Do I need to have played the original ultima series to play underworld 1?
Ive played a couple of the normal ultimat series awhile back but Ive forgotten a lot I think. I was going to pick up UUW1&2 but wasnt sure if its own thing and not tied to older ultima series or not.
UW1: of course, vaguely remembering what the Stygian Abyss is could give you more context regarding where the game takes place, but beside that, no prior experience is required, really, it's quite a stand-alone game.
UW2: I can't remember the events of UW2 being mentioned in the subsequent installments (U7 pt2, VIII and IX), but the game itself actually ties in with the main Ultima storyline. The events take place one year after the end of The Black Gate. There are lots of characters from the main storyline, and references to events happened in the Black Gate, so my personal opinion is that you would enjoy UW2 a LOT more if you previously played Ultima VII part 1.
Still, the second episode is an awesome experience and it would be a pity to overlook it only for the reasons stated above.