Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom (2002), also known as simply Emperor, is the sixth game of the City Building Series published by Sierra, this time set in Ancient China and developed by Breakaway Games. Contrary to a lot of other city builders, this one has a heavy focus on infrastructure — very rarely is your goal just to build up a large population, you have to maintain it by keeping your people supplied with food, resources and luxury. Indeed, the industrial sector is the more complex part of the game, keeping up with the supply and demand needed to produce the items you need to build up your city, expand it, and making exports.You also have to deal with your neighboring cities and kingdoms, who are more often than not friendly. You can trade with them, send them gifts, maybe get some in return if they like you, and eventually form an alliance — or you can rally an army and march on their city to conquer them and make them your vassal. Either way, it's gonna take a lot of work.The single-player campaign spans millennia of Chinese history as the player acts as various historical figures, some addressed by name, others are just a flunky to The Emperor of the time building his city for him. As time progresses through the campaign, technologies (and resources) become outdated and are replaced with different technology, such as iron smelting replacing bronze smelting, bronze and iron each being used by different industries. Objectives often demand the player produce a set amount of a commodity within a year, get a certain population level, or conquer neighboring cities. You also get to build famous monuments, from stock temple complexes and palaces to Su Song's clock tower, the Grand Canal, and inevitable, the Great Wall of China.
This game presents examples of the following tropes: