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The Empire

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"Great men are not 'peacemakers'. Great men are conquerors!"
"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, Caledonian warlord on the Roman Empirenote 

The Evil Counterpart to The Republic. The Foil to The Good Kingdom. The Shadow Archetype (or evil twin sister) to Hegemonic Empire. The Rival to The Federation. The Arch-Enemy of La Résistance. The Logical Extreme of the Rising Empire.

The Empire's central defining Grand Ambition is World (Or Interstellar/Galactic/Universal) Domination. Amassing The Evil Army, it sets out to conquer all of its neighbours and be the sole superpower by force of arms. Taking cues from history, it often resembles historical empires (or empire-esque regimes) in some way. Led by The Emperor, who is usually also an Evil Overlord, Emperor Scientist, God-Emperor and/or some kind of theocratic cabal. A theocracy of a Religion of Evil will almost certainly be the Empire. The Dictatorship can also overlap with the Empire, especially if they are ruled by a clique of totalitarians.

The Empire is typically Obviously Evil, but 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 People's Republic of Tyranny 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 an original founding polity, usually a race or nationality, who stand above and enjoy special privileges that are denied to the Empire's various subject peoples. Overall will adhere to the trope Order Is Not Good.

Of course, there's going to be some kind of Resistance movement within its borders, and small autonomous nations without who may need encouragement by the heroes to become The Alliance, especially if that means the Empire could start attacking a nation's homeland in order to transform it into a territorial posession. They may also be helped by Les Collaborateurs. There may also be one or more powers that oppose it, often good kingdoms or republics, which may or may not band together into The Alliance. 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 La Résistance may well turn out to be nothing but a treasonous clique to overthrow the government or dynasty and replace it with something even more cruel and brutal, or a nationalist, racist or xenophobic separation movement. The actual legal definition of an empire is basically a country or polity that gets to boss around several other ones.

If the Empire and The Federation 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 The Republic is a separate entity alongside The Federation, 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 The Good Kingdom is in the same universe, expect the Empire to occupy it (at best) or assault it (at worst); The Good Kingdom could've been neutral ground, the original head/proposer of The Alliance, or a simple victim of the Empire's bid for dominance. If the Empire is part of The Alliance, you can make a good bet for it being the Token Evil Teammate.

Note that just being called an Empire is not sufficient to qualify a nation for this trope. There's many stories, especially in the Heroic Fantasy and Historical Fiction genres, with polities called "empires" that are less overtly antagonistic. These types of empires may be better described as an expansionist monarchy, a culturally dominant Hegemonic Empire, a militaristic federation, a nationalist republic, or a more centrally controlled alliance.

Weakened or weakening versions of the Empire often become Vestigial Empires. If the Empire has been overthrown or mostly overthrown but what's left of it is fighting to get back into power, it's The Remnant. One of its provinces may be a Voluntary Vassal, rather than a conquered one. The Empire tends to have its Standard Evil Empire Hierarchy.

For works named Empire, see this disambiguation page.

Suffice it to say that the Trope Namer is the Imperium Romanum. Other than that, No Real Life Examples, Please!. Most Real Life historical empires have fallen under the Hegemonic Empire class; infamously cruel empires tend not to last very long in the real world.

See People's Republic of Tyranny when The Republic or The Federation acts like an Empire despite not technically being one itself. These examples often have The Generalissimo as its ruler instead of the Emperor.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Empire from Akame ga Kill! is, unsurprisingly, a textbook example. It's ruled by an obscenely corrupt Evil Chancellor on behalf of the child emperor, uses its powerful military to subjugate its people and expand its tyrannical rule, and is opposed by a populist resistance army. Not to mention that the aristocracy seems to be almost exclusively populated by sadistic psychopaths who take pleasure in abusing the common people. Ultimately, the depths of the Empire's depravity is what allows Tatsumi and the rest of the assassins of Night Raid to justify their work as Necessarily Evil.
  • Albegas has the Dellinger Empire, a race of fascist aliens that seek to grow their ranks by absorbing the most skilled of warriors and most powerful of robots. When Earth refuses to hand over Albegas, they take it as an offense and escalate their brutality.
  • Britannia in Code Geass is one of the three space filling empires 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, social darwinism, and Might Makes Right foreign policy. They invade and occupy the independent country Japan in order to gain control of their supply of the strategic mineral Sakuradite, renaming the country 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.
  • Daltanious has two notable ones: The Helios Empire (where Kento, Earl and Emperor Palmillion are from) and the Zaal Empire (the Galactic Conquerers that want to Take Over the World). And then it's revealed that the Helios Empire are a bunch of bastards as well.
  • Gigantor has the Demon Empire, led by Uchuumaoh. After it was destroyed, he sought Earth as a potential new home for his subjects.
  • GoLion has the Galra Empire, which is made up of several planets unfortunate enough to fall under their colonialism. Altea and Earth are amongst them.
  • The Gundam metaseries has several examples:
    • The Principality of Zeon in Mobile Suit Gundam. 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 manage to be both this and La Résistance, Playing the Victim Card throughout and making it seem like they were forced to declare war on the 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 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 failure in their ranks.
    • The Crossbone Vanguard and the Jupiter Empire of Mobile Suit Gundam F91 and Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam. 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 Mobile Suit Gundam Wing play this role. OZ overthrew the corrupt United Earth Sphere Alliance so the world could be ruled by the aristocrats of the 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 Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. 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 Coordinators.
    • The Human Reform League in Mobile Suit Gundam 00, rival to 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 Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, 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 Earth Federation of the Advanced Generation universe and forced to endure living in a 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 For the Evulz.
    • CONSENT from G-Saviour. 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 Slayers. The latter isn't even visited in-series (although it's stated that it's 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 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 Dark Lord.
  • Amestris in Fullmetal Alchemist. 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 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. Or rather, this is what Father has led the Amestrian government to believe. In reality, it's the crux of his own bid for godhood.
  • The Holy Empire of Glass Fleet, led by Vetti Sforza, complete with the goal of becoming the One World Order.
  • The Humankind Empire Abh from Crest of the Stars. 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 were created in the first place, but now with Casual Interstellar Travel, it is very much racism/classism.
    • The opposing faction known as United Mankind, an Alliance of the three largest non-Abh galactic polities, are also seen to demonstrate culturally-invasive practices meant to absorb and hegemonize their dominant philosophies as well as espousing the belief that all Abh are 'rogue biological machines' which either need to be returned to human servitude or eliminated completely for the safety of 'real' humanity. It's something of a crapshoot either way.
  • Information from StrikerS 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 Lensman Arms Race 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 Negima! Magister Negi Magi is a partial subversion, since the war was actually orchestrated by Omnicidal Maniac 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 Legend of the Galactic Heroes. Subverted insofar it's not actually that much worse than The Federation, especially after Reinhart becomes de facto ruler, rids the empire of the Decadent Court, and reforms the system to become more friendly to commoners.
  • 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 Band of the Hawk 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 Griffith to come in and save Midland from the foreign invaders with his badass Apostle army.
  • Played Straight, then subverted in Zoids: Chaotic Century 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 Digimon Adventure 02 manages to conquer a good chunk of the Digital World, enslaving its inhabitants via mind control rings. Once Ken undergoes a Heel–Face Turn, his empire effectively ceases to exist.
  • The American Empire/Imperial Americana from Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed.
  • The Albareth Empire, a combined power of over 700 legal and dark guilds in Fairy Tail. It is located on the western continent, while Ishgar, the setting where most of the series took place, is on the eastern continent.
  • Altair: A Record of Battles: 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.
  • Panzer World Galient has the Marder's Empire. The story begins when Marder's troops invade the capital city of 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.
  • Attack on Titan:
    • 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. Eren Kruger speculated that both stories were nonsense, and the real history had simply been lost to time because of the competing propaganda wars.
    • Marley, the militaristic nation that serves as the Greater-Scope Villain of the series. After overthrowing the Eldian empire, they established power by rounding up the Eldians left outside the Walls, placing them into 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 King Fritz had declared war on them and threatened to destroy the world with his army of Wall Titans. This provided justification to recruit Child Soldiers 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.
  • One Piece has the World Government. This is what they actually are, a corrupt and brutal oligarchy determined to exert control over the world and its past. And while there is an empty throne in its capital that symbolizes the fact that no one person rules the world, this is also a big fat lie. The "empty" throne has an owner: Im, the true ruler of the world.
  • Hunter × Hunter has the Kakin empire, ruled by Nasubi Hui Guo Rou, who is forcing his children to fight to the death to become heir to the throne.
  • Voltes V: The main antagonists are The Boazanian Empire, a Galactic Superpower that constantly expands by colonizing other planets. According to the Boazanian Fantastic Caste System, those with horns are allowed to join the nobility, and those without them are forced to live as slaves - since the Boazanians plan an Alien Invasion on Earth, you can guess where this is going. In the Grand Finale, The Hero's father topples the Boazanian Empire and starts a new era of peace and equality, doing away with the planet's bloody history once and for all.

    Comic Books 
DC Comics
  • Legends of the Dead Earth:
    • In Superman: The Man of Steel Annual #5, Lex Luthor created an empire spanning a thousand worlds which he rules with an iron fist. Its capital is the world city Metropole.
    • In Impulse Annual #1, the Dargonian Empire rules hundreds of star systems and has a tendency to respond to overt acts of defiance with severe reprisals.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Volume 1: The Saturnian Empire consists of the bodies orbiting Saturn the citizens can live on, and those which they can't but can mine and is looking to expand by conquering earth. The Empire runs on fear and harsh consequenses and has been paying slavers to abduct humans for use as slave labor.
    • Volume 2: The Sangtee Empire is a galactic empire where chattel slavery is legal and the combined government and state religion control population through the outlawing of natural procreation and women. Any trespassers to the empire are enslaved, with the women sent to border planets to mine in harsh conditions until their deaths. Wondy starts up a resistance that forces the empire to abolish slavery.
  • The Khundian Empire is a galactic level expansionist empire where the ruling Khunds are a Proud Warrior Race who regularly give Green Lantern Corps members and other space-faring heroes a hard time.
  • The ruling class of the Durlans is expansionist with strong xenophobic flavors in the modern age, they believe themselves better than most races from outside Durla and once joined with the Khunds, Dominators, Daxamites, Gil'Dan and others to invade earth. However their society is already badly fractured and well on its way to the violently isolationist policies it will have in the 31st century when one of their number defects to join the Legion of Super-Heroes.
  • The Gil'Dishpan/Gil'Dan are a violent imperial ruled caste divided culture which has a long tradition of conquering other worlds with a large percentage of naturally fluid water.
  • In Batman: Holy Terror, the United Kingdom and the Americas are all ruled by the Commonwealth, a more brutal version of the government established by Oliver Cromwell.
  • The Green Lantern foes the Tchk-Tchk were an insectoid race whose expansion beyond their own planet the Guardians took issue with. When their empire was forced back to their home planet they quickly ran out of resources and only survived by uploading their brains and abandoning their physical forms.

Marvel Comics

  • The Skrull and Kree Empires from the Marvel Universe are both aggressive and expansionistic. Unlike the Shi'ar (below), both actively attempt to conquer less-developed worlds through infiltration or military invasion. Both are quite vexed by how impossible a target Earth has been.
  • The Shi'ar Empire has mostly been an aversion, Depending on the Writer 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.
    • Since the 2000s, they've mostly been played straight as this trope, with it serving as a justification for why Lilandra's had such a hard time holding onto the throne - her more pacifistic and reasonable policies (which weren't universal, either) were deeply unpopular with a large section of the Empire's officials and populace, who were all of the more expansionist outlook. Vulcan actually made himself popular by returning to this mode, and by slaughtering the Scy'ar Tal, who were open about their ambitions of Shi'ar genocide (after the Shi'ar had done the same to them, unprovoked). Gladiator, since he very reluctantly took the throne, has mostly cleaved to Lilandra's policies and doesn't seem to be notably unpopular... though this might have something to do with the fact that a) Marvel's cosmic empires have been wracked by crisis after crisis, so there hasn't been any real time to do any expanding, b) no one's mad enough to try and take on Marvel's primary version of Superman, who does not believe in Thou Shalt Not Kill.
  • The conflict of Dreadstar is dominated by a war between two powerful empires for control of the Empirical Galaxy. The Monarchy is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, and is nominally controlled by King Gregzor but is really ruled by various corrupt factions in the military and aristocracy, the most powerful of which is the enigmatic Evil Chancellor Z; the Instrumentality is The Theocracy, being run by the church and its spiritual and political head is the Lord High Papal. They're both about equally evil, but the Instrumentality is more dangerous because it's more competently lead and it ends up winning the war when Z sells the Monarchy out.


  • True to history, the Roman Empire as it appears in Asterix. The state's official stance is to call all other nations barbarians who will be "civilized" either with or without their consent. There are also plenty of corrupt prefects, governors and centurions who scheme at everybody else's expense. The irony of course is that in this time, when Caesar was dictator, it was still The Roman Republic.
  • The Eggman Empire in Sonic the Hedgehog, named after Dr. Eggman.
  • Sonic the Comic 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.
  • The Negation. They even rewrote the laws of physics!
  • Water & Power in Tank Girl, corrupt corporate conquistadors.

    Fan Works 
  • In Eggman Generations, as usual, Eggman's goal is to establish the Eggman Empire. His alternate selves want empires for themselves.
  • MRA Trilogy's "Intergalactic Femnazi Empire", lead by the Asari and Reapers. Suffice to say, it's a major case of informed villainy, they're not seen doing anything wrong and in fact seems a relatively pleasant place to be, being only disliked by the Poe's Law subjected Straw Misogynist protagonists.
  • Vakudos from Hottie 3: The Best Fan Fic in the World 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
  • Queen of Shadows:
    • 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 Ben Shui Chosen One is keeping him from advancing westward.
  • Fallout: Equestria:
    • In the original story and most of its Recursive Fanfiction, there is the Grand Pegasus Enclave. While they don't appear to be an autocratic government, they are nonetheless highly militaristic, their society strictly regulated, and they eventually aim to conquer the Equestrian Wasteland.
  • In the Pony POV Series, the Shining Armor Arc reveals the existence of the deer-dominated Hooviet Empire, a thinly-veiled expy of the Soviet Union (with elements of Nineteen Eighty-Four for flavor), which serves as Equestria's greatest rival. As it turns out, the Empire was supposed to collapse decades before the current story, but when the Shadow of Chernobull escaped its can, it — in the form of Makarovaltered reality and history to fulfill the Hooviets' desires to keep the Empire alive and vital. When he/it is eventually erased by the Blank Wolf, 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.
  • Sonic X: Dark Chaos: The Demon Empire is an autocratic and top-heavy Hegemonic Empire 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.
  • Ages of Shadow: Under Boaz's leadership, the Shadow Walkers emerge from hiding to begin carving out a kingdom in the Middle East known as the Himinate (after Boaz's title, Himinion). It expands for several decades, until King Cheherazad, backed by Persia, manages to take down the Shadow Walkers' leadership, scattering the remainders.
  • A Brief History of Equestria has the Griffon Empire and the Mongrellian Horde, both of which collapsed by the time of the Warming. And then a couple of generations later, Talonhoof the Reviled took control of the remnants of both by force and fused them together into a single massive nation, which he then led in a war of extermination of Equestria.
  • In The Elements of Harmony and the Savior of Worlds, 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 A.A. Pessimal, 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 Rimwards Howondaland and the Zulu Empire. This is presented as an example of Gray-and-Grey Morality: Rimwards Howondaland is locked into The Apartheid Era and while nominally a democracy (if you're white) has an oppressive Secret Police. 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.
  • This Discworld builds on canon and has Ankh-Morpork as the Expy of post-imperial Britain. Ankh-Morpork still has the hangover of recent Empire to contend with. Some places, like the Guano Islands, simply don't want to become independent; they like it as it is, thanks, with Ankh-Morpork footing all the bills. There also inconvenient hangovers of Empire in various parts of the Disc. Fourecks and the Foggy Islands are relaxed about it and agree there are useful cultural and sporting ties. Upper Aceria falls into the same bracket, despite its Quirmian enclave being awkward. the Semi-United States of Aceria is a bit more problematic. It's a long time since Ghat was an Ankh-Morporkian colony, but the Morporkians were there for long enough to leave Crockett behind. And see above for Rimwards Howondaland.
  • In The Institute Saga, the autocratic and oppressive Kree, Skrull and Shi'ar empires are all mentioned or feature in the prequel.
  • In the There Was Once an Avenger From Krypton series, there are several examples in the greater cosmos.
    • There's the Galra, obviously, which covers the most territory by far, and is an oppressive regime.
    • The Gem empire, despite covering far less territory overall, has completely conquered their entire home dwarf galaxy and portions of every other surrounding galaxy with a thoroughness the Galra can't match, and Moonstone believes that they would have conquered the universe by now if they weren't so methodical about extracting everything useful that they can before moving on.
    • The Kree have an empire as well, though Carol has resulted in it being significantly defanged.
    • The Nova Corps is technically an empire, but they're fairly hands-off as long as a world remains affiliated and doesn't engage in "bullshit like slavery", as Carol puts it. This is part of why, despite the Akiridions being one of the oldest and most loyal members of the empire, Nova Prime has given orders not to interfere with Morando's coup. The fact that they will need Akiridion's military forces against the Black Order is another factor.
    • Krypton had an interstellar empire back in its heyday, one that was far-reaching enough that Kara is deeply confused that no one else she's met with knowledge of the wider galaxy has ever heard of it.
    • As per Mass Effect canon, the Protheans once had an empire that dominated the Milky Way. Though instead of the Reapers (who don't exist here), they were instead destroyed in a rebellion by a coalition of repressed races, spearheaded by the Kree and Skrulls.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Galactic Empire from Star Wars. An oppressive, despotic, militarized regime lead by an evil tyrant who rules it by force after orchestrating a galactic civil war that transforms a flawed but democratic Republic into its darker evolution. Palpatine did this carefully and step by step; even after officially declaring the People's Republic of Tyranny to have become an Empire, he waits another twenty years before using the Rebellion as an excuse to abolish the Senate. In the sequel trilogy, a smaller military junta called First Order takes up the mantle (and all the tropes) of the Empire while a true successor to the Empire builds up in secret.
  • The Confederacy in C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America. First, they conquer the North. Then, they conquer all of Central and South America (Truth in Television, as that was the Confederate's plan if they had won the war), as well as the Caribbean. Then, as an Axis country in World War II they conquer Japan. A throwaway line suggests they've recently done the same to the Middle East.
  • The Necromonger Empire of The Chronicles of Riddick serves as an example of an empire that travels from place to place, and doubles as a Religion of Evil.
  • One Nation Earth in the Apocalypse film series by Cloud Ten Pictures. The design of their logo is based on the Eye Of Providence pyramid design of the Great Seal of the United States.
  • The United Citizen's Federation of Starship Troopers is this, being a Federation In Name Only. 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 The Last Starfighter.
  • The G.I. Joe: Retaliation has America become this after Cobra has Zartan become the President of the United States. This means that G.I. Joe becomes La Résistance with the help of Joseph Colton.
  • The Nova Empire from Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). Comic depiction aside, what little we see of its capital, Xandar, is a pristine, cosmopolitan semi-urban landscape (it was based off of Singapore's Gardens by the Bay). However, it's not all great: apparently the local (heavily militarized) law enforcement can send you to prison without a trial (none onscreen, at least). It is possible that the Corps was pushed to desperate measures, as they were dealing with a severe terrorist threat at the time of the movie.
  • The Persians in 300 are 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 Badass Army of the Spartans to fight, with the occasional monster ninja and demonic executioner here and there.
  • The Confederacy in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The vampires effectively control the south, using the slave system as an endless supply of food. With Adam's death and the end of the slave system, the empire collapses and most of the vampires flee the country.
  • Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning: when Pirk recreates the P-fleet by conquering Earth with the help of the Russian president and advanced technology, he quickly 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 Space Navy 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 2019: After the Fall of New York 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 main antagonists of Vlad Tepes are the Ottoman Empire, who are trying to conquer Wallachia.

  • A Chorus of Dragons: The Great Empire of Quur is highly militaristic and ruled by squabbling and cutthroat nobles, makes extensive use of slave labor and supports an extensive global slave trade as a result, and would be very happy to restart the wars of conquest that it used to subjugate a third or so of the setting. It's also, notably, the country the main character calls home.
  • Draconis Memoria: The Corvantine Empire is the last sovereign state in existence, surviving in a world of corporate rule through the merciless, totalitarian absolutism of their Emperor and his many enforcers, be it the Imperial Legions or the Cadre and its Blood-blessed agents. Most Corvantines are shown to be highly elitist, classist, stagnant and corrupt, with massive purges of dissidents, brutal massacres of insurrectionists and constant assassinations by the Cadre being a regular occurrence. They are also the other major world power besides the Syndicate, ruling over the better part of a continent and having the second largest number of colonies across Arradsia.
  • The Dreamside Road: The Liberty Corps wants to be an Empire. All of their long-term plans revolve around becoming a real government and world power, using looted IHSA military technology and the Dreamside Road trove.
  • Kalpa Imperial: The story is about the cyclic empire that goes through endless circles of birth and destruction, with good and bad emperors, an endless dispute with the Savage South, war periods, and such.
  • Known Space: The Kzinti Patriarchy is ruled by a class of feudal warrior nobilities and expanded through ruthless conquest and subjugation of other sapient species, which were afterwards kept in line through ruthless brutality and used as slaves and food animals.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • The Lord of the Rings: Mordor and its client states (Harad, Umbar, Rhûn, and Khand) ruled by Sauron, a ruthless tyrant who intends to conquer the world and rule it as a god-king, destroying whoever opposes him.
    • The Silmarillion: Morgoth's realm, centered around Angband. It runs on the backs of slaves, the army is Always Chaotic Evil, the main entertainment is Cold-Blooded Torture, and the whole goal is to conquer and kill everybody on Arda.
    • The Fall of Númenor: The kingdom of Númenor started as a peaceful country which was happy to explore the coasts of Middle-Earth and give their peoples gifts. As the Númenoreans get corrupted, though, they become more greedier, prouder and crueler. One thousand years after Númenor's foundation, the Númenoreans found their first permanent havens in Middle-Earth and begin demanding and levying tributes from outlying areas. As the centuries go by, the Númenoreans get worse, colonizing large swaths of Middle-Earth and controlling all the oceans. They also cut down all the old forests on the northwest continent to build fleets, and enslave entire native populations. And it gets even worse during the reign of their last king Ar-Pharazôn, who is described as the greatest tyrant in the world since Morgoth himself. They come "no more as the benevolent kings of old, not even as harsh rulers, but as fierce men of war" who sacrifice scores of people on the altars of Morgoth every day, using the Middle-earth natives, and take many others to slavery. This is more or less the reason why the Gondorians, descendants of the Númenórëans, are so hated by the Dunlendings the Haradrim and Easterlings.
  • Dune: Persian, Ottoman, Hapsburg, and Chinese influences all show up in the Imperium. 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).
  • Tanya Huff'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 Evil Overlord List memorized (the story plays it for a comedy, with some direct references to the list).
  • The Gurkish Empire from The First Law, complete with a Path of Inspiration.
  • Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time introduces the Seanchan Empire as a civilization with its stability dependent on enslaving natural 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 supplemental materials paint of picture of an extremely insular, oppressively regimented society that's arguably even harsher than Seanchan, though far less expansionistic. In the last book, one of the Forsaken shows up at the Last Battle with a Sharan army in tow.
  • The Eastern Empire in Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar 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 Godspeaker Trilogy.
  • The Radch in Imperial Radch. 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 A.I.s at the slightest excuse.
  • The Empire in Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle, which consists of a single country ruled by a king.
  • One of the few "bad" things in Marge Piercy's utopia 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 CoDominium (CD) in Falkenberg's Legion by Jerry Pournelle. Technically The Alliance, 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 Deconstructed in the Honor Harrington 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 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 people behind genetic slavery — everyone else is various shades of gray.
  • In C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, Calormen is a subtle instance. First introduced in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader 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 The Silver Chair), the prequel The Horse and His Boy 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 The Last Battle details, Calormen does eventually conquer Narnia, but their triumph is short-lived. In the prequel novel The Magician's Nephew, the Kingdom of Charn in Jadis' home world was the this even more so. It was rich, powerful, practiced both slavery, Human Sacrifice and had conquered all other countries of its world.
  • Both subverted and played straight in The Malazan Book of the Fallen. 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.
  • Played straight and subverted in Mistborn: The Original Trilogy. In the first book, the Final Empire controls the whole world and is a truly terrible place to live but its leader, rather than being power-mad, is a Well-Intentioned Extremist whose judgement is being impaired by the Omnicidal Maniac 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 Eldritch Abomination, the heroes wind up having to create an empire of their own.
  • Inverted in David Weber's Safehold series, where the Empire of Charis is created by the protagonists. This is done out of survival since the 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 Hawkmoon books.
  • The Medes in the Queen's Thief books.
  • The Hrum Empire in the Farsala Trilogy, which was based on Ancient Rome.
  • The Imperial Order in the Sword of Truth. Richard himself also inherits the D'Haran Empire, and starts adding to it. His is a good version. It's also an example of The Magocracy, since the ruling Rahl dynasty were magic-users.
  • In Robert E. Howard's "The Hyborian Age", the Back Story to Conan the Barbarian, Aquilonia's greed for conquest destroyed the Hyrkanians even though their civilization was flourishing.
    • In "The Scarlet Citadel," Conan is lured into a trap so that an empire can extend itself by annexing Aquilonia.
  • The Wasp Empire in Adrian Tchaikovsky's Shadows of the Apt series is an ultra-militaristic autocracy with an economy based on conquest and slavery, and it’s mentioned repeatedly that it has to keep expanding or it’ll implode. In politics it ticks all the stereotypical imperial checkboxes: to name a few, The Right of a Superior Species, obsession with martial strength, and a pervasive State Sec with spies everywhere. Every book in the series deals directly or indirectly with the Wasps’ ongoing attempt to conquer the world, with a short period of Succession Crisis in the middle which sees the new Empress re-conquering secessionist bits of the Empire, after which it carries on as before. In the end, the Empire doesn’t fall (though it comes very close), but a coup reforms it from within into a slightly less evil and significantly more stable Imperial Republic, which is no longer incentivized to conquer its neighbors. In the process, a not-insignificant remnant faction of the old guard flees to a semi-independent border territory, and a short story set some years later involves the Imperial Republic dealing with them.
  • The Global Community in the Left Behind series. Christ's Millennial Reign in Kingdom Come only gets viewed as this by the Other Light faction due to the 100 years of age limit for unbelievers imposed on the "naturals" who enter or are born in this time period.
  • In The Chathrand Voyages, two of these form the center of the storyline; Arqual is fairly progressive and cosmopolitan, but also aggressively expansionistic, while its Arch-Enemy 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 Shaggat Ness.
  • The Kingdom of Witchland and its many vasall states in E. R. Eddison's The Worm Ouroboros.
  • An Exercise in Futility has the Kalharian Empire. They aren't so bad, really, provided they conquered you a long time ago.
  • David Eddings has played with the concept.
    • The Belgariad and related works has the Tolnedran Empire, which is one in name only, in order to concrete its similarity to Rome, and the Mallorean Empire, which in the first series is nothing more than a source for countless cannon fodder and in the sequel is expanded and explored in greater depth, revealing a rich and diverse multiculture who almost universally serve the Big Bad only because they're forced to, and are freed from his grip by the end of the series without any major political upheavals.
    • The Tamuli 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 The Elenium).
  • The Empire of Nilfgaard in the 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 Repressive, but Efficient, 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 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 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 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 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 Immortality Immorality.
    • 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 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 Harry Turtledove's Worldwar with the 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 don't want to damage the planet, which they want to settle. They're also highly hypocritical.
  • Magravandias in Storm Constantine's The Chronicles of Magravandias.
  • Every major power is an Empire in Belisarius Series. The difference is not between evil empire and good "something besides empire", it is between the overwhelmingly evil Malwa empire and the "that's just how humans arrange their affairs" empires spearheaded by the meritocratic, egalitarian Romans.
  • Fred Saberhagen's The Empire of the East is about the war between the Free Folk and the titular empire. This one is one of the more thoroughly evil examples.
  • The Yeerk Empire in Animorphs, complete with conquered planets and slave races.
  • The Enterran Empire from The Diving Universe. 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.
  • The Braided Path: The Saramyr Empire, starting out as an expansionist monarchy, complete with genocide.
  • In Poul Anderson's "Time Lag", 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 Might Makes Right.
  • Age of Fire: The Ghioz empire, under the rule of the Red Queen, is the primary threat in book four, Dragon Strike, as the Queen attempts to Take Over the World. And she 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, the Copper engineers the creation of the 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.
  • Timothy Zahn's 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 More than Mind Control to condition loyal human subjects. It's pretty much stated that the only reason La Résistance 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 La Résistance.
  • The Sirian Empire in Eric Frank Russell's Wasp (1957). While technologically behind the Terrans, they outnumber us 12-to-1. The novel focuses on spies (called "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 Sergey Lukyanenko's Line of Delirium is about a century old, having been formed during the 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 Humans Are Average). While not the strongest interstellar power, it is definitely up there, especially after the formation of the Trinary Alliance with the Bulrathi and the 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 The Federation 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, Resurrective Immortality 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 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 pun intended). When a border colony attempted to secede several decades prior, the Emperor sent the Space Navy 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 Orbital Bombardment with meson charges, making them uninhabitable, then proceeded to drive the Sakkra to extinction.
  • Also from Sergey Lukyanenko, the Human Empire in Genome. While it's certainly a powerful interstellar nation, it's about evenly matched by the Zzygou. Should a war break out between the two empires, one would be utterly destroyed, while the other one would become a Vestigial Empire. 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 Lukyanenko, the State in his Seekers of the Sky duology is descended from the Roman Empire that has never collapsed in this Alternate History. It dominates most of Europe and has colonies in Africa and the Americas. The Possessor is The Emperor, ruling from the State's capital in Lutetia (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 Vladimir Vasilyev's The War for Mobility story arc. The villainous Shat-Tsur Empire are former slaves of one of the members of The Alliance. 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' Shannara series, wherein the group that calls itself The Federation is actually The Empire. Originally a coalition of Southland city-states, The Federation swallows up the Eastland, Westland, and Borderlands prior to the Heritage Of Shannara 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 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 Discworld has the Evil Empire, which used to rule much of Uberwald and had The Great Offscreen War 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 The Hunger Games, 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.
  • A Symphony of Eternity has The Galaxy divided between three superpowers,one of them is a multi-species, multicultural Empire, basically the British Commonwealth IN SPACE!.
  • The Locked Tomb Trilogy takes place in one of these. Ten thousand years before the trilogy begins, after an apocalypse wiped out almost all life in the Solar System, the Emperor (or "God" as he's more commonly known) performed the Resurrection to bring as many people as possible back from death. Those people created the Nine Houses, which form the story's setting. The Emperor takes a hands-off approach to running the Empire and is rarely seen, but it has a heavy military presence and maintains a constant war with enemies from outside. The end of Book 2 reveals the war serves no purpose apart from punishing those who left Earth and left the Emperor behind, or, at this point, their descendants).
  • The Empire of Nuevaropa in The Dinosaur Lords looks pleasant enough if you're a foreigner or an outsider, but politicking is the order of the day, the court is both decadent and deadly, many lords routinely whip and brutally punish their serfs and everything is taking a sharp turn towards religious fundamentalism.
  • The Silerian Trilogy: The Valdani Empire, which strongly resembles Rome. An expansionist power, they are trying their level best to conquer everyone around them. Though the story itself focuses on Sileria, an occupied island country to their south, wars they wage against larger neighbors are also important in the background. One Valdan character thinks about how they desire to conquer the world, which he wants a part of. However, it's heavily implied they have taken on more than they're capable of by the end, and may go down in defeat on the mainland.
  • In Walter Jon Williams' Drake Maijstral 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.
  • The Crimson Shadow: The kingdom of Avon under King Greensparrow. He and his dukes are all evil sorcerers in league with demons. Cyclopians (a brutish, bloodthirsty race) are their soldiers. Using magic and the mook cyclopians, he conquered all the lands around Avon, ruling them with cruelty (such as having very harsh legal punishment for minor crimes, plus making use of slavery). Eventually, a rebellion erupts in its occupied northern neighbor Eriador because of these abuses.
  • The Witchlands has two, though with the story running on Grey-and-Grey Morality, it's debatable how evil they are.
    • Cartorra used to be a Hegemonic Empire, 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 and zombifying unregistered witches.
    • Marstoki Empire has always been very militaristic, and their army is quite infamous for their use of 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.
  • John Scalzi's The Interdependency 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 Feudal Future 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 Interfaith Smoothie 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. In the first novel, The Collapsing Empire, a couple of scientists discover that the 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 Mikhail Akhmanov's Envoy from the Heavens, the Empire (also known as the Seven Provinces) on the Medieval Stasis 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 Hegemonic Empire 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 Medieval Stasis 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. The humans meet opposition from a race of ape-like psychic aliens, who are opposed to such efforts.
  • The Hexarchate in The Machineries of Empire. 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 Victoria, the United States itself plays this role,at least in the eyes of the protagonist and his Christian Marines, not that they're much better.
  • The Red Kingdom in Baltimore is an massive and brutal empire established in an Alternate History timeline governed by an vampire lord appropriately known as the Red King, covering pretty much all of Russia, Scandinavia, the Middle East and Northern Africa.
  • Caliphate is filled with such such states in different flavors: The Imperial States of America is the former USA turned into a fascist Christian empire; Western Europe is under the control of an Islamic Caliphate that enforces sharia law with no mercy; Russia has turned into a Soviet-Tsarist empire that rules over Eastern Europe and the Balkans, and China has returned into an Celestial Empire of post-human amoral creatures.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Westeros could be technically considered this trope, since its ruler is effectively The Emperor who with authority over an collection of several kingdoms governed by their respective monarchs who hold the title of Lords (whereas most of their predecessors ruled as Kings). While it's not necessarily expansionist, it had a very turbulent history with civil wars and it's generally not a good place to live.
    • In the backstory, the Valyrian Freehold was the greatest and most powerful nation to exist due to learning the art of taming and riding dragons to conquer their enemies and carving out an rich empire on the back of slaves.
    • The Iron Islands used to be this under House Hoare before Aegon's Conquest. When they expanded over the Riverlands, they subjugated and conquered without mercy everyone they encountered, enslaving it's population to construct a giant fortress which took years and thousands of lives to complete.
  • Concordia in Magik Online, a transdimensional empire using both magic and science to field endless armies of golems and dragons. Concordia spent the last four centuries in a state of constant warfare, and conquered Earth itself a decade before the story's start.
  • In The Saga Of The Borderlands, by the Argentine writer Liliana Bodoc, The Lords Of The Sun is the largest and most powerful nation in the Fertile Lands, which also practices human sacrifice and slavery, but unlike other examples are not expansionist, possibly due to their internal conflicts since two Noble Houses have been fighting the throne for generations. On the other side are the Sideresios, governed by Misaianes, who are worse, much worse.
  • The Traveler's Gate: Damasca is a military hegemony that demands nine sacrifices every year, uses powerful magic to stay in power, has access to a vault filled with horrific Blood Magic weapons, and most of the heirs consider killing each other the best way to prove themselves worthy of the throne. However, it turns out Damasca is not actually evil. The sacrifices are to keep the Incarnations sealed, the weapons in the vault are mostly used by the royals themselves paying a price, and the fact that most of the current heirs are power-hungry assholes is just because their father isn't a very good parent; he ultimately names the only moral Heir as his Successor. It takes almost half the trilogy before Simon really figures this out.
  • Hands Held in the Snow: The city of Balarand has been under occupation by the Empire of Dannark since before the start of the story. They aren't turning the whole place into a dystopian nightmare, so they aren't Obviously Evil, but there does appear to be a lot of protests and resentment towards them.
  • The titular state of the Dread Empire novels is Shinsan, a brutal, militarized Magocracy loosely based on Imperial China that already controls half the world and has designs on the other half. Starts showing signs of subverting this trope by the end of the series, as the Princes Thaumaturge, their worst would-be successors and a good chunk of the more hawkish Tervola (Shinsan's sorcerer-generals) have been killed off, leaving the empire's leadership to fall on more level heads who are less gung-ho about the whole "take over the world" business and more open to amicable relationships with their neighbors.
  • The Dawn Empire in Shadow of the Conqueror, an autocratic communist state formed from Dayless the Conqueror's native Hamahra with more and more countries annexed to it. Modern Hamahra still has elements of this, as it incorporates territories that weren't part of Hamahra before Dayless conquered them and purged their nobility, but has since transitioned into a republic ruled by a democratically elected Senate.
  • Sandokan:
    • It is implied that, after Sandokan's epic Roaring Rampage of Revenge in The King of the Sea, he and the British imperial government have an informal agreement that allows Sandokan and Yanez to do as they wish (even buying weapons from them) as long as they refrain from damaging British interests (Yanez even carved out a nice empire for himself right in the real-life Raj, with the Brits not interfering because he had deposed a corrupted prince and opened his country to trade).
    • The novels The Mystery of the Black Jungle and The Two Tigers are set in India during the period of East India Company rule, the first in Bengal under the rule of the East India Company and the latter around India as the Rebellion of 1857 raged. In these novels Salgari takes an ambivalent stance towards Company rule: on one hand the Company is shown opening the country to trade and industrialization, hunting down dangerous animals to improve the living conditions of the populace, and campaign against barbaric customs as Sati (widow burning) and the Thuggee cult (we are even shown East India Company troops affiliated with the Thuggee Department storming the Thuggee headquarters); on the other hand the flaws of the Company, such as its corruption, arrogance and heavy handed response to political complaints are shown, culminating in the bloody suppression of the 1857 rebellion.
  • Beyond Thirty has the Abyssinian Empire, a black super-state now ruling all of Africa, most of Europe, and the Arabian Peninsula. While the Abyssinians' technology is roughly equivalent to that of the nineteenth century, it is more than a match for the white savages populating Europe. The Abyssinians consider whites a lower order and take them as slaves.
  • The Expanse: Later books have the Laconia Empire, formed by rogue Martian Navy detachments under the command of Admiral Duarte. They found the Laconia system through the Ring and a Ring Builder shipyard that allowed them to build extremely powerful warships which they used to subjugate Sol and all other human-settled systems. They were eventually beaten by La Résistance.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: The Barrayaran Empire and the Cetagandan Empire 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.
  • Cradle Series: Because of the absurd use of Asskicking Leads to Leadership paired with Moral Myopia, nearly every nation is like this at least a little. In fact, sometimes it seems like the only reason the Akura vassal nations are considered better than the alternative is that at least the Akura conquer their enemies, while half the other powerful factions in the world think "cities are holding us back" and prefer to just live lives of nomadic, wandering destruction. That being said, the clearest examples are the original Blackflame Empire (founded by dragons, fell when the Dreadgods attacked), and the successor Blackflame Empire (founded by humans using powers stolen from dragons, fell when those powers consumed them). Both used their unparalleled destructive powers to conquer and control anyone and anything that got in their way. The modern Blackflame Empire, by the standards of the world, is practically The Good Kingdom, in that they only fight border skirmishes with their neighbors and will punish people who commit too much genocide.
  • Bazil Broketail: Padmasa is a brutal one whose goal is world domination, constantly trying to conquer everyone else, ruled by utterly ruthless ancient sorcerers breeding monsters for this purpose, with many spies throughout other lands furthering their plan.
  • The Empire of Praes from A Practical Guide to Evil: One of the precursors of the Ancient-Rome analog Miezan Empire, Praes is the archetypical Evil Empire in the continent of Calernia, although one that has been seen as Laughably Evil by most of its neighbors until recently. Praes is ruled by a Dread Emperor/Empress (who nearly always comes to power by ursupation) and their court of famously rich, evil and back-stabbing nobles, as well as a well-oiled (if corrupt) bureaucracy. Her armies, the Legions of Terror (often aided by blood rituals, Named villains, flying fortresses or eldritch magic experiments) periodically try to conquer the neighboring country Callow. In two thousand years, they have suceeded twice: once under Dread Empress Triumphant who conquered the whole continent, and recently after a new generation of more pragmatic villains implemented reforms.
  • The Elemental Trilogy: Atlantis, an oppressive dictatorship run by a Sorcerous Overlord obsessed with immortality by any means necessary.
  • In Mermaids of Eriana Kwai, the tyrannical merman king Adaro wants to take over the entire ocean. His underwater army of mermen fight to conquer other undersea countries, while his surface army of mermaids attack human ships. His ultimate goal is to depose Queen Medusa of the Atlantic. Lysi has been drafted into his army, even though she despises everything he stands for.
  • Shatter the Sky: The empire of Zefed, which has conquered several countries and is waging war against others for this purpose. It's pretty obviously bad to the reader not only because of this but also using dragons as its tools in a very cruel way, though most Zefedi are indoctrinated into supporting it. A resistance exists however, with some Zefedi opposing it. They constitute an elite in the empire, which claims its wars are caused by those they conquer.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Several examples from Star Trek that The Federation encounters from the outside, like the Dominion and the Romulan Star Empire, and the Mirror Universe 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. Notably, there was no Klingon Emperor until a clone of Kahless returned and it became a ceremonial position, with a council comprised of various rival Klingon Houses instead vying for power. It was precisely because Chancellor Gowron's position was so weak that he reverted the Empire to its old, militant ways for a brief bit in order to appease the hardliners in the imperial government.
    • The Romulan Star Empire was created by a renegade group of Vulcans who rejected their founder's stoic teachings, instead basing their lifestyles around passion. Otherwise they're pretty transparent Space Romans, ruled by a Senate and a Praetor. They replaced the Klingons as the go-to Evil Empire in the TNG era, and managed to come out of the Dominion War as the overall winner by only joining late. However, after their own star goes supernova and destroys Romulus and Remus, they reformed themselves into the Romulan Free States.
    • 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  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 a governing body known as the Central Command, rather than one Emperor. It is more similar to the USSR or Oceania than a traditional empire, controlled by a political body. The Cardassian Occupation of Bajor has shown the Cardassian Union to be particularly brutal. They're later overthrown in a coup d'etat which restored the civilian leadership. However, they prove to be even worse as they turn Cardassia into a Dominion member state. As it becomes more and more clear that they're just a vassal of their new "allies", La Résistance forms. The Dominion, who are Eviler than Thou, decide to simply wipe out the Cardassians by Orbital Bombardment when their entire military rebels against them.
    • The Dominion was written to be an Evil Counterpart 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 no different than the Borg, since they assimilate all kinds of people and cultures while no-one even notices.
    • Season 2 of Star Trek: Picard sees the timeline altered so that instead of the Federation, there's the Confederation of Earth, a xenophobic military state that is conquering the galaxy and enslaving all non-human races. The Confederation is similar to the Terran Empire but lacks its Chronic Backstabbing Disorder complex that became its downfall, instead going on to conquer the Cardassians, Klingons, Romulans, and the Borg. Its most ruthless military leader is General Jean-Luc Picard, who has led numerous campaigns of conquest against other races aboard his flagship the CSS World Razer (think Enterprise-D but armed to the teeth) and has personally slain alien leaders (including Martok, Dukat, and Sarek), whose skulls he keeps in his trophy room.
  • The Alliance of Firefly, though since the main characters are all anti-heroes, it's suggested that from another point of view the Alliance might be considered The Federation. However, the Academy, which is a subset of the Alliance, is firmly on the side of evil.
    • And then The Movie came and the Alliance crossed the Moral Event Horizon with what went down on Miranda. At least not until the Operative shows up on Serenity's dock with a Heel Realization 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 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. The Peacekeepers are, for the most part, Sebacaens, who are revealed in the wrap-up movie to be genetically-modified Transplanted Humans.
  • In Doctor Who, 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 Blake's 7, despite the sarcastic name (its logo is the Star Trek Federation's, given a hard twist to the right).
  • Super Sentai has a lot of evil factions that explicitly have "Empire" in their name, something that was especially in the older series. However, most tended to be this In Name Only and territory their base. Some straight up examples are:
    • The Tailed-People Clan Jashinka Empire from Kagaku Sentai Dynaman, an army of lizard humanoids looking to take over Earth and Kill All Humans. Although from what we see of there society, their sphere of influence doesn't seem to stretch much farther than the Grand Gizmo.
    • Underground Empire Tube from Hikari Sentai Maskman. A once peaceful kingdom that lived underground until they suffered a coup de'tat and were reformed into a militaristic, expansionist power. Tube is actually one of the straighter examples of this trope, since their sovereign rules over multiple underground tribes.
    • Machine Empire Baranoia in Chouriki Sentai Ohranger, an empire of machines from outer space looking to wage a Robot War on humanity.
    • Space Empire Zangyack in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger are probably the best example, being a vast interstellar empire with numerous alien races under them that has already conquered most of the known universe, with Earth being one of the few planets they haven't subjugated yet.
    • Parodied in Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger 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, 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.
    • While referred to as a "shogunate", Uchu Sentai Kyuranger's Jark Matter have much more in common with the Empire, being a brutally oppressive, galaxy-spanning, planet-looting dictatorship under the rule of Don Armage. It also helps that there are a lot of similarities to a more famous Galactic Empire.
    • Great Star League Gozma from Dengeki Sentai Changeman are a subversion. Initially, they seem like a vast space empire, having conquered many planets before their invasion of Earth. However, their true purpose is to prepare planets to be devoured by their ruler Star King Bazoo, who is actually a Planet Eater called Gozma Star. Almost all of the planets Gozma conquers have been eaten by Bazoo.
  • In Andromeda, the Nietzschean plan during their rebellion against the 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 High Guard ships (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 Stargate SG-1, 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 constantly fight each other for supremacy and after the death of The Emperor Ra in 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 Evil Power Vacuum and attack Earth directly.
  • The Centauri Republic in Babylon 5 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 J. Michael Straczynski described them once as a Space "British Empire" with a love/hate relationship with most of its former colonies.
  • Barbarians Rising places the Roman Empire in this role for most of its run, with the eponymous barbarians set as La Résistance or The Alliance.
  • Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire: One of these controls the area where the series takes place, with the usual oppression, and Dongalor (its representative there) plans on using an ancient magical weapon for even worse.
  • Kamen Rider Build: Seito set themselves on their way to becoming this when they invade and conquer Hokuto, before setting their sights on invading Touto next and reunifying Japan under themselves. The Corrupt Corporate Executive pulling the strings behind them wants to take this a step further and use Seito to create an "immortal empire" ruling over the world.
  • Chouseishin Series:
    • The Daruga Empire in Genseishin Justiriser are a vast interstellar empire that has conquered and destroyed numerous planets in the name of total galactic domination. The Hades Army the Justirisers spend the first half of the series fighting turns out to be just one division of the Daruga Imperial Army.
    • Chousei Kantai Sazer X: Neo Descal is a galactic empire formed by the descendants of the Descal Space Pirates after they conquered Earth. By the time of the Bad Future, they've already taken over dozens of planets by bombarding them until they're cast into darkness.

  • Open Blue has two rival empires, Avelia (A mix of Imperial Spain and Great Britain) and Sirene (Imperial Germany), and a Vestigial Empire, Yaman (Imperial Russia). The Back Story features the Iormunean Imperium, a Fantasy Counterpart Culture to Ancient Rome, as precursors armed with weapons blessed by their god who suffered a Götterdämmerung. Ironically, the three present empires are all part of a larger Federation, the Axifloan Coalition.
  • The Sith Council and The Galactic Empire are modern factions in The Gungan Council that have the most planets out of any other faction.
  • The Empire of There is no GATE; we did not fight there 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 recognize 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.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Coalition States in 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 Exalted is a classic example.
  • Warhammer 40,000 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 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...assuming that ever happens.
    • The Tau, who are also The Federation 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 not-quite-humans-any-more) also sometimes manage to carve out their 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, 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 Warhammer, on the other hand, averts this trope, being based on the Real Life Holy Roman Empire. The Emperor is an elected rather than inherited position; when the Emperor dies the Elector Counts convene to elect a new one - the ten Elector Counts have one vote each (and usually vote for themselves), the Elder of the Moot has one vote, the Ar-Ulric of the Cult of Ulric gets one and the Grand Theogonist of the Church of Sigmar has three (one for himself and two for each Arch-Lector, but he casts all of them). The Empire doesn't get a lot of opportunities to expand, as it is bordered by the allied human nations of Bretonnia and Kislev to the west and east, the Sea of Claws and beyond that Norsca to the north (and that way lies madness - literally, and a ton of violent Horny Vikings besides) and mountains every other direction.
    • 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 Chronic Backstabbing Disorder for one minute and not try to eliminate each other while fighting their enemies.
    • The straightest example would probably be Naggaroth, the land of the Dark Elves. Unlike other states, which are often ruled by either Decadent Courts or monarchs with limited actual power, Naggaroth is ruled with absolute, unquestioned authority by Malekith, who is fearsomely reputed as the Witch King.note  Naggaroth is infamous for its ruthless slavers, and the unbridled cruelty of its residents.
  • The Third Imperium of Traveller is more like The Federation 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 Vestigial Empire. 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 Final Solution (in those terms) to the ongoing civil war.
  • From the various Dungeons & Dragons settings:
    • Greyhawks Empire of Iuz is a theocracy under the absolute rule of the demigod Iuz, Lord of Pain. Since his dogma is more or less a Card-Carrying Villain's primer and his clergy handle most of the day-to-day duties, it's not the most pleasant place.
    • Forgotten Realms: Thay is ruled by the eight most powerful members of the evil Red Wizards, who support their regime with Black Magic and slavery, and later falls under the control of the powerful lich necromancer Szass Tam.
    • Nentir Vale: The empire of Bael Turath was most definitely this, even forcing their entire populace into a Deal with the Devil when the empire was in danger of collapsing due to their own decadence.
    • La Notte Eterna: The Karevi all belong to the Empire of Hidden Lands, a vast subterranean empire ruled by a cruel emperor and that worships an evil god.
  • Inverted in Anima: Beyond Fantasy 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 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 The Federation 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 The Horde, 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 Elective Monarchy, 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.
  • Microscope: One of the common basic structures for stories is the rise and/or fall of an empire.
  • In Rocket Age the human superpowers are this to the rest of the solar system, especially the Nazis.
  • The New Earth Commonwealth in Heavy Gear, 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 CE Fs aggression.
  • GURPS being a Universal System, it has some published settings in which this trope appears:
    • In GURPS Banestorm, the role is taken by Megalos. Some of its citizens are decent people, and it's not explicitly committed to evil, but it's literally corrupt to the core.
    • In GURPS Thaumatology: Alchemical Baroque, the Great Majestic Solar Empire is actually "a nation with pretensions", and isn't overtly evil — but it has very strong imperialist ambitions, and uses both military strength and diplomatic subtlety in pursuit of power, driving the formation of “the Great Pact”, which definitely functions as The Alliance against it.
  • Besides the canon examples in Conan the Barbarian, The Hyborian Campaign featured several examples of this trope as the game progressed. Cimmeria united to become Cimmerian Empire early on, though it eventually became defunct and was replaced by the Confederation of Varnar. The Shemite and Vendhyan Empries are "present day" examples of this trope.
  • The Resistance: La Résistance is trying to defeat the implicitly evil Empire.
  • Bulldogs! has two main rival factions that serve this trope - the self-proclaimed superior species with the Devalkamanchan Republic and the serpentine "peace at any cost"-types in the Union of the Saldralla.


  • Toa Empire from BIONICLE fits this trope. When Takanuva is sent into an 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.

    Video Games 
  • The Horai and the Divine Ones in Ikaruga.
  • The villains of Dolphin Blue is a military dictatorship which is simply referred to as "The Great Empire of the Iron Standard".
  • In Einhänder, Selene is at first thought to be La Résistance, but the final stage reveals that they were actually the Empire the whole time, and they try to pull a You Have Outlived Your Usefulness to the player. But little did they know that they forgot who they were messing with...
  • The Cirigoth Empire in Everlong.
  • The Final Fantasy series uses this trope on multiple occasions.
    • Final Fantasy II has the Empire of Palamecia, which conquers, destroys, and enslaves seemingly for the heck of it. Partway through the game the Emperor kills the devil and usurps his throne. And as if that weren't enough to make him a badass, the expanded GBA release reveals that his "good" side has also taken over the equivalent of Heaven.
    • Final Fantasy VI has the Gestahlian Empire (simply known as "The Empire" in the original 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. They're not the dangerous ones.
    • In Final Fantasy IX, Queen Brahne is in the process of creating one of these until her death.
    • Final Fantasy XI 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.
    • Final Fantasy XII 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 — including a visit to Archades, Archadia's capital city —, you realize that 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.
    • Final Fantasy XIV:
      • The first and most prominent example is 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), the Imperials from Star Wars, not to mention titles and real-life imperial tactics (e.g. conscripting soldiers from conquered territory to weaken rebellion and bulk out Cannon Fodder) from Ancient Rome.
      • Five thousand years ago from the game's timeline, most of the world was ruled by the Allagan Empire, the supreme power of the Third Astral Era. Compared to their conquests and ambitions, Garlemald is just a pale imitation of Allag's glory and vastly superior Lost Technology. Their creations and legacy are still felt to this day, often being uncovered by the Garleans to further their own conquest.
      • Not even alternate universes are safe: The First, the location of Shadowbringers, has its own evil empire (if not in name, then certainly deed) in the form of Eulmore, a decadent kingdom whose subjects while away their days in luxury while waiting for the end of the world, and whose ruler seems doggedly determined to ensure the world ends.
    • Final Fantasy Type-0 has the aptly-named Milites, which is conquering most of the world at the time the game opens.
    • Final Fantasy XV gives us The Empire of Niflheim, which by the game's beginning has successfully conquered the world.
    • The Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles series has had a few. The original game takes place a while after the fall of the Liltian Empire, and Crystal Bearers takes place in the reign of its revival. There was also an Ancient Empire in the past of Echoes of Time, led by a powerful Emperor Scientist. Who is the game's immortal Big Bad.
    • The Avalonian Empire in Final Fantasy Dimensions starts off as a supposed ally to the heroes' home nation of Lux, and the town expects that their favorite son Aigis will be recruited by the army. Avalon proves itself to be traitorous almost instantly by assaulting the kingdom to steal its crystal. Two of the new party members turn out to be from nations that were wiped out almost completely by Avalon, and at the very end it's revealed that the Emperor got tired of the whole succession thing and decided to make himself immortal so he could rule the world forever, and has been manipulating the group to bring the crystals' power to him for that reason.
  • The main enemies of Granblue Fantasy work for the Erste Empire. Even more so once they 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 Skies of Arcadia, a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of 17th century Spain.
  • The 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 Ogre Battle and Tactics Ogre games and makes its presence known similarly to the Harmonians listed above.
  • Alfard from the Baten Kaitos 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 Half-Life 2 are possibly one of the most expansive Empires in all of fiction, and that's genuinely saying a lot. Seriously, most fictional empires would be satisfied with merely taking over the world or, at most, the galaxy. The Combine instead conquered the entire universe. But even then, even that wasn't enough for them, so they made portals to other universes and proceeded to conquer them too. Oh, and they say it's for our own good, though.
    • It genuinely cannot be stressed how massive the Combine is, to the point it can be mistaken for a Parodied Trope. They have millions of species enthralled to them, likely tens if not hundreds of universes in their domain, and likely an economy, bureaucracy and military/population size that goes beyond human comprehension. And yet every bit of the Combine is played nightmarishly straight, to the point they could've likewise been the Trope Codifier for Aliens Are Bastards as well! It says a lot that when the Combine sent a mere token force of its whole army to Earth after the events of the first game, they've ended a war with the entirety of Earth's fighting military in just seven hours.
    • However, the only reason why they haven't up and crushed the resistance on Earth to paste is arguably because of their sheer size, making them a more realistic example than most. Despite having an empire spanning across tens if not hundreds of universes, the Combine are highly bureaucratic, extremely inefficient, and don't even have teleportation technology anywhere near on the level of Black Mesa or Aperature Science, from a civilization that's decidedly more primitive than them! It's because of their sheer size that ends up destroying the Citadel, the nexus which they communicate to the Combine homeworld with, thus stranding the remaining Combine soldiers on Earth and actually giving humans a fighting chance to overthrow their oppressors.
  • In Panzer Dragoon, the Empire is portrayed this way, but slowly becomes more and more sympathetic as the series progresses.
  • Spiderweb Software's Exile / 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 Drakengard, also fighting its own federation called The Union.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • 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 The Good Kingdom (or at least The Federation). 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 diplomacy and mercantilism/trade.
      • The First Cyrodiilic Empire was formed by St. Alessia, the "Slave Queen", following the successful slave revolt 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, rebel Ayleid lords, and was closely allied with the 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 Imga from Valenwood, came to power as the leader of the Alessian Order within the empire. The order was an extremist 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 Wars 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 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 Gods, 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 Akaviri 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 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 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 Voluntary Vassal, and then gave special privileges to Morrowind in exchange for the Numidium, a Dwemer-crafted Humongous Mecha 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 Aldmeri Dominion, in 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 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 Talos worship), they are seen as weak cowards by the seceding 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 Altmer (High Elves), the Dominion has also frequently included the Bosmer (Wood Elves) of Valenwood and the Khajiit of Elsweyr in a massive Anti-Human Alliance. 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, 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 Blatant Lies. 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 Vestigial Empire 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 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 (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 Maniacs in the eyes of just about every other race (including among other Altmer who do not share this belief), so they have had to be crafty in implementing this plan.
    • In the backstory, King Vrage the Gifted in the First Era forged a Nord empire that stretched across northern Tamriel, encompassing Skyrim, Solstheim, High Rock, Hammerfell, most of Morrowind and parts of Cyrodiil. After ruling for 78 years, Vrage the Gifted died and King Borgas took the throne to continue his father's conquests, but he was slain in battle with the Bosmer only a few years later. As Borgas was the last of the line of Ysgramor, a succession crisis ensued and the Nords lost all the territory they gained outside Skyrim except Solstheim. Their effort to retake Morrowind later was crushed by a Dwemer-Chimer coalition at the Battle of Red Mountain. The defeat was so shocking that the hero Ysmir went away to meditate on his loss (as he saw it as punishment from the gods for misusing the Thuum) and the Nords would make no further attempts at empire building.
  • Mage Craft The Altan Empire fits this nicely. They're even crushing a nearby republic.
  • If it's a Fire Emblem game, it has an Empire, and the force instigating conflict is more often than not either the Empire, a Fell Dragon and/or duplicitous advisor controlling someone, or both. This trope gets played with, especially in several games where the player sides with the Empire or is given a choice on who to side with:
    • In Mystery of the Emblem, the Holy Kingdom of Archanea was a steadfast ally during the previous war in the series' first game Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light. 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.
    • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War and its midquel Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 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.
    • In Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade and its prequel The Blazing Blade, there is the kingdom of Bern, who are the aggressor in the former.
    • 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, 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 a deal with the sealed Demon King for the power to change things. It's all downhill from there for everyone.
    • Path of Radiance's Daein and its King Ashnard are the best fitting, while the realms are all 'correct' but with a few details of note. The sequel 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.
    • Fire Emblem: Awakening has the Valmese Empire forged by Walhart, whose goal is to Take Over the World. The second-third of the game is devoted to stopping his invasion fleet from reaching the realms of Ylisse/Plegia/Regna Fenox and then liberating the continent of Valm from him. In a twist, he's against the evil dragon god Grima and part of Walhart's goal is to ensure the dragon cannot be resurrected, as he can't rule a dead world.
    • Fire Emblem Fates: The Kingdom of Nohr is another example of this, even if they're generally a lot more sympathetic than most Empires. Ruled by King Garon as a militaristic, medieval European kingdom inhabiting a bleak and desolate wasteland, they've been in a cold war with the Kingdom of Hoshido for as long as both nations can remember, and the game's selling point is which side you choose to fight for when the fighting does break out. Choosing Nohr ends up revealing they're hardly a straight example of The Empire, and are generally no different from Hoshido in having plenty of good people working for the empire, to the point the only two people within the empire who can truly be called odious are the King's advisors, Iago and Hans. Hell, virtually everyone else is portrayed sympathetically, especially your Family of Choice in Nohr, the Nohrian Royal family; even Garon is revealed to be merely a (literal) flesh-puppet for the Greater-Scope Villain, and part of the game's Golden Path has you broker a truce between Nohr and Hoshido to take the fighting to the true antagonist of the games.
    • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses and the spinoff Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes the continent of Fodlan is divided into three countries, the Adrestian Empire, the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus and the Leicester Alliance, and the non-aligned region housing the mediator the Central Church of Seiros, coexisting in relative peace. 1180 years ago, the first Emperor Wilhelm I and Saint Seiros launched the War of Heroes to unify Fodlan. Hundreds of years later, the regions that became the Kingdom and Alliance seceded by war and rebellion. Subsequently the Empire has not instigated any major conflict unprovoked. In the present, there is some sentiment in the Empire that the other nations were lands and people unjustly taken from them. Ionius IX is the Emperor, and Edelgard is the princess. Over the course of all the games' routes, the Empire is the catalyst for the story: There is an additional faction of the "true" antagonists, the Agarthans, an Obviously Evil race who predate the War of Heroes and backed its other side. They are a corrupting force throughout the continent, most heavily in the Empire by making the sickly Emperor a puppet against his will. In all timelines, Ionius appoints Edelgard as Emperor before dying. She instigates war on the rest of the continent, in order to remove the stagnating influence of Church of Seiros and the corruption of the Agarthans from Fodlan, hoping to re-unify Fodlan under new principles of social equality and self-determination. Thus on all timelines the Empire initiates unprovoked conflict. On all Three Houses routes, the reforms Edelgard called for eventually come to pass. On all Three Hopes routes, the Agarthans are expelled from the Empire before war formally begins. The portrayal of the Empire zig-zags based on which of the two games and seven routes is chosen:
      • Siding with Edelgard and the Empire in Three Houses allows your influence to ensure Edelgard remains true to her ideals without going full Well-Intentioned Extremist out of desperation and a limited window of opportunity. In Three Hopes, that desperation never happens, and the Alliance and part of the Kingdom side with the Empire via diplomacy during or before the war, respectively. In either game, Edelgard makes clear that her ambitions stop at the continent's borders, and the Empire would no longer see hereditary rule once her reforms are cemented.
      • Siding with the Kingdom in either game generally tells the most traditional Fire Emblem story: The (Blue) good guys repel an unprovoked invasion from the (Red) bad guys of the Empire, with the (Green or Yellow) neutral parties of the Church and Alliance caught in between, but generally siding with the Kingdom. In Three Houses, the Agarthans temporarily depose the Kingdom and submit it to the Empire, and Edelgard is at her most desperate and takes the worst available options before her defeat. Fodlan is effectively unified under the Kingdom. In Three Hopes, the Empire invades because the Kingdom harbors the Central Church. During the war the Agarthans return and take more direct control of the Empire and an unwilling Edelgard, who was portrayed more positively in this game. The Agarthans go full Card-Carrying Villain.
      • Siding with the Alliance in Three Houses sees the Empire defeated and Edelgard killed earlier, without being at her worst or best. The player realizes Edelgard's nobler goals in her stead, while the Alliance's heir laments that they were no different. The continent becomes the United Kingdom of Fodlan. In Three Hopes, the Empire's offensive against them is smaller, and the Alliance tries a counter-invasion before becoming a Federation, siding with the Empire and its goals, and taking the lead in the fight against the Church.
      • Regarding the Central Church, in Three Houses, the player sides with them by siding with and then opposing Edelgard. The fate of the Empire plays out identically to that of the Alliance route. In Three Hopes, the Church does not have its own route, and is part of the Kingdom's route.
    • Fire Emblem Heroes has the Emblian Empire in the realm of Midgard, which wants to destroy its rival kingdom Askr and conquer the Nine Realms. They're the main antagonists of Book I and the secondary antagonists of Book II, but after Surtr double-crosses them they start Book III as a neutral figure before allying with you against a mutual foe. Much of Book VI takes place in Embla, in which you fight a conspiracy that is trying to have Princess Veronica (the heroes' former enemy turned reluctant ally) framed for treason and executed, before fighting their god, Embla.
  • Fire Emblem's creator's Spiritual Successor, TearRing Saga, 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 Hero Antagonist. Its top ranking generals are all Anti Villains (yes, even Prince Julius), and eventually get smart enough to realize their emperor is just a puppet of the Theocracy of Gazel, and decide to actually work with the leader of La Résistance (who happens to be their long-lost prince) to expose this. Unfortunately, your army kills them all before they get the chance.
    • Meanwhile, in Tear Ring Saga's sequel, Berwick Saga, the Raze Empire is played first.
  • In Tears to Tiara and the sequel Tears to Tiara 2, the Holy Empire is one. It is under the control of a Corrupt Church run by a Knight Templar.
  • Halo:
    • The Covenant is a 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 Forerunners, whom they revere as gods. The Covenant teaches that by recovering extant Forerunner technology ("holy relics"), they will discover the locations of the Halos ("sacred rings") and obtain the means to embark upon the "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. 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 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 the betrayal of the Elites by the Prophets and the concurrent revelation that there was no "Great Journey". The UNSC was able to 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 The Federation 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 Insurrectionists (though they are portrayed more as fanatical terrorists and mass-murderers rather than romantic freedom fighters). By the time of the 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 Infinity and the SPARTAN-IV program.
    • Before succumbing to the Flood, the Forerunners were the most powerful civilization in the Halo universe since the time of the 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 - 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 continuing domination over the myriad "primitive" races inhabiting their galaxy, including ancient humanity.
    • As shown in The Forerunner Saga, ancient humans (in conjunction with the San'Shyuum, aka Prophets) 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, but instead were attempting to flee from the encroaching Flood.
  • The Knights of the Old Republic series featured Revan's Sith Empire in the original and the Sith Triumvirate in the sequel.
    • The latter being an allusion to the real-life 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.
    • Knights of the Old Republic took place in the decades following the Exar Kun Sith Empire, your companion Jolee Bindo being a veteran of the conflict.
    • Both of those pale in comparison with the True Sith Empire, an offshoot of the original 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: 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 attack finally happens. This is the fourth Sith empire overall (not counting t8he Triumvirate), in case you lost count.
    • The Old Republic's Zakuul saga introduces the Eternal Empire, a formerly isolated human polity from Wild Space. Like the Sith Empire, they revolve around the use of the Force. But unlike the Sith Empire, they see the Force as more of a tool and depend largely on an entirely autonomous fleet comprising starships that are each armed with a powerful laser array system capable of obliterating stars. When they finally arrive on the scene, their invasion is so devastating that they force both the Republic and the Sith into an armistice and quickly take control of the galaxy.
  • Despite the name, the United Earth Federation of Supreme Commander 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 The Way, and cleanse all nonbelievers.
  • A few corrupt officials and officers aside, this is generally averted in Tales of Vesperia, where the Empire is not the primary antagonist.
  • In Tales of Graces, 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!
  • Trails Series 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 Tyrant Takes the Helm. Some of the series' greatest heroes, like Olivier ( 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.
  • Secret of Mana 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 Valkyria Chronicles is your standard Empire.
  • Arc the Lad:
    • 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 The Federation, 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 Destroy All Humans!.
  • FreeSpace has the Ancients' Empire in its Back Story, which fell 8,000 years before the game begins, annihilated by the Shivans. The Back Story 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 Kilrathi Empire, from the Wing Commander series.
  • Super Mario Bros. 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 mostly just doing their jobs, they actually like, respect and admire Bowser, and are quite loyal and proud of (if not understandably scared of pissing off) the giant super-strong turtle-dragon king.
  • Inverted with the Lanvaldear Kingdom and the Malkuth Empire in Tales of the Abyss. 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 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.
  • Overlord II has the Glorious Empire, a copy-paste of the Roman Empire, seeking to eradicate all magic in the world. 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 Breath of Fire and extremely to trope in Breath of Fire IV. How much to trope? This much: the Empire not only has the honour of having The Federation led by the local equivalent of The Good Kingdom in a cycle of running hot-and-cold wars for six hundred years, but actively is attempting to kill the very God-Emperor the country summoned six hundred years ago to unite the Vestigial Empire of the last dynasty because the present emperor doesn't want to give up his job. Up to and including using a Magical Nuke powered by aforementioned god's ''love interest''. This only succeeds in really pissing off aforementioned God-Emperor.
  • During the Demon Path of Soul Nomad & the World Eaters, Reyva conquers the kingdom of Orviska and decides to make it the base of thier new empire, giving themself the title of the 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 BFF Empire by the time they wake up.
  • Averted in the Disciples series. The Empire, the human force and the local Jack of All Stats 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 poorly explained reasons.
  • Dragon Age: Origins has two: the Tevinter Imperium (a Vestigial Empire 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 the Darkspawns.
  • Magnagora, the Engine of Transformation from Lusternia. It's ruled over by a Decadent Court, its most populous race are racist mutants twisted by The Corruption, and it uses The Undead as shock-troopers to blitz and overwhelm its enemies. Despite their obvious inclinations, they can be surprisingly subtle and manipulative in their perpetual bids for power.
  • The civilization of the Lands Between in Elden Ring is never explicitly called an empire, but is one in form and function: a society led by a God Empress and her demigod children leading a religious crusade against the rest of the continent, eventually wiping out all opposition. It was also an extremely dogmatic and cruel civilization, with those 'not blessed by grace' cast out, killed, or enslaved under the principle of the Golden Order. By the time the game begins, the empire has fallen, the Cosmic Keystone that powered the land was shattered, the God Empress has gone missing and the demigod children warred with each other for control, leaving the Lands Between a wasteland of death.
  • The Confederation in Escape Velocity... sort of, the game is a bit vague on how dictatorial it is (it is even possible it is a democracy, albeit one slanted to overrepresent the core worlds) and its original formation was pure Hegemonic Empire (most human worlds uniting to fight back an alien invasion), with no real proof the Confederation has aggressive intentions against worlds that never joined the Confederation to start with.
    • The Voinian Empire in Escape Velocity Override.
    • The Auroran Empire of Escape Velocity Nova is mostly The Alliance merged with Proud Warrior Race, but they do have their Imperial moments and aspects. The real example in Nova is the Bureau, working through The Federation - 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 StarCraft:
    • The Terran Dominion, ruled by Emperor and former terrorist, Arcturus Mengsk.
    • The UED in the StarCraft: Brood War 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 Gratuitous Space Battles, 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 Yggdra Union except not.
  • The Galaxy-spanning Taiidan Empire in Homeworld can perhaps best be described as what would have happened if the Galactic Empire from Star Wars had been allowed to remain intact for 4000 years. Not very pretty.
    • The Back Story 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.
  • Fallout: New Vegas:
    • Caesar's Legion, 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 The Horde, and wants Vegas to be their Rome thus making them a true Empire.
    • The New California Republic meanwhile plays with this trope. Their expansion into the Mojave Wasteland area is primarily driven by the desire to acquire resources, especially the still-intact Hoover Dam and the electricity it provides. The locals aren't entirely too keen on having the NCR around, seeing it (not entirely unfairly) as an inefficient and corrupted bureaucracy that levies high taxes and can't effectively patrol its frontier territories. However, the NCR is still miles above the Legion in term of moral authority.
  • The Junaris Empire of Vanguard Bandits. The largest nation on the continent, they came into power by rebelling against the 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 Red Alert 3. All hail 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 Ground Control 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 Northern Star Alliance, crushing all resistance mercilessly. The leader of the Terran fleet is Imperator Vlaana Azleea, AKA the Butcher of Ariel, charged by The Emperor 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.
  • Universe at War: 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 X-Universe, the Split Dynasty and 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 PlanetSide 1. Despite their "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 other factions that sprung up when their wormhole "failed". They even have a healthy dose of Red and Black and Evil All Over. However, PlanetSide 2 makes them more or less The Federation, being a much more benign state, though not without its faults, just like the other factions
  • The Order of Nations from End of Nations. It was originally one man's dream of a new world order which eventually 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 Naev. At the current stage of development the Empire is actually the nicest, most stable government in the setting.
  • As of Star Trek Online, 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 Enemy Mine 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 Enemy Mine 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), Laas makes an abortive move to use terrorist Cardassians and left-over Alpha Jem'Hadar to found a Dominion-in-the-Alpha-Quadrant, the Vaadwaur are brutally re-creating their long-gone Supremacy...
  • Hard Corps: Uprising has the Commonwealth Empire.
  • Mass Effect provides examples of imperial enterprise:
    • Rising from their homeworld after reverse-engineering the Reapers' technology - the 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. 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.
    • The kett, of Mass Effect: Andromeda are of the cruel and despotic kind. A mix of theocracy and aristocracy, they had some manner of Dark and Troubled Past, which they fixed with "exaltation" (read: creating more kett via using other people), and decided it was their religious duty to take this on the road. By the 28th century CE, they've apparently managed to conquer a large portion of the Andromeda Galaxy (their military leader in the Heleus Cluster declares himself the inheritor of "a thousand species"). Mention is made that their empire is not comprised exclusively of kett, and that they do keep some species as "vassals", but given the kett attitude towards other lifeforms is usually that they're fodder for scientific experiments, it probably isn't much better than their standard operating practice.
  • 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 Big Bad in Rage (2011). According to the Word Of God, 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 La Résistance 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 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 Evil Islands.
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts 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 Time Skip the United States is still at war with them.
  • The 4X game VGA Planets has "The Evil Empire" as an Expy of the Galactic Empire of Star Wars fame. For whatever reason, the game's original creator mashed it up with a Ronald Reagan speech of the 80s that identified the Soviet Union as an Evil empire, featuring ship classes named Mig note , Moscow, and Gorbie note . The faction also originally featured explicit Communist images in its in-game graphics, but the more recent and active "Nu" version of the game has toned this way back.
  • Every server of Imperium Nova 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.
  • Defenders Quest II gives us "the Jackass Empire."
    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 Dreamfall is an Anti-Magical Faction 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 Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals appears as a minor subplot version, but twenty years later in Lufia: The Ruins of Lore, the King of Gratze has unsealed an ancient Beast with ambitions of conquering the world.
  • The Empire of Estellion in the 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 surviving child) doesn't want the job, so his son (second surviving child) makes a power grab. However, Sergius secretly groomed Livia Cassianus, a bastard child of the royal house (except she's actually his legitimate granddaughter from his late first son Faustus), to be his successor. By the end of the first game, the civil war is over, and Livia is crowned Empress. Unfortunately, the Big Bad kills her Love Interest, and this ends up being her Start of Darkness. 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 Commonwealth of Esotre. As the game starts, the Empire is locked in a Mêlée à Trois 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 Earth games. One of the few nation-states to appear following World War III, 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 Palpatine.
  • The Ratchet & Clank 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. Then he brought back the Cragmites, which shifted the war in his favor.
  • The empire in 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 Alphadia Genesis 2 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.
  • Discovery Freelancer has two immediate examples of Gallia and The Core so far, with the Nomads being pretty much Reavers.
  • In 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.
  • 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 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 Looters of Dystopia, 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.
  • RosenkreuzStilette actually inverts this since the Holy Empire are the heroes and La Résistance are the villains.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has the Empire of Mor Ardain, a heavily militarized, expansionist superpower that fields armies of black-armored Gas Mask Mooks, has more advanced technology than the rest of the world, has already conquered the more pastoral nation of Gormott, and is in a Space Cold War 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. It's actually a subversion. The Ardainians are just looking for a way to survive an oncoming ecological catastrophenote , and once they find out that the protagonist has an alternative solution, they actively support him. In fact, most of their more aggressive and morally grey actions are shown to be in direct opposition to the Emperor's commands, as he favors trying diplomacy to solve the problem. The High Inquisitor even joins your party without the need for a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Outworld in the Mortal Kombat series is an dark realm in constant state of strife and despotism with a series of Evil Overlords such as Shao Kahn at the healm that always seek to invade and conquer other dimensions. In order to curb its expansionism, the Elder Gods established the titular tournament to decide the fates of the realms targeted by Outworld. By the time of Mortal Kombat X, its has abandoned its expansionist policies under the new Emperor Kotal Kahn's, who is only interested in keeping it stable - even if it means repressing realms that want independence from Outworld such as Edenia.
  • In Warcraft, Azeroth has had a few empires in its backstory.
    • The Empire of Arathor was the first great human civilization. Formed in response to the looming threat of the trolls' own Amani Empire, it quickly fractured after the Amani were defeated. The present day human kingdoms were formed as a result. Anduin Lothar was the last of the Arathi bloodline, which helped him form the Alliance since the High Elves had an ancient debt to Arathor. The other human rulers suspected Lothar planned to reform the Empire of Arathor with the Alliance as a stepping stone, but he had no such ambitions.
    • The trolls in their prime had a few empires such as the aforementioned Amani and the Zandalari. The Amani were defeated long ago by the Arathi, never to rise again. The Zandalari are still active and are the oldest known lasting empire on Azeroth.
    • The Kaldorei Empire ruled over Old Kalimdor for ages. The civilization enjoyed great prosperity and power thanks to their access to the magic of the Well of Eternity. It all fell apart when Queen Azshara and her Highborne succumbed to the temptations of greater power offered by the Burning Legion. In its prime the Kaldorei Empire was one of the largest and mightiest empires Azeroth had ever known, second only to...
    • ...The Black Empire. This was the dark civilization ruled by the Old Gods. It was populated mainly by the first two races spawned from the Old Gods' corruption of Azeroth: The n'raqi (the Faceless Ones) and the aqir, an insectoid race that were the precursors of the Nerubians, the Qiraji, and the Mantids. The Black Empire spread across all of Azeroth, spreading corruption and the Void wherever it touched. The Black Empire was so mighty at its height that it took no less than the Titans and their titan-forged armies to defeat it. Though the Black Empire is long gone, remnants persist. The last Old God N'Zoth seems dedicated to rebuilding it through any means. To this end he has recruited various pawns to help him, including Azshara and her Highborne, who became the Naga.
  • Iji: The Komato are one such empire totalling billions strong, with a violent and hyper-capitalistic culture that uses war as Bread and Circuses, and are currently in a war of extermination with the Tasen. They're also Iji's main enemy for the second half of the game.
  • Romancing SaGa 2. Avalon is an extremely rare example of a benevolent empire played completely straight. The main characters are the dynasty of rulers who fight the Seven Heroes, former saviors of the world, now terrible demons bent on destroyed mankind.
  • Star Control has two examples:
    • The Ur-Quan Hierarchy in the original continuity. The Ur-Quan have been moving through the galaxy for millennia, conquering races and incorporating them into the Hierarchy as either "fallow slaves" (they would be confined to their homeworlds until the end of time) or Battle Thralls. The latter were given more freedom and could travel through space but would be forced to fight for the Ur-Quan. They're on the verge of collapse as well. Without the player's interference, the Hierarchy will lose the Doctrinal Conflict against the Kohr-Ah.
    • The Scryve Empire in Origins. The Scryve control three sectors of the galaxy. While originally they incorporated all young races they encountered, a devastating rebellion by one of them has resulted in most encountered races being preemptively exterminated for fear of them posing a threat to the Scryve. The Scryve are also known for genetically modifying their client races to suit a particular function. Two such examples are known from the game: the Measured and the Pinthi. The Measured (originally known as Llani) are, basically, a sentient coral reef that excels at bureacracy. The Pinthi are an intelligent virus. The Scryve Empire is already showing cracks, showing every indication of being a Vestigial Empire.
  • A Study in Steampunk actually has two of these, Mercia (like Victorian Britain but with some extra steampunk) and Vlask, a slightly exagerrated version of Tsarist Russia as ran by vampires.
  • Warframe:
    • Long before the events of the game, the Orokin Empire ruled the Origin System in a state of wealth and bliss... for the ruling nobility, that is. Everyone else were viewed as disposable pawns for the nobles to use and abuse as they pleased, as everyone outside those select few were considered less than dirt. Their decadent ways eventually came back to bit them hard, as the Sentients, adaptive terraforming drones sent to prepare the Tau System for colonization that became self-aware, decided that the Orokin could not be allowed to exist and nearly destroyed them in a Great Offscreen War. Their own saviors, the Tenno, then turned on the Orokin for their rampant cruelty and killed almost all of the nobility, collapsing the empire for good.
    • The Grineer Empire began to try to establish their own rule over the Origin System after the Orokin fell, being a Clone Army of purpose-grown slaves under the leadership of the Grineer Queens, former Orokin that were themselves ostracised for being twins.
    • When the Sentients return in full force and successfully conquer the Origin System in "The New War", they carve out an empire of their own: Narmer. All non-Sentient subjects are pacified by having a Narmer Veil placed upon their faces and are forced to sing the praises of their leader Ballas. While Narmer's dominion is shattered by the end of the quest and the Status Quo restored, they continue to try and rebuild their forces as The Remnant.
  • Galaxy Angel: The Transbaal Empire is a rare benevolent example, as it enjoyed relative peace and prosperity for about four centuries thanks to the Lost Technology found in the White Moon. However, the exiled Prince Eonia, who'd grown disappointed with the fact that the empire didn't seem willing to expand its frontiers, attempted a coup d'etat by killing his own father and most of the royal family, even having the gall to rechristen it as the Legitimate Transbaal Empire once he seizes the throne.

    Visual Novels 
  • Aselia the Eternal - The Spirit of Eternity Sword 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.
  • Sunrider has two historical empires in its backstory.
    • The Holy Ryuvian Empire was a theocratic stated ruled by a succession of God Emperors, 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 Vestigial Empire 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 Solar Alliance defeated them in the 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 reorganized into the People’s Alliance for Common Treatment, or PACT—several years before the start of the game.

    Web Animation 
  • 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 Fog of Doom.

  • Girl Genius: 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 Scientists 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 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, 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 "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.
  • Homestuck: It's never seen in action being that the main characters are all teenagers, but the Alternian Empire from which the trolls 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 Vast Glub and the meteor apocalypse on Alternia put an end to that.
  • Sarilho: a Mediterranean Empire.
  • The Monster & The Girl: the Bright and Glorious Empire of One Hundred Galaxies
  • Last Res0rt has the People's Republic of Celigo, which is allied with the Star Org (and it's up for debate which half is really in control).
  • In Nip and Tuck Show Within the Show Rebel Cry, the Federation is an Empire.
  • The Order of the Stick: 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 Our Little Adventure is probably going to be the main antagonistic force of the comic.The adventuring group is about to get on a boat to the continent where its holds a huge foothold.
  • Awaken: The Empire of Nova are benevolent on the surface and their citizens seem to trust them, but it is implied by Nyl that they killed Piras' father to hide a secret, the outside world is not nearly as bad off as they tell their citizens, the Blue Pest that they always warn about is actually Flux and they used the "Blue Pest" plague as an excuse to round people up.
  • The Kingdom of Aurum in Ghosts Among The Wild Flowers 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.
  • Crimson Knights has the Soburgian Empire, located south of the Northern Kingdoms and currently in the midst of a bitter civil war.

    Web Original 
  • The Grand List of Console Role Playing Game Clichés sums it up rather eloquently in the Last Rule of Politics: "Kingdoms are good. Empires are evil."
  • Tech Infantry 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 Arachnids to the Jurvain also fit the trope.
  • Decades of Darkness has the *USA and the Brazilian Empire.
  • In the Chaos Timeline... 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.
  • The Enforcers of the Plot Continuum, the PPC's Evil Counterpart, are dedicated to 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.
  • Pixiv Fantasia I: Aizerun. The empire holds an ideology that basically amount to fantastic fascism. A country of Beastmen used to exist in its southern territory. Used to.

    Western Animation 
  • The Avatar franchise:
    • The Fire Nation during the time of Avatar: The Last Airbender. It's even All There in the Manual 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—though their stated purpose, that many sincerely believe in, is to bring the blessings of their prosperity and enlightened government to the whole world. Come Korra's time, the Fire Nation is indeed much more peaceful yet pacifistic because even though they're atoning/have atoned for the hundred years war, too many are still easily remembering the Fire Nation causing that war and thus they don't want to risk more bad blood.
    • The Earth Kingdom in The Legend of Korra 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 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 from Invader Zim is organized, militaristic, expansionist, and also strangely frivolous. Their M.O. has them inserting a covert operative to scout a planet for weaknesses, send in an invasion force, looting the place for resources, 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 way stupider than they are.
  • Thunder Cats 2011 reveals that the Cats' civilization, though initially presented as The Good Kingdom, has become this, through a belief that Cats Are Superior, and serious cases of Future Imperfect and Written by the Winners. Though not straight-up evil, it's clear that militarism, Animal Jingoism, Fantastic Racism and a Fantastic Caste System 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 Lizards and Mumm-Ra destroy it.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Just as with the show it is rebooted off of, The Horde, officially known as the Galactic Horde in this series, is a totalitarian empire that spans galaxies. It’s founder and emperor, Horde Prime considers it a monument and extension of himself, and so he rules with an iron fist. For at least a few millennia, they have conquered many galaxies and the people they conquer are expected to worship their emperor like a god. Any who refuse to conform to Horde Prime’s standards are either disintegrated, or enslaved.
  • Steven Universe: The Gem Homeworld is led by the Great Diamond Authority, consisting of Yellow Diamond, Blue Diamond, White Diamond and formerly, 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 Hive Caste System, lots of Fantastic Racism, especially towards Pearls, and do not have an issue with shattering Gems and using them for the fusion experiments and the Cluster if they don't conform to their standards.
  • Sendokai Champions: The Zorn Empire, an interdimensional conquering faction; they have the twist that they organize a tournament of Sendokai (a sport similar to how soccer is played in Inazuma Eleven), with the winner team having their dimension spared from the conquest.
  • Storm Hawks has the Cyclonian Empire. Based from Terra Cyclonia, the largest of the terras on the world of Atmos, the empire spans across the largest area of known terras and seeks to expand its reach across the entire world through military conquest. Judging from its leader, that ambition seems to be a familial one passed down through the generations, and she's perfectly willing to resort to various Doomsday Devices or brute force to see that dream come true in her lifetime. If only those pesky Storm Hawks would stop getting in the way...
  • Wander over Yonder implies the existence of quite a few of these thanks to most of its Rogues Gallery aspiring to galactic domination. In Season 1, Lord Hater's empire is a Galactic Superpower, but by Season 2, Villain Decay has caused him to lose much of his territory, resulting in a scramble for power between rival empires.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): The Evil Empire, Evil Empire


In a Mirror, Darkly

The opening of the "Star Trek: Enterprise" episodes "In a Mirror, Darkly" (Parts I and II), set in the mirror universe, feature a militaristic theme instead of the normal "Where My Heart Will Take Me" ballad and scenes of military triumph instead of the usual scenes of triumphs of exploration.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

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