island is discovered to still be fighting World War 2—by a Confederate soldier that still thinks the Civil War's on!
Rare heroic example in Astérix. Gaul has surrendered to the Romans, but one Undefeatable Little Village still lives like it's the Iron Age and holds out against the invaders! ...or not, as they never engage in La Résistance-type action, preferring mostly to get on with their own, usually quite petty lives, and beat up any Romans trying to tell them what to do rather than attempting to liberate Gaul. The story clearly establishes that legally, the village is Roman, and the characters even exploit this when being part of the Roman Empire would be helpful to them. They also adopt Roman technology, such as the use of sestertii as currency, wax tablets, Roman numerals and writing, and so on, and everyone's bilingual Gaulish and Latin, though some are better at Latin than others. Caesar even says that the Roman government pays a peace settlement to their chief, as agreed upon in the terms of surrender, and the chief's wife is angry that the Romans haven't made him a senator. And yet, they proudly refuse all Roman identity, did something to the Roman taxman so he would never come back there again, and any Romans approaching the village get beaten to a paste. They have no interest in being seriously liberated and are well aware the war is over, but continue fighting it because it's fun, they hate the Romans on principle, and they just don't care.
Obelix All At Sea and The Secret Weapon suggest Asterix's goal is for the Romans to grant them peace with honours, but if they tried to negotiate surrender as it is all the warriors would end up in prison, so fighting until the Romans get the message is the only option. Obelix is horrified by any suggestion of compromise and considers it trampling on the memory of Vercingetorix, with the implication that most of the other villagers agree with this. Of course, this is all Played for Laughs.
In Man of Steel, Zod and his followers position themselves as the sole remnant of the Kryptonian civilization and seek to restore it.
The Brotherhood without Banners, the pro-Robert splinter cell encountered in A Storm of Swords. An interesting case as they start off as La Résistance, but become The Remnant after their principled leader dies and they get a vengeance crazed replacement.
The Sons of the Harpy wage a shadow war against Dany's rule because she outlawed slavery in Meereen and they want it back.
The Free City of Volantis sees itself as the Remnant of the Valyrian Freehold and once tried to restore it under its leadership but failed.
They then use this discovery in a very effective ruse involving a press release.
In the Star Wars Expanded Universe novels, the Empire (referred to as the "Imperial Remnant" by the new government) continues to be the major antagonist despite the Emperor himself dying in the Battle of Endor. (When people wonder why in various Expanded Universe stories, it's pointed out that if the entire ruling council of the New Republic was killed in an attack...they'd be replaced by people who probably wouldn't be as good at the job; hardly a crushing blow.) Fifteen years later, they are reduced to less than a hundredth of their former strength, and there are still politicians and commanders who refuse to give up—even though the Supreme Commander notes that the average Imperial citizen probably realized it years ago, and decides on his own to arrange for Peace Conferences with the New Republic so that the Empire could survive to rise again, one day.
Of course, by this time the Empire has softened considerably from the days of Vader and Sidious — the Emperor is very strongly hinted to be a descendant of Han Solo and Leia (through their daughter, Jaina — admittedly, being called Solo isn't an anti-dark side guarantee); the anti-alien doctrine is gone to the point where you have Devaronian stormtroopers and Kel Dor admirals; and the new version of the Royal Guards are basically Jedi whose first rule is that if the Emperor goes to the dark side, they kill his ass (the official word from the Jedi Order proper is that the Emperor and his guards are neither dark nor light side). Then, of course, the Sith perform a coup and this Empire becomes a second Remnant, locked in an Enemy Civil War with a Sith-run Empire where it's pretty much back to the old business of maniacal cackling and sneering at opponents. The Fantastic Racism is still (mostly) gone though.
In a much smaller example, there were two separate soldiers who crashed on two different essentially uninhabited jungle planets and didn't hear that their war was over for some twenty years. The first, apparently based on the Real Life Japanese soldiers, was a TIE pilot on Yavin IV who was found by the Solo twins, antagonized them, eventually helped them, and went back to living alone in the jungle, then aided them again against the Vong. The second, chronologically the first, was Able 1707, a clone trooper whose troop transport crashed. The other troopers died - most clone troopers age at twice the normal rate - leaving him to wait until Imperial and Rebel forces skirmished near him, when he had to try and figure out which side was his. He eventually ended up as a rather Badass and slightly antiheroic commando for the Rebellion, only to be transformed into a rakghoul monster. Sigh.
Oddly enough, while individuals like Qorl (that'd be the aforesaid TIE pilot) happen quite often, the Imperial Remnant is never The Remnant - they remain a full-function government, albeit with less territory every year.
It is also worth noting that, depending on the time period, it is not always a united Vestigial Empire as much as a series of rival factions. During his life, the Emperor deliberately tore down the bureaucracy of the Old Republic, replacing it with something akin to a feudal system, with regional governors having direct control over their territories, all of whom were loyal to him, with the military might of the Empire to enforce it. When the Emperor was killed, those factions had no supreme leader holding their allegiance anymore, and many different regional governors had different ideas about succession and policy. After Thrawn's and the reborn Emperor's deaths, the Empire disintegrated as a unified force and spent the next decade or so in an off-and-on state of civil war, with former governors and high military officers setting themselves up as despots. This lasted until Admiral Daala resurfaced and brought together most of these leaders to hash out an Imperial alliance that could strike back at the Rebellion. This failed, and she simply had them all killed and took over the whole shebang pretty much by default. When her latest master plan failed, she turned over leadership to Admiral Pallaeon, who ruled the still-unified Empire in a kind of military junta with a group of civilian Moffs as an advisory council, a situation that carried all the way through the Vong wars and most of the new Galactic Civil War.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has him continue this, despite ostensibly working with British intelligence; his descendents continue this, to the point that his grandson Jack is his universe's equivalent of Osama bin Laden.
In the Miles Vorkosigan novel Brothers In Arms, the villain is one of these for the Komarran resistance, rather to Miles' frustration:
Galen: The revolt must not die.
Miles: Even if everybody in it dies? 'It didn't work, so let's do it some more'? In my line of work, they call that military stupidity. I don't know what they call it in civilian life.
In the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, a remnant of the former Galactic Empire remains for several centuries after the true empire collapses, maintaing the styles and iconography of it's previous incarnation. Because the Empire was so huge, a government in control of twenty planets is only a tiny remnant of the real thing.
In David Eddings' Belgariad, the country of Arendia has been torn by civil war for millennia, largely due to their race's absurd devotion to Honor Before Reason. The Asturians continue to mount pointless insurrections against the crown, despite the fact that the Mimbrates won the war long ago and the Asturian Duchess is also the Queen.
The main problem with the Mimbrates and Asturians, aside from the Mimbrates treating their landed gentry opposite numbers as no better than serfs, is that neither side will talk to the other. When, after some outside prodding, they do, and the point of the queen also being Asturian nobility is mentioned, tensions ease noticeably.
Queen: "You mean that there have been centuries of strife over a technicality?"
In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch, a small fleet of Jem'Hadar warships, led by Kitana'klan, continue to wage war on the Dominion's rivals for several months after the peace treaty is signed. Ashamed of their species' failure to take the Alpha Quadrant, they're determined to renew the fighting even against the will of the Founders. Three months after the conflict's conclusion, they attack Deep Space Nine, destroying the starship Aldebaran with all hands and damaging the starship Defiant. They are in turn attacked by the loyal Jem'Hadar Taran'atar, who was en route to Deep Space Nine as an envoy on the orders of Odo. He defends the station with his own warship, and eventually foils a secondary plot by Kitana'klan to destoy the reactor core.
In Andre Norton's The Beast Master, the villains turn out to be a detachment of the same aliens who found out too late that nuking Terra into radioactive sterility wouldn't save them from Terra's colonies. The war's been over for a year or so, but they're trying to make new trouble on a colony planet.
Saruman from Lord of the Rings qualifies in a round-about sense, in that he is a former 'Evil Overlord' , but reduced to a pathetically small scale after his armies are routed and he is cast out from Isengard. He spends the remainder of the book running the Shire into the ground, turning into a sort of bandit leader with a mob of 'ruffians'. He is stabbed in the back (completely literally) by his servant at the end.
It's also said that after Sauron's defeat, his human allies such as the Haradrim and the Easterlings continue fighting against Gondor, although its less out of loyalty to their old boss and more out of fear and hatred of Gondor.
Sauron himself qualifies, being the erstwhile right hand of Morgoth.
In The Years of Rice and Salt, although Western civilization is all but destroyed, a few fragments remain such as Georgia and New Norway.
In Red Justice, a book set in the Justice League franchise, the Justice League ends up facing Red Justice, a group of superpowered Soviets who had been in hibernation and believe The Cold War is still going on when they awakened.
Referenced in Animorphs. The Blade Ship's crew may qualify.
In Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, Tarzan encounters wto feuding groups of Knights Templar, neither of whom know that the Crusades are over.
In Gimlet Mops Up by W.E. Johns, Gimlet and his crew take on the Werewolves, Nazi terrorists continuing to fight after the end of World War II.
Live Action TV
Col. Emmett Anderson (played by Kurtwood Smith) in the pilot episode of The Magnificent SevenTV series, "Ghosts of the Confederacy," who leads a group of ex-Confederate soldiers who roam the west preying on isolated towns.
In the Star Trek: The Original Series "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield", the crew encounter an alien fugitive with the right side of his body colored white and the left colored black. Eventually his pursuer, who has the same colors but reversed arrives to capture him for causing "race riots". Eventually, the pursuer hijacks the Enterprise to try to return the fugitive to their home planet to face trial only to find that the planet had destroyed itself in the race war. Despite being offered a place to live by Kirk, both of them blame each other's race for what happened and start fighting, eventually taking their fight to the destroyed planet below.
Sulu: But the cause they fought about no longer exists. Does it matter now which one was right?
Spock: All that matters to them is their hate.
Uhura: Do you suppose that's all they ever had, sir?
Kirk: No, but that's all they have left.[dejected] Warp factor 4, Mr. Sulu. Starbase...4.
In Star Trek: Voyager, a member of the Maquis used a plan too complicated to describe here (Brainwashing was involved) to cause the Maquis members of the Voyager crew to mutiny.
The guy who did this (who only appeared in one episode) later did the voice of Harbinger from Mass Effect 2. Assuming Direct Control, indeed.
Doctor Who: In "Remembrance of the Daleks", the Seventh Doctor persuades a lone Dalek to kill itself as it has "no superiors, no inferiors, no reinforcements, no hope, no rescue!"
When he attempts a similar tactic on another lone Dalek in "Dalek" however, he only succeeds in making it angrier.
Then I shall follow the Primary Order! The Dalek instinct to destroy, to conquer!
The Doctor himself, as the last of the Timelords, has to try to keep the Daleks in check, by himself.
In Torchwood, the Torchwood Institute was once a massive organisation with access of powerful aliens weapons and talking about rebuilding the British Empire. After 2007 it's half a dozen people in a Elaborate Underground Base under Roald Dahl Plass. It became defunct in 2010, when Jack left Earth, and by 2011, it was four people on the run, basically running under Torchwood as a codeword. With the death of one of its remaining four members, its status as of the end of Torchwood: Miracle Day is unclear.
In the MacGyver episode "Humanity", MacGyver tangles with the K-Force, a group of Praetorian Guard still loyal to Romania's dead tyrant Ceauşescu.
Most of the Power Rangers/Super Sentai crossovers involve remnants of the previous villain group teaming up with the current one.
In Firefly, Malcolm Reynolds, on the losing side of the Independents' revolt against the Alliance, still believes that he was on the right side, and ekes out an existence on the outskirts of civilization with a few like minded comrades.
Everyone thinks that Mal is The Remnant, ready to take the fight to the Alliance again on behalf of the Independants (see "Bushwhacked"), but really he just wants to forget the Alliance exists and live his own gorram life.
Note that for a while, he was The Remnant—it's mentioned in various sources that he fought on at Serenity Valley with his troops for quite a bit longer than the Independents actually allowed, what with surrendering and all..
The crew of the Battlestar Pegasus in Battlestar Galactica continued their war against the Cylons long after (as far as they knew) the government was completely wiped out and their warship was the only human fighting force left in the galaxy.
The Galactica herself is also an example, though for the most part, they tended only to fight the Cylons when escaping wasn't immediately possible. They do spend most of the Mini Series trying to figure out who is in charge and getting the ship re-armed so they can get back into the fight, it isn't until the end that Roslin convinces Adama that running away is the better option.
One episode of The Adventures Of Sir Lancelot had a remnant of the Roman colonial government of Britain hiding behind a section of Hadrian's Wall, pretending to be ghosts.
Northern Exposure featured one of these guys in one episode, from when Japan controlled the Aleutian Islands.
The first episode of Rutland Weekend Television has a sketch about a group of British soldiers who remain unaware WWII is over... and who are stationed on the Isle of Wight, a couple of miles off the English coast. It also has a Major who has been told the war is over, but is incapable of understanding the concept.
The crew of the Minbari warship Trigati in Babylon 5.
In the Eberron setting of Dungeons & Dragons, some warforged (sentient soldier-golems) act like this after the end of The Last War has left them without a place in the world. All the sides are technically at peace, but one of the main aspects of the setting is that the peace is so fragile that any kind of major incident (which the player characters will no doubt get involved in) could start another war. The biggest Remnant among warforged is led by the charismatic Lord of Blades.
Also in Eberron is The Order of The Emerald Claw, Karrnathi zealots that were once the pride of Karrn's military but have now been branded outlaws and terrorist. This is also a Subversion, as the Order is actually the military arm of the Blood of Vol and are used as spies, saboteurs, and agents provocateur throughout Khorvaire.
The Deadlands supplement South o' the Border includes the San Patrico Battalion: a group of Americans who fought for Mexico in the Mexican-American War who now roam the badlands of the Confederacy and northern Mexico.
Warhammer 40,000 has the Chaos Space Marines, who after losing the Horus Heresy continue to wage war against the forces of the "False Emperor" ten thousand years later. And because many of them took refuge in the Eye of Terror after losing the civil war, some of the veterans of the Siege of Terra literally have been fighting the Long War for millennia on end.
The Kraken Fleet from Fifty Fathoms. Their only city has been destroyed, their once proud navy is down to one Great Ship, and their leader, Grand Admiral Caspian, was crippled in the last fight against the Big Bad. It hasn't stopped the remaining Kraken from trying to find ways to fight the Big Bad, and win this time.
BattleTech: Even after their annihilation there are still small elements of Clan Smoke Jaguar who pop in and out occasionally.
The Spirit Cats are the remains of Clan Nova Cat, who were destroyed by the Draconis Combine.
A Very Potter Musical: Voldemort is defeated at the end of the first play. The sequels reveal that the Death Eaters are carrying on their evil schemes without him, though the final installment has Voldemort resume leadership...sort of.
Abundant in the Warcraft universe - enemies are never fully killed off, they periodically return after slowly rebuilding. Arthas, of allpeople, lampshades this at one point by complaining "Doesn't anyone stay dead anymore?"
The early missions of Warcraft III feature orcish holdouts from the Second War, clinging to "dying traditions" and using armies evocative of Warcraft II. Later expansions, including World of Warcraft, turn the tables by featuring a xenophobic Alliance admiral campaigning against the (reformed) orcs even after a truce between the Alliance and the Horde.
The upper reaches of Blackrock Mountain are ruled by the remnants of the "Dark Horde," the few ogre, troll, and orc clans that fell under the rule of Rend Blackhand decades ago, and who feel that the Second War has never really ended. What makes this self-proclaimed "true Horde" dangerous is that they know their ongoing battle is largely hopeless, but they keep fighting anyway.
The Amani, Gurubashi, and most trollish tribes for that matter once existed as mighty empires. Now, thousands of years later, their old capitals are mostly ruins, their (cannibalistic) culture and technology are primitive compared to the rest of the world, and until recently the trolls fought amongst each other as much as they did with anyone else.
A majority of trolls have now united to form a single Remnant under the leadership of the Zandalari. They're attempting to build a new Empire in the face of their race's accelerating decline in recent years and the impending destruction of Zandalar, the last stronghold of troll civilization.
After Arthas' death, Bolvar Fordragon becomes the new Lich King in order to keep the Scourge in check; the Plaguelands are still plagued by factions of the Scourge who have apparently not gotten the order to stop fighting.
The ScarletCrusade, who see themselves as righteous successors of the kingdom of Lordaeron, which was destroyed by the scourge in Warcraft 3. Problem is the former territory of Lordaeron is now occupied by the Horde aligned faction of sentient undead, The Forsaken, which the Crusade see as not different from the non-sentient undead of the scourge, which causes them to be at war. But with bothfactionsusingratherquestionablemethods, their conflict can be seen as Black and Grey Morality at best, though The Forsaken have been getting darker as time goes by.
By the fourth expansion, their survival is handwaved by their surviving leader High Inquisitor Whitemane is the one who keeps reviving them, being a priest and all.
In Pokémon Gold and Silver, the remnants of Team Rocket from Giovanni's sudden disappearance in the last game are the main antagonists, trying to call Giovanni back to them. In the DS remakes, there's also an event involving Time Travel where it turns out Giovanni was going to come back to lead them, but a combination of the signal suddenly stopping and the player soundly thrashing him along the way convince him to go back into exile.
Platinum also has Team Galactic turn into this after their leader Cyrus is beaten, though the new guy in charge outright tells you that they're not going to be quite as bad as they had been.
A small group of Rockets post-disappearance are fought in the remake of Red and Blue called FireRed and LeafGreen as part of Extended Gameplay; it's implied that the last ones you fight are the same people who go on to lead the efforts in Gold and Silver.
And again in Pokémon Black and White where after Ghetsis, the true leader and mastermind is defeated he and his son N vanish, leaving behind the seven sages, and a couple of random Team Plasma members. The sequel, Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, sees the organisation fully rebuilt after a two-year Time Skip... into two opposing factions.
Endless Frontier also has a variant with the Einst, who get bonus points for being the remnant of a eldritch abomination faction. Remnants of this faction also appear in Original GenerationGaiden, but not as examples of this trope.
The Fallout series features the Enclave, éminence grise members of the pre-war U.S. government who rode out the apocalypse in their bunker before emerging to retake the wasteland. Responsible for unscrupulous projects such as the F.E.V. and Vault Experiment, over the course of Fallout 2 they try to kill everyone that doesn't match their criteria of "pure" human, which considering all the radiation is pretty much everybody except themselves and Vault Dwellers. They get defeated. So when you encounter them in Fallout 3, you're fighting the remnant of The Remnant, and then in the Broken Steel expansion you fight the remnants of that. As of Fallout: New Vegas the Enclave is all but extinct, but you can convince a handful of survivors to rally for one last hurrah at the Second Battle of Hoover Dam, where they'll become the stuff of legends.
After the defeat of The Master's super mutant army, hundreds of mutants yet survived. By the time of Fallout 2, the smarter ones have settled in peace in the city of Broken Hills, while the dumber ones either fled to the north, east, or still remain in the region, fighting anyone who they find in the area between New Reno and NCR. As the first game happens eighty years before the second, you can imagine how much time they spent there. They're universally loathed by (Iron Man) players who just came out of New Reno, possibly because they are armed with Rocket Launchers, Miniguns and Laser Rifles which can make mincemeat of even end-game players.
The Brotherhood of Steel technically qualifies, as they're descended from a group of former United States Army soldiers. In a twist, it's revealed in the first game that the soldiers were mutineers and the Brotherhood was effectively a secessionist movement. Unlike most examples on this page, they're relatively heroic.
Also in Fallout 3 is the Chinese Remnant - ghoulified Chinese infiltrators from before the Great War, still lurking in the ruins of Washington D.C.
The Point Lookout DLC has Desmond Lockheart and Professor Calvert, two feuding high ranking Pre-War intelligence officers from opposing sides who keep fighting each other despite the interests they represent no longer existing. And it's implied that there are even more of them, still playing the "Great Game".
Homeworld: Cataclysm with the Taiidani empire. In the original Homeworld, exiles literaly marched to the heart of their very empire. There was already rebellion, and the rebels found it very useful that exiles took the capital of The Empire and killed the emperor. In the time of the expansion, the Imperial capital is controlled by the exiles, and the rebellion is establishing a new government. That however, doesnt stops several Taiidan warlords and splinter factions from trying to attack the still vulnerable ex-capital and try to establish the empire again.
In Fire Emblem 6, defeating King Zephiel with all legendary weapons available and intact unlocks the chapters leading to the true ending of the game. The very first of these, "The Ghost of Bern", pits Roy against The Remnant of the Bern army, led by the final Wyvern General under orders from her deceased king.
FE 7 has this as well with Eubans' mercenaries, who fight Eliwood and Hector despite being completely aware that the lords have already killed their employer.
Fire Emblem 8: The Sacred Stones- has it again: After the defeat of Grado, by Prince Ephraim, you'll continue fighting them, however, they are now called "Remnant". Of note, Grado's Prince is still alive, and is giving the orders.
'Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance also has it in the bonus maps you obtain after completing the game. There are also remnant mercenaries that fight even after Daein Keep falls, however Ashnard is still alive, but they don't seem to know that, if I recall correctly.
In the Tau campaign of Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, when the Imperial Guard are defeated, the narrator mentions that many of the survivors continued to stage guerilla attacks against the aliens. Also, in the actual game, the forces remaining in any enemy-controlled province after their main headquarters on the "Risk"-Style Map has been captured probably count.
The Eruseans from Ace Combat do this twice. The first time, after sacking their capital Farbanti and splashing the V-22s carrying their military leaders in the penultimate mission of Shattered Skies, a group of officers and the last 15 members of their pilot corps takes over the last trump card, Megalith, prompting the final Airstrike Impossible. The second is covered in the Arcade Mode of The Unsung War, where Free Erusean forces attempt an uprising. The Leasath also do this after their commanding officer is defeated, though our Intrepid Reporter narrator notes that they shouldn't last long.
From Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, Colonel Barnesby and his Confederate remnants are undaunted by the end of the American Civil War, and start up a gun-running operation in the hopes of putting together enough money to finance a second rebellion.
In the Star Wars games set after the Battle of Endor, the remaining Imperials are literally known as the The Remnant. That's what happens when you cut off the head of the snake...
The Godfather: The Game counts an enemy Family as wiped out once you bomb and take over their Compound, but any Legitimate Businessmens Social Clubs that you have yet to take over still shows as under their control, plus in certain spots even in Corleone turf you may still find pockets of enemy mobsters.
In Dungeon Keeper 2 the Sylvan Elves formerly under the command of Lord Ronin continue to fight against Keeper Asmodeous. Interestingly, and very unusually for this trope, if left to their own devices they'll actually win. Granted it won't resurrect their commander, but they'll get their territory back. Of course, the mission objective is to kill Asmodeous yourself in order to prevent this, with the assumption being that the player has destroyed the remaining Elves in the process. Later, the remainder of Lord Bramble's forces don't give up either, but they're more interested in surviving in what remains of his fortress than actually aggressing against the two Keepers in the area.
Actually, a lot more than them. Pretty much every past period evil force has remnants in the present.
Many un-updated Random Encounter zones can produce an effect similar to this after external plot changes, such as The Empire's troops in South Figaro's secret tunnel after the Floating Continent in Final Fantasy VI.
In StarCraft, the Confederacy just won't seem to go away after being defeated by Arcturus Mengsk. One remnant group joined the United Earth Directorate shortly after they invaded the sector.
The Confederacy appears in a cool map, Deception, having made strange alliances.
Ironically, there are UED remnants left in the K-Sector after their defeat, some of them serving as mercenaries; In fact, a lot of the remnants of old Terran factions appearing as mercenaries that can be hired in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty.
Mengsk himself spent a few months as a remnant force between the sacking of his capital of Augustgrad and being able to reclaim it from Kerrigan's Swarm. There are also several prominent protoss examples (ranging in size from "the majority of the Fleet of the Executor" to "a couple dozen civilian refugees") on Aiur following the zerg invasion of that world; though most of them escape sooner or later and are absorbed into (or found, in the case of Artanis's group) the Daelaam Protoss government on Shakuras.
In Skyrim the two criminal organizations the Dragonborn can join have both fallen into hard times. The Dark Brotherhood has only one Sanctuary in all of Tamriel in a remote forest in Skyrim and the Legion already knows its location and could wipe out the Brotherhood at any time. They also don't have a Listener, so they can't even pick up the contracts that reach the Night Mother via Black Sacraments and are forced to rely on the rumour mill to find jobs. The Thieves' Guild is reduced to a tavern in a sewer, their connections are all but gone, and they are considered little more than petty hired thugs with a veneer of civility. The Guild's sorry state is due to Mercer Frey's betrayal. He stole Nocturnal's Skeleton Key (draining the Guild's luck since this upset their patron Daedra Nocturnal), embezzled the Guild's fortune using the Key, and murdered the Guild's charismatic leader Gallus when he got too close to the truth (which cost the Guild all of Gallus' connections).
Once you've completed the Civil War questline, the side opposing the one you've joined ends up becoming this, whether it's the Imperial Legion or the Stormcloaks. Despite what your commander says however, you can't wipe them out since their officers are still marked as "Essential".
In Alpha Protocol, though not outright stated, it is strongly hinted that G22 is actually the remnant of a previous iteration of Alpha Protocol known as G19.
One of the enemy factions in Halo 4 is a Covenant remnant led by religiously fanatical Elites who disregard the Arbiter's peace treaty with humanity.
The Big Bad - the Didact - of the main campaign of Halo 4 is also leading the remnants of his Promethean Warrior-Servants against the UNSC in tandem with the Covenant remnant, despite there being no plausible means of restoring the Forerunner Ecumene to its ancient glory.
Total Annihilation KingdomsIron Plague: After Lokken was defeated in the first game, a small band of cultist called The Cult of Lokken still fight to restore Taros's former glory, and they are successful in reviving Lokken from the dead.
Star Trek Online has the True Way. They're a terrorist group composed of rogue Jem'Hadar and Cardassian soldiers that wants to overthrow the civilian-dominated Cardassian government that came into being post-Deep Space Nine and resume the Dominion War.
According to the official bio for Team Fortress 2's Soldier, after being rejected from all branches of the military he flew to Europe on his own and embarked on a 'Nazi killing spree', which ended when he heard news of the war's end. In 1949.
The player could actually become a remnant soldier in the online mode of the game Chromehounds. If your nation was the first to be taken over, you could then elect to either join one of the remaining two nations or strike out on your own, fighting against both in hopes of liberating the conquered third.
The Terran Republic we see (and play as) in PlanetSide is the tiny portion of the Terran military that was stranded alongside everyone else when the wormhole to Auraxis abruptly closed. In Planetside 2, they're the military command that took over the Auraxis colony fleet after much of it was damaged or destroyed passing through the Auraxis wormhole. Despite being separated from their command, the Terran Republic is still a powerful force that equals the New Conglomerate and Vanu Sovereignty in strength.
The B-Movie Comic's thids movie features an old Nazi garrison on the island of Toblerone.
Common, but usually not very important in Ad Astra Per Aspera. The Batavian Soviet Republic is the main remnant of the USSR, and the Platte system is home to various German successor states.
The DuckTales episode "Launchpad's Civil War" similar in plot to the The Magnificent Seven example given above. Re-enactments, Launchpad McQuack, and hot air balloons are involved.
In Exo Squad, after Terran retake Venus, some of the Neosapien garrisons become guerrillas, hoping that Phaeton would send more reinforcements to rescue them. The reinforcements never reach the Venusian surface.
More directly, the Exo Fleet itself, having been deployed to the Outer Planets when the Neosapiens launched their conquest of the Homeworlds, continues to carry the fight for several years after the government they were loyal to had been disbanded, despite suffering several major defeats in their early attempts to liberate Earth.
In an odd twist on the usual show theme, the Decepticons are the outnumbered La Résistance in Transformers Animated, fighting to retake their homeland after losing the war the first time around. Word Of God, however, stated they technically left by choice, because doing that gave them amnesty for the war-crimes they committed during said war.
In the Looney Tunes cartoon "Southern Fried Rabbit", Yosemite Sam was told to guard the Mason-Dixon Line and is still doing so... in 1952. On being told by Bugs Bunny that the War Between the States has been over for nearly 90 years, he responds "I'm no clockwatcher!" before trying to blast the rascally rabbit.
In the Captain Planet and the Planeteers episode "Mission to Save Earth", the Planeteers come to an island and stumble upon Commander Clash. This soldier had been assigned to guard the island and prepare for a possible invasion of America by the Soviets. After they manage to convince him that the Cold War has been over for a while, he goes into a Heroic BSOD when he realizes his superiors had long forgotten about him and he had been fighting for nothing. Clash eventually finds a new purpose in helping the Planeteers protect the Earth from pollution and such.
Guerrilla warfare is basically this trope embodied.
Japanese holdouts, also known as stragglers, were soldiers (usually stationed on small islands in the Philippines or up and down the Pacific coast) who either did not learn or did not believe that World War II was over, and Japan had surrendered. The latest confirmed holdouts lasted until 1974, a full twenty-nine years after the war's end, with more rumored until the turn of the century. This was a particular problem as these holdouts were often single soldiers, resorting to guerrilla tactics against local law enforcement in fighting a war they still believed was ongoing.
Onoda Hiroo would not believe the news until his now-retired former commanding officer was flown in to personally order him to stand down. In 1974. When he surrendered, he still had his army sword and original issue rifle in full-working order.
Yokoi Shoichi held out on the island of Guam until 1972. When he returned to Japan, his official statement was "I am embarrassed that I have returned alive."
The last ship to fly the Confederate flag (CSS Shenandoah, a commerce raider) reached port and officially struck its colors near the end of 1866. It spent most of the intervening time getting months-old bad news occasionally whenever it would raid "enemy" shipping.
Robert E. Lee deliberately refused to go down this path, against the advice of several of his subordinates, and chose surrender rather than continuing increasingly futile bloodshed as bandits for years or even decades to come.
Although part of the reason for the popularity of the Ku Klux Klan was a romantic desire to continue the fight and ensure the South rose again. The Klan soon chose to direct its violence towards the most visible symbol of the North's victory, emancipated negros.
This was a feature of some nations' defense planning during the 20th century; in fact, during the Bush 43 administration, Donald Rumsfeld and Condi Rice used the German stay-behind "force" Werwolf as part of the justification for continuing the Iraq War. NATO, under United States direction, did much the same thing in much of western Europe as a poison pill in case of Communist invasion (the plan is best known by the Italian name, Operation Gladio); sounds sensible, right? Except many Gladio recruits were some of their nations' most outspoken fascists and thugs.
Became an Invoked Trope with the Iraqi resistance being dubbed the "dead-enders" to suggest they were only resisting Coalition forces out of loyalty to the deposed Saddam Hussein. This was dropped when the war continued long after the Iraqi dictator was executed.
For that matter, the Nazis'Werwolf project itself. Originally devised as an underground network of soldiers that would conduct sabotage and guerilla warfare in those parts of Germany that would soon be occupied by the Allies forces, it was never seriously intended as a last-ditch effort to retain control over Nazi Germany. Its propaganda value far outweighed its practical use, and it is because of this that the Allies over-estimated its effectiveness and actual threat level.
During the Russian Civil War, there were several White warlords in the Russian Far East who were still fighting months or even years after the main White armies/governments in Crimea and Siberia were destroyed (1920). The most Determinatoriffic of these was General Pepelyaev, who led a raid on several towns in Yakutia in 1923, when the LAST White remnant in the Maritime province was already fallen. Some warlords survived even further but fled to China to fight Chinese commies.
Eastern Europe's non-communist undergrounds left over from WWII certainly count. Many of these organizations had been fighting for nearly half a decade or more when WWII ended, and many continued the fight after the Soviets marched in and set up their clients. In many cases they were conducting guerilla warfare until the eighties. The last Polish group of freedom fighters was captured in 1965. Allegedly some of the groups were blowing up support trains for Germans on the Eastern Front. Many of them included former soldiers of the Waffen-SS Legion (often, locals who had joined the SS believing at the time that the Nazis were better than the Soviets). And of course, if you want to be technical, from a certain point of view WWII ended when independent German state made peace with the independent Polish state - in 1995!
Just the various Anti-Soviet groups (Forest Brethren/Forest Brothers depending on translation from Estonian/Latvian/Lithuanian) in the Baltics in general. Though the Soviets moved in for good in 1944, guerilla fighting in the woodlands remained active until well after Stalin's death, with pardons issued to La Résistance leaders and the mass deportations of rebels to the GULAG ended. Of course, some of them just stayed in the woods even after that and kept up the fight.
The last fighters of the Forest Brethren (Metsavőnnud) of Estonia were crushed in 1979, the Latvian meža brāļi (pronounced mezha braal'i ) fought until ~1957, and the Lithuanian miško broliai (mishko broliai) until 1971, just in time for the 80s and Gorbachev to get everyone back in the habit of protesting those commies only to get their independence in 1991. The Determinator anybody?
And the embassies of those countries certainly do count. The embassies of independent Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were still open and working, issuing passports and documents on behalf of the governments-in-exile of those countries, when the Baltic countries regained their independence.
While the Solidarity Movement wasn't actually part of the Home Army, many of their members liked to think they were. The Home Army's insignia was used as graffiti throughout the Solidarity Movement. Solidarity and Pope John Paul II soon demonstrated that neither the Soviets nor their satellite regime in Warsaw could control the Polish people, while the Soviets were struggling with their own internal problems, ultimately leading to Poland's independence.
Whenever a the leadership of a terrorist movement decides to give up violence despite not having fulfilled its goals, it is likely that a splinter faction will continue fighting. For example, the self-styled Real IRA in Northern Ireland.
After the Boer Wars, there were groups of Boer guerillas roaming the South African countryside; they were known as Bitter-Enders and refused to admit defeat against British forces.
When Mao won the Chinese Civil War in 1949, his enemies fled to Taiwan. They fortified the island and prepared for the eventual reconquest of the mainland. Chiang Kai-Shek initially didn't even bother to develop the Taiwanese economy or infrastructure; he didn't expect to be staying there long. It wasn't until 1987 that martial law was lifted. The country is still officially called the Republic of China, founded by Sun Yat-Sen in 1911 before anyone had ever heard of Mao; and to this day there are hardcore members of the Nationalist Party who hope to see China reunited under their banners.
There were also pro-Chiang guerrillas operating from Burma in the 50s that were sponsored by the CIA.
This trope is actually enforced for Taiwan: officially, the Republic of China not only claims the whole territory of the People's Republic of China, but also Mongolia, parts of Korea and Central Asia, and anywhere else even nominally part of the Empire when it fell apart (yes, including Tibet). This is because although even the hardliners have no intention of reconquering all of this territory, actually changing their definition of the Republic in any way would be an official acknowledgement of "two Chinas", and thus would be perceived as a provocative move by the People's Republic.
To clarify (or not): Both the government in Beijing and the one in Taipei agree that there is only one China, they merely disagree on who has the legitimate claim to be in charge and to some degree what the borders of that One China are. In recent years they have quietly taken on a policy of ignoring the elephant in the living room and hoping nobody brings it up, as neither side really wants the trouble of fighting a war over it.
Happened during the War of 1812 due to the amount of time it took for information to travel in those days; the treaty ending the war was signed in December 1814 but combat continued into the following year. Of particular note is the Battle of New Orleans, fought January 8, 1815, as the Americans' overwhelming victory both compelled the British to abide by the terms of the treaty and propelled Major General Andrew Jackson to a successful run at the presidency.
Even after Franco won the Spanish Civil War, the Republican army's remnants kept trying to fight him for decades, even until the day Franco died.
The Basque region, where many Republicans and resisters fled, never accepted the Franco regime. The ETA terrorist group came from here, conducting bombing campaigns against the Spanish state for many years, including post-Franco years. They have always pursued independence, and while no longer bombing, they still have not resolved all their political issues with the Spanish state. So in a sense, The Remnant still pursue the struggle.
Belarus, with its quasi-socialism, state-controlled industries, a strongarm President backed up by State Sec (which is even called KGB) and a very Soviet-looking flag and coat of arms, can be seen as The Remnant of the Soviet Union.
Minsk remains quite possibly the only former Soviet capital to have kept virtually all of their Commie Land monuments.
Most Belorussians (roughly 70%) list Russian as their primary language and it remains an official language still used heavily in education and politics.
Transnistria (an unrecognised but de facto independent breakaway state within the territory of Moldova) may similarly be considered a Remnant of the Soviet Union, continuing to operate a literal Soviet government (although not communist), and using the associated iconography (hammer and sickle, Lenin, etc.) on official monuments and state symbols.
The followers of the British King James II, or Jacobites, become this after he is ousted in 1688, to the point of having two attempted rebellions to try and regain the throne; an abortive one in 1715, and an almost successful one in 1745.
Enver Pasha, one of the Triumvirate of "Young Turks" that ruled the Ottoman Empire during World War I. In 1922 he turned up in Central Asia organizing Muslim tribes in hope of recreating the Ottoman Empire from scratch, in the midst of the Soviet Union no less. It didn't work out.
The French OAS, consisting of disgruntled military leaders, pied noirs (descendents of European settlers) and far-right extremists, attempted to continue the Algerian War even after Charles De Gaulle began negotiations with the FLN. Unable to seriously disrupt the peace process through paramilitary attacks on Algerians, they soon began targeting French officials and ultimately De Gaulle himself.
The Principality of Liechtenstein has been described as the last functioning remnant of the Holy Roman Empire, having survived both Napoleon Bonaparte's dissolution of said Empire and the later collapse of Austria-Hungary in World War I.
In a way, Cuba and North Korea are living Soviet satellites. That is, they're client states which have outlived their Soviet patrons, as bizarre as that sounds.
Though North Korea has switched its primary patron to the People's Republic of China instead of the Soviet Union. Cuba is still a weird case though.
When the Roman Empire in the West fell in AD 476, it was survived by a number of remnant-states. Julius Nepos continued to address himself as 'Emperor', ruling from the province of Dalmatia in the Balkans until his death in AD 480.
The warlord Aegidius and later his son, Syagrius, continued to holdout against barbarian incursions in northern Gaul (France) from the city of Soissons until King Clovis I of the Franks conquered and added their lands to his own petty kingdom. Clovis' consolidation of power and territory would lay the foundations for the medieval French monarchy.
The largest, and most successful, remnant was the Byzantine Empire, embracing the eastern provinces of Greece, Anatolia (Turkey), Syria, and Egypt. The Byzantine Empire lasted for a thousand years, its rulers loftly styling themselves 'Emperor and Autocrat of the Romans'.
After the sack of Constantinople in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade, the Byzantine Empire itself spun off a number of remnant states, each of which claimed to be its rightful successor. One of these (the Empire of Nicaea) later recaptured Constantinople and put its emperor on the rightful throne, while the longest-lived successor state (the Empire of Trebizond) maintained an independent existence until 1461, eight years after the fall of Constantinople itself to the Turks.
Wales was conquered by England in the late 1100's. In the following centuries there were sporadic rebellions against English rule, the most successful being by the prince Owain Glyndwr in the 1400's. An organisation called the Meibion Glyndwr - Sons of Glyndwr - still exists today, although dormant, in the way a rump IRA continued between the War of Independence in 1921 (only to leap into active life again in 1969). In the 1960's, traffic signs written in English only were destroyed until the British Government agreed to dual-language signage in all of Wales, with Welsh taking precedence over English in the West. In the 1970's and 80's, second homes in Wales bought by English-speakers were under threat of being firebombed. In a very real way, a Remnant is still fighting English rule nine hundred years on - although very, very, much marginalised and made insignificant after a series of concessions to Welsh nationalism.
The Kingdom of Navarre was a medieval kingdom in the northern Iberian Peninsula, at a time in which what is now Spain was divided between several petty kingdoms. Gradually these kingdoms conglomerated until all of modern Spain save Navarre was at least unofficially unified by 1492. in 1512, Spain conquered virtually all of Navarre except for a tiny portion north of the Pyrenees, where the former Kings of Navarre remained as a kind of government in exile. In 1589, King Henry of Navarre succeeded to the French throne. From 1589 right up to 1830, every French monarch (except Napoleon) styled himself 'King of France and Navarre' despite the overwhelming majority of what had been Navarre being part of Spain.
In an odd way, British Monarchy is the remnant of the Duchy of Normandy—which, among others, furnished its rulers' claim to rule France (which led to Hundred Years' War, among other things.). British kings lost all their territory on French mainland centuries ago, but, until the end of 18th century, they defiantly claimed the title King of France, giving it up only in a show of solidarity with Louis XVI, who had just been overthrown and executed. British monarchy still retains a small bit of "France," in the form of the Channel Islands, whose native language is in fact a French dialect (or a set of dialects).
A man fled to the jungle during the 1969 "Football War" between El Salvador and Honduras. He finally "surrendered" to a group of lumberjacks he mistook for enemy soldiers more than 30 years later, telling them he was tired of running away. The saddest part is that the actual war lasted a total of four days.