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Basic Trope: "The Empire": big, mean, and obsessed with conquest.

  • Straight: The Empire of Evulz controls one-fourth of the world's landmass, has the greatest, most ferocious military of all, and a nice standard of living to boot.
  • Exaggerated: The Empire of Evulz spans entire universes - trillions of worlds, all answering to one man.
  • Downplayed:
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  • Justified: The Empire of Evulz is sitting on a cache of Applied Phlebotinum that allowed it to become the most militarily powerful country in the world.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • "Empire of Evulz" is merely an Artifact Title, and the country of Troperia isn't nearly as huge and aggressive as it used to be.
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    • Alternatively, "Empire of Evulz" is, despite the name, a good empire truly caring for the welfare of its citizens and deliberately avoid using iron fisted rules. It's just La Résistance who's spreading propaganda about how 'bad' the Empire is based on the common fallacy/perception of 'Empire = Obviously Evil' and tried to use 'La Résistance = Moral Freedom Fighters' to make themselves look good when they're not (or just trying to look cool).
    • The Commonwealth of Corruption has the trappings of an Empire (an Emperor, nobility, a strong and powerful military). However, it's governed by a democratically elected parliament, and member states not only have autonomy but volunteered to unite under the Emperor. Its goals are peace and prosperity.
    • The Empire of Evulz has all the bark about being The Empire, but its military and territory are no greater than those of their neighbors.
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    • The Empire of Evulz is the only bastion of good humanity remaining in the world, whereas the other places in the world has fallen into complete anarchy that tries to steal and plunder from each other.
    • The "Empire" of the story doesn't actually call itself an Empire. Instead, it calls itself The Federation. Like the Roman Empire called itself the Roman Republic during its entire existence, the Empire, which used to be a true federation, still calls itself a federation, with a president running it and everything, and still maintains the democratic terminology, trappings, and even some of the institutions (like a legislature). However, its an Empire in function and form, if not name: the presidency is hereditary and has absolute power, the legislature is largely powerless with the courts non-independent, and an imperial foreign policy is pursued mercilessly.
    • The Republic is a true republic or even a federation, however it maintains a colonial empire, making it an Empire to its foreign subjects, though its a democratic republic to its citizens. Think the French Republic in relation to the French Colonial Empire.
  • Double Subverted:
    • However, it still has economic influence left over from its days of conquest, so it's still one of the major players in the world.
    • The Empire only appears to be good, but it is unbelievably corrupt, and is slowly mind raping its citizens into obedience. The Empire's humanitarian nature is merely a front for the evil it commits behind the scenes. La Résistance are just run by people in on the secret, but because they can't conclusively prove the Empire's evil (or worse, they can, but it benefits La Résistance as well as the Empire to keep the truth hidden), they look like heartless Terrorists Without a Cause blowing up malls For the Evulz (or even worse, they are terrorists for the evulz and the whole thing is an Evil Versus Evil situation).
    • The Emperor's power-hungry daughter overthrows him and declares war on the world so she can conquer it.
    • The Commonwealth is an oligarchy, with the democratic trappings being just that: trappings. The Emperor is a demon that brainwashed the nation's democratic leaders into serving them so they can rule the nation and eventually sacrifice it to Satan to become an Archdevil.
    • An asteroid strikes the world of the Empire, and pieces hit every state on that planet...except the Empire. Payback is a bitch, yes?
    • The Empire of Evulz are also no better about doing the orderly good thing and could be worse than those anarchist states.
  • Parodied: The Empire is a Micro Monarchy, yet the government still insists that everyone calls it "The Glorious Empire of Evulz".
  • Zig Zagged: The conflict runs on Grey-and-Gray Morality, so it's not entirely obvious which of the several Empires in the story is the Empire.
  • Averted: A standard space opera / fantasy tale lacks any Empire, evil or otherwise.
  • Enforced: The writer wanted a story with a singular, unified threat to everything the heroes hold dear, so the Evil Empire fits the bill perfectly.
  • Lampshaded: "So, this is a fairly standard conflict: an evil empire bent on world conquest."
  • Invoked: General Drake decides that the world / galaxy needs order. Deciding on the only way he can accomplish this, he works to create an Empire with his master Evulz as The Emperor.
  • Exploited:
    • Realizing that the Empire is rising, an industrialist gets in good with the future Emperor. Since the Empire needs a lot of war material for their conquests, the businessman gets rich and powerful.
    • A king with a weak claim to his throne realizes that conquest is a particularly good way to gain a lot of king cred easily, so he goes a-conquering to create his own Empire.
    • A group of nations are forcefully united into a single nation by a relatively large one. Looking for a title to elevate him above all the other kings, archdukes, presidents, etc within his nation and get some prestige, the leading King takes the title of Emperor.
    • A particularly enterprising general goes to work for the Empire because he knows that with the Empire constantly expanding, he will always have a job.
    • The Federation/The Republic is collapsing as member states are leaving left and right. Realizing that a strong central authority is what is needed to hold his nation together, the federation/republic leader declares himself Emperor and uses his Empire to bring the revolting states in line.
  • Defied:
    • During the formative process of, well, The Empire, the decision is made to actively avoid calling it an Empire, to avoid provoking the obvious reactions.
      • Alternatively, during the formation of Empire, the decision is made to turn the status quo around and be a good Empire: Don't use iron fisted rules, keep the conquest thing at minimum and only at scums that truly deserve it (those massive firepower is only for self defense), etc, and most importantly, educate the higher ups and the people with morals and responsibility from the big power of the Empire... And if there's another Empire that played the trope straight and ridiculed this Empire for being too much of a pussy, send the message: "Stop Being Stereotypical!"
    • The Good King attempts to prevent his nation from becoming the Empire, seeing the danger it poses to peace.
  • Discussed: "So you're gonna create a massive global superpower that enforces your will with an iron fist? What're you gonna call it, The Empire?"
  • Conversed:
    • "Oh c'mon, everyone knows that any nation calling itself an empire is evil and bent on world domination."
    • "There’s an Empire? Lemme guess, they’re the bad guys."
    • "Seriously, cartoonishly-evil empire vs pure-white-as-snow rebels is the most done to death plot ever! So why do writers keep using it?!"
  • Implied: The Supremacy conquers other worlds, consist of millions of star systems, and commands a powerful military. Their colors are red and black, employ mean looking weapons, and Sigil Spam is everywhere.
  • Deconstructed:
  • Reconstructed:

All Tropers, sing glory to The Empire!

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