Get it? Head Cannon? Because canon sounds like…
Anyway, personal headcanon regarding ISIC.
It always struck me as odd that Algorithm came before Voids Edge in the campaign. Chronology doesn’t seem to play much of a role in the 7 story missions, and Voids Edge is a much better introduction to the games lore as it features Rendain, Jennerit, and Varelsi.
Then I realized the connection.
At the end of Algorithm, you salvage the core of the ISIC Magnus with the intention of using ISIC as one of the Battleborn. He requires some reprogramming so he doesn’t try to destroy the universe again. But how?
Wolf notes that his self-preservation protocols are suspiciously absent. This is played for dark laughs.
Conclusion: Kleese took out Wolf’s self-preservation protocols, which possibly included a hardware component, and installed them in ISIC’s new chassis. Giving the nihilistic Magnus a newfound appreciation of life, or rather an existential phobia of death. ISIC’s AI now includes excessive protocols which force him to fear being killed or erased.
Other piece of headcanon, the reason ISIC’s arms are held up by blue energy is so that ISIC requires processing power to keep himself armed, literally. This function can be shut off if he decides to go rogue and leave him helpless, but it’s also for the twisted pleasure of El Dragon, who can now rip off ISIC’s arms repeatedly, and thanks to the processing power ISIC is forced to use to maintain them, physically separating ISIC’s arms from his body makes him feel physical pain.