I was having a look through Panzer Dragoon Orta’s encyclopaedia, and the implication (in some places) is that it was the same Empire throughout all four Panzer games. It probably doesn’t matter too much, but for the purposes of semantic accuracy (as far as possible), it might be better if TWOTA’s encyclopaedia has just one article for “The Empire” faction, with a separate entry for the “Southern Peoples” faction. “Trueness” to the game lore is the objective here.
Reasons to refer to it as the same empire:
The Empire was quick to seize the opportunity. The Empire was without an army, and the islanders were without leaders. At that point, an alliance seemed to be the only logical solution.
So, same leaders in both empires.
An interesting side effect of the sudden influx of this new island culture was the effect it had on industrial design in the “new” Empire.
“new” in quotes, suggesting that it wasn’t really new.
And several decades after the Great Fall, the military power of an immigrant race from across the southern sea served as the key to the re-establishment of the Empire. The 8th Emperor, said to be a descendant of the Imperial bloodline, served as the symbol of imperial continuity, and the armies began the task of reunification under his name.
Being referred to as the 8th Emperor, rather than the 1st Emperor of the new empire is an indicator that it is the same Empire.
Reasons to refer to them as different empires:
A period of great change, the world was in upheaval with the fall of the former Empire.
The previous Empire dissolved in a series of events-the death of the 7th Emperor, destruction of the imperial fortress Grig Orig, and the obliteration of the Imperial Capital-often referred to as the Great Fall, and the continent was plunged into chaos, ruled by several small, warring powers. But even amidst the destruction, the Imperial Academy survived, with its accumulated knowledge intact.
Ultimately it seems to be similar to (1) Germany -> (2) East/West Germany -> (3) Germany again. Are (1) and (3) the same country?