Dragon Emperor Slot Game Review
The dragon is the only mythological creature in the Chinese zodiac table. Dragons are so important to Chinese symbology and mythology that they were at one time associated with the position ofthe emperor. Hence, the name of this Aristocrat game, Dragon Emperor, evokes an ancient Chinese tradition. Dragons are generally viewed in east Asian tradition as beneficent magical creatures,sometimes of a god-like nature, who confer luck and good fortune. There are many traditional stories about dragons and how they change the lives of mortals.
The Chinese word for “dragon” sounds like the English word “long” and one scientist has suggested that it may have originated as an onomatopoeia — a word imitating a natural sound — for thunder.While this is only an unprovable hypothesis, dragon symbols and drawings are very ancient, going all the way back to the Neolithic period before the rise of Chinese civilization.
Chinese tradition distinguished between the uses of dragon emblems by assigning a number of claws to the representative dragon. A five-clawed dragon represented the highest royalty such as theking or emperor. Four-clawed and three–clawed dragons represented nobility (or ministerial classes) and common people.
Pearls also figure prominently in Chinese dragon mythology. Scholars are unable to explain the exact connection between dragons and pearls but some believe the pearls represent the sun or themoon. Some believe that pearls connect dragons to the sea, especially since dragons are often associated with rivers, rainfall and other types of water. A dragon’s pearl often held great magicand conferred blessings upon whoever possessed it.
Aristocrat Leisure Limited released Dragon Emperor slot machines to land based casinos in 2010. The game included the company’s Remix Reel Shuffle Feature and was built around their Reel Power243 Ways to Win software. Aristocrat released an online version of the game in 2011. The rest of this page reviews the online version of the game.
Rules of Dragon Emperor Slot Game
Dragon Emperor is a 5 reel, 3 row video slot game using Aristocrat’s 243 Ways to Win system. In this system all winning combinations pay from left to right but they consist of any adjacent setsof 3 or more tiles of the same symbol starting in reel 1. The 243 Ways to Win system is an evolution from Aristocrat’s earlier Reel Power system in which the player activated reels 2 through 5 bybetting more coins per spin. In both systems the player can change the value of the coins. In the 243 Ways to Win system the player must bet 30 coins for all 5 reels and only has the option ofchanging the coin value.
The Total Bet is 30 times “Bet” (Coin) value. Each symbol’s prize amounts are multiplied by the current Bet amount when prizes are paid. However, the Total Bet amount is deducted from the Balancefor each paid spin.
The Golden Dragon is the game’s Wild symbol. It only appears on Reel 5. When three Golden Dragons appear on Reel 5 the game’s Reel Shuffle feature is activated. All 5 reels are shuffled and theGolden Dragon symbols are moved somewhere to the left where they may help form one or more winning combinations. The Golden Dragon symbol substitutes for all other symbols except the Scatter. TheReel Shuffle feature can be retriggered.
The Scatter symbol is a golden tablet on which is inscribed the traditional form of the Chinese character for “Dragon”. When three or more Scatter symbols appear in a winning combination startingon reel 1 the Free Games bonus is triggered. See details below. The Scatter symbol pays 40 times Total Bet for 5 of a kind, 10 times Total Bet for 4 of a kind, and 2 times Total Bet for 3 of akind.
Other Symbols in Dragon Emperor Slot Game
The Emperor is the game’s highest value symbol. He pays 1000 times Bet for 5 of a kind, 500 times Bet for 4 of a kind, and 100 times Bet for 3 of a kind.
- The Pearl (grasped by a dragon’s claw)
- Pays 800 times Bet for 5 of a kind, 300 times Bet for 4 of a kind, and 60 times Bet for 3 of a kind.
- The Jade Treasure Chest
- Pays 500 times Bet for 5 of a kind, 200 times Bet for 4 of a kind, and 30 times Bet for 3 of a kind.
- The Jade Pendant
- Pays 350 times Bet for 5 of a kind, 100 times Bet for 4 of a kind, and 25 times Bet for 3 of a kind.
The remaining four symbols are taken from the traditional playing card sequence and they represent the Ace, King, Queen, and Jack.
- The “A” symbol
- Adorned with a green gemstone and pays 150 times Bet for 5 of a kind, 50 times Bet for 4 of a kind, and 10 times Bet for 3 of a kind.
- The “K” symbol
- Adorned with a large golden crown and pays 125 times Bet for 5 of a kind, 30 times Bet for 4 of a kind, and 10 times Bet for 3 of a kind.
- The “Q” symbol
- Adorned with a small golden crown and pays 100 times Bet for 5 of a kind, 30 times Bet for 4 of a kind, and 5 times Bet for 3 of a kind.
- The “J” symbol
- Adorned with a shield and pays 100 times Bet for 5 of a kind, 20 times Bet for 4 of a kind, and 5 times Bet for 3 of a kind.
How to Play Dragon Emperor Slot Machines
All of the game’s controls are positioned below the playing reels area. A transparent marquee is positioned above the playing reels; the game displays messages there, including notifications ofprizes won on a given spin. The messages may include words of praise or encouragement.
The control dashboard is a dark, transparent ribbon at the bottom of the game screen. The player’s current balance is displayed in a widget on the far left.
Just below the Balance widget is a “Rules” button. Click on this to activate the pay table help screen system. There are five screens and to navigate through them you just click on “Next” or“Back” as appropriate. Click on the red “Game” button to return to the game.
The Reels widget is redundant as it only displays “5” for the number of active reels. This is a result of Aristocrat’s modifying its older software for the Dragon Emperor game.
The Bet widget consists of a display panel showing the current coin value and two buttons, Minus and Plus, used to adjust the coin value. Available values are 0.01, 0.02, 0.05, 0.10, 0.20, 0.25,0.50, 1.00, and 2.00.
The Total Bet widget displays the product of 30 times Bet. Maximum value is 60.00 Euros.
The Win widget displays the total amount won on the last spin.
The blue Max Bet button is active only when the Bet value is less than 2.00. Clicking on Max Bet sets the Bet value to 2.00.
The red Gamble button is only active after a prize is won for any paid spin. See below for details.
The large green Spin button initiates 1 pain spin of the reels. After a brief delay it also becomes a Stop button that forces the spinning reels animation to stop. Clicking on the Stop buttondoes not alter the outcome of the game in any way.
The thin green Auto button immediately below the Spin button activates a dialog with a slider control. Use the slider to set the number of paid spins you want the game to play for you. If youhave used the Auto button previously within the current game session you can simply click on “Last Settings” to use your previously chosen options. Click on Start to initiate the automatic spinsor Cancel to exit the screen without starting them.
The automatic spins continue until you leave the game, you interrupt them by clicking on the Stop button, you win a Free Spins bonus game, or your available balance drops below the amount of theTotal Bet.
How the Dragon Emperor Gamble Feature Works
The Gamble feature is a favorite with many players and is common on Aristocrat games. After any paid spin if you win a prize the Gamble button becomes active until you click on Spin or Auto.
Click on the Gamble button to activate the feature. You are shown a screen with a playing card in the “face down” position so that you don’t know what the card is. You play the game by guessingwhether the card will be Red or Black, or by guessing which suit (Heart, Diamond, Club, or Spade) it is.
- If you guess the correct color you double your money.
- If you guess the correct suit you quadruple your money.
- Guess wrong and you lose your money.
The game keeps track of the last five card values in the current gaming session. However, which cards were played before won’t affect which cards are drawn next.
You can gamble up to 5 times per paid spin but you must win each round in order to get to round 5.
Click on Take Win to exit the screen with your prize money.
The feature ends when you win the 5th bonus round, click on Take Win, or you guess wrong.
How the Dragon Emperor Bonus Game Works
The Free Spins bonus game begins when three or more Scatter (Dragon character) symbols appear anywhere on the screen. You win 15 free spins for 5 Scatters, 10 free spins for 4 Scatters, and 7free spins for 3 Scatters.
The game uses a different set of Bonus reels. You get an extra Dragon (Wild) symbol on reel 5 so your chances of getting a reel shuffle are improved.
The Free Spins game can be won again during the Free Spins game.
Aristocrat’s family of Asian themed slot games follows a distinctive pattern. They incorporate elements of Chinese and other Asian mythologies and traditions while using similar rule sets. Thegames are liberally sprinkled with dragons and emblems of luck and prosperity. The Gold Ingot Scatter symbol is common to several games as well. Players who like the Asian stylizations can switchbetween the games to take advantage of their slight variations.
What recommends Dragon Emperor is the REMIX feature where the reels shuffle themselves around. It’s both a creepy looking and really cool feature. Of course, it’s not really improving yourchances of winning a prize any more than just spinning the Wilds onto the leftward reels in the first place but it’s entertaining and heightens the player’s suspense. Aristocrat deserves browniepoints for clever showmanship on this point alone.
The REMIX feature also livens up the Free Spins game, which is otherwise rather plain. By adding an extra Wild symbol to the 5th reel and making it more likely the REMIX activates, thegame enhances its bonus round over some of the other Asian styled games in Aristocrat’s inventory. This is a really good use of their minimalist inventory of features and options.
It is unlikely most western players will care about the Asian traditions concerning luck and wealth but Asian gamblers almost certainly recognize all the tropes and motifs. These games arewell-designed to play on the psychology of traditional Asian players who celebrate the New Year, who know all the family stories about ancestors and dragons, and who in general just like togamble in “an Asian way”. It is debatable whether these games are stereotyping a market segment or merely appealing to the special interests of a segment of the market. It’s darned cleverproductization, though, because there are enough Asian gods of wealth, luck, and good health that the gaming industry could mine this theme for decades and never quite plumb its depths.
As a general slot game, when compared to others developed around the same time, Dragon Emperor holds back just slightly. What might seem like an elegant, simple slot game to some will come upshort in the comparisons of other players who have been courted by ever more sophisticated and dazzling slot games based on western culture, particularly game shows, movies, and entertainmenttropes.
The relative scarcity of Scatter wins is also a bit frustrating. The requirement that the Scatter symbols form a winning combination starting in reel 1 is sure to annoy some players, especiallywhen they know there are other 243-way slot games that allow the Scatter symbols to form a winning combination from any position on the screen. This game is designed to look and feel like achallenge even though its theoretical return to player of 95.19% is higher than many older Aristocrat slot games. That higher RTP doesn’t guarantee anything but it dangles the prospect of abetter-than-expected payout in front of the savvy gambler.